Pre-Flight Lessons Learnt From Jetstar

Hong Kong International Airport 香港國際機場

26th January 2011. Ranted by Xin Li.
Gah, I just learnt a really painful lesson from Jetstar today that cost me 100 SGD and a grand total of 1395 SGD from my studio. Damn painful. So here are three golden rules for booking budget flights such as Jetstar’s that fluctuates like a volatile Forex market:

  1. Only Book When its 0 SGD (exc. Taxes) or lower than 90 Bucks.
  2. Don’t Pay by Visa, Credit Card or Mastercard. Stall Time with slower forms of payments while you Hunt for Better Rates. Your reservation will be considered void if Jetstar doesn’t receive their payment.
  3. Consider Normal Carriers which has more consistent prices and definitely a lot more offerings than budget airlines. For example at one point both Tiger and Jetstar offers flights to Bangkok at 203-310 SGD before an unpredictable plunge. In comparison, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways International have competitive offers for the same route ranging from 295 - 311 SGD which is the amount you would pay for if you choose a seat with more leg room (33.00 SGD for Jetstar) and another 15 SGD for baggage.
  4. To add on to Rule No.1, if it is almost half or two-thirds of a normal carrier, skip it. Chances are that it is going to plunge or normal carriers offer much better value and comfort (take it as investing in a better lodging especially for longer flights).
  5. Budget airlines are not like normal carriers, the prices go wild, and the usual rule of booking early does not necessarily apply here.
  6. The purpose of a budget airline is to provide budget friendly airfares, so if what you saw seemed expensive, do not convince yourself its worth it. You will fall into a the deceptive realm of Goldilocks.

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