Why We Will Never Fly Air Asia Again (long haul)

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We scoured the internet for the best flights to Thailand.

Air Asia X, known as the budget airline, saved us $600. We decided to book.

After all, $600 goes a LONG WAY in Thailand. It gets you 75 one hour Thai massages, 150 Singha beers, a weeks worth of accommodation, and 400 fresh coconuts to drink – Things to think about, right?

Flying Air Asia X review

We have been budget travellers for many years so are used to sucking it up to save money.

More money saved, means more money I can spend in Thailand!

Seemed like a great plan.

Until we boarded the plane with two young children.

We cursed our stinginess all the way to Bangkok and all the way home again.

Air Asia is really not that bad, it’s just not for us, flying with small children. I flew Air Asia X last year to Kuala Lumpur and was relatively happy. But, I was flying solo – a completely different flying experience.

The BAD of Air Asia X

They are a budget airline, which means you will receive budget services.

You have to pay for all your extras: food, drinks, entertainment system, blankets, and pillows. This is okay. It’s not Air Asia’s fault and they don’t hide this. We knew this going in and bought what we thought we’d need.

Air Asia X with kids
The long journey begins

Let’s go through what we did not like.

The Entertainment System

Firstly a confession. Craig stuffed up pre-ordering the entertainment systems online prior to departure.

However, do you think they had any spare for us to buy on-board? No. Which was really strange as we thought it would be a great way to earn X-tra money as it seems this is what they like to do.

Why Air Asia, Why?

You could easily store extra systems for “situations” that arise. People change their minds, online booking systems DON’T ALWAYS WORK! What if you ordered one and it broke 30 minutes into your long haul flight?

8 hours on a plane with two kids and no entertainment system is PAINFUL.

On the way back, we had the entertainment systems. I didn’t like them at all. The movie selections were extremely limited – like about 5 crappy choices, except for Pitch Perfect, the only one I watched and loved.

The entertainment system is on a Samsung tablet, which continued to freeze and was very awkward to place somewhere to watch when the meals arrived. Also not good for toddler hands that want to play with bright shiny objects.

We brought an entertainment system for Kalyra, which had no kids’ movies on it. Grrrr.

Flying Air Asia X
Lucky we had colouring books on hand


Make sure you pre-book your meals. The selection on board is really bad especially if you are vegetarian!

Mealtimes are one of my favorite things on a plane. It gives me something to do and I love opening the different packages to see what treasures await. I also love having my glass of wine.

Don’t expect this on Air Asia X. There is one small carton of food with no sides. Unless you order more meals 🙁

(Again, I knew this to be the case, I just lamented not having my one piece of luxury amongst two active and irritable children).

And of course, fill up before you get on the plane as it will take at least 2 hours for your first meal to arrive.

The system they have means they have to stop at every row and check off every passenger’s boarding pass to see what meal they ordered. They then had to accommodate those who were paying for a meal – Don’t hold your breath waiting for your meal if you are not first in line.

Also, cleaning of the tables was extremely slow, one hour after meal time. They were more concerned with bringing around the duty-free trolley (cha ching!)

Having rubbish piled up on your table (in front of your kids) means complete mess and objects flying everywhere.


As I said, I do love my glass of wine with my meal. I had finished my container of food before I was even offered the chance to buy a glass of wine.

Once again it’s that service thing. I also hated having to dig into the wallet whenever I wanted a drink. I missed ordering drinks on tap. I know-such a diva!

Air Asia X Service

The service on Air Asia X is ridiculously low budget.

I know, you get what you pay for!

I rarely saw the flight attendants. I found them quite rude and acted like you were inconveniencing them if you wanted to ask for something.

I find on other airlines the staff are so caring and accommodating to the children, not so on Air Asia X.

I’m sorry, but to parents, it makes a huge difference if you show us you care about their comfort and when they are starving, you kind of work with us to help organize some food, not act as if it is a giant pain in your ARSE!

Trust me; you don’t want screaming kids on the plane.

Air Asia X systems

Flying Air Asia X
A long check in process

Check in is slow. Not sure why they offer web check in as you have to line up anyway and baggage drop takes just as long as normal check in.

Their workers seem really stressed and don’t smile much.

We had to check in twice coming home.

After lining up for over 30 minutes, we were checked in with bags labeled all the way to Sydney. We were then asked to move to another check in counter where we had to supply more information. We had to line up there for another 15 minutes for them to check us through to Sydney again. WTF?

And we couldn’t stand the whole

“Show me your boarding card in order to verify the extras that you’ve paid for.”

With two small kids, toys and books shoved in the pockets, and babies sleeping in arms, it’s really annoying to have to dig them out again.

