Without doubt this was the worst international flight I’ve ever been on.
After catching an uneventful Air Asia domestic flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur, we then had a 3 hour layover before our flight back home to Melbourne.
I don’t know why, and this may well happen with all airlines out of KL, but for a period of around 2 hours, we were herded between different waiting areas before eventually being allowed on the plane. There are some really basic things that didn’t happen which would have made the whole process easier:
– let people with kids and the elderly and infirm board first
– load the rest of the place from the rear.
That process seems to work pretty well for about every other airline on the planet. No, Air Asia needs to be different, so it’s just everyone trying to get on the plane at the same time (which I’ve never understood either- your seat isn’t going to change just because you got on the plane first).
Anyway- after everyone was on and buckled up, we finally took off. Elyse’s seat was broken and wouldn’t recline, so we were moved to another area, which didn’t help our already dwindling feelings about the airline.
A few things to note, which are admittedly fairly minor, but when added up over a long day, they build up to being a customer who will only fly Air Asia again if it means astronomical financial savings:
- Air Asia’s A330’s are not like other airlines A330’s. Generally, the seat configuration in an A330 (even on a budget carrier like Jetstar) is 2 4 2 (8 pax per row), whereas Air Asia go for 3 3 3 in the main cabin, giving them one extra body per row. Yes, I absolutely knew this when booking the flight, and am not complaining about it- simply sending our a word of caution. An A330 economy seat is bearable in the normal configuration. It is not when an extra bum is squeezed in pre row.
- the aforementioned herding around the airport was just annoying and unnecessary;
- trying to put everyone on the flight at once was like cats in a sack. A waste of time and energy for all involved;
- Air Asia X don’t turn the cabin lights out during the flight. Seriously. This flight was overnight- we took off at 10:45pm and the cabin lights were on all night burning the Air Asia decor into my retinas.
Seeing the Melbourne skyline out the window at the end of the trip was one of the best sights I’ve seen.
Having said all that, it did get us home and the flight was on time. It also saved us a bit of money. Either way, in the future, I’d probably do a longer flight with a stopover than do a direct flight with these guys.