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Jetstar Asia 3K683
Aircraft Registration: 9V-JSR
Aircraft Type: A320
Origin: Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)
Destination: Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (KUL)
Date: Saturday, 14 May 2022
STD/STA: 0700h (UTC+08:00) to 0810h (UTC+08:00)
ATD/ATA: 0702h (UTC+08:00) to 0813h (UTC+08:00)
Estimated Duration: 01 hours 10 minutes
Actual Duration: 01 hours 11 minute
Flight Distance: About 186 miles / 299 km
Before starting of this report proper, just want to share also that I have edited a video version of this report, so do click here to go take a look at the video if you have time! Otherwise, I will also include it at the end of this report.
In the wee hours of 14 May 2022, my wife and I woke up super early in the morning and boarded a taxi to Changi Airport straight after washing up.
The last time we woke up so early at around 4am was a year ago, on our wedding day. Fast forwarding the time a year into 2022, we have yet to go for our honeymoon till date, and this would be the very first time we are travelling together as husband & wife.
Earlier this year in Mar 2022, Singapore’s Government announced that Singapore is finally going to relax our border restrictions; tourists will be welcomed into the country once again, and more importantly, Singaporeans will be able to travel overseas without having to face any quarantine requirements when we return!
This was splendid news, and we sprung into action immediately after receiving the information, booking a short trip to Ho Chi Minh City on Singapore Airlines’ Business Class. Little did we know that when it came to resuming our travel habits, fate was not on our side. A week before we were supposed to embark on our first trip since the pandemic started, my wife and I took turns to test COVID-19 positive.
The following week was then spent cancelling all our travel plans and recovering from the virus.
But hey! We finally have the freedom to plan a trip anytime we want, we are not gonna budge just because of this virus. Just as I completed all the cancellation and refund processes for our planned Vietnam trip, my wife and I sat together to take another look at the calendar, with the sole purpose to figure out when is the very next date we can travel again.
And ta-dah! That’s how this very short weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur (KL) came about.
Malaysia announced that almost all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be dropped starting May 2022; this meant that as long as travellers are fully vaccinated + boosted, pre-departure test, arrival test, and quarantine requirements will all NOT be required! Coupling this with the fact that we had Jetstar Asia and AirAsia credits still left in our accounts due to trips that were cancelled back in 2020, we saw no reason to hesitate anymore.
So that’s it! Just as I received Singapore Airlines’ refund notification for my Business Class award flight to SGN, Jetstar and AirAsia’s booking confirmation emails came through into my inbox too!
On the day of departure, we were booked on the 7am departure out of SIN. At that point in time, almost all airlines required passengers to arrive at the airport 3h before flights (minimum requirement). This meant we should have reached the airport at 4am to check-in, and that was really way too early.
Being partly rebellious, but also partly confident with Changi Airport’s high level of efficiency, we decided to just leave home at 4am instead. After a 15 minutes taxi ride, that costed a whopping 42 Singapore Dollars, we arrived at the airport.
Over the past 2 years during the pandemic, we did actually still make numerous visits to Changi Airport.
But this time was different. It was the first time in 2 years I saw Terminal 1 being so crowded, in the early hours of the morning, and I was honestly so happy seeing this sight. Here’s to the wish that the world can return to normal again in 2022, with everyone being able to travel safely and freely everywhere!
The majority of all early morning departures out of Terminal 1 seemed to be India-bound flights. I am sure our friends from India were also super happy that they could finally return home!
Right beside Jetstar’s check-in counters were IndiGo’s counters.
Prior to COVID-19, there were basically no human interactions when checking in for a budget airline’s flight in SIN. Right now, however, because of the highly varied and fluid pandemic regulations in each country, airlines would usually have to perform a certain extent of documents check before passengers are able to head for self check-in.
For us that day, we were simply required to show Jetstar’s staff our Malaysia MySejahtera (COVID-19 contact tracing app) before we could check-in.
Here’s the step-by-step recollection of our self check-in experience:
Step 1 - Choose our flight
Step 2 - Scan our passports
Step 3 - Acknowledge the message to head for another document check after receiving our boarding passes + Weigh carry-on bags
Step 4 - Select no. of checked-in luggage; it was 0 for us, and hence we did not need to print any bag tags
Step 5 - Collect our boarding pass! That’s all, and it was super fast.