You’ve got it on your LIST, and I showed you four hours ago, that’s enough!

Craig was highly irritated with them when it came to originally booking the tickets online. The system was buggy and unclear and kept timing out and adding on extras like insurance.

You have to be really on guard to catch it.

Oh, and paper towels work so much better than tissues to wipe your wet hands in the toilet!! #justsayin

They Don’t Fly Direct to Thailand (from Sydney)

Again, we knew this perfectly well and thought we could handle it. We certainly would if it was just Craig and I, but with a 1 and 5-year-old forget it.

I met another parent of a one-year-old while on stop over in Kuala Lumpur. He was regretting his flying choices too.

An 8 hour flight, followed by a four hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, followed by another two hour flight is just ridiculous and unnecessary – lesson learned!

Families don’t do it – It will exhaust your children and yourself. If it’s your one-and-only trip for the year, the trip you’ve been dreaming about for 12 months, pay the $600 and FLY DIRECT!

You, and especially your kids, don’t want to arrive at your destination irritated. And you don’t want to be cursing about the return flight back whilst you are on holidays.

Sure, the journey can be half the fun, but not always! If it’s your one trip of the year and it’s meant to be a relaxing island holiday – get there as quickly and painless as possible!

Check out my children’s meltdown in the most important temple in Thailand the next day because of it.

Their Airports Suck

Air Asia land and fly out of the old airports. Don Meung in Bangkok is not too bad, and you can get into the city fairly easily, although not as great as the swift and efficient new airport rail link from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

But the airport at Kuala Lumpur was the most boring, drab airport in the world. There was nothing for my gluten-free, vegetarian self to eat, nothing really interesting to see, and nowhere comfortable to sit and relax.

Trust me, I know we are being nit-picky, but the nit-picky things add up to make an flight un
-enjoyable and I really like enjoyable flights.

All of these would have been bearable without the children, and worth the extra savings.

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The Good of Air Asia X

  • They are cheap.
  • They are time efficient with departures and arrivals.
  • They flew us safely.
  • Air Asia has lots of cheap options to fly within Asia.
  • You can have funny experiences like old ladies using the toilet during take off.

My final Recommendations

Air Asia is an EXCELLENT choice for flights if:

  • You are a budget traveler and need to save money. It’s worth sucking it up for.
  • If you have oodles of time and patience
  • If you are flying short-haul. (They truly are perfect for this)
  • If you are traveling long-term (and every penny counts).

Air Asia is a BAD choice if:

  • You want to get somewhere in Asia quickly (other than Malaysia)
  • You like enjoying a flight, full quality service, and all the trimmings that come with the more expensive, comfortable options.
  • You have young children.
  • You are flying long-haul.
  • You are going on a short-term holiday.

Travel with children is completely different and we are learning many lessons with each new trip.

The most important thing when traveling with kids is that they are comfortable and happy. This usually means being well-fed, entertained, comfortable with ample rest time.

Flying Air Asi aX
At least she could sleep!

You really have to consider these, especially when flying as it is a drain anyway, without these extra challenges.

Kalyra is a dream flyer and managed beautifully with all our long haul flights we have done to the US. She was still pretty good on Air Asia X, but her patience was tested a lot more! We noticed the difference.

Again it’s up to you, sometimes a bit of sanity is worth the extra cost.

Your thoughts on Air Asia X?

Share in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Part of our flight costs were covered by Thai Tourism

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260 thoughts on “Why We Will Never Fly Air Asia Again (long haul)”

  1. What a really useful post when you’re trying to decide which airline to fly with. There are always so many options and as you found out, cheap isn’t always best, although it might be given the right circumstances. Great to have the pros and cons all in one place.

    1. Thanks Jo! I never really took much effort in choosing how to fly before kids, it was always whatever is cheapest. It is so different with kids, there is so much more you need to consider. It’s all about maintaining the sanity levels

      1. This is pathetic. you shouldnt need an entertainment system to keep your kids under control buy them a f***ing book

        1. Thanks Jack! I totally agree with you about the value of books. Our kids certainly have a lot of books. In fact, you should hear how well my daughter reads, she is way above her reading age level, It’s because we have read to her every day since birth. She’s also amazing at neat colouring in. Gets comments about it all the time.

          I am sure you know that childrens’ attention spans are quite low so on long flights especially they need a wide variety of things to entertain them. I’m sure the other passengers are happy when the kids are happy. I think it’s all about balance, don’t you agree? I rarely watch TV or movies but I love to treat myself on flights. I take the same approach with my kids.

          We welcome comments on this blog Jack, but we don’t welcome aggressive attitude or language. We’d love for you to share your thoughts, but if you could skip the fbombs next time that would be great. I feel you have a lot of wisdom to share Jack, but I’d hate for it to get lost behind the aggression. I really hope your weekend ends on a bright note.

