Travelling from the major tourist resort city of Phuket located in the South of Thailand to the Jungle city of Chiang Mai in the north of the country could take up to 3 days by land (thats ferry, bus and train, all three at least!). Low cost carrier, Thai Air Asia, part of the Air Asia group of airlines which reaches almost all parts of Asia, Boutique Airline, Bangkok Airways and the national carrier, Thai Airways all do direct services on this route. There is also ultra low cost Thai carrier Nok Air flying between the two cities although not direct (via Bangkok Don Mueang Airport). Of all the carriers, the best fares came between Thai Air Asia and Nok Air, but wanting fly direct and save time, Thai Air Asia won the battle for my business.
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Check out my other airline reviews including previous flights on Thai Air Asia, Air Asia and Air Asia X here
The aircraft was on stand off, so we were bused to the waiting plane. The Airbus A320-200, registered HS-BBM was delivered to the airline in July 2014, making it just under 3 years old at the time of my flight.
I’ve mentioned this before, but on Air Asia, the seats with the red headrests are known as the Hot Seats. Located at the front of the plane, rows 1-4 or at the emergency exit, row 12 and 14, they offer extra legroom and passengers will get to board first. Being a LCC, there is an extra charge for these seats and no one it seemed, had purchased the Hot Seats in the exit row. I found that a little strange, while I accept the concept of an airline charging for extra legroom, shouldn’t there always be at least one person in the emergency exit row in case an emergency? Anyway, of course there was that one person who, after take off, decided to move to the exit row and was quickly ordered back to his standard seat by one of the crew.
Whenever I fly Air Asia I add in the Value Pack, generally for the extra baggage allowance, but it also includes standard seat selection and a small meal. I had chosen seat 15A, a window seat right behind the emergency exit row.
On this flight the meal offered as part of my Value Pack was a simple but nice 3 finger sandwiches, 2 with ham and cheese and one with tuna, Water was included and I purchased a cooling Singha beer. While I could’ve upgraded my meal online to something hot, chicken rice or teriyaki beef for example, but the sandwiches were fine for this flight of less than 2 hours. There is no entertainment on board, except for the inflight magazine, which had a few articles of interest and no duty free shopping as this was a domestic flight.
The flight was comfortable and we arrived in Chiang Mai right on schedule. While there is nothing special, no frill, no bells and whistles when flying Thai Air Asia or the parent company Air Asia throughout the continent, it’s appropriately priced to get you from A-B with minimal fuss.
FreakyFlier paid for the flight independently.