I have been flying with AirAsia for a few times and now I am back from my another trip to South Korea and another fresh impression on my recent carrier – the Air Asia X. ‘Air Asia-X’ operates long-distance flights in comparison to the Air Asia (without X).
First I flied with Air Asia X about 3 years ago I was quite impressed – large airplanes with better service exceeded my expectations based on my experience with Asian law coster ‘Air Asia’. However, after 3 years I’ve noticed some differences. Only within a few years new looking cabin became old looking, a little bit dirty and needing maintenance and proper cleaning.
Consider flying Air Asia this time because you often can find good deals with them, however, always compare to the other airlines deals. Trusting the magic ‘sale’ word might be tricky. After you will have to pay for a luggage (1 lagguage 20 kg was $160 to take it for a final destination and back, which is quite a rip off), plus meal and water (ok, it’s quite cheap, but still plus), plus in-flight entertainment and lots of other plusses.
What you need to know booking Air Asia X flight:
Purchasing the ticket the website offers you to pick a seat, which is, of course, a payed option. We decided that we did not care about the seats location and naively assuming that we will seat together anyways if we booked and checked in together. Wrong.
In this case even if you book and check in together the your family or group will be more likely to be spread out in the airplane. We’ve got our seats in the completely different parts of the airplane. So that’s a big drawback.
Make sure to bring warm clothes, such as jumper, large scarf, perhaps warm socks. It was extremely freezing in all the AirAsia flights I took. Lots of passengers were complaining about the law tempreture and not only once. In a few hours their finally adjusted the climate, but by that time everyone already were sneezing and coughing and felt seek. I could not sleep during my night flight because of that cold and I gave up deciding to buy a blanket. When all the blankets were surprisingly sold out. Not enough blankets for everyone is another big drawback. I have got an impression that they decrease the tempreture to sell the blankets and hot beverages :)
When we have opened our tables we every time found food stains and peaces of food inside. So another tip – bring sanitising tissues and clean everything around you by yourself, because the situation is quite dirty around and require a big cleaning. It looks like they do not wipe tables and the seat in front of you at all.
Service in Air Asia X is pretty good in general, the flight attendants are nice and in one flight one kind lady noticed we seat separately and offered us a seat together. So we were pretty lucky. They team helped us when they could with the other questions (e.g. In Flight Entertainment questions, meal and other) and I appreciate that.
In Flight Entertainment in Air Asia.
Do not repeat our mistake to book in flight entertainment. There is no choice and nothing to watch. You will have 6-7 movies which you are likely already watched. Comparing to any other airlines probably the most poor selection and value. We did not really use it, because it was too boring.
If you are flying together and still wish to get in flight entertainment tablet – a good idea is to get a jack for two headphones (example).
In Flight Meals.
Food is not too bad, size is small and portion is too law. Minimum spend by credit card is $10 if you wish to order something during the flight. Pre-booked meals have a priority, so you will need to wait for about 30 minutes after everyone is being served. Portions are quite small and you will be more likely to order more food or snacks, coffee and cookies are quite affordable and cost only $4.
If you wish to purchase food on board it will cost you a couple of dollars more than book it in advance.
Chicken sate was not bad, while meatballs ‘mac n cheese’ were a bit too oily and cookies were pretty good :)
Stop Over in Kuala Lumpur.
If you travel with Air Asia X with a stop in Kuala Lumpur, you will stop at KLIA II terminal. It is a new terminal and it is much better than old and sad Kuala Lumpur Airport. There are 2 floors with shopping, food court, bar and free wifi access.
There is also a convenient lounge, which costs about $30 for 3 hours and include food and beverages – Sama Sama lounge.
A better idea in my opinion will be booking a Sama Sama airport hotel room. We booked it for 6 hours and we have got a chance to have a shower, relax, get change and even get a few hours sleep. It was a very good idea.
Food at the airport is not expensive and you can choose between local cuisine or Burger King and Starbucks. There is a also a large warung (asian dinery) on the 1st level, close to all the shops. We have tried the Soup Place next to the Starbucks on level 1 and surprisingly it was quite good. Large portions and good taste even for westerns. They accepted our foreign card. While next time we’ve got a meal upstairs at the noodle place, we had an issue to pay and we had to give Australian Dollars and get lots of local money as a change that we did not need.. That was kind of stupid waste.
Overall, it is a very good Idea to book a room for a few ours at Sama Sama hotel, I believe it is so much better to spend $35 each for a room and about $5-8 for a meal, than 30 for a lounge.