Airline Review: Air Asia

Air Asia Airbus A320

Air Asia is the biggest low-cost carrier in Asia. While I’m usually not too much into low-cost airlines, Air Asia offered an incredibly cheap fare from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, so I decided to give it a shot and booked some premium add-ons.

In this airline review of Air Asia I’ll feature the “Big Seats”, which offer more legroom and are located in the front (and the exit row) of the plane. You’ll have to pay a surcharge for this as well as for pre-boarding, which I wanted to have to take some proper pictures.

Air Asia Airbus A320 Seating

Cabin of the Air Asia Airbus A320

It appeared that there was a premium bundle available including several services (food, pre-boarding, better seats, luggage), which wasn’t even very expensive (around 20 US-Dollar), so I booked it and sort-of enjoyed the Air Asia ‘Business Class’ in the process.

Seating in an Air Asia Airbus A320

After visiting the Air Asia Lounge (which I’ll review later), I walked to my boarding gate and passed the security. The boarding process was quite efficient and pre-boarding went well.

Air Asia Airbus A320 Seating

The seats are fairly well padded

Once on board, I was surprised how “normal” the cabin looked. While you would expect ads everywhere, the cabin is actually quite sleek with black leather seats and red covers for the seats with additional legroom. Besides that, Air Asia offers the typical 3-3 configuration with an average seat width.

The seat pitch is decent in the front rows, but very narrow in the “normal” seats. Thus, I’d recommend buying a seat with additional legroom. Before departure, I changed from the first to the second row and found the pitch to be quite bad even there, so that’s something you should be aware of.

Other than that, the seats are well maintained and comfortable. The only real difference to other carriers I’ve featured in airline reviews are the ads on the back of the seat and on the bins, which I didn’t find too annoying.

Catering when flying Air Asia

As you’d expect, catering is at an additional cost when flying Air Asia. As I had booked the premium package, a meal of choice was included. I pre-ordered ‘Nasi Kuning Manado’, which is a combination of rice and beef & potato stew.

Air Asia Airbus A320 Meal

Pre-Ordered Meal

While the way Air Asia serves the meal isn’t especially nice, the meal was surprisingly good and filling. To my surprise, I was just handed some water instead of having to choose a drink.

Air Asia Airbus A320 Meal

In case you forgot what you ordered…

The menu for on-board sales didn’t look bad either. There were several food and drink options with affordable prices available. However, it’s worth noting that “affordable” is a judgement from an European perspective.

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The on-board purchases are in-fact very expensive if you take into account how low the average GDP per person is in Malaysia. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say that Air Asia is overpriced in this regard.

Entertainment when flying Air Asia

I won’t loose too many words on entertainment in this airline review. Why? Because there is not a lot to write about. To my surprise, Air Asia actually offers a board magazine, which is not extensive, but has some interesting content about the destinations of Air Asia.

Air Asia Airbus A320 Magazine

Air Asia Magazines

Apart from that, there are no screens and there is no Wi-Fi. Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a Low-Cost-Carrier.

Overall impression of Air Asia

Taking the cheap fare (even including the premium package) into account, Air Asia pleasently surprised me. For a flight of three hours, the seats are comfotable enough, even though the seat pitch (even in row 2) is very tight. Other than that, the experience wasn’t any different to flying with a legacy carrier. The pre-ordered meal was in fact better than most other things I’ve eaten on an airplane yet. Another plus is that there is no annoying sales pusing or anything at Air Asia. I’d still recommend booking additional services like pre-boarding (due to the crazy boarding process in Malaysia) and a seat in the front of the cabin (as only few people pay extra for seats, so you’ve got better chances to have a row to yourself).

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You want to read more flight reviews? Check out our other posts!

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2 Comments on “Airline Review: Air Asia

  1. I just took the Air Asia from Bangkok to Shanghai, so I find your perspective about the cheap fare with the service is pretty refresh. I choose the lowest fair and did not have a good experience with them to be honest, and I agree their service was not impressive, but I am surprising the food tastes very good

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it comes to LCC, it is often about booking premium packages. Having some space in the front rows can totally change the experience. I would highly recommend it!

      Like

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