It is time for me to kick-off my #PerthPlusPlus stories. As per my previous travel series, I will start with a blog post covering the journey to reach the destination, which in this case the flight to Perth 🙂 After all, this is an AVIATION & travel blog so I have to meet the expectation of my #Avgeek fans/readers lah. (like I have any!)
29th July 2014 was a big day in my aviation logbook. Why?
Azuan Zahdi flies on AirAsia
😛 Yes, contrary to what many people thinks, I do take low cost carrier and I do fly on AirAsia! Maybe not as often as other airlines in Malaysia (last time I checked the ratio was around 1:50 flights), but it is simply because I was lucky to have better value for money options on other airlines every time I wanted to fly.
Having said that, I had always wanted to fly on AirAsiaX – the medium & long-haul arm of AirAsia. I have friends who joined AirAsiaX and proudly claimed that “Xanadu” is a different (better) kind of experience in comparison with the usual regional and domestic AirAsia flights. So when my wife and I saw the price for a return flight to Perth below RM900 (sort of last minute and during non-promo period), we thought it was finally a good opportunity to try out AirAsiaX.
Ticket purchasing was quite smooth sailing. AirAsia’s website is always stable and easy to navigate. When we reached the “plus plus” section which both of us got too excited and started to add on things that we don’t actually need lah (hello!! 2 meals each for a 5-hour flight!). Still I think it’s cool that passengers can choose and pay for all these additional stuff so those who don’t need it can save quite a lot.
One thing however that got me a bit pissed was the “credit card processing fee” RM8, per pax, per way. No joke. I would understand a ‘per booking’ fee, but no, it’s PER PAX PER WAY! Excuse given on the website and I quote “…AirAsia has invested substantially to expand, implement and maintain our online payment systems…”. Okayyyyyyyy!
Anyway, it was the second day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and we were at klia2 as early as 6am.
Dropping our bags at row X, a dedicated row for AirAsiaX, was fast and simple. We were done within 5 minutes and the staff manning the counters was also courteous and still in festive mood. I guess that little “good morning and selamat hari raya” greeting boosted their morning a bit 🙂
klia2 is really a nice way to start a holiday. Since we had some time to spare, we had a nice walk around the terminal checking out the retail outlets as well as the cool sky-bridge before heading to our gate.
The movie lounge, very comfortable place for long layover in between flights.
D7 232 – Ready to go.
Boarding was done in an orderly manner, by priority for those requiring special assistance, business class pax and rows starting from behind,. As my optiontown bid was not a success, we settled for our pre-booked seats of 45A and C.
The good thing about this A330 plane (and most out there as well) is that the last few rows will have a 2x3x2 configuration which is perfect for us and those traveling in pairs wanting some privacy. Yes, I love the fact that no one will jump or step on me trying to go to the toilet during a flight 🙂
The comfortable 32” seats. Comfortable. Definitely nicer than the usual A320s of AirAsia.
8:30am and the crew proudly announced that it was another “on-time departure” (like duh…!) which was great news.
The A330 had a nice steady take-off roll on RWY15 and after the the take-off, the seat-belt sign was on for a good 30-minutes on that rainy Tuesday morning.
Fun read. I love travel 3sixty. Very funky and comprehensive magazine.
If reading is not your cup of tea, these portable IFE (basically its Samsung tabs with loaded movies) are available for rent. Not too bad in terms of selection of movies but I would bring my own iPad next time!
Makan-time was quite hilarious. As the crew started to serve the pre-booked meals, they find it hard to believe that both of us ordered 2 full meals each (with upsize add-ones) . Nafsu masa pre-book bulan puasa 😛
The big breakfast. Highly recommended.
The signature dish – Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak.
We were glad that the crew offered to serve our Nasi Lemak (again!) and Nasi Ayam last so that we had more time digesting the first meals. 😛
Speaking of crew, I had nothing but praises for AirAsiaX crew on both flights that we took. Friendly, courteous and knowledgeable based on little interactions we had on-board throughout the flight.
Approaching Perth Intl Airport.
A smooth landing marks the end of a nice first-time experience for me and my wife on-board AirAsiaX. And yes there was a “we are proud to announce that we are ahead of time” announcement as well. Ok this one makes sense to announce lah!
A short video of scenes from the flight. Please switch to HD.
We will definitely have AirAsiaX in our list of “OK” airlines when we look for cheap fares moving forward. With the addition of “plus plus” items like choosing seats, in-flight meals and checked-in baggage, it is actually comparable to flying on a legacy airlines’ economy class.
Now if only that credit card charge can be abolished, grrrrrr!
A fast and efficient processing at Perth Airport made it possible for us to be on the road with our Holden’s compact rental within 1.5 hour after touch down. 150km and two hours later we found ourselves approaching the town of Lancelin, our pit-stop for the long day.
To be continued in part 2.