Qantas vs Jetstar for Melbourne-Tokyo

14 replies


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 95

Hello all,

I am considering spending a week (or thereabouts) in Tokyo. I have planned out all the sights I want to see, including a day trip to Mount Fuji and a ride on the fastest bullet train route to spend a day in Osaka.

I have been looking at the prospect of flying Jetstar Business class on their B787-8 as opposed to PE on Qantas for 2 reasons.

1. I understand that JQ Business on this route to Japan very much resembles that of a QF PE product and the price is about 500 bucks cheaper than PE on QF, which QF only offers to Haneda, which is considerably further away and less accessible by public transport. If you want QF PE to Tokyo from MEL, you must go through SYD and you end up at Haneda.

2. There is no point in me (or anyone for that matter) obtaining QF Gold Status if you aren't going to use it, which I will have by may. (My Anniversary is JUL31.)

So I just want to hash out a few points that I don't quite understand about JQ so that I can decide whether I am better off biting the bullet and flying QF PE to Haneda.

Here are my questions.

You need to add on a Max Bundle in order to earn QFFs and SC's, however according to the T's & C's of JQ's Business class with the added Max bundle you only earn QFFs and SC's at Qantas' flexible economy rate, which ends up being the same as if you were to purchase a Discount PE fare on the MEL-SYD-Haneda QF route.

So, for those who have flown this sector, OR for those who have flown in J on Jetstar on the 787-8, WHICH, in your opinion is a better product? QF PE on the 744 or Business on the JQ 787-8 and why?

Also, in relation to the Status Credits conundrum, If I was to fly Business on this route with JQ, would I get "flexible economy" Status Credits on all sectors? IE MEL-NRT on JQ is MEL-CNS then CNS-NRT, so would I get QF flexible economy Status Credits for the MEL-CNS leg as well as QF flexible economy Status Credits for the CNS-NRT leg? Or do JQ just give you QF flexible economy Status Credits for the CNS-NRT and NRT-CNS legs?

Furthermore, is the QF PE (MEL-SYD SYD-Haneda and back) better for SC's? IE, what level of status credits do you get on the MEL-SYD and SYD-MEL legs if you purchase a Discount PE fare as you sit in economy on the domestic legs? (You just never know with JQ)

Also taking into account the possible upgrade possibilities to J and a potentially better product with QF PE on the 744, would I be better off just flying QF instead of putting up with Jetscum?

Would be interested to know if anyone can answer this question!

Thanks everybody!



Member since 25 Feb 2014

Total posts 6

It honestly depends on what is most important to you.

If your importance is an all included premium eco experience where cost and points isn't an issue then QF Prem Eco is probably the way to go.
But, if you are budget conscious but want the best return on points then Jetstar business max is the way to go (remember that jetstar is a LCC so yes you will have the same space in JQ business as you do in QF Prem Eco but the food and service may not be on par) I have flown both JQ and QF across economy, premium, business and first, and i can honestly say i found jetstar business service to be perfectly fine.
As for the Haneda vs Narita question, Yes Haneda is nicer and closer to the city but don't be put off by Narita (plus the JAL business lounge at Narita is outstanding!), yes its further away but there are express trains that go direct into Tokyo and it's actually really easy to navigate, if you have issues, just ask, the japanese service is second to none.
In regards to what you will earn on JQ B Max over QF Prem Eco use the QF Fare calculator here
This will show you the correct info.
As per the calculator - the earn is the same as QF business (the flex you talk of is only in relation to the status bonus section of the scheme) the actual earn is equal.
You will earn the points and SC as per the QF calculator but for comforts sake, choose the JQ 787 on all sectors ie MEL-CNS-NRT-CNS-MEL.
In terms of QF upgrades - it always works on a tiered preferential system, so if your only silver and 10 golds request an upgrade over you then you have no chance. If you have a healthy points balance then book QF and book the upgrade with points, but if you want to stockpile some points and SC to get you up a tier level for a decent price then go with JQ for this trip.
As for the Jetscum comment, Look, JQ is a Low Cost Carrier and you get what you pay for, i have never had an issue with JQ over all my years flying with them but making sure you have your expectations set before boarding is always a good idea.
If you expect QF business class standards on Jetstar business class then your just not being realistic, always be super nice to the staff and they will always look after you, whether your on QF or JQ (perfect example of this - I had faulty business seat on JQ that would not recline, i highlighted this to the crew and they did try their best but it wasn't able to be fixed, I took it for what it was and showed complete understanding and patience towards the crew and we all had a laugh about it. When we landed the crew had a wrapped bottle of wine and a card for me as a present. Then, 2 weeks later i received a $250 credit voucher. It always pays to be nice)
In summary - For this trip and the fact that Tokyo is expensive i would have no hesitations in using JQ to Narita.
All the best in what you decide :)

Last editedby Chris C. at Jan 22, 2019, 10:16 AM.


Member since 20 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

There's not much more for me to add than what's been covered above but points and SCs aside you need to look at the overall experience of your flight.