Despite pandemic regulations resulting in several additional steps during check-in, the entire process at Changi Airport was still lightning fast! Kudos to the airport!
In just 10 minutes’ time, we already managed to clear all processes from the terminal’s drop-off point right to departure immigration. Amazing!
It’s been so long since our last trip overseas, and so here’s the “mandatory” photo for our IG story~ Haha
This time round, we noticed that even the automated immigration system received a refresh during the pandemic. I felt that the new system took longer to process each passenger, but the difference was rather insignificant.
No words can tell you how touched I felt to finally step into airside area of Changi Airport that morning.
The FIDS packed with “passenger flights” and not “cargo or cancelled flights” was also a good sight to see!
One thing that was still not back to normal was the availability of F&B choices at this hour. Many restaurants or F&B outlets that were supposed to be operating 24 hours were no longer operating round-the-clock.
This resulted in almost every other passenger heading to 7-Eleven, in hope to find some breakfast food and coffee.
But I was picky. I didn’t want 7-Eleven food and coffee. So we waited till almost 6am before the first F&B outlet opened before getting our breakfast.
Unfortunately, it (Crave’s Nasi Lemak) wasn’t nice too. One of the worst Nasi Lemak I have ever had in fact.
1h before ETD we headed to our gates.
The gate area was bustling with activity, and that was such a pleasant scene.
Our gate this time was at D38, one of the last gates in the D gates zone.
If you compare the following two photos (same gate area, but taken at different time), you will notice that the Airport did quite a fair bit of renovation over the past two years.
This was taken on 14 May 2022 (day of taking this flight):
And this was ~5 years ago on 1 Sep 2017.
Coincidentally, my last flight before the pandemic was also onboard a Jetstar A320. 838 days later, we are back here for another flight on Jetstar Asia.
Finally we are gonna get some miles credited into our Qantas Frequent Flyer accounts.
We were called for boarding at 6.45am, 15 mins before departure. It felt surreal standing here in queue to board an aircraft at that point in time.
Jetstar Asia! We meet again, finally.
It has been a long while since I “looked forward” to a budget airline flight. Hahaha
On the Jetstar flight that day I suddenly felt that actually these seats don’t look too bad. xD
There were no surprises when it came to the seat pitch on Jetstar Asia, given that it’s a budget airline. But anyway, this was just a 1h flight, so it’s perfectly acceptable.
The fleet for Jetstar Asia is entirely made up of just 7x A320s (as at Jul 2022). All of which has the same Y180 3-3 configuration. Every seat comes with an adjustable air vent and reading light.
With the pandemic ongoing, many airlines all around the world has started reliving in flight magazines in a bid to reduce touch points.
On our flight this time round, the seat pocket contents were left with only the air sickness bag, safety information card and onboard menu.
Let’s take a look at the onboard menu; those of you with sharp eyes may have noticed that it seems that all hot meal options have been removed! Not too sure if this has became a “new norm” on Jetstar Asia or it’s just for the shorter flights.
Following which we have the safety information card. As it was published in 2016, so nothing much actually changed.
It’s been so long since I last took a photo from this angle!
Boarding concluded at around 7am and we pushed back 2 minutes later.
I paid particular attention to the safety demonstration that day, since it had been more than 2 years since I last heard it.
In fact, during the pandemic when we were grounded, I even went to search for airline’s safety video on YouTube sometimes.
The safety demonstration on Jetstar Asia was largely the same as pre-pandemic; except that the crew will now remind passengers to remove our face mask before putting on oxygen masks when required.
7.02am Push Back
The sun rose while we taxied to the runway, seemingly welcoming us back into the blue skies that we had missed a lot over the past 2 years.
Switching our attention back to the cabin, it had also been such a long time since we last experienced this intense “white smoke” coming out from the aircraft’s air conditioning unit, which was actually just mist due to difference in outside temperature and that in the aircraft.
7.24am Took Off from Runway 02L
Our aircraft took a left turn into Malaysia’s air space after flying past Pulau Tekong upon take off.
