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newbief1yer
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Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:39 pm

**Dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the Tragic MH 370 crash. Heartfelt condolences to family and loved ones. Hope they find the strength and courage to take them through these tough times. God be with them**

This is the third leg of our trip.
The first sector Trip report can be found here: Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332
And the second leg of our trip report found here: Part 2 - SYD - CNS On Virgin Australia E190

Background and Booking process

As Part of Australian odyssey, our next part of our trip was to catch a flight from Cairns to Melbourne. We were looking for an evening departure, which would give us an entire day of trekking at the Daintree forest area. After a quick search, the evening Jetstar departure to Melbourne looked like a good match.

Jetstar’s website felt like a posh’ed up version of RyanAir. In terms of user friendliness it was very good, but I felt there were a lot of distractions and avoidable optional extras. Carbon offsetting, a default setting of $2.00 towards a charity (I don’t mind it, but I would prefer to be given an option rather than a default of $2.00) and various other bits which I have already forgotten. Another gripe was that the credit charge was on a per head basis, a first of a kind. There was also an inadvertent push to pay extra for pre-allocated seating. There were quite a few button clicking before I could confirm that I really did not want to pay for pre-allocation of seats.

We were booked in for JQ 951 departing CNS at 6:30 PM taking us into MEL at 10:40 PM.

On the whole all these ancillary charges pushed the price right up and it was no where near the initially advertised price. All in, it cost us a non LCC like $328 for two tickets which included an 25 kilo baggage allowance (per head), entertainment package and all the various taxes and credit card charges. A bargain compared to the Qantas website which was quoting an excess of $440, even before any of the ancillary charges!


http://www.oceanswim.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Jetstar-Logo-WEB-Master-For.gif

GCMap for the entire trip
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=lhr-can-syd;syd-cns;cns-mel;mel-akl-zqn;bhe-wlg-akl;akl-can-lhr&MS=wls&MR=1200&MX=720x360&PM=*

GCMaps for this section of the Trip Report:
JetStar JQ951: CNS - MEL
Flight Reg: VH-VWY ; delivered March 2008
A321-200
Seat 17A
Departure time 18:20 (Actual 18:30)
Arrival 22:40 (Actual 22:40)
13 March 2014
Price: AUD 328 for 2 passengers with all added ancillary charges



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark H
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Richard Thomson

Day of Flight – Check in

CNS Departures
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8320_zps1707157d.jpg


We had checked in online the previous night and taken print out of the boarding pass. On the day of the flight we had finished trekking at Mossman Gorge national forest in the morning and was returning back.

JQ Check in counters
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8322_zpsad0308f1.jpg


CNS looked very quiet at this time and check in was quick. One thing that was odd was that, During check in, we were not even asked for Id. The lady at the counter saw our printed boarding passes, tagged our luggage and off we went!

Security was a breeze – 1 minute, and we were at the duty free concourse. Nothing much to do at cairns airport. Few duty free shops and restaurants in the centre of the concourse. It's a common area for both arrivals and departure section.

A Nice touch – Aviation gallery at CNS
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8330_zps35a52fef.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8329_zps0d067ec0.jpg

FIDS at CNS
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8327_zps1893120a.jpg

CNS Airport Concourse and Duty Free
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8325_zpsf977def1.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8324_zps243fa976.jpg


We had around 40 minutes to spare which we spent browsing through the duty free section. They had an interesting Aviation gallery which was unique.

Our Ride to MELVH-VWY A321-200 (Delivered March 2008)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8331_zps12038471.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8335_zps9242beda.jpg

A sea of Qantas at MEL
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8336_zps22772518.jpg

Hey (Older) Brother.! Qantas B767-300 – Delivered to Qantas 1990, then Australian Airlines (?) in 2004)
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8333_zps6bb89df6.jpg


Boarding was called at our scheduled time. Looking at the length of the queue, it looked like a full flight. Boarding was orderly and we had to walk over to our smart looking A321 – I like the JetStar livery, very Australian, very stylish

Boarding gates
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8328_zps97036431.jpg

On board, we were welcomed by the courteous cabin crew. The aircraft looked very well groomed. I never really realised it, but the A321, is way bigger than the A320 family.

On board the Jetstar A321 – VH-VWY
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0471_zps3271b807.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0469_zps1ae68a46.jpg



Very decent leg space



Flight departure was 10 minutes late. Not too surprised, given a 35 scheduled turn around time for a A321.

It was a smooth take off into the evening skies of Cairns. Captain announced a flight time of around 3 hours with very little turbulence. Was a welcome sound listening to the captain speak after all those hours on a China Southern aircraft!

Within half an hour of departure, the crew came around with iPads, which was followed by drinks and snacks round.

The IFE (iPad) was alright for a 3 hour hop. Some good collection of latest movies. Not extensive, but good enough. One thing of note was that they had a separate Australian movie section (3 of them) which was a good touch.

iPad Entertainment
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_0470_zps56e3a5fa.jpg


Rest of the flight uneventful. Only water and snack service. Food had to be bought. Was Very tired after our trek at Daintree.

