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Indonesia AirAsia QZ7668
Departure airport: CGK Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International
Scheduled departure: 0600
Arrival airport: PEN Penang International
Scheduled arrival: 0925
Fleet: Airbus A320 with 180 seats all economy configuration
AirAsia has so many check-in method but at Jakarta they have eliminated traditional check-in counters. So in case you have not make use of their web check-in or mobile check-in, the chance is you have to walk into one of their check-in kiosk (currently there are only 2 which I found inadequate). As I have checked-in via my mobile few days earlier, I walked in to Terminal 2E, passing security check, and go directly to the baggage drop-off counter. After the staff verified the passenger data and paid Rp150,000 airport tax (airport tax at all airports in Indonesia must be paid separately), I walked leisurely to immigration which was still a breeze on 4.30am
Since this is the first flight out in the morning, boarding was called on time 20mins before scheduled departure. Free boarding at AirAsia after passengers seated in “Hot Seat” and those needing assistance.
A320 was kept clean (although not immaculately clean) as one still can spotted candy wrappings on the carpet floor and few sneaky tissues on the seat pocket. Cabin crews; all ladies in bright red uniform looked fresh and energetic – not a bad start for the day.
Reading material (AirAsia’s 360 degree inflight magazine), safety instruction, and BOB menu are in the seat pocket despite not every seat has the same seat pocket content (some only the safety card; some other got all three; but more are the combination of the two – and not all in pristine condition).
No PTV or drop-down screen or even audio channel which is considered ok for flight less than 3 hours.
Inflight service began as soon as aircraft reaching cruising altitude starting with passengers who had prebook their meal. Not much passengers are interested to have inflight service; so all services (meal carts followed by duty free cart) ended quickly. However, cabin crew were going up and down the aisle to collect meal box and trash for the rest of the flight duration (the way I preferred rather than to see them gossiping in the galley). Weird but never heard any single word from the cockpit for the entire duration of the flight, luckily it was all clear sky as we head northbound.
The plane touched down in Penang 10mins early from scheduled arrival time from runway 04. Scenery prior to landing in Penang was breathtaking, mixed between hilly terrain with few highrise apartments strutting out of the bush, and the blue-green water of Malacca Straits. Passengers exit through air stairs and have to climb up the stairs to departure lounge at Penang International.
I generally saw no problem for Indonesia AirAsia’s morning flight as they tend to leave on time, the crew are generally fresh for the day – so you could be sure to meet smiley faces, and inflight offering was still complete. However, cabin maintenance need to be improved or else this new A320 army could look tired in no time.