Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Flight Meals on Jetstar Airways: Bring - Your- Own (BYO) or Buy-On-Board (BoB)

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I took off from Singapore  last May 30, 2012 at 7pm for my dream trip to New Zealand. Well,  I scored a $521 round trip ticket with Jetstar Airways, a budget airline of Qantas, and the flight departs in the Lion City being its main hub. But unlike all low-cost carriers, all Jetstar flights fly from Terminal 1 of Changi International Airport instead of at the Budget Terminal. Cool!
It was an A330-200 and said to be Jetstar Airways' biggest, wide-bodied aircraft with business and economy class seating. It has comfortable seats, enough legroom (for a biggie!) and adjustable headrest So far, having a ticket deal like this is truly a steal huh! Except...
Upon take off, the first thing on my mind was the in -flight dinner to be served. I always expect that  free  "hot " meals during loooong-haul flights is part of the cost of tickets, although  I'm  aware that some airlines  have abandoned or began charging for these meals on short - haul flights. I didn't think then that my ticket steal on Jetstar Airways did not come with a free meal (since Singapore to Auckland involved a 10 and a half hours flight time!) but rather on a Buy -On-Board or you can Bring - Your - Own (which will not  work for me since I want something "hot" and "unpredictable" meal options). Ouch ouch. 
Gourmet Chicken Wrap AU$ 12 (Php 516) / Nissin Cup Noodles AU$ 5 (Php 215) /  Lemonade AU$ 3 (Php  129)
Lessons learned: I should have read the conditions of my plane ticket or explored the website coz  the in-flight options including meals are clearly spelled out there! For Jetstar Airways economy tickets, pre-purchasing meals - independently or as part of a Plus or Max bundle is offered on international flights - or you can select on board meal service from JetCafe using a credit card since it is "cashless transactions" only . For water, Jetstar's A330 aircraft has a water fountain with disposable cups in the cabin so that's good for those who like me can't drink a non-cold water. 
Chicken with Noodles AU$15.00 (Php 645) / Soda AU $3 (Php 129)
If you are like me who prefer a hot dinner and didn't want to bring own food on board (to avoid hassles at x-ray) or if you do not own a credit card yet, then pre-purchasing meal would be good since the "main meal" option is not always available on all flights. I have to settle for a light meal of gourmet chicken wrap and cup noodles for my inbound flight to Auckland (but was a bit lucky to have a main meal of chicken and noodles during my outbound flight to Singapore on June 9, 2012).
I don't know about you, but in-flight meals determine my mood on arrival at the destination. So, I guess, these days it is safe to assume that it is Buy-on-Board (BoB)  or Bring -Your-Own (BYO) for economy tickets on budget airlinesregardless of length of flights. It would be a good practice to get a good meal before flight and bring biscuit or be ready to pay over-priced meals on board using plastic (which I'm lucky to still have at this point!). Sans the meal issue though, I arrived in Auckland, New Zealand feeling lucky that morning of May 31, 2012 (since New Zealand is ahead by 4 hours our time). Check my post - Get Lucky to Fund Your Wanderlust - to know why! Happy Flying!

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