We welcome to the blog today Bron from Smiths Holiday Road sharing her family’s experience flying Aussie budget airline Jetstar long haul from Melbourne to Hawaii
We flew with Jetstar Australia from Melbourne to O’ahu Hawaii on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. We chose this flight as Jetstar had a Boxing Day Sale for flights in June for $400 each person return.
This post is part of our flying with kids series – come and see all of our family-friendly airline reviews, including our review of Hawaiian Airlines
Booking Jetstar sale tickets
We booked online directly through the Jetstar site. During sale times the site is really busy but we had no issues booking and the site did not crash! During booking you can also add things like food, entertainment, seating as it’s a budget airline, you pay extra for these things.
We travel carry on only as a family. We each took 7kgs of hand luggage. You can purchase more when you are booking which gives you the best deal or at the airport which is more expensive. It really depends on what you need to take or buy!
We travel with a wheelchair so that is, of course, carried free of charge. You can learn more about how to travel with a wheelchair here.
Seating selection on Jetstar
We do not pre-select seats although you can. Because of Cooper’s wheelchair, we need to go to the counter and check in and they sort seats out then for best access. When we have flown without Cooper we have been seated together too.
The configuration of the 787 Dreamliner is 3-3-3. We were seated together in row 11 and 12 on the way there and row 36 and 37 on return. Being a family of 5 we are most typically seated 3/2. For more the seats right by the toilet are the ones I don’t really like but it’s all much of a muchness in Economy.
Travelling out of Tullamarine airport, Melbourne
The airport we flew from was Melbourne, Tullamarine. Travelling with a wheelchair user we need to use those accessible lanes for passport control and security.
There is a small kids playground area that my younger kids love at Tullamarine as it’s always a chance to burn off some energy and chat to other kids before a long flight.
On boarding, families and people using mobility devices can board first to take that little bit of time to get organised and seated. The staff were very accommodating with us and the cabin crew manager will always come and introduce themselves to us explaining access for Cooper.
On the ground staff were friendly but I find the over speaker announcements were lacking when gates were changed and the flight was delayed by an hour. Sometimes the communication between staff, airport staff and passengers could be improved somewhat.
What to expect on board the Jetstar Dreamliner to Hawaii
For entertainment on board, you can pay extra for use of a tablet or a little kids pack.
We chose to use our own devices loaded up with Netflix from home and the kids bring along games like Uno, Snap and their drawing supplies.
Food can be preordered and paid extra for. There is limited choice especially if you don’t preorder. In-between meal times you can order things like noodles, sandwiches and drinks. We take our own snacks on board of fruit, sandwiches, muesli bars, and yoghurt as long as it’s under 100ml and not a paste.
The flight from Melbourne to Honolulu is overnight and you arrive at 6am. We flew 10 hours overnight. The kids slept but I don’t usually get much sleep! Jetstar do not allow use of the Kooshy Kids or Bedbox. We do take a small travel blanket and neck pillow for comfort.
You can see a full guide to which airlines accept airline leg pillows here as well as our complete guide to kids travel pillows and comfort products
Family recommendation of Jetstar long haul
I would totally recommend flying Jetstar, you just need to be aware that it’s a budget airline and expect no frills.
We fly lots of budget airlines so we come prepared and are comfortable for the flight spending our money at the destination rather than on the flight.
Thanks to Bron for sharing her budget airline experience with us. You can follow more of Bron’s family adventures here:
More facts and family flying information to know about Jetstar with kids
Flying pregnant with Jetstar
Permitted for single pregnancies to 28 weeks with a doctor/midwife letter, dated no more than 10 days before the flight. Flights less than 4 hours you can fly until 40 weeks, or 36 weeks for multiples. For flights over 4 hours, you can fly until 36 weeks for a single pregnancy or 32 weeks for multiples. You can learn more about flying while pregnant here.
Infants flying on Jetstar
Newborns can fly from 48 hours on JQ, 3K and GL coded flights but need a medical certificate before 7 days. Your infant must be over 7 days to fly Jestbaar Pacific (BL). Infant bassinets are only fitted on their long haul 787 Dreamliners. They must be requested in advance and cannot be guaranteed. Infants under 2 years can share a seat with an adult using an infant seat belt. Infant seat fees apply on all routes except New Zealand domestic and the Cook Islands. If you have more than one infant under 2 a seat must be purchased and an approved car seat used. You can bring a pram, stroller, portable cot and highchair as checked baggage for free. Learn more directly from the Jetstar website here.
Other baggage rules on Jetstar
These vary hugely by type of ticket you have purchased and route flown. Being a budget airline, you can expect anything beyond carry on to have an extra charge so calculate this, plus entertainment and food into your discounted ticket cost before jumping on a bargain airfare.
Seating on Jetstar for families
You can request seats together if you purchase this option during the booking process. If not selected you will be randomly assigned, although they will do their best to seat you together. They will make sure a child is always placed with a parent/guardian. If you are sending a child unaccompanied on a Jetstar flight, please read their unaccompanied minor rules.
Have you had an experience flying long-haul with Jetstar? We’d love to hear about your experience and any tips for fellow family travellers
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Disclosures: All opinions expressed are those of the guest author. Information on Jetstars family policies correct at time of publishing June 2019. This page contains affiliate links that may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.