Air Asia holds the major share of the operations in the South East Asian destinations. With ample connectivity options to connect with several sectors throughout the day, it can be any travelers preferred choice for airline while flying in this route. However, all this comes with a catch, often at the cot of the traveler’s inconvenience. I thought it was occasional, until I realized that it was a routine affiar. Here are 5 reasons, why Air Asia may not be the best choice for a low cost International Airline while flying South East Asia.
Frequent Flight Reschedules
I received an email from Air Asia service centre at midnight indicating that my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Indonesia had been rescheduled. There was little reaction time to cope up with the change. After going through a series of options for reschedules, I finally posted a request for a flight reschedule on email. Then at 6 in the morning, definitely not the IST as per the Air Asia call center timings, I receive a confirmation call asking me to prepone the flight by 5 hours and everything was suddenly pushed 5 hours behind.
Well, first time if an airline does that, it is understood, and it is acceptable that the services might be facing issues. The real shocker came when the airline did the same thing the second time. To add on to it, this time, I was taking along a group of 40 with me, who had no clue why such reschedules were happening. In a 5 day trip from onward to return, the flight reschedule killed almost one complete day of the trip. The onward flight was rescheduled by 7 hours, pushing the checkin to late evening and the return preponed again by 10 hours straight, without owing any explanation, and the whole group had to check out early morning instead of late evening. The best part is, the airlines does not consider itself answerable for all this, when they charge money from the same customers who feed the entire airlines.
Breakup Fares and Service Availability
The breakup fares might seem very reasonable to you in the beginning. But do not be surprised as things keep adding up to your purchase one after another. By the time you are about to close the online booking, you will have loads to pay for, unless you keep carefully unchecking them as you move forward.Often, all this gets so annoying that by the time you reach the last page of the booking formalities, the prices get revised or worse, you have to restart the entire booking process from scratch.
In the end, if you add up the cost of all the services that you select for yourself, it surpasses the cost of all-inclusive costs charged by the costlier commercial flights such as Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines.
We all have traveled in low cost airlines before, at some point or the other. We often do not expect too much of comfort when we fly with any low cost airline for all the obvious reasons. But Air Asia seems clumsier than any of them. You are barely left with space to move and stuck to your seat completely. So much that even the flight staff is barely able to move around with the logistics within the space. The aisle seats almost seem to touch each other as if you can reach out for the seat on the adjacent row.
There is hardly any space for the seats to recline and if you try doing so, you end up crushing the passenger behind. It is almost as if you have been folded like a sweater or bedroll and fastened with the seat-belt so that you only move when the flight lands. If you are put on the middle seat by any chance, there is no way either of you neighbors can do anything for you to move.
There are limited options for food and you will only find Asian Cuisine. If you are not too much affected by the variations of taste, then flying by Air Asia should not affect you that much, at least for the reasons of food alone. There is more of Asian cuisine on the menu – especially Malaysian and Indonesian and limited options in Thai.
Flying with Air Asia or any other low cost carrier is usually a bargain between the services available between the costlier airlines and the LCC’s. However, customer inconvenience is something that makes the whole equation annoying. The airliners cannot prolong such habits trying to cover up the operational expenses on every flight. If the services are committed, eventually, the customers too get committed to stick to the service for a long time.
That’s one of the primary reasons why Indigo Airlines continues to hold the large customer base, because they fly no matter whether all their seats are filled up or not, or even on the worst foggy mornings. That is a commitment the former lacks; finally, it is up to them how long they last with such bargains.