“Passengers please note, we have shut the doors and will be making our departure 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, we trust this is convenient for everyone”
‘Very rare to hear that announcement…..Damn!’ I mumbled to myself as I peered into my empty wallet.
I’d forgotten to go to an ATM and get cash out. I use cards for everything and, upon hearing the announcement while settling into my seat, I remembered from my previous flights, Air Asia X only took cash for payment for food and drinks on board. The flight time from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur is generally around 8 hours, but with strong head winds on this overnight flight, this flights time had been re-adjusted to 9 hours and 20 minutes.
I was flying to Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, to attend the Air Asia RED HOT Party and the unveiling of a Taylor Swift aircraft livery. Air Asia X check-in counters open 3 hours prior, and strictly close 90 minutes before departure. Operating twice daily from Sydney, this overnight flight, leaving at 9:25pm, found me checking in at the airport at 7:00pm and after passing through immigration I was at the gate – OK, I was at the small bar beside the gate – by 7:25pm – quashing down a few Sauvignon Blancs – forgetting to go to said ATM.
Air Asia is not only FreakyFliers favourite low cost carrier, but also Skytrax 5 times champ between 2009-2013. Boarding was called around 45 minutes prior to the flight and happened in an orderly manner – except for that one guy holding up the line by taking pictures of the door…freaky!
Air Asia X Airbus a330-300’s accommodate 365 economy passengers in a 9 abreast configuration of 3-3-3 seats. I was sitting in row 29, in seat J which is the middle seat between the aisle and window, over the wing. As the rest of the aircraft loaded I held my breath hoping I would have a spare seat next to me. As the doors closed, still grumbling to myself about forgetting to get some cash, I was pleasantly cheered up by realising I had the whole three seats to myself 🙂
Quite soon after our early departure, the flight attendants moved through the cabin handing out the Samsung Galaxy Tablets to those who had pre-booked online. I hadn’t, so I inquired whether I could hire one – Air Asia will accept credit cards for entertainment hire and duty free – but they were only carrying enough for those that had pre-booked. After chatting to a young French backpacker who was sitting in front of me, He kindly offered his phone for me to watch the movie Thor, to which I delightfully accepted.
Although I didn’t have any cash, all was not lost when it came to my rumbling tummy. A chicken roll – the light meal option, perfect for this late night flight – had been pre-ordered and was delivered with a bottle of water – tea or coffee was another option. The flight attendants also promised to keep me topped up in water throughout the flight should I require it 🙂
When I cut into the large soft pannini type bread I was pleasantly surprised with the contents. Soft cheese and shredded white chicken meat mixed through a chili paste – not a hot overpowering chili, but just enough to give a tinge on the tongue and numbness the corners of my mouth.
As I lay across my three seats watching Thor, snacking on my chicken roll and resisting the urge to snoop through the French guys phone, I found myself drifting off to sleep.
The flight, due to land at 4:00am, arrived slightly late due to the extra flight time, but I was in the terminal at KLIA2 by 4:50am ready to enjoy a few days in the amazing city of Kuala Lumpur.
Although not your average flight, having 3 seats in economy class to oneself is not a regular occurrence and forgetting to bring cash – no more wine FreakyFlier! – I still had an enjoyable and relaxing journey and the combination of both these things was probably the reason I arrived refreshed and felling great 😉
Air Asia and Air Asia X serves 88 destinations on 22 countries including six Australian cities, Adelaide, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
To check out their low fares and book visit www.airasia.com
FreakyFlier flew to Kuala Lumpur courtesy Air Asia X.