Flying with Air Asia for the first time

It seems that each time when Cart and I go for a visit back to Singapore, it is starting to be a tradition for us to do a family vacation.

The last we did it was in Cameron Highlands and I enjoyed that tremendously. This time round, the decision was a fierce toss up between Langkawi and Brunei (I can imagine you raising an eyebrow, but I think it’s an interesting place to go to)

Langkawi won in the end, as it is faster to reach to from Singapore. Moreover, no one in my family has ever been there so it’ll be something new for all of us.

I shot this at one of the many smaller islands in Langkawi. Gorgeous isn’t it? But because this post is going to be quite long, so I’ll divide it into different posts and today I’ll blog about getting there via Air Asia.

There are many ways of going to Langkawi – by car or by train (I would have tried this option if we had more time. I love taking trains!) Either way, you’d need a connecting ferry to reach the island.

Or you could go there directly by flight, which was what we did.

There are a number of alternative budget airlines in Singapore, but it seems only Air Asia is the only one that connects from Singapore to Langkawi with daily flights. By the way, they also connect you to places not only in Asia, but also to Australia and Saudi Arabia(!)

(I heard of rumours of a possibility of budget airline connecting to Italy but it has been a couple of years since and nothing seemed to materialise out of that)

I was a little nervous because I’ve heard a lot of feedback in my social stream about Air Asia suddenly just cancelling a flight and not refunding fees. Yikes! But we crossed our fingers that nothing wrong will happen that we’d miss our flight back to Rome.

By chance we were able to get our tickets for the summer offer and we managed to get their promo price.

The thing about budget airlines though, you’ll never know the final actual price until you hit the booking button – there will be security fee, service fee, tax fee, levy fee, fuel surcharge, insurance fee, baggage fee, processing fee … BLA BLA BLA BLA! Heck you even need to pay for choosing a seat.

In the end, don’t be surprised to see that you’d need to spend more than twice what you thought you’d pay.

(On hindsight, we should have removed the 20kg additional baggage since we travel light anyway)

On the day itself, we took a maxi-cab to take the seven of us to the Changi Airport – terminal 3.

All the Air Asia check in counters looked very busy, and there were already loads of people queueing up there. It was rather chaotic. Luckily for us, we arrived early so there were plentiful of time for us should we have queued there. Nevertheless, before we even started to walk towards the counter, we managed to get ourselves ushered in another smaller queue which was reserved for groups. And in no time at all, we were all done!

Here is my boarding pass!

It’s the first time that I’ve ever had a slip of paper as a boarding pass. Cost effective, yes?

We had quite a bit of free time, so we explored the terminal a little bit. There was this area called the social tree, where you could take selfies, put stickers and then upload it for everyone else to see.

This is one of me :

And this is one of my sister and mum :

It reminds me a lot of those neoprint machines which was popular in Singapore about 10 years ago.

Apart from that, I find it adorable that there are a lot of these types of machines asking you how the service was. There was even one at the toilet! (Which is beautiful by the way. But I didn’t snapped any pictures because I am self conscious when there are others inside)

(Take note that it is sanitised regularly 😛)

We went through the gate (and waited for a bit, but there was wifi there!) and finally boarded the plane (on an aerobridge!) and quickly searched for our seats.

The seating space for the were alright. You can’t move the arm rest up, but it wasn’t such a big issue since it was a short 2 hours flight (I think you’d have to pay extra for that?) Which was also the reason why we didn’t get for ourselves any in-flight food either – although the menu did looked interesting.

(Which idiot tore this out?)

It’s been said that the in-flight menu is based on where you were going to. Since we were going to Malaysia, I remember seeing Satay and Nasi Lemak in the menu.

Also another thing to note was that there are seats with red covers, which I assume are the ones with bigger legrooms. The interesting thing was that, no one were sitting on them on both the times we were on board.

I managed to get a window seat and the entire duration of the flight, I kept looking out of the window and admired the view outside. It’s a really pretty view the entire duration – seeing urban landscapes changing into the rural. Cart on the other hand, played Candy Crush. His latest obsession and my new nemesis.

I’m not sure what the rest of my family were doing as they were sitting quite a few rows away from us.

Speaking of seats, I’d recommend you go bring your own pillow on board since they don’t provide one. It’ll be more comfy.  Cart got me this cute travel pillow which looks like a krueller, a flower doughnut where you could twist it into different shapes, which I thought was cool.

In a surprisingly short time, the captain announced that we were about to reach Langkawi. It could be from all those long haul flights that I’ve taken, but my first thought was, “Woah so fast!”

Nevertheless I was so happy I clapped my hands as we landed,  excited to be in this beautiful island for the first time, safe and sound. Haha! I am slowly embracing this strange Italian culture of clapping while landing. IRONIC because Cart NEVER does that! :p

All in all, I had a pretty good first time experience with Air Asia. We were lucky that we didn’t experience the bad luck that some people had. The steward/ess were all polite and professional and unlike those horror stories of how budget airline pilots driving t the planes bumpily, I found the experience comfortable. Just as if we were taking a bus.

I’d take Air Asia again, but of course, we’d have to cross our fingers as always …

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