Review of JetStar Japan flight Tokyo Fukuoka in Economy

Airline JetStar Japan
Flight GK135
Class Economy
Seat 27F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 29 Jun 13, 08:55
Arrival at 29 Jun 13, 10:55
GK 15 reviews
Olrik
By 3710
Published on 22nd April 2014
Good morning/afternoon/evening/night everyone !

Here I am again offering a translation from one of my FR originally written in French. You can find it here.
I decided to translate this one to enrich the database with Japanese domestic carriers.

About this trip, I wanted to do a short trip in the south of Japan. As everyone that has been to Japan knows, trains are expensive here. A one-way train ticket to Kyûshû costs north of 20.000 JPY. And the journey lasts at least 4h. At this price, air travel can be competitive.
Before the arrival of the LCC in Japan, the market was mainly divided between JAL and ANA (including their subsidiaries). And domestic flights were mainly from HND. There was some from NRT but it was for transfer PAX with crazy high fares for domestic travel. Fares are also expensive out of HND.
Since a couple of years ago, LCC emerged in Japan. At the time of this flight, there were 3 pure LCC players: Jetstar Japan and Air Asia Japan from NRT and Peach from KIX. Since, Air Asia Japan ceased its operation due to low flight loads and Vanilla Air emerged from it. For people living in Tôkyô, going to NRT can be a pain in the *** as the airport is 60 km out of the city. But I do not live in Tôkyô… From my place, I can be in NRT after a 1h15 min drive and use reasonably priced long term car park. On the other hand, HND is about 1h30-2h far from my place by public transportation with either an irregular bus service or with trains and at least 2 transfers…
For me, NRT offers then cheaper flying options with LCC and is more convenient. No hesitations, I will fly out of NRT.

I left my place in the early morning and headed for Narita International Airport. I left my car at the car park and the shuttle dropped me off at the Terminal 2. As already mentioned in many FR out of NRT, there is an identity check to enter the airport zone: kind of a toll gate by car or at the station by train. It is an heritage from the violent demonstration by local farmers against the construction of the airport. This opposition is lasting against the airport extension.
Anyway, here I am at the T2 which I do not know as I only flew out of T1 up to now.
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Inside, the terminal is not really bright.
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And here the departure schedule.
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Hey! Only international flights are displayed!?! Where are domestic flights? I looked for signs but did not find any. After asking, I was indicated to join an extremity of the terminal by walking through a loooooooong coooooooorridor.
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Passing over the arrivals lobby.
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And here we are. With this bright orange, I am sure it is Jetstar! You can feel the low-cost atmosphere by looking at the ceiling.
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Unlike some European LCC, the luggage size can be checked in a metallic apparatus, not paper one.
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Ah, finally, the domestic departures!
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Security lines.
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And the departure lobby after security screening.
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Only 2 small shops without much choice.
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Once again, the departures. Ok, I have a short hour to kill.
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Let see if there is anything to kill the time and not myself while waiting. It does not start well…
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At least, there is a lounge. It might be important for the JL elite PAX who are flying GK thanks to the code-share agreement.
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Another long corridor.
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Ok, there is probably not much further.
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Finally, this corridor is not completely blind! There is a window at its end on the operations. Hurrah! With local traffic.
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It is finally time to board. Passing boarding gates with jetbridge
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In the end, going downstairs to arrive in the PAX-bus boarding lobby.
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Some activity for my flight.
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Hopefully, the bus does not look too mean.
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Heading for the plane!
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Onboard, it looks a bit like the Tôkyô Metro at peak hours.
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And here we are, close to the airplane, an A320.
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Installation. It had been awhile I did not board an A320 but it stinks the LCC from the seats to the lighting.
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Safety demonstrations. Hopefully, I found the safety card as demo was only made in Japanese.
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The plane is about to leave the Jetstar farm.
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And after a short taxi, it is time for the take-off roll!
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Climbing through the clouds.
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And then emerged.
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Let examine the content of the seat pocket. Of the front-neighbor-headrest would be more appropriated.
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Jetstar magazine. 95% in Japanese.
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And the Buy-On-Board menu. Today 1 EUR = 140 JPY, 1 USD = 100 JPY.
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And now, the seat. The pitch cannot be described as generous. My knees are massing the back of my neighbor. I should have asked him a fee for this free seat function^^
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Some are lucky with a translation in Japanese… Also called an heritage of the previous owner.
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Hopefully, I have my own IFE.
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And a second own IFE, aka the window.
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The captain announced final descent and the crew prepared the cabin. Even if we were well above 10,000 ft, the stewardess coldly asked me to turn off my IFE. Which I did reluctantly.

Going through the clouds and approach.
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Unlike NRT, FUK is in the city center.
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And the runway !
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Our neighbors.
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The less than a year old JA06JJ performed this flight.
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Across the only runway is the international terminal. I could spot 2 I appreciate.
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Some ground agents asked to proceed. Time to exit then.
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This corridor yields to the luggage belt. On the other side of the windows is the domestic departures area.
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The shorter the better.
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And the arrival lobby has not a higher ceiling.
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And now, a short bonus about Fukuoka.
Let start not with Fukuoka but with Daizaifu, slightly outside of the city. Peaceful!
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Back to the city with THE Fukuoka Tower. The presence of the airport within the city limits restricts building heights.
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And the close beach.
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Fukuoka has many canals. Some huge, some less.
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And right in the center, close to the castle, a huge park where it is forbidden to urinate, I think^^
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A few more pictures.
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And cherry on the cake, I found where the Finnair logo designer retired.
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See more

Verdict

JetStar Japan

3.6/10
Cabin2.5
Cabin crew4.5
Entertainment/wifi2.5
Meal/catering5.0

Tokyo - NRT

6.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access5.0
Services1.0
Cleanliness9.0

Fukuoka - FUK

7.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

NRT:
It is clearly not a domestic airport. The airside area is poor with nothing to do to kill time. Hopefully, you can arrive at the airport just on time for your flight as controls are as smooth as for international departures.

FUK:
Clearly old airport but really convenient as it is right in the city center!

GK:
The first impression with GK is disappointment.
First, about the pricing. It was close to European flagship airlines but the comfort was really LCC.
Nothing special about punctuality.
Comfort is inexistent with knees in the “front back”.
Crew: No contact on the ground where you can check-in for free. No identity check. Onboard, the crew did its job but really no fuss.
BOB: I had a coffee which was Ok. The pricing looks decent.

I will try to translate my other FR on GK, CTS-NRT to give another opinion.
As usual, feel free to leave a (nice or less nice) comment!
C U!

Related

2 Comments

  • Comment 106530 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thank you for this new addition to the English side. It's great to see more LCC's in the Japanese market.

    Wonderful pictures, especially the aerials views and bonus destination. Some of your images convey the serene beauty and sense of tranquility that Japan is well known for.

    The prices for buy on board are not too bad and is on par with U.S. domestic carriers, although I think the quality of the food at Jetstar might be a bit higher.

  • Comment 106560 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5307 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report! I always thought Jetstar was better...they seem to have a cool and hip image, but the reality is kinda disappointing. There's gotta be a better way to FUK :-) I know I'm aweful and tacky...I had to do it. Nice bonus pics!

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