Barely a couple of weeks after my working trip to Indonesia, I was flying off for another extended weekend getaway, this time to Beijing in China! My last visit to the Chinese capital was 20 years ago and it would be interesting to see how the city has changed. What was more exciting was that I would be flying Business Class for the entire trip!! Jetstar up to Beijing and Singapore Airlines back. And not only was I trying a new airline's Business Class offering (albeit Jetstar is a LCC), it would be my first experience on SQ's long-haul Business Class seat on its B773ER (I have tried the old regional seat on B772 and new regional seat on the A333)!! And what made the flights interesting was that both planes operating my flights were in special livery, with my Jetstar flight operated by the only plane with white instead of grey livery, and the SQ flight operated by the all-white Star livery aircraft. Warning: This report would be very photo-intensive.
My flight to Beijing on Jetstar in Business Class cost me a ridiculous offer price of S$298 all-in, inclusive of 30kg baggage, all meals/beverages/amenities and inflight entertainment. This was even cheaper than SQ economy promotion fare for the flight departing at almost the same timings! Fares in economy class on Jetstar could even be as low as $138 one-way! Check-in was done earlier online and I just needed to get my boarding passes at the airport.
Jetstar Business Class check-in counter. There was only 1 counter for Business Class passengers.
Boarding pass was the same as in economy. I was in seat 5A. My initially chosen seat in Row 1 was not available during online check-in (reasons unknown) and thus I reassigned myself to seat 5A after ascertaining that Seats 4A/B remained empty. This was so that there would be no one reclining into me!
Cleared through immigration using the automated lanes and proceeded to the Skyview Lounge, courtesy of my Priority Pass. The lounge, which is mainly used by CX passengers and some other airlines, was recently renovated. No lounge access for JQ Business Class passengers unless you paid extra for it (around S$200), which would then grant access to QF Lounge and earn QF FF miles.
Tarmac view from lounge. Lots of Jetstars including the A332 which arrived from MEL. Interestingly, a different plane would be operating the continuing flight with the same flight number to Beijing. Note the EK A380 parked at the background? Apparently EK is already operating the A380 on certain days, well ahead of the official launch date. Months ago, AF did the same as well.
The lounge is rather big and new!
Lots of seating.
Food buffet. However the buffet area is not too exciting. Lots of drinks selection but not too much on food. No desserts spotted as well.
The dim sum is nice though.
At about 1800hrs, I left the lounge and proceeded to the gate at D49. Boarding has already started.
21 September 2012 Jetstar Airways JQ 7 Singapore (SIN) - Beijing (PEK) A330-200 VH-EBC Business Class
Operating my flight today would be VH-EBC, the white-livery aircraft. Another aircraft was used to operate the arrival MEL-SIN sector.
Boarded the aircraft through door one and was welcomed by a friendly Jetstar crew. Directed to my seat at Row 5, which is the second last row in the Business Class cabin of the A332. There were a total of 36+2 seats in Business Class on Jetstar's A332, all in the forward cabin. Seats 6H/K were apparently reserved for crew rest (a curtain around them while inflight).
Across the cabin from my seat. The configuration of Business Class was 2-3-2. Seats were leather-clad and of the old style recliner type. They were also used on Qantas domestic Business Class routes. Not full-fledged international business class seats, but definitely much more comfy than any economy product out there!
Seat pitch is not wonderfully generous, at 38. However it was more then sufficient for the mostly economy-flying me.
Seat controls were manual. Radio channels, call button and lights were on the arm rest.
Once seated, the crew offered a complimentary blanket and amenity kit, all for yours to take away.
Amenities in the amenity kit: Socks, eye shades, toothbrush set, ear plugs, blow-up pillow and two tubes of cosmetic products. Really generous!
Close up of the cosmetic products. Face cream and lip balm. These are not available in the normal economy purchased amenity kit.
Noise-cancellation headphones were then offered.
This was followed by welcome drinks! Crew offered a selection of orange juice, apple juice or sparkling rose wine!! These were served in proper wine glasses. The sparkling wine was great! Jetstar kept surprising me!!
Jetstar magazine, inflight entertainment guide and safety card in the seat pocket.
Another surprise. A menu was offered!
On Jetstar Business Class, all food, drinks and snacks (snacks from the BOB menu) are complimentary. Lets take a look at what is offered. First, the beverage list. Not a bad selection.
And the wine list. Jetstar was awarded 2nd by Business Traveller in 2011 for having the Best Cellar in Business Class. Its awarded Best Business Class white wine, however, was not available on this flight. The rest of the choices were still rather decent though. I especially liked the Rose.
The menu listed out all the meals served in Business Class on Jetstar's A332 network.
Lets see what is served on the SIN-PEK flight tonight. Starter, 3 choices of main courses, cheese and dessert. Seemed like a proper business class offering.
The business cabin filled up to about 20 pax out of 36 available seats. Not too bad, but if most of them were to pay similar fares as me, I really do not know how Jetstar is going to make a profit on this route. Flight time was announced as 6h5m. The flight map was shown on the overhead LCD screens, which were also used to show short features throughout the flight. Pushback was delayed for about 15min due to congestion in Changi. Initially during boarding, 3 crew members were in business class but later inflight, more crew came down to assist during the meal service. In the meantime while waiting for pushback, crew went round to take dinner and drink orders.
Finally we pushed back. Safety demo was both shown on the overhead monitors as well as performed by the crew, aka QF-style.
