Review of Jetstar Airways flight Singapore Beijing in Business

Airline Jetstar Airways
Flight JQ 7
Class Business
Seat 5A
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 06:30
Take-off 21 Sep 12, 18:35
Arrival at 22 Sep 12, 01:05
JQ   #16 out of 24 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 32 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 5206
Published on 16th October 2013
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.
photo 8026686884_5808281213_b

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!
photo 8026690020_8b564ae58a_b

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.
photo 8026684474_4194a0e9a2_b

Reading area.
photo 8026684662_d0609042ef_b

Work area.
photo 8026686261_2511337b9d_b

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.
photo 8026686707_e1d88740d8_b

The lounge is rather big and new!
photo 8026691181_a809318fdd_b

Lots of seating.
photo 8026686602_aa6ec594c9_b

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.
photo 8026690837_be266f6cf7_b

Hot choices.
photo 8026686358_2b127fa0cc_b

The dim sum is nice though.
photo 8026685612_0d18db53d1_b

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.
photo 8026754068_f517703e13_b

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!
photo 8026689252_1fd149a5d5_b

Seat pitch is not wonderfully generous, at 38. However it was more then sufficient for the mostly economy-flying me.
photo 8026683502_f8b6bd1921_b

Seat controls were manual. Radio channels, call button and lights were on the arm rest.
photo 8026676999_564d5b9da0_b

Once seated, the crew offered a complimentary blanket and amenity kit, all for yours to take away.
photo 8026685189_5d2d952ebc_b

Amenities in the amenity kit: Socks, eye shades, toothbrush set, ear plugs, blow-up pillow and two tubes of cosmetic products. Really generous!
photo 8026773320_eaa3406825_b

Close up of the cosmetic products. Face cream and lip balm. These are not available in the normal economy purchased amenity kit.
photo 8026774125_9319cd597d_b

Noise-cancellation headphones were then offered.
photo 8026676338_ce11f15b61_b

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!!
photo 8026689016_25cf0a4afa_b

Jetstar magazine, inflight entertainment guide and safety card in the seat pocket.
photo 8026675910_53f52a5e74_b

Another surprise. A menu was offered!
photo 8026688334_bd24f2fd7c_b

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.
photo 8026675529_f6d3a3471e_b

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.
photo 8026673840_c4bea48e69_b

The menu listed out all the meals served in Business Class on Jetstar's A332 network.
photo 8026673580_a06c5c7f76_b

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.
photo 8026688662_e656e9da35_b

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.
photo 8026685471_4a5589950e_b

Finally we pushed back. Safety demo was both shown on the overhead monitors as well as performed by the crew, aka QF-style.
photo 8026683226_838cc9f896_b

Spot the AF A380 which had just arrived?
photo 8026682810_895a684db3_b

It was only a short taxi to Rwy20C. SQ B772 waiting to let us pass.
photo 8026683044_759dac4af4_b

View of the cargo/maintenance area.
photo 8026683955_0193356237_b


And takeoff!



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!
photo 8026682342_64434bc77c_b

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.
photo 8026682054_fd3232bd86_b

There were other options such as e-magazines as well…
photo 8026683061_66f395c30a_b


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.
photo 8026681414_7cf36c39d6_b

As the load was not too high, service was rather fast. Soon the meal cart was approaching my row.
photo 8026682181_23f7f5e9db_b

Tray table out from the armrest.
photo 8026682593_088dbbbc8f_b

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.
photo 8026680136_613d97e777_b

Appetiser: Thai noodle salad. A very simple starter.
photo 8026679792_f52b0d93b9_b

Warm bread roll with butter. Note the Jetstar-branded metal utensils!
photo 8026678796_94e1b357bf_b

Chicken curry kapitan. Above average but not fantastic.
photo 8026680536_dc2a5d7b4f_b

The other choice of pork belly with linguini. This was delicious but the greens were overcooked.
photo 8026680737_eab6b31568_b

Jetstar linen.
photo 8026679597_ac439cbba1_b

Jetstar-branded wine glasses.
photo 8026680423_59545c404b_b

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!!
photo 8026679269_4178533eb0_b

All the desserts with Baileys and coffee!!!
photo 8026677750_83510fef0a_b

Cheddar, camembert and gruyert cheeses with crackers and fruits.
photo 8026677528_5e769943c7_b

Rich and creamy opera cake.
photo 8026678601_afa1af112c_b

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.)
photo 8026677040_dd4738fcca_b

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.
photo 8026678215_3e002fd38d_b

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.
photo 8026678009_0ff22bb816_b

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.
photo 8026677569_fa5cf02a85_b

Crew prepared the cabin for arrival about 30min from landing. A tad early for Jetstar standards I think…
Descending into midnight Beijing.
photo 8026675362_76a39caef4_b

Lights of the city.
photo 8026676549_29b4914d45_b

Lower…
photo 8026676285_28583aca86_b


Smooth landing into Rwy36L at 0105hrs, 5min behind schedule.



Had a rather long taxi to Terminal 2, passing some parked Chinese airlines.
photo 8026676129_caea5b3325_b

Parked beside a Delta B763. AirAsia X has also just arrived.
photo 8026674516_49b5bc97c3_b

My comfortable seat for the last 6hrs.
photo 8026687886_d7b6df88a1_b

Waiting to disembark.
photo 8026687654_85d0fa9b59_b

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.
photo 8026675735_be09121c04_b

See more

Verdict

Jetstar Airways

8.9/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Buy-on-board menu9.0

Independent The Skyview Lounge

7.4/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services8.0

Singapore - SIN

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Beijing - PEK

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

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!

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Beijing (PEK)

5 Comments

  • Comment 90186 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this gem of an airline. For those of us who are budget conscious yet love comfort, Jetstar in J looks like a winner.

  • Comment 90191 by
    KévinDC TEAM 5031 Comments

    Thanks for this first report on Jetstar in Business class! Sure it's more of a premium economy product, but a really decent offereing nonetheless for the price!

  • Comment 90208 by
    lagentsecret 10961 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this comprehensive FR about an uncommon business class

    The product is good value for money even if it's more Y+ than business

    Nice to have a top notch crew

  • Comment 90232 by
    marathon GOLD 9536 Comments

    An interesting report of business class by a predominantly economy flyer. The amenity kit is more than many legacy airlines with provide - the blanket and blow up pillow are a real plus in my view. The drawback of the Ipad is that it does not provide geovision, which is what I use an IFE for. I also find overhead monitors a visual disturbance. This being a promotional fare, it is difficult to rate the quality / price ratio, but the quality is indeed excellent. Thanks for the report.

  • Comment 90263 by
    A380B77W 4347 Comments

    Thanks for this good FR :)

    Good catering on this low-cost airline ! I'm not sure this is a low-cost airline after I read this FR ^^

Login to post a comment.