7.28am Seatbelt Signs Off
We booked Jetstar’s Starter Plus ticket that day to earn some Qantas Points and status credits; this included a simple meal that consisted of a muffin and a bottle of water each. This had remained the same for many years on this Jetstar route, but at least the muffin was nice.
13 minutes after departure, we reached our cruising altitude of FL240 at 7.37am. At this stage, we were flying over Johor’s Yong Peng.
Distance between SIN and KUL is approx. 300km only, so flying time on this route is usually very short, and our flight that day was no exclusion. To be specific, we only maintain at our cruising altitude for around 1 min, before the aircraft started to descend at 7.39am.
7.43am Pre-Landing Safety Checks
I specifically chose a window seat on that flight just to take more photos. After being grounded for more than 2 years, I was sometimes even dreaming of myself looking out from an aircraft’s window; truly desperate I would say. xD
We descended below FL200 at around 7.47am while we were overflying the state of Negeri Sembilan. Legend has it that the name of the state “Sembilan”, which means “Nine” in Bahasa Melayu, came from the nine villages of Minangkabau people that settled at this location during the 14th century. [Source]
According to FlightRadar24, we flew over some national park at 7.50am, but I couldn’t quite find out what park this was exactly. And because our flying altitude was still quite high, it was not quite clear from the photo too.
30 minutes after departure from SIN, the seatbelt signs went on again at 7.54am.
We descended below 10,000ft at around 7.55am while flying over Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia.
2 minutes later, the aircraft made a left u-turn to eventually get to our runway heading.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport sits on 100 sq km of former agricultural land, which explains why the approach route into KLIA always seem like the aircraft’s landing into the middle of a forest.
Touch down was at 8.05am on Runway 15 of KUL, clocking in an actual flying time of just 41 minutes.
8.13am, arrived at gate after 8 minutes of taxiing. Being just 3 mins behind schedule, this was definitely considered an on-time arrival.
This short flight of around 300km went by too quickly, but it was a nice and concise trip to awaken the travel bug in us. I do miss flying Jetstar Asia because it was one of the airlines I flew on most frequently before the pandemic.
But this was still a far cry from what we originally planned as our first trip (SQ Business to SGN) since the pandemic started.
I guess the silver lining to this was that we could finally utilise our Jetstar and AirAsia travel credits before they expire.
We seemed to have docked at a very far away gate that day, and our walk to arrival immigration took super long. This was then followed by an endless queue at arrival immigration (sigh).
The long wait at arrival immigration does seem to be a common occurrence here at KUL, and it was probably not due to the pandemic in any ways. So I guess if one is a frequent traveller to Malaysia, he/she will just need to get used to this.
We breezed through the baggage reclaim area at around 9.22am after passing immigration, and headed straight to the Airport Express Train Station in order to catch the 9.30am service bound for KL Sentral.
It was a very pleasant flight and travel experience (excl. the long arrival immigration process) after 2 years of “zero travels”. This time round, we merely picked a short 3-days long weekend to fly to our neighbouring country. In the second half of 2022, we shall embark in “revenge travels” on full power mode, with the aim to deplete all the SQ mileage that we had racked up over the past 2 years. Do look forward to the SQ Flight-Reports from me, and for now, please do spend some time to also watch my video report, which I spent quite a fair bit of time editing.
Finally, here’s a full route of our flight that day.
Thanks for reading all the way! Will try to get the return trip report (on AirAsia) published soon.
As a summary, this was a pleasant journey. Departure airport SIN was good as usual; it was just a pity F&B options were so limited in the wee hours of the morning. Comfort level on Jetstar’s aircraft was actually very acceptable for this 1h flight, and the muffin provided with our Starter Plus ticket was not bad too. Jetstar Asia also had very professional and polished service as usual. There were also no issues with punctuality of this flight. However, with the absence of an in-flight magazine, Jetstar Asia is now officially an airline with zero entertainment options.
The only major complaint on this trip was the long wait time at KUL for clearance of arrival immigration; just be prepared that this is a norm at this airport.
Note what I said, a “norm”, not “new norm”.