Seat(s): US based airlines aren’t the only ones selling value where it arguably doesnt exist. Case in point: “Up-Front Seats” aboard this JetStar Japan A320 get you closer to the boarding door and…no really, that’s it.
It used to be that all you had to do to get ahead of row 11 was not smoke. Now, it’s considered a privilege to wedge into your 29″ pitch knee-biting slimline. Why? Because why wouldn’t you want to be the first out of this flying clown car?
This flight was actually very pleasant thanks to my being the only sucker to buy the upgrade. This created a buffer of empty rows all around me, like a moat without sharks…or water. Not bad for having lost my original upgrade to a “More Legroom Seat” that actually cost a little more. That seat, 1C, is on the aisle at the very front with the large exit/boarding door with tons of space for your legs. If the legroom upcharge is just too much for your vacation budget, it appears the best “Up-front” seats are accross the aisle in bulkhead seats 1D, 1E and 1F with no seats in front to recline into your space.
Further back, the pricier extra legroom seats are standard exit row types. Check out our review of exit row 13 aboard a JetStar Asia A320. The second of the two middle exit rows and the boarding-door side of row one is where you’ll get full recline with your legroom and will feel more like a JetStar Jet Star.
Tech/Connectivity/Entertainment: Simply, “no, no and no”. The only tech or entertainment on this flight was the Yahtzee app on my phone. Thankfully my battery had a full charge. Yahtzee!!
Food: JetStar offers a decent snack and sandwich selection. Our sandwich experience aboard JetStar Asia awhile back wasn’t a good one so I flipped to something sweeter and more breakfasty on this flight. Coffee and a sweet, wrapped waffle was everything I expected and little more. C+.
Service: Short version: After what appeared to be a computer/kiosk related seat snafu, flight attendants, although awkwardly, got me into a slightly better seat than I had been mistakenly assigned to. In-flight service was friendly and swift.
Long, droning version: Upon boarding I pointed out to the flight attendant that my boarding pass said “EXIT XTRA LEGROOM” but I was assigned to a non-exit row. She pointed me to the back of the plane insisting that row 11 isindeed an exit row…
It is not.
Not wanting to slow boarding, I proceeded to my assigned row and brought it to the attention of the FA stationed in the center of the aircraft who recognized the problem. After walking my boarding pass up to the front of the plane I did my best to relax in my cozy, reclineless mistake seat and watched as flight attendants and gate agents worked together to find a solution. It came in the form of a choice between moving up to my original seat (1C) after takeoff or stay in the same place with assurances that they’d arrange help arrange for a refund of the upgrade charge upon arrival. I opted for the move up but after seeing that the A and B seats were filled it would have been awkward slipping into 1C when rows 2 – 6 were completely empty. So I dug into 3C, a downgrade on a normal day but a luxurious, space-filled airplane oasis today. Good effort from flight attendants, fist-shaking toward JetStar computers.
In-flight service was friendly and swift.
Rating: 2 hops (of 5)
Route Flown for this review: Tokyo, Narita (NRT) – Sapporo (CTS)
How we got em’: This was a paid upgrade offered at and after booking.