Did you know that Jetstar offers flights to Launceston, Tasmania for less than $200 return? It was this news that made me book for the following weekend to check out one of their less reviewed regional services. How would this longer flight be different from their mainland routes, and would I finally find a ham and cheese sandwich worthy of the toasty title? (Spoiler alert: I wouldn’t).
You can check out a review of this flight here:
Departing Sydney for the evening flight, the A320-200 aircraft (the workhorse of the Jetstar fleet) was boarded by the front and back. Normally sitting at the front of the plane is preferred, but the back suited me just fine as it was just as quick to board.
The aircraft is all economy with a pretty standard 3-3 layout with 32 inches per seat. There was really nothing remarkable about the seat (it was very average in comfort), but I would say it was clean and the tray table, albeit small, seemed to be very new.
After take off the cabin crew passed through the cabin offering food service. Making it my own purpose for my soul on this green earth to try every ham and cheese toasty on every flight I come across, I bit the bullet and ordered the $10.50 AUD ‘sandwich’.
For those not in the know, a typical sandwich in Australia can be found for around $4 at a convenience store. $6-7 for a gourmet one. Thus this sandwich was either the most fantastic sandwich ever to be made… or…. I was in for one emotional journey.
The sandwich was returned to me ‘warm’ with scalding steam escaping from the packet. The white bread simultaneously appeared to be made completely out of sugar yet lack any flavor or sweetness whatsoever. The ham was highly processed and the cheese so absent that I was afraid that it had been denied boarding by the airline’s baggage restrictions and left behind.
It was tasteless and whilst not as bad as SWISS, was not worth 10.50 AUD.
However, on the return journey, it was pleasant to discover that as it was the last flight, all perishable foods (such as sandwiches, salads, biscuits and cheese etc) were now 50% off. So that ‘oh-so-ridiculous’ sandwich was now massively reduced! But learning my lesson even five dollars was too much to ask.
The rest of the 90 minutes was uneventful, with us flying low and hard over our destination to land on the single runway.
The bottom line
Jetstar offers one of the cheapest ways to Launceston, and next to Virgin Australia, is the only service to use an A320 (Qantas offers a Q400, which would be rough flying over the Tasman sea). I can’t deny that their service was popular (the cabin was full) and that by offering such cheap fares ($70 AUD for a round trip in Feb!) they need some way to make up the money, but man, charging $10.50 for a ham and cheese toasty was straight daylight robbery.
What do you think? Have you ever had a good sandwich onboard an aircraft? Let us know in the comments.