Monday, February 13, 2006

Singapore to Manila on Jetstar Asia

Rating: 11110.5
A couple of months ago, I wrote of my experience riding Tiger Airways from Singapore to Manila. This time, I tried Jetstar Asia and took a round trip from Singapore to Manila on Chinese new year.

As with Tiger, I started with their online booking system which was well designed and very intuitive to use. They've got two types of fares-- the JetSaver and JetFlex with the latter being almost twice as expensive but gives you the option of changing your flight origin/destination. I took the Jetsaver since I was fairly certain of my travel plans. Similar to Tiger, they only take VISA or Mastercard.

The round trip cost me about SGD360 (including taxes) which at that time was cheaper than Tiger's SGD450. Sometimes the other airline is cheaper so it's best to compare before booking.

From Singapore
Booking was more high-tech than Tiger because they used computers and printed the boarding passes instead of hand writing them. Just because it was computerized, it wasn't significantly faster but unlike Tiger, you get an assigned seat-- boarding isn't on a first come first served basis.

If you're not flying solo, then I think having assigned seats would be better for you as you're sure to be together. As an added bonus, the lines at boarding time were less chaotic.

I flew on an Airbus A320 which was similar to Tiger's and the only difference was that there were no radio ports where I could plug my noise canceling headsets.

As with most budget airlines, food isn't free but it costs the same as Tiger's SGD8 per meal and SGD2 per drink.

The plane landed in NAIA and this time there was a sky bridge. No walking down the tarmac here. Since I'm reviewing the airline and not the airport terminal, I won't go into a tirade with how chaotic NAIA was but i'll just say that the Tiger's Clark airport felt a bit "calmer" (maybe because it was smaller).

From Manila
Checking in NAIA was a pain! It could be much simpler if they thought of reducing the many redundant queues and security checks. I had to line up for someone to get my Overseas Employment Certificate (the OEC is unique for OFWs only), line up again to get inside the airport, line up at the check-in counter and line up at the boarding gate. Sus maria!

In summary
4.5 Pawikan points because the planes arrived and left on time. The service on board was excellent and this has everything you'd expect from an airline except for the on-board radio. I would definitely fly Jetstar again.

Update (May 20, 2006):
I've since flown Jetstar three more times since I wrote this and I can say that they consistently depart on time and I've received great service from the flight crew. One tip: When you check in, ask for seats near the front of the aircraft as they seem to have more legroom than the back!

***
You may also want to read my other experiences flying from Singapore to Manila and back in my review of Tiger Airways and review of Cebu Pacific Air.

3 comments:

wershwie said...

Hi!

I'm a Filipina who will be travelling to Singapore via JetStar this December :) I was just doing some research re: the flight, and I read in one thread that they won't let you in the airport via the usual entrance if you only have an eticket. Is this true? I read your review and you never mentioned anything about the eticket thing.

Coz I know we're just supposed to print the flight details/itinerary they emailed us and present it at the counter. That should serve as our ticket, right?

Would really appreciate your inputs! Thanks much!

LESLIE

P said...

Hey leslie!
There is only one entrance at NAIA and security will definitely let you in with just page one of your printed itinerary which serves as your ticket. so don't worry about it... =) Basahin mo rin yung experience ko with airport security: http://reviewsbyp.blogspot.com/2006/08/security-theater-at-ninoy-aquino.html

enjoy your flight!

Riz said...

Hello!

We'll be travelling to Singapore more than a week from now and we booked Jetstar too for the first time. I'll be with my husband and my daughter who's 2 years old, I heard medyo "maalog" daw. Is this true?

Any tips you can give us since we'll be travelling with a kid? And
we also didn't opt for the choice seating.

I would really appreciate your reply. Thanks in advance.