          1. Excuse me, but what about the offensive language(WTF/ARSE) that was written on this post? There are definitely some contradiction into what you two are saying.

        2. Sure – buy a 1 y.o and a 5 y.o. child a book to READ. . Obviously you do NOT have any experience with children, otherwise you would know the real situation of travelling with children.The child’s attention span is short – even when they are looking at pictures and no words…

          The parents have only themselves to blame. When my wife and I travelled 20+ years ago with full-service airlines we had a hell of a time with our two young sons – as many parents of young children do. AirAsia is not to blame for children behaving the way they do….
          Yes, it will be a challenge for a number of years for this family – no matter who they and the 2 kids fly with.

      2. Hi, I want to thank you for giving me informations about Air Asea, I thought I found the best deal when I booked with them for our Philippine vacation in January 2014. I will be flying with them from manila to davao, philippines. I should have shopped before I paid for the ticket, now I figured out why it is so cheap, well, we will see what my story will be, again, thank you for sharing all these with us!!

      3. So sorry to hear about your bad experience on that long haul journey. My first (and last) long haul experience on Air Asia X was a trip to Brisbane from KL. My kids have grown up and I was swearing at the small leg space which was a problem for my husband and son who are over six feet. My youngest daughter who was about 10 at that time was also very uncomfortable, and it being a night flight was even worse. The next day all of us were exhausted. After that experience I only use MAS on long haul flights. I still travel Air Asia for domestic and short haul routes. Thanks for posting your plight.

        1. Pleasure Adlina. Sorry you had a bad flight as well. It’s a perfect airline for short haul flights. I’d much prefer a little more comfort for the long haul stuff especially with kids.

        2. I have flown that sam route: KL LCCT to GC but I paid extra for the Premium seat. LOTS of leg room and suitable service.

          Certainly less expensive than other airlines that give “full service” in cramped uncomfortable seats. AAX is just what I needed. Business class with full-service airlines may be nicer, but heck, it is only 8 hours, and the AAX premium seat with pillow and duvet is what my 195 cm body needed.
          I could even get a couple of glasses of wine!

      4. Hi Caz, great blog.but i just booked my flight to Vietnam and know i try to pre-book my luggage. Unfortunately it’s not working at the website manage your booking. I tried to call the service center but nobody hang up the phone. Do you have any idea how can i pre-book my luggage? Thanks in advance regards steff

        1. No I don’t unfortunately Steff. It’s such a complicated system to use. We could never get into our booking to change anything either. Maybe keep trying the phone or send an email. Good luck. I hope you figure it out

          1. chrissie halbert

            Hi Caz,
            I am a long time air asia customer
            (fortunately neither my husband nor myself
            are very tall but the leg room varies on
            long haul mel-kul) ages 52 and 60 the only time that we have found the staff not friendly
            or helpful was in premium where we did not
            have a choice of meal we don,t always pre book meals,but we have had no trouble
            adding extra luggage weight or meals on line we just go to manage my booking
            I agree with another opinion it is not any airlines responsibility to entertain our children!!!!! I have many flights ruined by people that don,t bring anything food or toys and their kids ,not the childs fault there is a lot of thoughtless parents around .Air Asia’s catchphrase now everyone can fly
            makes it possible for people that could not afford to experience international travel now can .We have absolutely fallen in love with Malaysia and travel there twice a year which we could not do without Air Asia we could not afford the trips or the great people we have met inAsia


    3. I have flown Air Asia , Perth to Bali around 30 times. It’s like travelling by bus.Efficient and cheap. They planes though small are newish and clean. I usually book very much in advance and get front row tickets for the legroom and for the benefits of departing the plane early. It compares favourably to Jetstar and Virgin. I wouldn’t pay the extra for Garuda . However Garuda’s offering is pretty – flew twice with them in 2013. Very much improved. But unless they have a very special offer the far can be double the cost.

      The secret with air asia is to book early. Those Big sales are very good value. Their refund admin is poor. But keep sending emails and they will respond. Consider booking two one way fares. The Bali Perth leg is consistently cheaper as a one way back flight. Take a plastic bag to stow your own meal rubbish. they are slow to clean up. On a value rating I give them an A plus. They are consistently better in most departments than the other budget carriers.

    4. Yes AIRASIA shows lack of respect to all .Plato says gives chaos. Told them their web takes hours or not work.Still ignored. Also made hard if five min. Late with hour togo so hundreds dollats extra Not fair business to waste so much. They will answer to consumer affairs. I am senior and lifelongteacher. Quite OK to say kids need entertain. So think before speak. Whst given is what got in eternity in Charity.
      KLIA IS HOT with only restaurant to keep cool unlike other. Greatly poor if lots in custms and there two hours when hot.