You need to consider such things as overall travel time, which option will get your there in a reasonable time.

Additionally, and what I believe is important is what actual aircraft you will be on. As much as I love the 747 for nostalgia reasons the 787 that JQ would be flying on that route is far newer and modern and may be an overall better experience.

I've flown JQ business to Bali a few times before and found their product to be great, glass of champagne on arrival, extremely good main course and more than adequate seat.

The key is to have the mindset that again this is a LCC. I've seen too many people get caught up in their demands to staff as if expecting it to be what you find on QF or SQ for example.

If it's $500 I'd be going JQ, because you'll need that extra bit for Tokyo.

Good luck


Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Feb 2018

Total posts 38

I’ve flown business on jetstar to japan and Bali before and found it perfectly fine. I’ve also flown PE on the qantas 747 and it’s also perfectly fine - however for that much price difference I’d go Jetstar. It’s still very easy to get to the city from Narita, despite the distance. Spend the extra money saved on a comparable product on your holiday!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 45

Have flown JQ only once to Japan (from Gold Coast) but am a fairly regular user of QF J to Tokyo. The JQ experience was more than fine, I think there is more room than QF PE, which is tight. Found it comfortable, crew lovely. The front row doesn’t have a seat reclining into your face which can be a plus. The most basic JQ Business fare often doesn’t include lounge access though. Save your money for Tokyo!

Haneda is much closer to central Tokyo than Narita - there is a monorail into all of Haneda’s terminals - but in the end there’s not much in it as the rail system is so organised and easy. Despite being further out, the Narita express only takes about an hour to rocket into central Tokyo. Japanese trains are immaculate and absolutely on time. It’s surprisingly easy to navigate the mainline and metro rail systems.

As Brett77 noted Tokyo can be freaking expensive - we usually stay in Ginza which I love but it ain’t cheap - but Japan is a special experience. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. One tip - Tokyo buildings can be very narrow, so you need to check signs at building entrances for restaurants and bars. Often there is a small restaurant on each floor in a tall building. You can’t see them from the street, we have found some great (and not so expensive) eateries tucked away on the 7th or 8th floors.


Member since 03 Nov 2015

Total posts 11

If you're aiming to save money, and for visiting Japan you will appreciate spending the money during your trip rather than flying there and back, then go with Jetstar. The train from Narita to 'downtown' Tokyo is pretty good and anyway, you might not be staying in the middle of Tokyo anyway. Jetstar's Boeing 787 business class is roughly on par with Qantas premium economy, as you've said, so either is very bearable. I would also suggest that you buy a JR Rail Pass before you go, for a flat fee this gives you one week of free travel on the public railway system, which includes the Narita Express (but not the private 'subway' lines) plus all but the very fastest bullet trains. I would also suggest you think twice about calling Jetstar 'Jetscum', it really doesn't make you look very mature. If you don't like Jetstar then don't fly them, or explain why you don't like them, but using a name as an insult is incredibly juvenile.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 16 Nov 2017

Total posts 95

Thanks for the above replies.

To clarify Brett77, I will be GOLD status if/when I decide to head to Tokyo in October. I was of the impression that NRT was closer to central tokyo than Haneda.

One of my aims in choosing between JQ J and QF PE is the Status Credits I will be earning as I want to try and maintain Gold for the following year.

I want to know if I choose to fly JQ J IF I will earn the same amount of Status credits as If I flew on a Discounted PE fare with QF.

As for MELflyer's comment regarding my terminology of Jetstar.

I have worked in the industry, as an aviation consultant. I have knowledge about flight ops that the average traveller might not know and have had some downright shocking experiences with JQ, including cancellations without refunds, operational delays which could have been solved very easily with some intelligence.

At university I studied LCC's in great depth and can say that LCC's have not only changed the way we fly, but have opened up more destinations to many locations around the world that many people have never heard of. It is my right to refer to JQ in any way I wish, as long as it does not cause offence or isn't defamatory.

Can anybody verify how many SC's I would earn on this route if I flew JQ J as compared with QF PE?



Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Feb 2018

Total posts 38

For someone who is a self-proclaimed trained aviation consultant and university-educated LCC guru it is surprising that you don’t know how to use a points calculator or the airline earning tables on the Qantas website, or that Haneda is significantly closer to central Tokyo than Narita. I’d also hazard that calling Jetstar “Jetscum” is in fact offensive and wouldn’t do anything for the morale of any staff who may be reading this forum. They are a no-frills LCC that doesn’t claim to do anything other than get you from A to B. I’m based on the Gold Coast and often fly them out of necessity due to Qantas’ poor network here and have never had a problem. I’m currently on a wine weekend in the Hunter on flights purchased for <$100 each way including a fare bundle with points and baggage. I was polite and friendly to all staff and had the same courtesy extended to me so I’ve no complaints.

To answer your question, flexible economy has the same earn rate as discount premium economy, so I’d go for whichever is cheapest, assuming of course you’d deign to fly Jetstar after your many horrific experiences with them.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

For Status credits (and points) on JQ you need to purchase the Max pack (normally $200)

Jetstar Business Max converts To Business category so 8450pts 125 SC each way whereas Qantas PE is 5200-720ppts and 60-70SC depending on fare class.

