Sep 112012
 
Jetstar plane at sydney airport

One of the delightful aspects of the low cost airline model is the contempt management has for their customers.

That scorn for the people who fund management’s salaries is guilty pleasure to watch on a third rate TV “reality” show, but it’s not fun when you’re on the receiving end.

So with a fixed smile and a grim determination not to to let the bastards grind me down, I headed to Sydney Airport to catch Jetstar’s flight JQ406 to the Gold Coast

Check in

It’s no conincidence people make reality TV shows documenting the clash of penny pinching, ticket clipping corporatism with the modern lumpenproletariat; the queues are long and the tempers are frayed.

The key to your temper surviving Jetstar’s check in is not to have checked baggage so you can dodge the general grumpiness in the queues.

Otherwise have your all your documents handy when you get to the check in clerk as they are quite friendly once they realise you aren’t going to mess them around.

Seats

A positive with Jetstar is the seats are spacious and comfortable compared to their Virgin competition and Qantas cousins.

While seat comfort isn’t an issue on a one hour flight it is a plus on longer flights and actually makes Jetstar a reasonable choice if you want to sleep on a ‘red eye’ from Perth.

Meals

As a low cost airline, meals and drinks are an extra charge on Jetstar and really who can be bothered on a mid-morning one hour flight?

During the Flight

An irritation with JQ is the early “turn of electronic devices” policy that sees cabin crew telling you to turn off devices the moment the plane starts its descent.

On short trips this weird policy means as little as twenty minutes time available to use a laptop or tablet, if you want to work on your flight then choosing Virgin or Qantas will give you more time to get things done.

On arrival

Baggage collection was surprisingly slow for a relatively quiet airport and Coolangatta Airport’s management save a few bucks by opening a minimum of luggage carousels which can cause crowds if two flight arrive at once.

Getting away

Coolangatta Airport is a delight for transport with plenty of taxis, including Maxi Cabs that seat half a dozen people and a regular city bus service that runs the length of the Gold Coast.

Overall Jetstar delivers what it promises, an 21st Century air flight that does its best to imitate a 20th Century bus.

If there is an alternative at a reasonable cost then go for it, otherwise accept the low prices and avoid checking baggage.

Paul travelled to the Gold Coast courtesy of Microsoft to attend their Australian TechEd event.

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