    5. We have just returned from our holiday and here are my comments about travelling Air Asia.
      We have travelled with Air Asia a number of times before. Yes, they are a budget airline and you get what you pay for & we have accepted this. Overall we’ve always been happy with their service.
      This time it was a little different. We’d scheduled to stop over in Bangkok, but with the civil unrest we decided to abandon our Bangkok stay and go elsewhere. Great for AirAsia as they got extra three extra bookings out of us as we re-scheduled. Even before we left the country, I rang AirAsia to say we would not be on one of the flights. It was a courtesy thing because we knew we wouldn’t get a refund. The customer service rep I spoke to said they would be able to refund the Bangkok airport taxes. Only around $47 but I thought better in our pocket ….. So when we’d finally completed our re-scheduling I rang AirAsia again to confirm the cancellation (giving them the chance to sell the seats again) to be told that yes, they would refund the Bangkok airport tax, less AisAsia’s fees and charges, a few dollars here, a few dollars there, a couple of bucks for this and on it went – finally I said, “don’t worry about it, I’ll just confirm the seats”. Heck & here I thought I was doing AirAsia a favour !!
      Then I went to ‘My AirAsia’ to book-in for the flights. There were two of us on each of the Booking Numbers (there were seven flights in total) – but no, they put each of us in different rows, seats apart. To get two seats together cost an additional $36 just for the Australia to KL leg – let alone the other six other flights incorporating our holiday. It was just insulting!
      When I asked customer service “why?” I was told that is how the computer allocates the seats. (Be warned the same erratic seating allocation applies to the kiosk book-in as well. It’s only when you go through the check-in counter that you are likely to be seated together.)
      “Hello! Don’t they know there is something called ‘programming’? Don’t they know that happy people spend more? Had we been sitting apart we would have just sat there. Travelling together we chat, buy a cuppa, buy a glass of wine etc.
      In our final flight home, in our section alone, Flight Attendants had to relocate more than 7 people so travelling companions could sit together.
      My partner & I travel abroad every nine months or so and Asia is a popular destination for us. But we’ll re-think who we book our flights with next time.

      1. Yeah totally agree. AirAsia sucks big time. Even the Malaysians don’t like them. The boss is a Thug.

  2. We flew Air Asia last year with our 31/2 year old son from Perth to Hong Kong with a layover in Singapore for 6 hours (yikes!). The layover sucked because we arrived in Singapore on schedule – at 3am! Where do you go in an airport terminal with a toddler at 3am? Luckily the super drab and boring terminal we landed in had a shuttle to a nicer (but completely empty, of course!) terminal that did have a great Indian vegetarian restaurant that was actually open! I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t found that place! Yes, traveling Air Asia does have its drawbacks (the worst being the flight times), but, like you, we did save a bundle. Would we do it again? Probably not. We learned our lesson too.

    1. 6 hours oh my!! If you are on your own you can easily pass that time by, but when you have two small kids you are spending those six hours chasing them around the terminal and trying to entertain them, and they are exhausted. Recipe for disaster!

      1. Im going to Asia in 13 months with one other person for 3 yeas, all over Asia I have been looking for domestic flights, thanks for the info!!

    2. Singapore is one of the most entertaining airports. It even has a butterfly garden among its many other entertainment options! If I was to have a layover, it would be there.

      1. Singapore airport may be entertaining but it is the only airport I have been discriminated against not once, but twice – last year. First time on a flight from Johannesburg, I was told to remove a tight headscarf (I had a bad hair day) – behind me was a woman covered from head to toe with only her face showing. The second time flying back to Australia, I was told to remove my blouse. Fortunately I had a tank top underneath but was prepared to remove this as well. Again, there were several women behind me similarly covered with only faces showing. I am 75 years of age and have been travelling for over 50 years. Nothing like this has happened to me before. Was I being discriminated against or what!! Left me feeling upset and angry. Incidentally, both times it was a woman at the lounge entry point who made the demands.

        1. Marylou Phillips, sorry to know your bad experience. Due to their religion, those women had their body covered and the woman officer couldn’t touch your body for security check. I guess this is why you were asked to remove your scarf and blouse.

    3. Welcome to parenthood. travelling with young children is a REAL challenge. DO NOT blame a LCC for your decisions about “saving $$”!! Kids are kids. get used to it.

      Even though my “kids” are now 26+ years old, I am STILL learning about the intricacies of parenthood.
      AA is still a good deal – BUT do not blame them for not meeting your expectations regarding parenthood. As a single traveler, I find them GREAT – and better than GREAT when i pay for a premium seat – and PAY for a glass of wine.

