Having never flown Air Asia before and the fares being so ridiculously cheap – I paid a total AUD$41.37 including 20kgs of baggage, seat selection and a meal – I was slightly suspicious of what I was in for – was there going to be more to pay for along the way? So I made my way to the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal and prepared myself with a few beers at the Plaza Premium Lounge 😉 – Review: KLIA LCCT and Plaza Premium Lounge
Commencing operations in 1996, the low cost carrier operates a fleet of over 140 Airbus aircraft, mostly narrow body a320’s, through the main carrier Air Asia (Malaysia) and the airlines subsidiaries Thai Air Asia, Indonesia Air Asia, Philippines Air Asia and Japan Air Asia in economy. The long-haul arm of the airline, known as Air Asia X, operates a fleet of wide-body Airbus a330’s in two classes, premium economy and economy.
I loved that boarding was a walk across the tarmac and past several lined up aircraft.
It was a short wait while a flight attendant checked the boarding passes before passengers headed to the aircraft, which departing from Kuala Lumpur, was an Air Asia Malaysia aircraft.
First impressions of the aircraft cabin were pleasing. The bold red headrest covers were striking against the black seats, yet they held another purpose, these were the ‘Hot Seats’ – selecting these seats online prior to departure were an additional cost of MYR40 (AUD$13.64) for a seat in row 1, 12 or 13 which are extra leg room bulk-head seats, and MYR30 (AUD$9.94) for a seat in rows 2-5. Other seats throughout the aircraft are available for MYR20 (AUD$6.64). Choosing a seat online isn’t compulsory and a seat will be assigned upon check-in, but if you are travelling as a couple or in a group, or like me ‘selective’ – some might say fussy 🙂 – about where you sit, its best to pre book. I chose a regular seat and was lucky enough to secure seat 6A, the first row behind the forward hot seats.
Right after take off, a flight attendant came to my seat, confirmed my meal selection and enquired as to what drink I would like, I cheekily asked if wine was included, knowing it was soft drinks or juice – I ordered a cola. Being a rather short sector, and not many people pre ordering meals, it wasnt long before my meal, Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice, was delivered along with chili sauce, a coke with a paper cup filled with ice, a small water and the usual serviettes and platic utensils.
Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice would have to have been one of the tastiest pre-purchased / purchased on-board a flight dishes I have ever had. The several pieces of moist chicken retained their flavour as did the chickony flavoured rice underneath. It was novel to have a large solid paper cup for my drink, much nicer then the cheap sharp small plastic cups so often served in the air – All this for – wait for it – AUD$4.03 (MYR12) – Air Asia offers up to 20% discount when purchasing the meals online and by doing that it guarantees your selection.
I’d barely finished my meal before my tray table was cleared and we started decent into Singapore. My experience on Air Asia on this short haul sector was a really positive one and I am looking forward to trying their long haul arm Air Asia X to see if it matches up. The flight left on time, it was a comfortable and clean aircraft, the service was with a smile, the food tasty and all this for a mere $41.37!