Winston Aldworth flies JQ245 to The Garden City.

The plane?

A320. Airbus' cheerful wee shuttle.

Class? Just the one.

Price? Book far enough in advance and you can get on this bird for $59.


On time? We departed at bang on 8.20am and touched down in Christchurch at 9.33am. Well before the 9.45am scheduled arrival.

My seat? 1F. A window seat and on a great day for window seats. New Zealand looked terrific as bits of it poked their way up through the clouds. I got some great photos of the Southern Alps.

Fellow passengers? The usual mix of low-cost domestic haulers. Ours was a Saturday morning flight, so there was a cheery buzz among the weekend-break crowd. Midweekers are more glum.

How full? This is a popular route for both Jetstar and Air New Zealand, but there were a few spare spaces available with 141 passengers onboard and 39 empty seats.

Entertainment? Looking out the window. We took off towards the northeast, made a wide right turn and belted towards Nelson, before slipping along the Southern Alps. A spectacular show.

The service? Jacy was helpful and polite.

Food and drink? Bring a sandwich and a bottle of water.

The toilets? Clean.


Luggage? Like seemingly everyone else on board, I took carry-on luggage only. You're allowed two items and, added together, they must weigh no more than 10kg. On these weekend flights, so many people are taking carry-on only, that passengers who are late getting on board have difficulty finding space in the overhead lockers.

The airport experience? If you're travelling domestic, get your coffee at Velluto. It's the coffee stand near the boarding gates, so things are quieter and it means you can sit down and drink your coffee without wondering about when you should make a dash for the security check. A regular, flat white with double shot: $4.

Gates 20-23, the Jetstar end of the domestic terminal, are much smarter now they've had a refit.

Would I fly this again? Undoubtedly.