    4. @Michela, not sure about your comment. AirAsia does not fly to Hong Kong from Perth via Singapore. They never have.
      Are you confusing it for another airline?

  3. So funny, it’s one of my all time Fav budget airlines, think they are great. But then I never order any extra’s and travel solo so completely understand.

    1. I agree for solo travel they tick all the boxes for sure, especially if you are a backpacker and long tern traveller. Wish they were around when I was young and doing it.

  4. Reminds me of my honeymoon and the stopover in Jakarta, we didn’t think too much of it when we booked but it ended up taking 12 hours there and 5 hours home. This time, I didn’t care about the savings I insisted on a direct flight with the kids. Great post!

    1. Oh not a great start to your honeymoon! The extra travel time can be taxing and I don’t think a great idea if you are going for a short term break. It took us almost 18 hours door to door to get to Bangkok- killer with kids.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, its a real same how they treat people, treat people nice and they will come back and recommend them to others. Hope u get better service with your kids in other places. thanks for the info, always look forward to seeing all your great pics on Facebook.

    1. Thanks Brad! I think treating people nicely is key for everything. I think a smile is most of the time all that is needed and something that is so simple to do. Thanks for hanging with us on facebook.

  6. GREAT post Caz!

    Hmmm my experience of travelling with Air Asia was the one with you to KL – on the way there I slept door to door so thought it was ok, though the line at Sydney airport to check-in was laughable….on the way home nearly every part of it was not good…the check-in was hideous and the extras thing was awful …I felt like I would have to pay to go to the toilet

    The worst thing though was the staff, rude, arrogant and unfriendly, not what you want when travelling whether you are flying budget or not and it costs nothing to change this part…maybe they should put ‘smile’ on the extras list 😉

    When booking our recent holiday to Bali we considered different ways of getting there for our budget – with five of us and four full priced fares a cheaper flight can make a lot of difference, however I would never consider taking my family Air Asia.

    Great review and why I love blogging.


    1. I think a night time long haul flight would work because then you could sleep! On this flight I actually kept thinking they were going to come around soon and ask for the toilet tickets!!

      You really have to weigh up the costs of the flight with what you are willing to sacrifice. For some the sacrifice is worth it, for others not. I think if you want to save on your costs to even consider flying them return only, that way the start to your holiday isn’t bad.

  7. You know what we love Air Asia, but we have never done a long haul flight. The longest of our 10 flights with them last year was 3.5 hours from Perth to Bali. We never order meals, we use our own entertainment devices (ipads and laptops) and we usually get great seats.
    on long haul flights I would have to agree with you. we flew with Bangkok Air just to use the nice Bangkok airport and wow, a playground, free food and drink at the airport and on board… I totally get ya! What a pain!

    1. I love the new Bangkok airport, it has such a light energy. I think Air Asia is perfect for short haul flights, no different to Jet Star or Virgin (except for the grumpy service). With your own entertainment devices you’ve solved half the problems!!

    1. That was hideous I was thinking about that the whole time. Still don’t know why we couldn’t go straight to our home airports. Lucky we had such fun company while we waited!

  8. Thanks for this post. I have always chosen not to go with Air Asia because I just felt like they wouldn’t be great with kids and it turns out that’s right. Thanks for sharing your experience, I”m sorry it was crappy! Very helpful though as we do travel a bit with the kids! x

    1. Travel with kids is such a different and challenging experience. You don’t want to go on your one holiday for the year and start it with a stressful flight. I’d say short haul would be great if it can save you some dollars.

  9. We have had to fly Air Asia A LOT in the past 6 months as they are pretty much always, without fail, the cheapest airline available when booking our flights. But on the rare occasion we can find flights with other airlines within $20USD per ticket, we generally opt for them, as with all the extras you have to buy with AA, they are never as cheap as you think anyway. I haven’t had a problem with the staff, personally, but you definitely know you are flying budget when you fly AA. I think our longest AA flights have been 2.5 or 3 hours, and that’s about as long as I’d want to go with them!

    1. Perfect flying time with them. And I think if you can get a ticket on another airline with the frills then definitely do it. Or even you can do long haul for a night flight because hopefully you’ll be sleeping anyway.

  10. I’ve done long-haul with AirAsia including KL-London when they did that route. They are hands down my favourite budget airline. Our last trip to Asia Qantas was only $50 more expensive than Jetstar and AA – so we flew Qantas because the free booze/food/movies made it worthwhile.

    If you think they are grumpy and stretched you should try some of the European airline carriers – AA is waaay better.

