Monday, February 14, 2011

A golden coast, and a horror flight!

Now then, we are going to be starting to look at child friendly airlines in a bit more detail, but before we do, lets have a little quick read about a friends experience travelling to the Gold Coast, Australia on a budget airline. Prue, a friend, and fellow blogger - The Nestlings Blog (please do have a read - its terrific) took a holiday from Melbourne to the Gold Coast towards the end of 2010 and travelled with Jetstar.

So, now the introductions are out of the we go;

Prue, tell us a bit about you and your family?
"So we are made up of Dave, little Oscar (almost 2 at the time of travels), and our beautiful girls, Einstein (the cat) and Indiana (the girl).

And where have you been of late with your little ‘hip’?
We've been staying on the Gold Coast.
How did you get there?
Unfortunately Qantas no longer flies directly from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, so we flew with Jetstar.  As Oscar is a whisker under 2 we decided to not buy him his own seat. The jury is still out on the wisdom of that decision. Sadly we found the staff of Jetstar somewhat lacking in customer service. Oscar suffers severely with the change in pressure of take off and touchdown. During the landing he began to scream uncontrollably and scratching and punching me. During this our seatbelts came undone (unnoticed by me as I was simply trying to tend to Oscar)...the nasty Jetstar women whilst ignoring the tears streaming down my face from the stressful situation coldly reprimanded me several times for not having my seat belt done up. During another trip with Qantas, a similar situation occurred, however in that time the staff could not have been any more helpful. Therefore if possible I'll try to fly Qantas in the future and if they don't service the destination I'll try Virgin Blue.
Where did you stay?
We stayed in Broadbeach at the Mantra Phoenician. I would highly recommend staying in Broadbeach over staying in central Surfers. There are great cafes for your early morning coffee, you're close to supermarkets and shopping centres, as well as the beach which had great parks every 100m or so. The Mantra was good - Great indoor and outdoor pool areas with BBQ's. The apartment was a fantastic size and the kitchen well equipped. My only annoyance was the rock hard bed and the lacklustre service of the staff on the front.
Your biggest challenge?
Getting Oscar to sleep in a new place. He has suddenly decided he doesn't like his Kindercot and so slept in bed with Dave most nights.
Any big recommendations?
We all loved Seaworld. The expression on Oscar's face when the dolphins started to perform was priceless. There is also a great range of rides for the little kids too.  I would recommend taking your own food as it's expensive and there's not a lot of range. We also loved Wet N Wild, and it's a great day if your have children of different ages too. Movieworld is looking a little tired and unless you're children are old enough to go on the rides it can be skipped. We got the VIP pass which worked well. It gives unlimited access to the 3 theme parks until June 2011. This meant if Oscar had had enough, we just went home to come again another day.
What are your main tips for travelling with kids?

Always take gaffa tape with you! All the hotel rooms have balconies - Oscar figured out how to open the door in the first few minutes. Gaffa tape over the door meant he couldn't open it...clever!

What would you not have left home without?
As above - the gaffa tape and probably our trusty stroller.
And finally, anything else you want to add?
Consider staying in Coolongatta area as well. If you're going up for theme parks you'll have to drive to them wherever you stay so you may as well stay at a beautiful beach and these areas have the best."

Thanks Prue for that very truthful insight into Jetstar, and the Gold Coast theme parks...


  1. We do the opposite journey (from the Coast to Melbourne) and we have had horror flights with Jetstar as well.

    We fly Virgin with our son and they have always been extremely helpful, going out of their way to be nice and help out - I really can't speak highly enough of them.

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