Long Haul By Budget Airline
(Here is the latest posting by Clive. Travelling long haul by a budget airline is rare for us in Europe so here is his view of one of the few opportunities around. He is having connection problems in Indonesia so we suspect we’ll get a glut of stories for you and then some gaps till he arrives at some bigger places. In a couple of weeks time, we’ll give you the complete opposite, – a long haul flight in first class)
So what’s it like to fly for 13 hours on a long haul budget airline? Air Asia use London Stansted airport to fly their principle South East Asia Hub, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. From here they fly on to a massive list of destinations throughout Asia and Australia, but it does need saying they are a point to point airline meaning there is no through check in and each flight is considered unique, which is important when considering any connection time.
The contrast between their London-Kuala Lumpur flight and the Kuala Lumpur-Surabaya (Java, Indonesia) we took was interesting. Both are no-frills style: food must be pre-purchased, hold baggage is charged extra for, however the short haul flights has standard width seats, the long haul, well they squeeze ‘em in and you are shoulder to shoulder with your neighbouring seat occupant. This was the biggest surprise on the outward flight, large bottoms may find wedging into the space available troublesome, but we did not find it uncomfortable. The food was basic but fine, Sam reporting that at least it was edible, unlike the meal he had courtesy of Delta the previous week on his Delta New York flights. My one gripe was that the meal arrived with a very small bottle of water. In order to stave off dehydration , additional water was available to buy, but fumbling for the right change in the gloom, with your neighbour feeling every move you make, is a pain, And with airline security restricting carry on fluids, it was a thirsty 13 hours.
The flight was full, on time, staff pleasant and helpful. Despite being a no frills experience Air Asia are fantastic value for money with fares 50 to 30% less than the national flag carriers. So huge thanks to Air Asia as the low cost enabled us to fly to a fantastic region to explore some more. Give them a try. A great business model.
Air Asia, Budget airlines, Long haul budget airlines, no-frills airlines