    You could have got a room at Tune hotel for 4 hours – it would be better than hanging around the LCCT

    Frankly if your post dissuades families from flying AA that’s cool because I HATE sitting next to other people’s kids. But honestly – surely you have your own entertainment with you? I just bought and iPad mini and that’s a perfect system for kids of all ages and it lasts for 10+ hours.

    I think the Lord for AA – otherwise Qantas & Air NZ would be still charging outrageous prices to Asia and elsewhere from our part of the world

    1. Thanks Liz, we actually don’t have our own entertainment system. Kalyra has a leap pad which she used, but she also loves to watch movies. And we had colouring books for them, there is only so much you can have on a plane. We don’t own an ipad and I love to watch movies myself. Not everyone has the latest tech gadgets which might seem surprising given we are travel bloggers. But I don’t feel I need an ipad so I am not about to go and go nuts on consumerism just to have one.

      I’m not writing this with the motivation to dissuade parents from flying Air Asia X, as I mention in the post, they are great for short-haul and if you have older kids. My objective is to share my experiences with other families because I want them to have the best family holiday experience.

      I’ve flown on so many different airlines on multiple routes and I have never experienced rude and vacant service like I did on Air Asia. As someone mentioned in a comment above, it does not take much for people to smile. It’s pretty easy actually.

      This post was written from the standpoint of a family flying with young kids. I’ve been a budget traveller since I was 20. I’ve been and done it all. Travelling with kids is a COMPLETELY different experience, which you won’t understand until you do it. As I said I have done Air Asia X without kids and they were find. With kids is a COMPLETELY different story.

      I’ll fly them again, just not long-haul, or with young kids.

    1. Hi Ill be flying to Malaysia this October using Air Asia as it is the cheapest flight and the time of flights are convenient. Ill just be staying over night to watch a event in one of their stadiums. My hotel is very near the KL Sentral and Ill be bring just a backpack. How was your experience flying with them? It’s my first time traveling alone and im nervous.

  11. The longest I flew with them is 8 hours to Japan from Kuala Lumpur and luckily we brought our own entertainment. It is always a challenge flying long haul with budget airline and it is tougher with children.

    For the airport, they are building the new one and expected to be ready in March. The current airport is actually a temporary airport and there had been much debates on the condition of it. In fact, Air Asia wanted to build their own airport initially but it was rejected by the government.

    Hope you drop by to Malaysia again and we could meet up and say hi. Hopefully your next Air Asia experience will be better.


    1. So great to hear about the new airport Wilson! That will make things so much better. I’m excited for them. I love Malaysia and really want to come back and explore more. It would be great to meet up

      1. I might be coming to Australia soon with a media trip with Tourism Australia. If time and location permits, we can meet up in Australia.


          1. Hi Caz

            I am so happy that I read ur thoughts about air Asia don’t listen to rude people like Chris theirs no reason for swearing and insulting behaviour and i take my husband and I on emirates airlines

  12. I flew with Air Asia a number of times during my backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, and even used them to fly from Bali to Darwin, but all my flights were less than 4hrs. I went in knowing they were BUDGET, so I was pleased with the service. But I could totally see the frustrations and disappointments when it comes to anything longer than 4hrs. Especially with 2 young children! Good service and comfort just isn’t there.

    1. Yes a very different experience flying with 2 children, everything regarding travel now is. I’ve flown them before on my own and managed very well. I know they really aren’t that bad otherwise. I do think though, regardless of being budget or not, good service should be a given- I don’t want much, just a smile and a willingness to try and help if needed.

    1. Phew! Thai airlines are great and beautiful service. If you have noise cancelling earphones take them. I found the movies hard to hear with their in-flight entertainment system

  13. I have flown Air Asia a lot, and I agree with all of the negatives about the airline. While it is a great budget option, I find their system of reserving things — like baggage — inefficient. I had tried to book a bag ahead of time, but the Web site would not let me. When I got to the airport, I tried to explain this to them and they told me I had to pay a ridiculous amount since I did not pre-book. They suggested I should have come to the airport four hours earlier to have avoided the extra fees. However, my flight was the first one out, so that was not an option. I regularly run into issues with the online check-in and baggage payment system. Their customer service isn’t the best, and flights longer than an hour or so get crowded and uncomfortable, but it is still cheap.

    1. They reminded me a lot of Ryan Air although not as bad. Ryan Air defines the term cattle class!!

      We tried to jump online as well to order more food for the return trip home but couldn’t do it, so we took food on. I’m not going to have starving children on a 9 hour flight!

      1. Yup … pay for what you need. Even on non-LCC flights there is limited food.
        Get used to it!! We PAY for things – BUT satisfaction is NOT GUARANTEED. Certainly not when travelling with children.

        Where did you get the idea that YOU would BE satisfied with ANY purchase?