Haneda is much closer to Central Tokyo than Narita with two monorail lines serving the airport (think Sydney Airport vs Badgerys). Some areas of Tokyo (particular those to the East) may have lower travel times to Narita if close to express rail lines.

Last editedby moa999 at Jan 20, 2019, 11:36 AM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Nov 2012

Total posts 8

I'd definitely consider the 7 day JR pass already mentioned. The cost works out more or less the same as a return Tokyo-Osaka ticket so all other JR travel on that pass, including the JR train between Narita and Tokyo, is a bonus, as long as it's within the 7 days. It can be great value, but you have to buy it here, not in Japan.

Another option is to travel on a one way train ticket to Osaka and catch a LCC back to Tokyo (think Jetstar Japan or Peach) -- this would work especially well if your Osaka travel was at the end of your time in Japan, you travel light, and you connect to your flight back home at Narita. Bought in advance, tickets on LCCs are like to be way cheaper than the equivalent journey on the bullet train.

Personally, I'm not that keen on Osaka -- why not get off the train in Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan? It's in the same region as Osaka, but IMO has a lot more to offer.

In addition to the JR pass, there are many other rail 'deals' for foreign travellers, and it might be worth your while researching what's available, for example, local deals in Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto.

If you don't opt for the JR Pass, you might consider the Keisei Skyliner for travel between Narita and Tokyo, depending on where you stay. It's an express service that terminates in Ueno, conveniently near the JR Yamanote Line station, and also offers subway connections, from memory. It's cheaper than the JR service, and Keisei offer lots of deals.

As for the choice you mention between QF PE and JQ Business, I would probably take JQ, notwithstanding my own so-so experience. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 May 2013

Total posts 22

Last editedby lazblue at Jan 21, 2019, 09:32 PM.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Feb 2016

Total posts 63

If you are willing to pay for the JQ bundle one thing you may want to check is lounge access in NRT if you fly JQ. JQ uses T3 which in 2015 had no lounges as it is predominately a LLC terminal. Maybe one has been built in the past few years but I am not sure. The NRT JL lounge Brett77 mentions is in T2. As a QF Gold if you fly via in and out of HND you can use the JL lounge in HND.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 May 2013

Total posts 22

If you are willing to pay for the JQ bundle one thing you may want to check is lounge access in NRT if you fly JQ. JQ uses T3 which in 2015 had no lounges as it is predominately a LLC terminal. Maybe one has been built in the past few years but I am not sure. The NRT JL lounge Brett77 mentions is in T2. As a QF Gold if you fly via in and out of HND you can use the JL lounge in HND.

Good point! There are no lounges listed on the NRT website in T3 so there wouldn't have lounge access flying JQ.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2011

Total posts 180

Any credibility you may have had went out the door the moment you called them 'Jetscum'. And if you think that of them, you've probably answered your own question.


Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 295

NRT is some distance away from Tokyo. 36 to 120 minutes away, depending on which transport method is used. NRT is in Chiba Prefecture. It is 60km east of Tokyo Station.
HND is 15-30 minutes away from central Tokyo. It is on the shore of Tokyo Bay on the southern outskirts of Tokyo heading towards Yokohama. It is 14km south of Tokyo Station.
Both NRT and HND have many transport options from Tokyo. Where did you get the idea that NRT was "less accessible by public transport"? There are a dozen bus routes to places all over Tokyo and 4 different train services. (There also used to be a helicopter transfer service before it was removed due to cost).

Osaka is too far away from Tokyo to make a "day trip" and do anything useful. It is 3-5 hours each way on the shinkansen, depending on which service pattern you use (3 service patterns. The fastest, which can't be used on JR passes, only stops at the 6 largest stations. The slowest stops at all 17 stations on the line. The mid tier train stops at 7-14 stops, varying depending on the service in question). Osaka is large enough that you'd need at least 3 days there to see much of it. Also, Shin-Osaka station, where the Shinkansen stops in Osaka, is north of the city. It's another 20 minutes from Shin-Osaka into the CBD on the local trains.
If you want to make a day trip out of Tokyo, you won't get much past Nagoya before the time needed for the return means you'll spend more time on the train then at the destionation.

Most train fares in Japan are distance based. The 7 day national JR pass is not worth it unless you are getting at least 3 Osaka-Tokyo length trips out of it.

"consider the Keisei Skyliner for travel between Narita and Tokyo, depending on where you stay. It's an express service that terminates in Ueno, conveniently near the JR Yamanote Line station, and also offers subway connections, from memory."
The Skyliner from NRT takes 36 minutes to Nippori and 38 to Ueno. Keisei-Ueno is not the same station as the JR and subway Ueno station. You have to go outside and walk down the street to connect. JR and Keisei share Nippori station and the connection to the Yamanote line is as easy as moving through a gate line.

Booking a premium economy flight books you into B for connecting economy flights, which is flexible economy.

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