Flying ‘budget’ is no longer seen as the ugly alternative for travelers wanting to get from Point A to Point B in comfort without damaging the pocket. Now, budget airlines are flying further than before, aiming further than domestic connections and bringing passengers the world over to different countries for the first time.
Our latest flight saw us travel from the Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur. From one warm climate to another, we chart the AirAsia X experience from the GC to the Malaysia.
Airline: AirAsia X
Route: Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur (D7 207)
Scheduled Flight Time: 8 hours and 35 minutes in the air
On Schedule? 45 minutes behind
The Departure Airport
Flying out from Coolangatta Airport, prepare for just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane if you are coming from the city, perhaps slightly more if you’re hitting peak hour traffic heading out to the Gold Coast. The airport itself is fairly easy to navigate, even though it is clearly a popular commuting hub. Checking in for the international flight ahead was simple enough – with the ability to do most of the leg work online, it is easy to drop bags off at the terminal and proceed to the departure lounge and await your call to clear final security and customs checks.
In The Air
The flight we took had us in the air late at night and luckily, the flight was less than half full, meaning there was ample room to take over your own row somewhere on the plane in an attempt to get some good rest. For the taller passenger on most flights, leg room is a luxury, but if you should be in one of the Premium Flatbeds or any of the AirAsia Hot Seats, you’ll be able to enjoy that level of comfort desired on a long haul. For those in economy class however, the leg room leaves a fair bit to be desired, providing one of the few lows of the experience.
Food and Drink
Passengers are able to pre-book their meals online – though be sure to pre-book at least 24 hours prior to boarding to ensure your meal is ready. This was something I did not do and so unfortunately, I went hungry (also because I failed to have Malaysian currency available to purchase with). Ultimately, it was my fault but because we departed late in the evening, I used the opportunity to sleep instead.
In terms of inflight entertainment, you can rent one of AirAsia’s Xcite Tabs – pre-loaded with movies, games, TV series’ and more, the tablet only costs RM$49 if pre-booked, or RM$60 is purchased online. ROKKI WI-FI is also available on any mobile device, while there also internet plans available to be bought online prior to your flight to make sure you’re connected in the clouds.
In all, AirAsia is a standard budget airline offering ambitious service to passengers travelling from Australia to Asia. My experience definitely would have been enhanced had our flight departed on time (leaving closer to midnight made rushing to check in for a connecting flight in KL more of a stress), and had the conditions we’d flown in weren’t so bumpy. This was the first budget airline I have flown long haul with and I would do it again; with more knowledge of their business and hindsight behind me, there are definite ways to make flights this long much more comfortable and enjoyable.
To book your next flight with AirAsia, head to their official website.
The writer flew as a guest of AirAsia X.