Initially I thought that there was no way I'd get a seat onboard during its first week of flights, but then I headed to Jetstar's website and found a spot three days in. I got lucky with a late afternoon flight and a similarly convenient return, which left the ideal amount of time to head into Melbourne, grab some food, and relax before turning right around.
Since I'm a Qantas Frequent Flyer who never misses an opportunity to boost my mileage account balance, I opted for the upgrade from a basic fare to Max Bundle. The bundle not only accrues valuable mileage, but it allows for premium seat selection, a $5 in-flight service voucher for food or drink, and greater flexibility with itinerary changes. What started as a $75 one-way fare, became $295 with this upgrade option.
Capitalizing on the advance seat selection, I naturally went for what would normally be the business class cabin, but on this initial domestic service is considered economy. Seat 2A on the outbound and 1A on the return were all mine, along with the ability to play with the cool self-dimming windows to my heart's content.
Honestly, after the tumultuous launch of the 787, I wasn't really expecting too much. Once aboard the aircraft, however, I instantly noticed nicer lighting, increased cabin space, and huge overhead lockers. Aside from aesthetics, nothing much was different until we took off and I didn't spend the first 15 minutes attempting to regulate my ears with the pressurization, a problem I regularly face on every other aircraft. The [correction: higher|
lower cabin pressurization of the 787 (to 6,000' instead of 8,000') made all the difference, and I could enjoy the flight without the annoyance of ear pain and without having to turn my in-flight entertainment volume to the max.
What's more is that I was also impressed with the pride and excitement of the Jetstar crew for their newest toy. This is a low-cost airline that nickels and dimes, so your standard Jetstar flight doesn't come with a side of smiles. The Boeing 787 changed all that, and my two regular flights were surprisingly upbeat, and I may have even shared some giggles with the flight attendants over the newer features.
Speaking of new features, stay tuned for tomorrow's full photo gallery of our Jetstar 787 flights!
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak/Jaunted]