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Qantas vs Jetstar

Is it really cheaper to fly with a budget airline?

We look into whether or not it’s worth saving some money by booking a flight on a budget airline compared to a regular airline.

Not only do we compare prices but we also look at baggage restrictions, airline ratings and much more to determine whether or not you should spend the extra money for a non-budget airline.

Qantas vs Jetstar

Feature Qantas Jetstar Verdict
Where does it fly to? 70+ destinations in these regions:
  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • The Americas
  • The Middle East
80+ destinations in these regions:
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • The Americas (only Honolulu)
While Jetstar flies to more destinations, Qantas flies to more rural and long-haul destinations.
What star rating is it? 4-star 3-star Qantas has a higher airline rating.
What classes are available? First class, business class, premium economy and economy classes. Business and economy. Qantas has more classes.
What is the baggage allowance? Economy allows one 7kg carry-on and one 30kg checked bag. Economy class allows one carry-on bag that is 7kg. Checked baggage carries an additional fee. Qantas offers a larger baggage allowance and doesn't charge for checked luggage.
Are in-flight meals included? Yes, Qantas is a full-service airline. No, in-flight meals need to be purchased prior to or during your flight. Qantas includes meals for every passenger.
Where does it fly from in Australia?
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Plus 31 other destinations
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Plus 14 other destinations
Qantas flies to and from more destinations in Australia.
What's the in-flight entertainment like? Qantas offers movies, TV, entertainment app, Qantas magazine, radio and more. Movies, TV, games and music are available on international flights for a fee. Qantas offers entertainment on all of its flights.
Can I make changes/cancellations? Yes, on most tickets, though fees apply. Yes, depending on the ticket type purchased. Fees apply. You can cancel or change flights on bookings with both airlines.
What type of plane will I fly on? Do they have an A380? Qantas flies:
  • A330
  • A380
  • B787
  • B747-400
  • B737-800
  • B717
Jetstar flies:
  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • A320
  • A321
  • Bombardier Q300
Qantas flies more types of planes including the A380.
Which frequent flyer programs is it with? Qantas Frequent Flyer Club Jetstar Jetstar’s frequent flyer program allows you to also earn points to use through Qantas’ frequent flyer program.
Is there Wi-Fi? Wi-Fi is in the process of being rolled out on select planes and domestic flights. No. Only Qantas offers Wi-Fi on select flights.
Can I price match? Yes. If the same flight on another site is cheaper, Qantas will refund the difference. Qantas frequent flyers will also receive 1,000 Qantas Points. Yes, Jetstar will refund you the difference plus 10% if you find a cheaper flight on a third party site. Jetstar will price beat by 10% and beats sale fares found on third party sites.
Does it serve alcohol? Yes. On international flights a welcome drink is also served. Yes. Beer, wine, ciders and spirits are available for purchase. Both serve alcohol. However, Qantas has it included.
Is there online chat? Contact is available by email and phone. Yes, contact is available by email, phone and online chat. Only Jetstar offers online chat.
Does it charge for infants? Infants under two years are charged 10% of the adult fare when they are accompanied by an adult and are sitting on the adult’s lap. A fee is required for infants who are two and under. The fee depends on the flight destination and the infant must sit on an adult’s lap. Both offer discounted infant fees. However, Jetstar has set fees.
Does it fly pets? Yes. Service dogs are permitted in the main cabin. All other animals must travel as cargo. Jetstar does not fly pets but service dogs are allowed. Only Qantas flies pets.
What are my payment options?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • JCB
  • UATP
  • Qantas Cash
  • Qantas Points
  • POLi
  • BPAY
  • Credit Voucher
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Diners Club
  • American Express
  • UATP
  • eNets
  • Jetstar voucher
  • PayPal
Qantas has more payment options.
Can I book round the world fares? Yes. No. Only Qantas offers round the world fares.
Can I book multi-city fares? Yes. Yes. Both airlines offer multi-city fares.
Any features to find the best price? Qantas offers Flight Deals. Jetstar offers discounted flights on its Deals page. Qantas offers deals to more destinations globally.

Who offers the best price?

You would expect a budget airline to be cheaper than a regular airline, so we put it to the test to find out which airline really is the cheapest. We compared flights from Sydney to Phuket during peak season in January to see if one airline could significantly beat the other in price.

The verdict?

Qantas:

q-vs-j-1

Jetstar:

q-vs-j-2

q-vs-j-3

Though the winner is the airline we expected, Jetstar, the price difference is surprisingly not large, especially if you need to add baggage, meals and/or entertainment onto your Jetstar flight price. Jetstar only beat Qantas by $100. This may also be due to the fact that Qantas included sale flights where Jetstar did not.

Of course, prices are still dependent on demand and on which offers the better sale at the time.


Is it a good airline to fly with?

Qantas is in the lead in this category with a 4-star airline rating while Jetstar has a 3-star rating. If we look further into customers’ feedback, we get an even better idea of which airline is best.

The verdict?

Qantas continues to have higher star ratings than Jetstar when it comes to customer satisfaction, with a 7/10 and almost all 4-star ratings for each category such as inflight entertainment, seat comfort, staff service and value for money. Jetstar lags behind with an overall 5/10 rating and a mix of 2- and 3-star ratings in each category.


Any other differences worth noting?

Since Jetstar is a budget airline, all extras must be purchased. Extras are considered anything other than the flight itself and a carry-on bag. All checked baggage, food and drinks must be bought in advance or on-board. Purchases can be made in bundles while booking the flight online to save money. Qantas serves snacks or meals on every flight and these are included in the original flight price along with carry-on and checked baggage.


What are the deals like?

Although Qantas and Jetstar both offer discounted flights online, we looked into which airline has the best offers. Qantas’ deals page is easier to navigate, giving you the option to choose where you would like to look for deals to and from. Jetstar limits you slightly by not giving you the option to search for exact destinations. However, Jetstar does offer deals on holidays.

The verdict?

For ease of use if looking for a specific deal, Qantas wins this round. But if you’re looking for the best price, Jetstar has the best deals, sometimes beating Qantas with flights that are one-third of the price to and from the same destination.

Top deals with Qantas and Jetstar:

Flight Centre - International Flight Centre - International

Asia flights from $579 return with Qantas

Valid for travel from 10 October - 15 November 2018 and 1 February - 15 June 2019. Destinations include Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Phuket and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Hong Kong.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Flight Finder Flight Finder

Australia-wide flights from $39 each way

Valid for travel from 16 October - 12 December 2018 with Jetstar. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Flight Centre - Holidays Flight Centre - Holidays

Fiji: 7-night accommodation + flights from $709

Valid for travel between 1 February – 25 March 2019. Package includes 7 nights hotel accommodation at Mango Bay Resort, return airfare from Sydney on Jetstar and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

Avis Avis

Earn more Qantas points

Earn more Qantas points when you ride with Avis. Get (4) four Qantas points for every $1 spent on eligible time and kilometre charges.

Last verified

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 70% off travel deals

Become a member of Luxury Escapes to access up to 70% off on travel deals and earn 1 Qantas point per $1 spent. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Avis Avis

1,000 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points

Valid for rentals of car Group D and above. Minimum of 4-day consecutive rental to redeem offer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code expires


Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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