25th April 2012 at 14:20 #588520
Anonymous25th April 2012 at 14:20 #588521
Flight Number AK 5119
Operated by Air Asia Bhd (Malaysia)
Route: Kota Kinabalu International (BKI) to Kuala Lumpur International (KUL)
Aircraft registration: 9M-AHT (first delivery August 2009)
ETD 1500 (Actual departure time: 1530)
ETA 1730 (Actual arrival time: 1745)
AirAsia flights were operated out of Terminal 2 at Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Terminal 2 is the older of the two terminals of the airport.
Having checked-in via mobile phone, I walked to the mobile boarding pass printing kiosk (there are 2 of them), having my checked-luggage scanned through x-ray (prior entering check-in area), drop the luggage at the counter (staff performed very efficient task), and head to the security prior to entering boarding lounge.
Terminal 2 has limited eateries (there are 1 cafe in the international airside departure hall) and 2 others on the first floor. There are various gift shops selling souvenirs, jewellery, frozen seafood products, convenience stores, and chocolate shops.
Boarding is scheduled to begin at 1420 (40 minutes prior to scheduled departure at 1500). However, I later learned that the plane that would take us back to Kuala Lumpur won’t arrive until 1430 (as flight AK5118).
A security check was being conducted before entering international departure hall (flights out of Sabah state are considered international flights) and after that immigration officer will check and give stamp in your passport (Malaysian need to show identity card only).
There are 4 gates at international boarding hall, numbered 1-4. However, the four gates are combined to form into 2 gates; each of which is dedicated for “hot seat” and “general seat”. Hot Seat refers to AirAsia product for seating with more legroom.
Finally the aircraft from Kuala Lumpur arrived at almost 1440 and at the time boarding was announced simultaneously as the aircraft deplaning the passengers through front and aft door.
Gate 3 was dedicated for hot seat passengers which number is insignificant and shortly after two agents manning Gate 4 to board the rest of the passengers. Boarding completed around 1500, crew were doing final headcount, demonstrating safety prodecures and shortly after the aircraft doors were closed.
I was seated on row 18, four rows after the emergency exits at rows 13 and 14. Seat pitch was pretty small at 29-inch. It can be reclined to few degrees only (but it’s not the sliding seat and thus would reduce the pitch significantly).
Originally there were 3 other people seated at the row behind me, but before they settled in, they found a spilled milk all over their seat and emanating strong unpleasant odor. Flight attendant was apologetic about this and arrange the three people to be seated at the back row. However, the incident signify that flight attendants do not perform their cleaning duty during turnaround – a feature that AirAsia’s founder always brag about.
Fortunately, the row right behind me was kept empty and thus I can put my seat in recline position during the cruising time. There was IFE in any terms.
The seatback, right below the tray table was an advertisement space (of which during my flight, it was the advertisement from “Sime Darby” insurance). In the seat pocket, you can find an in-house magazine called Travel 360 (in very bad shape with torn pages, stick pages from sugar liquid, etc and they encourage you not to take it home as it’s to be intended for sharing for one full month), a safety card (in similar condition as magazine with faded pictures), and duty free shopping and meal menu.
Although AirAsia has 1 hand-luggage policy (travelers can bring either a handbag or a laptop bag on top of the allowance), the rule is not being enforced strictly resulting in the overhead compartment in my row were almost full by the time I reached my seat).
After pushback, the aircraft was directed to take off from runway 20 which was the furthest from Terminal 2. It had to pass Terminal 1’s apron and shortly after 1530 the aircraft took off from runway 20 heading to westward direction towards Kuala Lumpur. Not long afterwards we reached cruising altitude and fasten seat belt sign is turned off.
Four female flight attendants were present on this flight. Service began with FA delivering pre-booked meal followed by sales from the meal cart (limited choices compared to prebook meal selection) and not all items were still available by the time FA reached your seat – a picture of AirAsia tried to keep their inventory low.
Service seemed to rush as flight attendant would come around with big black rubbish bag to collect any trash within a mere 5 minutes after she returned to the galley to put the meal trolley. After making one round of rubbish collection, an inflight duty free cart was rolled out in a very rushing manner, not even giving a chance for passenger to raise their hand to have the trolley stop (for those familiar with Pam Ann’s touch-the-trolley joke, the FAs on this flight performed exactly like that!).
A second round of garbage collection was carried out. All these took less than 30minutes since the flight was airborne and for the rest of the flight, FAs were hibernating in the galley.
It was an uneventful flight. Along the way the weather was pretty good with light, thin layer of clouds. No violent turbulence which typically being experienced when the plane was crossing South China Sea. Nearing to KL, the weather changed drastically with thick rain clouds. The plane was seen to circle for short period before getting ready to line up for Runway 14L.
Plane touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 1535 and have to make long ferry towards LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). It came to a halt at the parking bay 10minutes later and passengers were greeted by light rain prior to disembarking
Passengers were directed towards domestic arrival hall (which was around 10mins walk from where the aircraft was parked) and baggage was delivered in no time towards the conveyor belt.
There was less checked luggage delivered (people preferred to stuff their belonging in the overhead bins), but I saw this as disaster waiting to happen when an airline charged extra for checked luggage but does not enforce strict rule regarding hand luggage.
I am very happy with the skill of the pilot to deliver a smooth flying experience and speedy baggage handler to deliver the luggage in no time.
The seat in AirAsia is not the most comfortable and it was pretty hurt to sit there for 2 and half hour flight without any entertainment other than bacteria-infested magazine.
The service is abysmal to the limit that FA is as sarcastic as pictured by Pam Ann’s comedy (notably through performing the “touch-the-trolley” activity combined with ignoring cabin cleaning for putting make up during turnaround).
The share swap exercise between AirAsia and MAS resulting in both airline cannot compete in domestic market and thus those who want to fly economically stuck with no choice other than AirAsia.
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