Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Air Asia: What They Don't Tell You

Hantu Laut

The flight on Air Asia was uneventful like most flights are.Yesterday was my third time with the airline and being frequent flyer with MAS and other airlines before I must say it takes a few flights to make the adjustments from being pampered on full-pledged airlines and to no frills flight on this astounding airline.

My flight was at least 20 minutes late out of Kota Kinabalu but managed to land 15 minutes ahead of time at the LCCT at Sepang. My previous flight to Miri a few months ago also arrived ahead of scheduled time.Other then having a good tailwind how the pilot managed to do that frequently I really have no idea.

The aircraft turn around time seemed to be much faster than MAS and other normal airlines.To most airline time is money and time saving means saving costs.What I learned on this trip may sound very scary to some people and for very good reason.

After taking my seat on the aircraft and while still on the tarmac waiting for take-off the cabin crew announced over the intercom that the aircraft is still in the process of refueling and requested all passengers not to buckle their seat belts.It was probably a precautionary measure in case of incident of fire they could do a speedy evacuation of the passengers.Of course they only tell you the aircraft is still refueling but didn't tell you of the danger.

Could they do a speedy evacuation in the case of fire ? Not likely. In the unlikely event the aircraft caught fire while refueling there would be very little time for all passengers to escape as the highly combustible fuel would engulf the plane very quickly and evacuation using the steps would be much slower than using the emergency chute.

However, before you jump to conclusion just think over the years how many million times air crafts had been refuelled. Such incident is rare, therefore, the probability of it happening is as low as your plane falling off the sky.

Air travel in this country had taken a new meaning.With airline like Air Asia and their 'now everyone can fly' motto, most people especially the lower and middle income groups can afford to travel by air, previously the domain of those with money.The airline had also taken off the hassle of air travel by simplifying the whole process from its online booking to its paperless check-in, making it as simple as shuttling on a bus.Another plus for Ais Asia is in its online booking web page.It is more straight forward and faster than that of MAS.

The only drawback with the airline is it has no mercy on heavyweight travellers.Just to warn you no matter how little your excess baggage is you have to pay.To give you an idea on how much it cost for a kilo of excess baggage between KK-KL so you wouldn't make the same mistake as I... ..well not me, it's my wife who decides to bring some Hari Raya goodies for my sister, it's RM15.00 a kilo.It's not the airline fault and I have no complaint against the airline.You get what you pay for, no more no less.

I used to read complaints about the airline from people who pay peanuts and wanted excellent service.I think the airline is wonderful and is good for what it's intended for and for those who wanted more just go and fly the normal airlines.

For Sabah and Sarawak where roads are bad making road travel a torturous journey this airline has provided what MAS failed to do all this while, cheap domestic air fare.

Now MAS copy it in an unfair competition.


Anonymous said...

Air Asia sucks. But may be better in Sarawak as you may have to fly on propeller MAS planes which are little more than non-air-con flying buses...YUCKS!

Anonymous said...

Hantu Laut, u r absolutely right that Air Asia is as good as what you pay! As for Jed Yoong's comment-Air Asia sucks, than he haven't try Mas thats YAK! Its grossly overprice that promises service and comfort which fails regularly as typically in Malaysia,fail in the delivery!!!!

Hantu Laut said...

jed yoong,
Air Asia is no more doing that.They have returned them back to MAS.It is now call MASWING.They were played out by MAS in that deal.

Come on Jed ! Some of their planes are younger than MAS planes and for the money you pay, can't complain.

Of course the choice is yours which airline you want to fly with.

Hantu Laut said...

Agreed.Pay through your nose and get meal in a box.

Anonymous said...

Argh! Suddenly I got a frightening view as to why the aircraft refuel more often and arrives earlier than scheduled. The aircrafts are refueled at minimal capacity so as the aircraft carry less weight, hence fly faster..
Another reason, minimum fuel means it flies at a tight budget..
Why would I be frightened, remember sometime ago someone exposed MAS had run out of fuel when it arrived at London and had to get permission for emergency landing... this is frightening... Don't Play Play, huh

Anonymous said...

Good post. Always good to hear the reviews on air asia. Sometimes they could do better on customer service.