Winston Aldworth flies aboard Jetstar's flight JQ236 from Christchurch to Auckland.

The plane:

An A320. Jetstar has recently spruced up the cabins in its fleet. More on that in a moment.

The seat: Jetstar has replaced its seats with new Recaro ergonomic seats. It claims the new seats have "enhanced support and comfort", but you'd do well to notice much difference. No change to pitch (29") or width (17.9") (by comparison, Air New Zealand's standard seats in domestic A320s run at 30"-33" pitch, and 17.7" width). The new Jetstar cabin has an additional extra-legroom row — so there are now four of these rows.


Price: You can get on here for $59, one way.

Airport experience: I'm a fan of Christchurch Airport. There's a lot of wide, open space and a terrific play area for kids.

How full: Pretty much chocker. The new cabin configuration takes the number of passengers from 180 to 186. Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO Dean Salter says: "The additional six seats improve the economics of these aircraft and help us to keep offering the low fares we are known for and maintain a great customer experience."

Luggage: There's more overhead baggage space — up to six extra overhead lockers.

Toilets: This is the most notable change and presumably where the most space has been saved. Some of the galley space at the rear is gone and the toilets are now set at the absolute back of the aircraft, their doors facing directly up the cabin (see photo). It's smart use of space, though I'll wager the crew would prefer to have the rear galley area to themselves.

The final word: Salter again: "This is the latest cabin design from Airbus, which is smarter about the way space is used on the aircraft and allows for an extra row of seats and more baggage space."