Spot the AF A380 which had just arrived?
It was only a short taxi to Rwy20C. SQ B772 waiting to let us pass.
View of the cargo/maintenance area.
Shortly after the seatbelt signs were turned off, the crew distributed immigration forms and a bottle of water for each pax in business class. This was followed by real hot towels! Hot towels on Jetstar? What luxury!
Next up, complimentary i-Pads were distributed. The i-Pads had replaced the previous bulky portable IFE system and were also uploaded with increased entertainment options. New releases were almost exactly the same as on SQ's Krisworld for the month.
There were other options such as e-magazines as well…
and more….. Not as extensive as SQ but sufficient for this mid-haul flight.
Apart from the i-Pad entertainment, short features were also screened on the overhead monitors. Radio channels were available too. About 45min after takeoff, dinner service started. The crew started serving from the front of the plane. One crew was serving on each aisle, with the crew-in-charge working in the galley.
As the load was not too high, service was rather fast. Soon the meal cart was approaching my row.
Tray table out from the armrest.
Appetiser, main course, bread roll and chocolate were served on a linen-covered tray with metal utensils. All the food come in proper Business class serviceware. Salt and pepper were offered by the crew using rock salt and pepper grinders ala First Class style. A rather classy way to cut cost and save on the salt/pepper cartons on the trays. I had an orange juice and a rather nice Sauvignon Blanc, all served in glasses, to go with my choice of Chicken Curry. Overall presentation of the meal is comparable to many full-service airlines' business classes.
Appetiser: Thai noodle salad. A very simple starter.
Warm bread roll with butter. Note the Jetstar-branded metal utensils!
Chicken curry kapitan. Above average but not fantastic.
The other choice of pork belly with linguini. This was delicious but the greens were overcooked.
Jetstar-branded wine glasses.
Just after the main course trays were distributed, 3 more crew came down from Economy class to assist, presumably service in Economy has ended rather early. So we had up to 6 crew serving us 20 Business Class passengers! Rather overwhelming I must say.
After we had finished our main courses, the cheese and dessert trolley was pushed out. Meal trays were also collected back prior to serving of the desserts. As both selections looked great, I requested for both the cheese and cake, which the crew gladly offered. The ever-friendly casual Jetstar crew even coerced us passengers to have a glass of Baileys and a cup of coffee to go with the cake, which I agree totally was a heavenly combination!!
All the desserts with Baileys and coffee!!!
Cheddar, camembert and gruyert cheeses with crackers and fruits.
Rich and creamy opera cake.
Till the end of the meal service, the Jetstar crew on this flight (whom I guess are mostly, if not all, Singapore-based crew) have performed remarkably well, making small chats and jokes with passengers and providing a casual and friendly service with character. They could really give the SQ crew a serious fight!
After dessert was cleared, I settled down, reclined my seat and played around with the iPad. Decided to watch the movie Brave. Even though the new iPad IFE is bigger and lighter than the previous heavy and small portable IFE, it is still cumbersome to place it on the tray table to watch. So, observing what a clever passenger on the other aisle did, I clipped the iPad over the seat in front! Tadaa, an in-seat video monitor! (Disclaimer: Please only do this if the seat in front is not occupied.)
Lights were then dimmed to allow passengers to rest. Even though it was the lull period, the Jetstar crew still made their rounds regularly to check on passengers and clear any trash or cups. As stated in the menu previously, another benefit of flying Business Class on Jetstar is that one gets to choose a range of snacks from the BOB menu for free!
After my movie, I ordered a hot chocolate and Oreos cookies (chocolate overdose!) while my seatmate got a chamomile tea and cashew nuts. These were delivered promptly.
Sometime midflight, the crew came round with a tray of assorted snacks for us to choose from. All the snacks were from the BOB menu. I grabbed a can of Pringles and a Kit Kat. Ok, I am seriously impressed with Jetstar Business Class service by now.
About an hour before arrival, the cabin lights came back on and crew started collecting the iPads and headsets from passengers who were not using them. Passengers who were still using the iPads can continue to do so till 30min prior to landing. An arrival video into Beijing was also screened on the overhead monitors.
Crew prepared the cabin for arrival about 30min from landing. A tad early for Jetstar standards I think… Descending into midnight Beijing.
Lights of the city.
Smooth landing into Rwy36L at 0105hrs, 5min behind schedule.
Had a rather long taxi to Terminal 2, passing some parked Chinese airlines.
Parked beside a Delta B763. AirAsia X has also just arrived.
My comfortable seat for the last 6hrs.
Waiting to disembark.
Immigration took quite a while as there were a number of flights arriving at the time. Luggage, however was already on the belt after immigration was cleared.
Independent The Skyview Lounge
Singapore - SIN
Beijing - PEK
The was a really comfortable 6 hours flight on Jetstar Business Class. The seat was comfortable enough for a mid-haul flight and I had the luxury of not having anyone reclining into me. With the good food and drinks, free snacks and inflight entertainment and great service, Jetstar Business Class has certainly surpassed my expectations. In fact, I felt guilty for paying such low prices for its Business Class. Jetstar Business Class is truly the way to fly if you don't want to burn your pockets on regular premium Business Class. In fact, their promotion Business Class fares could be even cheaper than economy class fares on premium airlines!! Hopefully this report would have given an idea of the onboard service on Jetstar's Business Class, which was more than decent and definitely worth it for the price paid!
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".