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Qantas vs Jetstar

Is it really cheaper to fly with a budget airline?

Updated

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We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder.

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

FeatureQantasJetstarVerdict
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-star3-starQantas 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 FlyerClub JetstarJetstar’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:

Kayak Kayak

Australia-wide flights from $51 each way

Available on select flights until February 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Perth, Broome, Melbourne and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Qantas Airways: Domestic flights from $113 each way

Available on select dates until December 2020 to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, Cairns and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Australia flights from $92 return

Available on select dates until March 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Gold Coast, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Launceston and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Brisbane flights from $72 each way

Available on select dates until March 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Sydney flights from $53 each way

Available on select dates until March 2021. Sample fare departs from Ballina with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 70% off holidays

Book holidays to Thailand, Bali, Fiji, Maldives, Vietnam and across Australia at up to 70% off. Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

Australia-wide flights from $55 each way

Available on flights from November 2020 - February 2021. Destinations include Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Avalon with Jetstar. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

Asia flights from $411 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Bali, Hong Kong, India and more. Sample fare is Darwin-Singapore with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

USA flights from $458 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Honolulu with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

Japan flights from $626 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and more. Sample fare is Cairns-Tokyo with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

Fiji flights from $444 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Suva, Savusavu, Kadavu Island and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Nadi with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kiwi.com Kiwi.com

New Zealand flights from $352 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin, Rotorua and more. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Christchurch with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $138 each way with Qantas Airways

Available on flights until December 2020, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and more. Sample are is Melbourne-Launceston. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Australia flights from $98 return

Available on flights until January 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Hobart, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast, Uluru, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Launceston with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Australia-wide flights from $79 with Jetstar

Available on flights until June 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Cairns, Darwin, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina. Plus get 1 free date change on flights until 15 December 2020. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Gold Coast flights from $63 each way

Available on select dates from November 2020 - March 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Hobart flights from $81 each way

Available on select dates from November 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Melbourne with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Cairns flights from $97 each way

Available on select dates from November 2020 - March 2021. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Sydney flights from $120 return

Available on select dates until January 2021. Sample fare departs from Gold Coast with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Byron Bay flights from $95 return

Available on flights until March 2021. Sample fare departs from Avalon with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Adelaide flights from $92 return

Available on select flights until March 2021 departing from Sydney, Hobart, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare is Avalon-Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Cairns flights from $219 return

Available on select flights until December 2020 departing from Gold Coast, Sydney, Townsville and more. Sample fare is Brisbane-Cairns with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Brisbane flights from $168 return

Available on select flights until January 2021 departing Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is Mackay-Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Cheap Flights Cheap Flights

Townsville flights from $123 return

Available on flights until December 2020. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Townsville flights from $175 return

Available on flights in November 2020. Sample fare departs from Brisbane with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Newcastle flights from $311 return

Available on flights until December 2020. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Jetstar. Other flights depart from Cairns, Ballina, Darwin and Brisbane.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Sydney flights from $121 return

Available on select dates until December 2020. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That Flight I Want That Flight

Broome flights from $444 return

Available on flights until December 2020. Sample fare is Perth-Broome with Qantas and Virgin Australia.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Ballina flights from $133 return

Available on select dates until December 2020. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Adelaide flights from $160 return

Available on select dates from October 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Sydney with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Melbourne flights from $142 return

Available on select dates from October 2020 - January 2021. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Kayak Kayak

Perth flights from $340 return

Available on select dates from October 2020 - February 2021. Sample fare departs from Adelaide with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Skyscanner Skyscanner

Asia flights from $247 return

Available on select dates in 2021 to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and more. Sample fare is Perth-Bali with Jetstar and AirAsia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Popular Travel coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
30 Oct 2020 Up to 75% off Australia activities + an extra up to 30% off with code TRE****
23 Oct 2020 $1 wine tastings in the Hunter Valley WIN****
21 Oct 2020 Extra $10 off site-wide with code FDR****
20 Oct 2020 Extra 10% off Australia activities with code RBF****
7 Oct 2020 $20 off nationwide rentals FIN****

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