Review: Qantaslink Dash 8-Q400; Launceston-Melbourne
6 December 2017
There’s something nostalgic and personable about flying on a small aircraft like the Qantaslink Dash8-Q400. I can’t quite find the words to describe it but it feels familiar and homely compared to the larger domestic workhorses.
The plane had arrived late and was delayed for 15 minutes. Boarding on the flip side was quite quick and we were in the air 15 minutes since the original departure time. The aircraft laid out in a 2-2 configuration feels spacious despite the size with the seat actually bigger in terms of legroom compared to the B787. No knees pressed against the back of the seat in front here.
Food service was rolled out fairly quick and the food and drink offering on this afternoon service (aka City Flyer) was a lot more substantial than my previous experience on my last Dash 8 flight. A delicious snack attack in a pack and wine choice of white or red or a hot beverage was given to passengers. The lovely attendant who served me on board topped up my wine when she came back through the cabin (something Qantas does quite well at in making a customer feel valued).
With Dash 8 there was no in-flight entertainment available on board but with a short flight time of 1 hour, you find you won’t have much time to watch a show or movie.
Before I could finish my second drink it was time to begin our descent into Melbourne.
Having flown the Qantaslink Dash 8 a few times before I felt this leg and time offered the best all round service and food options. The substantial snacks and decent selection of drinks as well as the warm hospitality made this flight a real delight. The only downside was how quickly the flight was. Could have enjoyed the service and another wine for half an hour longer.
Service: 4.5 Stars
Seating: 4 stars
Food: 4.5 Stars
Review: Jetstar Airbus A320; Sydney-Launceston
2 December 2017
Jetstar as a budget Australian airline has always been seen through my eyes as Qantas’ poorer cousin. The loud orange colour scheme and bland plane interiors make me want to get out the hand santiser. That said I will acknowledge that the airline has improved over the last few years and feels a bit smarter in terms of look and feel.
This weekend I flew down to Launceston and with Qantas not a direct flight option from Sydney I went for Jetstar. For an extra $40 I purchased the Starter Plus and for the cash you do get some return with Qantas points, $10 in-flight credit and free seat selection included. It makes what would be a ‘basic’ experience to something a little more lux (but let’s not go overboard with the term here).
The plane was late and to add to the pain the boarding of the plane was a slow crawl. Once on-board there were those bright lights. Taking my seat in 7F against the window I noticed I had a lack of leg room. The term ‘packed in like sardines’ could not be more relevant here but I reminded myself it was only a short domestic flight across the Bass Strait.
After take off staff were quick to issue a meal service. Having a $10 credit and considering the time was early morning I ordered the breakfast combo (hot beverage and croissant duo). The presentation of the meal was ok but the actual taste was surprisingly tasty. The chai latte had enough bite and the croissants were warm.
Staff were attentive during service until it came to cleaning up with the staff member charged of collecting rubbish grabbed without checking my rubbish and left half of it there despite me being in my seat. I tried to get their attention and another staff member before our dissent into Launceston Airport but neither noticed. I ended up holding onto the rubbish until we landed.
It all comes down to value for money. In terms of budget Jetstar does the job and on a domestic leg ticks all the boxes. It was comfortable (enough), quiet and had generally good service bar the aforementioned incident. It is no frills so if you are expecting a little bit ‘extra’ then look towards booking Virgin or Qantas instead.
Service: 4 Stars
Seating: 3 stars
Food: 4 Stars