I often fly Jetstar, mainly because they offer direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo. So worth it not to have a stopover.
A few times I've received a email from them before my flight saying I've been selected for an upgrade to business class. The upgrade is, of course, a paid thing and not a freebie. I've either not taken them up on the offer or have not been close to my computer to do it in time before but, for this trip, when I got the email I figured why not?
My initial flight cost me $300. That included the basic no-frills flight and a "starter plus pack" which included 20 kg checked in luggage, 2 meals, seat selection and no fees on changes. With this pack you also get either points for various programs or a $25 Jetstar voucher. I opted for the voucher.
I am sure I paid $50 for the pack but my invoice says $90. I'm pretty sure I would not have paid $90 for it, and my invoice seems a bit strange so let's go with $50.
The upgrade cost $200. With that, I got no reimbursement for the pack I'd purchased. Checked bags, meals etc are included as part of the upgrade anyway. I'm only guessing here but I'd say you'd only get offered the upgrade if you'd already got the pack. That means the upgrade technically cost $250.
That made my flight at total of $500 one way from Melbourne to Tokyo.
For some reason I could not check in online and had to do it at the airport. I thought I'd get to go to the fancy business class line with no queues but the Jetstar check in was bedlam. The queue wasn't huge but they seem to let just anyway use the priority check in so it seemed pointless.
I got a priority pass for immigration/security but, since it was late at night the priority lines weren't open and the other lines weren't very long anyway.
In my initial booking, I could take 20 kg plus the standard 7 kg carry on bag.
With the upgrade, I could take 30 kg plus 2 bags up to 7 kg each.
I did toss up the idea of travelling carry on only but didn't want to be lugging 14 kgs of bags around the airport. Note: that carry on allowance includes your "personal item". I ended up taking the same luggage as I'd have taken in economy, after all I have to fly economy home.
The meals in business class are free but, since I'd already paid for two meals with my initial booking, that didn't make much difference to me. I didn't think the food was any better in business class than the paid meals in economy. In economy, you get a choice. In business, you get what they give you. The breakfast (I flew overnight) was pretty lame - muesli, yoghurt and either a croissant or muffin.
You do get free booze and snacks on demand. I don't usually drink on flights so that was no saving to me.
It's free in business Class, paid in economy but I take my own.
It's free in business class, paid in economy. The blanket was nice to use. Most of the other stuff in the pack I already have better versions of. I have a good eye mask and ear plugs etc. I did get a lip balm and hand cream which was good.
This is where it gets interesting. To be blunt, Jetstar flights aren't comfortable in economy. Not one little bit. You get minimal leg room and tiny seats. Normally it takes me 2-3 days to recover from the various body aches and pains. At worst, I get swollen feet.
It's not just the seats that are uncomfortable either. You really get the lowest common denominator of passengers in Jetstar economy. The total bogans on holiday just to see how pissed they can get, the families who think childcare on-board should be supplied by someone else, the people who pay rock bottom prices and are so fucking demanding.
Business class is quiet. So very quiet. There was one family flying with a baby and that baby cried a bit, but otherwise it was silent. No kids kicking the back of my seat, no dicks yelling to their friends three rows back, no crazy grandmother going apeshit because she's not seated with the rest of the family (hello, that's why you pay for seat selection).
My business class seat was wide. I had all the legroom I needed. I actually slept well on the flight. The only annoyance was that I was in row 1 in the aisle and, when people went to the toilet, the curtain to the next section hit my feet and woke me up a few times.
Oh, speaking of toilets. So clean. And no lines except immediately after breakfast.
Value: I can't even put a price on not being annoyed for 10 hours by bogans. Instead of being a wired up mess ready to kill someone, I arrived relaxed.
I was meant to have priority bags, I didn't. There was no tag to say that on my bag and my bag didn't come out first. Boo hiss. One of the reasons I decided not to do carry on only was that my bag would come out first.
While I wouldn't pay the big bucks to book a business class seat (I think that's normally over $1000), I'd definitely take the upgrade again if it was offered. The comfort factor alone made it worth the $200. I'm old and creaky. Being in the best condition possible at my age when I land is a total bonus.
Note: all prices mentioned are Australian dollars. I paid for all this shit myself, nothing is sponsored.