Would Not fly Again.
Yes. I’m back.
With a swag full of broke-back raps for you insta heathens to gorge on like the insatiable white devils you are.
Just in case you’re wondering…I had a wonderful time in NZ, full o family, friends and floating about in the seas off Te Waipounamu. I even managed to gain the trust of one of our newborn lambs. We became inseparable, frolicking in the grass, listening to Everybody's Talkin' by Harry Nilsson and snoozing under the fig tree, dreaming of this and that. I’ll review him after Easter lunch.
But lets get real here, none of you care about my holiday. You want to read this review. Not because you’ve been hanging out to hear what I have to say, but mostly because you’ve seen the photo on the cover, or you’ve experienced Jetstar at some point and you can't wait for someone articulate (thasss moi) to slay em…as slaying them can really be the only outcome. Has anyone ever written a favourable review about Jetstar? I’d imagine not.
Before we get into this I’d like to take a second to admit that yes, I did choose Jetstar because it was the cheapest flight. So sue me. In my defence, I’d never flown with them before, I actually thought Tiger was the worst airline in the region, turns out I was mistaken.
And for all you people about to be dickheads, yes, technically Jetstar IS a bar/restaurant. You wouldn’t take a date there, but they still serve food and alcoholic beverages. Although “serve food and alcoholic beverages” may be a little generous. They re-heat pot noodles and hand out cans. I didn’t try anything off the menu, because I don’t want to die. And to be fair, anyone who is happy paying $8 for a mid air egg and lettuce sandwich needs their head read.
Thankfully, however, I did get to watch some of my fellow passengers tucking in, their faces told me everything I need to know.
As some of you will have realised by now, it’s 2017. Air travel has come a long way. Thankfully, in this modern age most airlines have done away with service and comfort. You can't smoke in the cabin, or the toilets (thus increasing general stress levels), and the once glamorous job of Air Hostess has been reduced to something more akin to cat herding while dealing with multiple, oft idiotic complaints, vomit and randy business men who fly cattle class, all at the same time. A most horrible business if you ask me.
Modern air travel has also seen the evolution of a new type of human being, perfectly adapted to the stressful atmosphere inside a pressurised cabin. They generally don’t give a flying shit about anything other than maximising their own experience, even if that means at the expense of others. They turn up ready for the three hours of mid-air lethargy with blow up neck pillows, sleeping masks, four iPads, little headphones with leopard print ears and bags full of peanuts, lollies and buja mix. They stack three carry on bags atop each other and confidently exclaim “It’s under 7kgs and I have no idea why it won't fit in the overhead compartment, isn’t that your fault for not checking?” when denied boarding at the gate. They push ‘n’ prod ‘n’ huff ‘n’ puff loudly when they’re told to wait until their section is called, after being told 4 times already. They regularly come to physical blows over seats.
“You’re in my seat ya fuckin dog! I want this window seat!”
“Yeah? Well why don’t ya fuck off out fore I bunch you right in the mouf pal”.
And, of course, they spread themselves over as much of your seat as possible, giving you the stink eye if you so much as look like you might be a little uncomfortable by their unprovoked invasion of your sovereign space.
I could go on, but if you’ve ever travelled at all, you already know. Hell, you could even be one of these people. In which case, get off my site.
Now back to the matter at hand.
Before I even set foot on the plane I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. There’s only one reason you’re left to stand idle in a disorganised line on the ramp for 15 minutes. Absolute mayhem within the cabin. And I was correct. Upon entering I was immediately thrust into a strange and wonderful world complete with odd odours, people fighting (passive aggressively) over overhead space, kids running about, babies crying, old people in the wrong seats, a horse handing out newspapers…the works.
I finally made it to my seat (the middle one, between two humourless old ladies) and sat down.
“Hey. How are ya?”
Silence and over the glasses, librarianesque stares.
I hoped we wouldn’t go down, I didn’t want these people to be the last ones I ever interacted with.
The first thing I noticed upon buckling my strap was the lack of a TV screen. The nightmare had begun. Then again, the way things were shaping up one can only imagine the quality of programming such a screen may have exhibited. ‘Ex on the beach’ re-runs and ‘MKR Australia’ or something just as insulting to people with even a semblance of intellect. Is it being precious to expect a TV screen on a long haul flight these days? No matter how budget the airline? I feel like it’s not too much to ask.