    2. Yes.Samething happened to me was not able to check in online.Got charged more then my orginal tickets.
      Caz your comment about rude is so true.Lady at check in counter was rude and not helpfull at all.Think they do this on purpose to cash in a bit more from customers.Used bangkok airways and thai airways and they allowance was 20kg baggage and 5/7 kg hand luggage allowance and received food on plane and tickets was cheaper then airasia.

      This airline will never see me again.

  14. So sorry to hear about your experience and I think you made a valid point on the pro and con of Air Asia.

    We had flew Air Asia with our 2 kids this past summer but it was totally different experience from yours because like you mentioned in your post it’s good option for short flight.

    For us, our flight was from Bangkok to Macau so it was pretty short. The flight was early so we were all asleep as soon as the plane took off. I did order the food online so that took care of the meal. As far as services, since it was such a short flight and most of us were asleep, we didn’t even notice them.

    Plus our kids are older than yours so they have more patience and learned more about entertain themselves with their books and ipod.

    I totally agree with your post that I probably wouldn’t look into Air Asia for a long haul flight at all. Also we were lucky to fly from the Suvarnabhumi airport before they moved their operation to Don Muang.

    Thanks for being the voice of reason and honest opinion. I don’t think this post is gonna dissuade parents from flying Air Asia but giving them more information into making their decision.

    1. Thank you Amy and for sharing your experiences!

      I think short flights work really well as most people are used to not really getting much on a short flight so it is so much more bearable and normal.

      I think it is important for families to be aware of this. The flight over to Bangkok was way worse than the return, so it was a horrible way to start the holiday. I really don’t want that for any families, especially those who don’t travel much and its a once in a lifetime trip.

  15. We rarely fly with the kids, but when we do, we’ve opted for an airline we know and have had good experiences with. Last time we went to Bali, we paid more but had direct flights with an airline that included every extra. My SIL chose a budget airline (not saving much mind you) and had a 4 hour stopover plus a horrendous flight. We didn’t regret the $$$ we spent 😉 Having Said that, if traveling alone, I tend to save money and go with the cheaper option.

    1. Oh no regrets! that has to be everyone’s motto. Sometimes when you go ultra budget, after the fact, when you look at how much you saved and how much it cost you in other ways, like stress and exhaustion you realize the savings just weren’t worth it.

      Going cheaper when you are solo is so much easier!

  16. i agree with you when traveling with kids, comfortable is the key!
    my theory is if i am getting another AA flight for more than 4hours, i shall opt for the hot seat so i can have ample space and maybe the best to have the front seat. as for the entertainment, we’ve got our own so that would not be a problem. if i have extra money and could find other opt of airlines that worth of, i’ll sure think about it.
    when i’m a single traveller/ with friends, i find it ok to fly with AA.
    thanks for sharing

    1. The hot seats look great. I tell you though if you dare try and sit in an empty one they are on you in a flash demanding your credit card!!

  17. Caz, I think I read in the newspaper the other day they are creating a child free zone behind Premium (not sure premium to what level of service). Looks like they know they have a problem with unhappy children / customers. I am not sure customers will be happy to pay extra with the noisy kids a little further away so that they are not seen behind them however still heard! Fran

    1. Yeah a plane is only so big. I wouldn’t pay the extra for seats like that as you can’t really escape the kids, you just have to embrace them 🙂

  18. Hi Caz, totally agree with you. For me, I hate the LCCT airport in Kuala Lumpur. I’m ashamed of it! i felt sorry for the budget travelers and myself for this kind of airport. not impress at all. as for the price, for malaysians, to me at least, the price is not that cheap once we add up the baggage fee, food, etc. I rather pay a little more extra for long haul journeys. I would say Airasia is good option for short journeys, preferably within the region, e.g. from Bangkok to Bali, perhaps? I never fly Airasia beyond south east asia. Even when I was traveling to Australia, I choose MAS instead. 😀

    1. Totally agree. Malaysia airlines are a great option for the long haul flight. I enjoyed flying with them last year.

      The add ons really do increase the price of the flight, you have to be really careful you don’t keep buying on the plane as well as it can add up quickly.

      I heard they are building a new airport though which will be great. The airport that MAS flies into is FABULOUS

  19. I share your pain. Once flew with them from London to Bangkok (12 hr flight) and it was one of the worst flights ever. Tiny seats without legroom, no TV in the whole plane, no blankets and we weren’t allowed to bring our own food or drinks in. Food I understand, but drinks? We took some food and drinks in anyway as we didn’t want to pay for their awful food. Had to sneakily have bites from our sandwich whenever the stewardess wasn’t looking. I now only use them for short flights within Asia.

