With the year end holidays just around the corner, it means that everyone should already be planning where they want to travel to. Other than choosing the right destination and coming up with an itinerary, perhaps one of the less discussed elements of a good trip is the flight itself, especially if it is a long haul one.
Earlier this year, Jetstar introduced its new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners to increase the comfort of travellers flying between Singapore and Melbourne. Jetstar flies the direct Singapore to Melbourne route up to 6 times weekly, on all days except Wednesdays. The upgraded aircraft features better cabin pressure to reduce jetlag, and has a lower cabin altitude so you’ll feel like you’re cruising at a lower altitude compared to other airplanes. This means you’ll get more oxygen, fewer headaches and less dizziness, which translates to less travel fatigue.
The Dreamliner also has larger overhead bins and according to Jetstar, will come with more moisture in the air to help your skin, eyes, lips and nose feel more comfortable. Of course, you can read all about the technical specs of the Boeing 787 on the Internet. What we have for you instead is what happens hourly on the flight should you choose to fly on Jetstar’s Boeing 787.
Before we delve into that, here’s a look at some photos of the Boeing 787:
The 8-Hour Journey
We had the opportunity to experience for ourselves Jetstar’s Boeing 747 from Singapore to Melbourne earlier this year. Scheduled to depart at 9pm, we quickly settled ourselves down in the Business Class seats, which come with their own Jetstar amenity kits (earphones, inflatable pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, socks, eyeshades, et cetera).
One thing which piqued our interest was the inter-seat messaging system — you can invite other passengers on the flight to chat with you via your console throughout the flight:
Other than the messaging system, you can find the usual movies, songs and games selections that will keep you occupied throughout the long trip.
Once you are settled at your seat, the flight attendant will ask you for your beverage of choice — you get to choose between champagne or orange juice. She will also ask you to select from a dinner and breakfast menu, which varies depending on the day of your flight. Breakfast choice was required before we went to sleep, so that our breakfasts would be ready when we woke up. Once the flight attendant had taken down our meal orders, the flight took off after the safety briefing.
During the flight, one of the things which we thought was very thoughtful was how the flight attendant would hand out hot towels before the drinks and dinner were served. Dinner came at 10.30pm, one and a half hours after we took off from Changi Airport. In just 15 minutes, everyone in the business class cabin seemed to have been done with dinner, and the lights were switched off at 11.30pm. You can tip your seats back to a comfortable position for sleeping, though not lie flat completely.
At 2.30am, the flight attendants went around waking everyone up for breakfast. And while we might only have enjoyed a short period of sleep, breakfast was enough to wake everyone up. We had more than enough time to finish off our breakfast, and the flight attendant soon passed out the arrival forms to those who needed to fill them up for immigration purposes. At 3.30am, the plane started its descent and we touched down at 3.50am (5.50am local Melbourne time).
Overall, the flight to and from Singapore and Melbourne on the Dreamliner Business Class was comfortable and there were no faults that you could find. As with other airlines with Business class seats, the service standard for Jetstar’s Boeing 787 is pretty decent, and comes at an estimated price of S$1000 – S$1500 for a return ticket.
For a long haul flight, if this is the price you have to fork out for additional leg room and sleeping comfort, I’d say it is reasonable.
Editor’s Note: This trip was made possible courtesy of Jetstar.