To get from Singapore to Da Nang, I decided to fly Jetstar Airlines in economy. I wanted to fly direct from Singapore and a lot of options that were available either had a stopover or were much more expensive. I figured for a direct flight, $260SGD was well worth the possible cramped seating of a 2.5 hour flight.
Jetstar overall is pretty well run for a low cost carrier. Like most LCCs, they’ll try to find a way to charge for everything but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The seating is on the cramped side so if you’re a taller passenger, it could feel like a long flight. Overall, I wouldn’t want to fly like that every day but for a short flight, it’s not too bad.
Check in at Singapore was a breeze and you can just the kiosks to check in. a lot of their systems are automated so you can save time at the airport by just being prepared.
There are a few things that you may want to consider. First is upgrading to an exit row seat. If you’re a taller passenger, it’ll definitely be worth it to get that extra bit of legroom. I’m 5’10” and I thought it was a tight squeeze. The poor guy sitting next to me was over 6 feet tall and he looked like daddy long legs spider trapped in a clown car.
Another thing to note is that you’re allowed 7kgs of carry on baggage. From my understanding, that is 7kgs combined so it certainly adds up quickly. I knew my carry on was overweight but I wasn’t sure as to how strict they’d be in weighing the bags so I just added a 20kg checked bag (I honestly had no clue how much 20kg was at the time…turns out it’s about 44 pounds but it was only 1SGD more at 20kgs vs. 15kgs so I ran with it to be safe). If you add a checked bag at the counter, it will cost MUCH MORE than if you buy it early. You are allowed to add a checked bag online up to 4 hours before your flight so if you get to the airport early and want to check a bag, try to do it online first. I think it cost me $30 SGD to add it online but it would have cost $60SGD at the counter (a friendly Jetstar employee told me to buy it online vs. the counter wen I got to the airport early).
For someone who never checks a bag, it’s a little awkward especially since I’m not used to it. However, I had a luggage lock (see my post on 11 things I always carry) so it was no problem for me to secure my bag.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the aisles are tight. I’m not that tall but I think 2.5 hours was my limit on how long I could sit in that seat. It looked to me like the best seats on the plane were row 1 in seats A, B, or C. Since you’ll board through that door in front of that row, there is no bulkhead. Even on many planes there is some sort of barrier between that first row and the door but there wasn’t anything in the way here. Basically, if you really want to stretch out, that’s the row to sit (even though depending on how much extra is charged, your final ticket price may no longer be in the “low cost” area).
The exit rows provide a little more space and it’s certainly feasible to get in and out without disturbing other passengers in the row. I saw a few people get in and out pretty seamlessly without asking for others to get up. That said, you aren’t going to be able to waltz out of there with a wedding dress on like row 1.
Remember that the exit rows are extra and they WILL charge you if you try to sit in them without paying. On my flight back, all the exit rows were empty but every time someone tried to sit there during the flight, one of the flight attendants asked the person to either go back to their seat or pay the $32 to upgrade. It seems kind of strange but it’s their way of making sure everything is fair so I can understand that. Basically, don’t expect a free upgrade.
You’ll have the option to purchase drinks or food before or onboard and overall, it didn’t look like the prices were that outrageous. That said, what is nice about these low cost carriers is that you can pay for what you want. Hungry or thirsty? Buy some food and a beer. If not, bring your own water and snacks.
The one thing I really noticed was that the aisles were so tight it would have been impossible for me to get any work done on my laptop. Unless you have t-rex arms, I think everyone is going to have a tough time working. I thought about it but since it would have been impossible to even pull my laptop out without disturbing anyone, I decided against it and didn’t even try. It absolutely pains me to waste time like that so I’d say that was a huge drawback for me.
I didn’t know how I’d feel about Jetstar. Part of me was saying I’d probably regret it when I booked it online while another part was telling me to suck it up and be a big boy for a couple hours. I think for the money spent, there’s nothing to complain about. It gets the job done and to be honest it isn’t like other airlines where there are ads placed all over the cabin or where the cabin crew sells lotto tickets.