Jetstar or take a bus?

I’ve gotta admit, I’ve done a really poor job planning my upcoming trip (aside from the initial flight bookings). I’m leaving very soon and still don’t have half of my hotels booked. Anyway, the one transportation aspect of my trip that I still have to figure out is how to get from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. All along I saw Jetstar was about $40USD all-in with a checked bag, which seems reasonable, though the schedule isn’t ideal. The other option is taking one of those fancy buses with business class style seats from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, which will cost about the same though take about four hours. Then again, it’s probably not much longer when you factor everything in, given that a flight takes at least an hour on either end for getting to/from the airport and waiting.

Has anyone flown Jetstar? Do they charge for checking in? Oxygen? Using the loo?


Filed Under: Other Airlines, Travel
  1. Depends what fare you book but everything is additional such as food, entertainment etc.

  2. Pfew I can see the trip report: “not as much legroom as CX first” XD
    But for a short flight what does it matter? Jetstar seems quite good, better than AirAsia

  3. I took jetstar on a roundtrip from SYD to CHC two years ago.

    My fare didn’t include a checked bag, but it seemed pretty decent for a budget airline. And now they’re putting ipad rentals on all of their flights.

    But, I would probably take a bus. Better seats and better views. No airport security. Just my two cents.

  4. I live in Singapore and have done Singapore-KL many times both flying/busing and this is an easy decision: fly with Jetstar.

    The bus claims to take 4 hours, but you are not taking into account traffic across the causeway into Singapore (can be horrible) and clearing customs/immigration (minimum 1 hour). Everyone must exit the bus, go through passport control/customs with their luggage on BOTH sides. Realistically the bus trip is 7-8 hours door-to-door.

    Jetstar flies new planes, they are efficient, they use non-budget terminals at both KLIA/Changi.

    You don’t have to pay to check-in (but do pay for seat selection, luggage, and food on-board).

  5. Jetstar is the Ted of qantas you will be fine with them. Bus is ok too, and takes u near hotels.

  6. If there’s a/c on the bus and its during the day I’d take the bus – you never know you might see something interesting … not like you’re in a rush to do anything else …

  7. I’d approach this from a safety perspective: Taking a bus in any country is an order of magnitude more dangerous than flying. Unless the bus trip has some element (sights, cultural, whatever) that you really want vs. flying, no contest.

  8. Jetstar for sure. The train is not like eurail and the bus has a lot of external variables to consider.
    On another note, hit me up if you want to grab a drink w/ fellow FTer in Singers!

  9. I have taken Jetstar many times. Leather seats but cramped leg room. Okay for short flight. They charge for luggage. For KL-SIN, better than a bus.

  10. I flew Jetstar from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi last October. I wouldn’t ever want to fly with them on a long haul, but for the one hour flight, it was fine. K-L to Singapore is even shorter, I believe.

    Most of the crew is Australian, so they all speak perfect English.

  11. I was thinking about the bus last year when visiting SIN, but ended up taking Jetstar instead on our TK ORD-KUL trip. The flight was less than one hour and fine. Just remember that Jetstar uses the main terminal, not the LCC terminal @KUL.

    It was actually my (then 3 year old) daughters first flight in a non-premium cabin. She kept asking about the lack of IFE and when her child meal will be served.

  12. If the busses are like I experienced in Argentina, it’s a great opportunity to get some work done while enjoying a very comfortable ride.

    I would lean toward taking the bus.

  13. 3rd option: pay a little more and fly Sri Lanka Airlines. That’s a cool new airline for one’s list.

  14. Thanks for all the feedback, folks! This is tempting — $150 for Sri Lankan business class on an A340. It’s an international business class seat, and while it’s a short flight, it’s a nice chance to fly Sri Lankan without actually having to fly them longhaul. Anyone know if having a business class seat on that sector grants one lounge access in Kuala Lumpur?

  15. The MY buses aren’t on the same scale as Argentine buses….. but they do come at different price levels, which is something that Greyhound will never do.

    I still remember my first bus ride over there. It was with a company called, Nice, thus it was the ‘Nice bus’. You should do it. Take the opportunity to see the countryside when you weren’t going to earn miles anyway.

  16. There’s also rail link between those two cities – supposedly pretty nice scenic route compared to the bus service.
    Check also SQ pricing – the often run a promo with fares around 70 USD all-in. There’s a Thai Lounge in KUL you can use.
    Keep in mind though, that the buses might take off from the center (seen some near the KLCC Suria/Intercontinental) so it saves you some time to transfer to the airport – KLIA Express takes 28 min + up to 15 min wait time and 10 min ride from the IC station. Tickets are around 15 USD, so you can factor that in too.

  17. Lucky,
    the Srilankan business class does grant lounge access. From what I hear, it’s quite a different experience (in a good way) If you don’t mind spending the $150 I would go for it to try an exotic airline.

  18. I would fly. I did the trip a couple years ago in a private car. It was a boring non-stop view of palm plantations. Not interesting at all.

  19. Definitely the train. It’s a fantastic experience, through amazing rubber plantations and mountains — a real glimpse into Malaysia. And first class is ridiculously cheap.

  20. Lucky,

    I’d go with Sri Lankan because it presents a rare opportunity. Be sure to factor in the extra cost of a taxi on both ends.

    I’m also open to a Singapore meetup.

  21. My brother was studying abroad in the area this semester and he took the bus on a trip to Singapore/KL and absolutely raved about it. Said it was quite a trip and nothing like what he was expecting. Sounded like a good thing to do. It would also give you some flexibility I believe as you can book the tickets pretty much last minute.

  22. I wouldn’t risk Malaysian buses (again). Jetstar is more than fine for short-haul flights, specially when compared with other carriers in the region.

    Also, some of the Asian JQ’s are either 3K or VF, which aren’t wholly owned by QF.

    Also, have you considered rail for your trip? Might be good if you’re considering something different.

  23. Another alternative is to fly FireFly, a community airline subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines. It departs from Subang (nearer to KLCC as compared to KLIA) and arrives at the Budget Terminal in Singapore. Firefly has multiple flights for the sector and might be a good opportunity for you to experience an uncommon aircraft type – the ATR72.

  24. Hopped all the way up the OZ east coast using JQ and then from Darwin over to Singapore. Seats are comfortable for shorter flights and service wasn’t bad for a LCC in coach. They don’t nickel and dime you in unexpected ways, just make sure you read the terms of the ticket you’re buying.

  25. Jetstar Asia (international) are a lot better than Jetstar Australia (domestic flights) – but be careful with any checked luggage, make sure they’re tagged correctly. My luggage was found a week into my holiday still in Changi, waiting for a Brisbane -> Melbourne flight, due to a wrong flight number on the tag.

  26. I would probably would risk it with Jetstar – they are more likely to give you a horrible experience than a good experience. When I mean good experience – I mean absolute no frills service that you charged for everything except using the toilet which I have heard they are seriously consider. The cabin crew on Jetstar flight seemed like a very unhappy bunch who aren’t happy about their career choice. Any other option would seem better than Jetstar.

  27. I’ve taken a VIP bus between Singapore and KL before for about S$80 a couple of years ago. The seats were comfortable enough, and they showed a movie and served some food, which was mostly a sandwich with mystery meat. I would have rather just taken the cheaper like S$15 bus, which I later took to Malacca.

    I flew Jetstar, Tiger, and Air Asia not to long after bus. Seat pitch was obviously tight, but it was fine for me for short haul flights. Back then, I believe one checked-in bag was allowed still.

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