Fly business class at almost no extra cost

JOSH MARTIN
Last updated 14:19 09/01/2014

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The combination of a month of promotional 787 Dreamliner flights and a Jetstar website loophole means Kiwis will be able to fly to Melbourne in business-class seats for little more than $400 return.

The low-cost carrier announced in December its new Dreamliner aircraft would fly the Auckland-Melbourne route for one month from February 26.

Jetstar does not usually offer business class on the route when using its regular Airbus A320 planes, so the option to upgrade to business class is not triggered when flyers book that route online.

So for flights between February 26 and March 28, when the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will fly the route, the website treats all seats as if they are economy even though the Dreamliner offers 21 business-class leather seats, right up the front and with greater leg room and recline.

To score the upgrade travellers simply need to select an "extra leg room" seat in the first few rows of the plane when they book online and pay a $30 fee.

According to its online booking form, which indicates to customers when the Dreamliner will be flying across the Tasman, the deal is an option only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights, meaning travellers will have to opt for a long weekend in Melbourne to get the deal.

The glitch does not mean passengers to Melbourne will receive business-class service as meals and luggage need to be paid for separately in one of the airline's "Plus Bundles" and Jetstar's business-class seat is a recliner, rather than a lie-flat seat offered by some competitors.

The airline was aware of the loophole when it announced the promotional service last month.

Jetstar took delivery of its first 787 in September last year and is receiving its third this month. The airline will have transitioned to an all-787 long-haul fleet by 2015, with the Dreamliner eventually replacing all Jetstar Airbus A330 services, including Auckland-Singapore.

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