In the interest of transparency, I state at the outset that this review has never been published before, but is from October 2013. It is part of my Star Alliance Business Class Adventure in Europe and Asia report. I outline in that post why I post older flight and hotel reviews.
AirAsia X is starting service to Honolulu and you might be wondering what flying on AirAsia X is like. I’ll say this at the outset: the flight greatly exceeded expectations. It’s still a low-cost-carirer though.
TPE-KUL is served by China Airlines (SkyTeam), Malaysia Airlines (oneworld), and EVA (Star Alliance), but the only redeye was on AirAsia X.
We purchased tickets about a week in advance for $212 on AirAsia’s website. During the booking process we opted not to pay for seat assignments since the plane looked very empty but did pre-order hot meals. All food and drink is á la carte onboard and the menu is extensive. Although some items will be available during the flight, pre-reserving your meal is quick and easy. Cheap too…the meals were under $5/each.
Check-in at Taipei was quite orderly, but I made a mistake. It was my first time flying the carrier and I assumed, per the website, the carrier would strictly monitor carry-on items. So my brother and I each checked our overweight hand baggage at a cost of about $30 each. 7KG is the official limit (~15lbs).
That was totally unnecessary…
No one ever checked and you should have seen what some people brought abroad. One woman had a full-on suitcase that she somehow managed to drag aboard and place in a closet. Oh yeah, plus a second bag, a purse, and some food.
Maybe it was just Taipei or maybe just my particular flight, but no one cared. Boarding began on time and the flight ended up going out only 30% full or so.
Business Class Upgrades on AirAsia X
Business Class, however, was full. With 12 business class seats and 365 economy class seats (no premium economy), the ratio was not great for those looking to upgrade. Nevertheless, I did notice this sign while checking-in:
As the picture indicates, the seats are angle lie-flat, meaning that the bed itself is flat, but slopes at a downward angle.
AirAsia X 377
Taipei (TPE) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
October 05, 2013 (why so old?)
Seat: 45K (Economy Class)
We found our seats and stored our bags in the overhead bin. We each ended up with our own center section, giving us three seats to spread across and creating arguably a better bed than in business class. The system auto-assigned seats toward the front of the cabin during online check-in, but we were able to procure our own rows while checking our bags.
The 3-3-3 configuration is tight and legroom is poor. But that was expected. I appreciated that the seats had coat hooks. The economy cabin is divided into two sections, with the smaller front cabin a designated “quiet zone”.
There is no in-flight IFE or power plugs available at your seat. A tablet pre-loaded with moves is available for rent.
Flight attendants were friendly and performed a manual safety demonstration prior to an on-time pushback. The captain indicated an early arrival into K-L.
AirAsia X Dining
Once in the air, FAs first distributed pre-ordered meals. My chicken lasagna arrived first and I must admit it was quite tasty for a midnight snack–
My brother’s pancakes arrived shortly after and he enjoyed them.
After the meal, we stretched across our seats and managed to sleep for a couple of hours. We arrived into KUL at just before 4am, very tried. Thankfully, the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur was happy to accommodate our early check-in request.
AirAsia X is perfectly fine for economy class. Base tickets are cheap and you pay for everything you consume, but the baggage fees are not exorbitant and the onboard meals are decent.
Without power, I would not personally take the new Hawaiian flight in economy class, but if you don’t mind being without your electronic devices or collecting points I see no reason to book away from AirAsia.