Had pre ordered two iPads but wanted to return one as my wife just wanted to sleep. Crew was unsure of how to refund so suggested I email customer service. (upon returing back to the UK, I contacted Jetstar only to be told that all ancillary add ons where non refundable. Their chat system works really well, and if anyone wants to know the fare rules on Jetstar here it is)

Crew was enthusiastic. Much better than our previous crew with Virgin Australia. They were at least obliging and allowed me to take few photographs of the aircraft.

On the whole fight wad very good. Watched a couple of episodes of modern family. The choices of entertainment were not large, but would suffice a three hour hop.

Felt like one of the better domestic Aussie airlines to fly. The A321 was a good choice aircraft for this route even though the Flight seemed around 90% full with a few empty seats dotted around, it didn’t feel cramped and was very acceptable.

We landed on time, bags arrived as soon as we had reached the carousal and we were at the hertz counter within 15 minutes of landing. Great!

Verdict

As stated earlier, easily one of the better domestic services in Australia. Liked the casual nature of the cabin crew, yet professional, good clean aircrafts, stress free check in and on time arrival. It was very good and would gladly fly with Jetstar again.

Next time – Our flight from Melbourne to Queenstown via Auckland on the Emirates A380, but hang on, there is a twist in the tale… Watch this space..!

Until then happy and safe flying. Adios.!

Previous Trip Reports

Part 2 - SYD - CNS On Virgin Australia E190
Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332
DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern
Panda Calling - BA LHR To CTU - Club World
China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU
China United Airlines (KN) - CTU - SJW - B737-700
Norwegian B737 - LGW-TOS-BGO-LGW
Jet Airways: LHR – COK
Barra Trip – that was not to be
LHR - KWI - BA 747 - Part 1 - Middle East - China
Part 5: PVG-LHR - BA - Economy - B777
Part 2: KWI-DXB - FlyDubai - Economy - B737
Part 4A&B - SHA-SJW-SHA - FM: Eco: B737
Part 3A&B : DXB-HKG-PVG: CX & KA :Eco: A333
Morocco Trip - LGW-RAK-TNG-LHR - EasyJet & Iberia
Dusseldorf Calling - BA & EZY - Club/Eco - A321


Melbourne Highlights

HotPot at Flinder Street
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8413_zps4befc256.jpg

12 Apostles
http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8409_zpse1e35a0a.jpg

http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y437/Varun_KR/DSC_8373_zpsca1a3d12.jpg
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:32 am

Great trip reports man.

Hope you enjoyed your time in Melbourne.
 
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newbief1yer
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RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:18 am

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 1):
Great trip reports man.
Hope you enjoyed your time in Melbourne.

Thanks IndiancWorld.
Yes, had a a great time, albeit a bit too short. Was in Melbourne only for a day and a half, which was spent driving to the 12 Apostles, followed by Dinner at Flinders street.
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:19 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 2):
Thanks IndiancWorld.
Yes, had a a great time, albeit a bit too short. Was in Melbourne only for a day and a half, which was spent driving to the 12 Apostles, followed by Dinner at Flinders street.

Cool. Always leaves room to see more next time  

Yeah the GOR drive is great but tiring. Certainly takes up a fair chunk of time.
 
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newbief1yer
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RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:57 pm

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 3):
Always leaves room to see more next time  
Yeah the GOR drive is great but tiring. Certainly takes up a fair chunk of time

For sure, that's the plan  
Takes time, but it is a great drive indeed. We went via Colac, but drove back via the GOR.
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:09 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 4):
Takes time, but it is a great drive indeed. We went via Colac, but drove back via the GOR.

Yeah, good way to do it. Certainly makes it easier to drive with the highway, although would be easier without all the roadworks  
 
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newbief1yer
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Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:42 pm

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 5):
although would be easier without all the roadworks

That is true indeed. But Colac was a great town to stop by. I think if you go via Colac, it gives you more time at the 12 Apostles, and then on the way back you are free to stop at various look out points via the GOR.
 
AirbusA322
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:38 am

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:34 am

This is the oldest aircraft in the Jetstar fleet out of the A321's/A320's.

Its ex Spirit Airlines (USA).
 
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newbief1yer
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RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:42 pm

Quoting airbusa322 (Reply 7):
This is the oldest aircraft in the Jetstar fleet out of the A321's/A320's.
Its ex Spirit Airlines (USA)

Oh Yes, this is from Spirit Airlines. Built in 2001, although it didnt feel the age. Looks like very well taken care of by JQ.
Although from here, doesnt look like its the oldest A321 they have, they have an older one - VH-VWZ another A321 from NK.
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:02 am

Quoting newbief1yer (Reply 6):
That is true indeed. But Colac was a great town to stop by. I think if you go via Colac, it gives you more time at the 12 Apostles, and then on the way back you are free to stop at various look out points via the GOR.

Fully agree  

Glad you had a good time. Seems like you fit a lot into your Aus/NZ trip.
 
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newbief1yer
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RE: Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200

Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:59 pm

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 9):
Glad you had a good time. Seems like you fit a lot into your Aus/NZ trip

Thanks IndianicWorld.
Yes, Agree, 2 weeks for Aussie and NZ is way too short, but circumstances demanded it. But it was for sure, the trip of my lifetime.!

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