Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia (1)

Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur

Do you miss flying Ryan Air or German Wings? Book a flight on Air Asia, and you’ll be flooded with the familiar sensations of being corralled into tight spaces, no-frills (or TVs) seating, and uncomplimentary meals (you have to pay for everything, including bottled water).

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Navigating the Close Quarters: Air Asia Flight to Malaysia

My husband suggested I wait to write this post until I have more space. However, I want to capture my discomfort in real time. We’re flying Air Asia to Malaysia, and it’s a tight squeeze. The seats on this Airbus A330 are designed to pack in passengers, with 377 of us onboard. Our seats, 28A and B, are barely spacious enough for us to maneuver. I’m typing sideways because my husband’s broad chest means there’s no way I can face forward comfortably.

The design clearly aims to maximize capacity, not comfort. There’s barely any space between us, making it feel even more cramped. Luckily, the person next to him fits these narrow seats perfectly, which is a small relief. Despite that, the lack of legroom forced my husband, who’s of average height, to ask the person in front of him to adjust their seat back just so he could sit without feeling squished. This six-and-a-half-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur is proving to be quite the challenge!

20151204_131150 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
20151204_121357 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Meal Options on Air Asia

There is an extensive booklet with meal, drink, and snack options. However, many of them are only available if you order online—before the flight. I did not know that. Otherwise, they stock a few meals that are first-come, first-served.

I am glad I ate breakfast. I ordered the chicken curry, and Steven ordered the chicken with cream and vegetables. It was okay as far as airplane food goes. It never surprises me to open up a meal and see one green bean and one carrot along with my three small pieces of potato. However, I enjoyed the scent of the plain white rice mixed with the nutty aroma of black sesame seeds.

20151204_122614 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A Toast with Plum Wine Above the Clouds

Unfortunately, there was no red or white wine available on this flight, so we both opted for a tiny bottle of plum wine instead. If you choose this, make sure to ask for ice. At 17% alcohol, it packs a strong punch and was the highlight of my day so far. The sharp scent of alcohol mingled with the sweet aroma of plum was surprisingly pleasant. I almost nibbled on the shriveled plum that plopped out, but decided against it.

Backup… before anyone comments on my black thumbnail—it’s black dye from a glove mishap during a wig touch-up, lol.

Our meals cost MYR 55. We hadn’t checked the exchange rate for the Malaysian Ringgit because we were only prepared with the conversion rates for the Thai baht, thinking we wouldn’t spend until we reached Thailand. That’s a classic oversight, even for seasoned travelers. Later, we discovered it was about $12 USD.

Currently, the girl in front of me is softly snoring—a gentle, rhythmic sound—and the one behind keeps kicking my seat with a dull thud. I’d love to wash my hands, but with both my husband and the adjacent passenger asleep, I’ll have to wait.

20151204_141338 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Enduring Heat and Discomfort: The Long Haul with Air Asia

If you know me, I’m usually always cold. Not on this flight. It was hot! This “base model” airplane lacks adjustable air vents overhead. In fact, the seats barely reclined when you hit the button, so I ended up sitting straight for the entire flight.

The announcement came in Malay, Korean, and English, informing us that the flight attendant would soon pass through the cabin with duty-free items for sale. As the cart passed by, I noticed it carried e-cigarettes, which are pointless since you can’t smoke them on the plane, along with the usual perfume and jewelry. The cart whizzed by and quickly disappeared down the aisle. No one seemed interested in buying anything.

Only four more hours to go. When the plane finally arrived, the Air Asia staff handed each of us a Creole Cajun chicken sandwich from Popeyes and a bottle of water. I guess something is better than nothing.

20151205_130040 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What I Learned

  1. The plane model matters just as much as the airline.
  2. If you do book Air Asia, go online to www.airasia.com before your flight to pre-book your meals for a significant discount and variety.
  3. Make sure to check currency rates for all the countries you travel through as well as your final destination.
  4. There are no customs forms for foreigners, but you must stop by the transfer desk to pick up transfer tickets if you are traveling to other destinations.
  5. You lose an hour going to Malaysia and another one going to Thailand… hence the 30-minute connecting flight.
  6. There is NO sticky rice and mango in this airport, I can’t wait to get to Phuket!!

Setting Expectations: Flying Air Asia from Busan or Seoul

I wrote this post not to criticize Air Asia, but to share what to expect if you book a flight with them from Busan or Seoul. The old saying holds true: You get what you pay for. I didn’t realize until this flight that Air Asia was a budget airline.

After boarding, I expected the pilot to provide details about our journey. Instead, all we got was a brief “Welcome, boys and girls.” I found myself asking the flight attendant for the flight duration, which struck me as odd until I settled into my seat. It then dawned on me that perhaps they prefer passengers not to focus on the flight length—perhaps intentionally.

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Air-Asia-to-Kuala-Lumpur-519x778 Air Asia Flying to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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