Anyway, I too had planned ahead, so I pulled out my book (“The shadow of the sun” by Ryszard Kapuscinski. A journalistic masterpiece, by…the…way) and set to reading.
I was slapped viciously back to reality by a stink most foul. I initially thought one of the old dears next to me had let out a wee poop. Turns out they’d both just ordered steaming plastic bowls of the most base level food item in existence today, the 2 minute noodle, or as Jetstar calls it "Nissin Noodles". I’ve seen swamps with less suspicious water colouration than the type I saw lapping lazily in that bowl. It looked like a Didymo colony floating about on top, amongst the dried peas and carrot flakes. It’s a good thing old people don’t possess a sense of taste and the old girls seemed to love it. Slurping and slopping and prodding with gusto. It would be interesting to have their take on it but as my first interaction with them didn’t elicit a response, I figured asking them to review their inflight snacks wouldn’t go well either.
The next item I saw being consumed was a Toasted Sandwich. It was lovingly prepared in a metal box at the front of the aircraft. The guy eating it had a flame tattoo (complete with 8ball) on his left leg and had spent most of the flight fighting with his wife, though about what I could never hope to guess. The toast looked drier than a nuns proverbial, even with the yellow buttery hue covering its glistening exterior. A cheese like substance oozed from one corner in a lazy, almost clear gloop, much like lava that has recently left the molten core and is now beginning to cool. The ham was exactly the same colour as a British tourist after a day at the beach in Ibiza and the whole dining experience looked like one that even the guy with the flame tattoo would not be too keen on repeating in the near, or distant future. Then again, sometimes you gotta take a chance right?
The only redeeming factor for Jetstar, as far as I can tell, is the alcohol. Not just because you need lots of it to actually get through the flight without lunging for the escape hatch, but because the selection is actually quite good. Fat Yak, Asahi and Pure Blonde feature on the menu and while not the best beers on the planet, they hold their own. The other reason they get a thumbs up is because said booze is always chilled to perfection. You know, the point where condensation has formed on the outside and small beads drip from the top in an unhurried fashion. There is a good selection of spirits, pre-mixers (if that’s your bag Mr flame Tatts wife), cider and wine. Although “Kooks”, is a very confusing name for a wine. I didn’t order any because I figure if they’ve already managed to kook the naming process, there’s a distinct possibility they’ve kooked the actual production and bottling part too.
It was interesting to note that Sumo Salad has partnered with Jetstar. A bold move by Sumo and one no doubt driven purely by monetary gain, it certainly can’t do their brand (average salads at outrageous prices) any good being aligned with what just might be the most incompetent airline in the world. After Malaysia Air of course. I later concluded that there’s probably no harm in it. After experiencing Jetstar, a shitty, warm salad would almost certainly be a welcome relief.
There was, however, one incident that left me smiling. Granted it involved a miserable experience for one of my fellow passengers, but it was fucking hilarious. A young Chinese kid (when I say young I mean about 15) had a glass of orange juice, which, for some reason or other, he decided to spread about the cabin. With a deft flick of his wrist he sent it hurtling skyward and onto the head of the guy in front. Now, all this seemed to happen in slow motion, but as soon as the liquid hit home, pandemonium erupted. He exploded out of his seat in shock, looked up, trying to locate the leak, then he sniffed his fingers, smelt citrus, loudly exclaimed “FUCK!”, wheeled around (by this stage the kid and his family had decided that pretending nothing had happened was the best course of action, it was…) and stared savagely at the innocent faces now paying him no mind whatsoever because they’d suddenly become very interested in the floor. Poor guy. He just wanted to suffer in silence like the rest of us. Not today mate. Not today.
So, there you have it…
Jetstar’s cuisine, service and overall experience is not world beating. Honestly, I’d rather have flown to NZ in an old DC-10, sat next to a chatty Mormon, atop a shipment of chicken manure. But there are some redeeming factors, namely, getting off at the other end, realising its worth spending the extra $10 to fly Virgin or Qantas (Qantas being, in my humble opinion the best service provider in the pacific – even beating out Air New Zealand, thanks to their entertainment, free meal, ice cream, chocolate and bar service). And finally, coming to the enlightening conclusion that the true essence of the god-awful experience you'll have with Jetstar is, in fact, mostly due to the people who fly with Jetstar, not the staff themselves (they were lovely).
Jetstar – No stars, 1 Ringo. Will never fly again.