    1. That’s one good thing about flying with kids you can use them as a cover up for the food. We actually had to be very forceful with them getting on the plane in regards to water. We had to tell them the water was for the baby’s bottle- which it was in some respects!! I think you should be able to take water on there. I drink a lot of water so absolutely hated having to keep forking out for some–it wasn’t much though as I could never get them to come serve me 🙂

  20. Thanks for this review! We were considering flying Air Asia to KL with our two kids but have now decided to start in Singapore so are looking at FlyScoot instead. Have you flown them or heard anything? I’m reading mixed reviews online but the saving for us is close to $2000 so it seems like we could suck up a lot for that!

    1. I have not flown with Scoot but have heard positive things about them. Of course they are budget too so I would go into the flight expecting similar experiences. But, being so new and pretty successful I would say they’d have the customer service up to speed with plenty of smiles.
      To be honest with savings of $2,000 I’d suck it up too. That is a GREAT deal and well worth it. i’m excited to check them out now!

  21. Couldn’t agree with you more about ALL of this! The meals, the queues, the re-checking of boarding passes…pretty much everything.

    I’ve flown Air Asia extensively – they have such great, cheap, quick flights from Perth to Bali.

    I’ve also booked them extensively over the past 10 years for my extended family, who go to KL and on to Cambodia at least a couple of times a year.

    My family love the big seats in Premium (which is about the extent of the ‘premium’ nature of the service – the big seat, nothing more). At least, they did, until the prices sky rocketed in the past couple of years.

    I love Air Asia for short haul because I can pre-book the exact seat I want, and the extra baggage allowance (super important when going on an Asian shopping mission 😉 ).

    I also used to be a travel agent, not that it really has much relevance to my point. They were a very highly requested airline, but not one that our agency dealt with at the time. It was often hard to explain to Perth Bali lovers why they’d consider paying so much more for Garuda, Jetstar or Virgin, when Air Asia was so cheap for a 3 1/2 hour flight.

    Having said all of that – I’ve noticed a distinct decline in Air Asia’s customer service in the past 18 months. Especially with their call centre staff. I personally haven’t had any issues with their in-flight staff – I often feel sorry for them as I watch them struggle to bend, reach, lift in the ridiculously short and tight uniforms they’re given.

    We had a terrible experience with Air Asia recently, where they cancelled a flight we were due to take in 4 weeks. We weren’t told. We simply received a new emailed ticket with no notification of any changes made. They’d reduced a 14 day trip to 8 days, to fit in with their revised flight schedule for a minor 40 minute connecting flight.

    No contact, no notification, no checking if we maybe had a tour, cruise, business, plans, anything on in the first 6 days of our trip that we couldn’t afford to miss….

    Face palm, Air Asia.

    I’m now much more wary of booking with them.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with Air Asia as you have had quite a bit. I really think Air Asia need to improve their customer service as it seems this is quite a common complaint, which astounds me really as it is something so simple. It’s amazing how far a smile will go and it astounds me that this is not a priority with companies. Budget should never mean a reduction in this.

      I think premium looks like a waste of money, though can’t really say as I did not experience it.

  22. Hi Caz,

    I really don’t think I can agree with you on this one. We’ve been flying AirAsia and AirAsiaX for the past 3.5 years including longhaul flights to London from KL, Paris to KL, KL to Christchurch and KL to Gold Coast about 8 times.

    While everything you have pointed out is correct, they do have tissues in the toilet on some of the flights, and the queues can get long when checking in etc. what I think most people forget when they are flying on a “budget” airline is that the queue will be large on any booked out flight not just budget airlines … We’re currently in North America and we had to queue for ages to check into this airline. The queue for our full fare airline in Beijing recently was bordering on insanity level with two young children, even with electronic devices to distract them!

    What I think it comes down to is expectation levels. We’ve been basically living in South East Asia for the past 3 years so I guess our level of expectation has either dropped or become more realistic. I remember the first month of our travels through Bali I spent most of the time complaining about meals taking too long to come out or the food just not being quite right (when comparing it to Australian standards). Now I think I am way more laid back and just roll with the circumstances and as a result feel much LESS STRESSED about life in general.

    I can completely appreciate your experiences and understand that everything is a choice in life so if paying an extra $600 makes sense to you then that’s awesome, for me and my family though I’ll be happy to save the $600 and continue to enjoy my flights with AirAsia knowing what I’ll be getting rather than wishing I was actually flying Qantas.


    1. Yep can appreciate what you are saying for sure. I think everyone has different experiences. I have a post coming up which explains more about us as travellers and where we come from.

      I am a really laid back person and can tolerate more than most people I know. My upcoming post should explain this. I know that the majority of our readers who travel with kids would not enjoy flying Air Asia, so my purpose is to let them know my experience to save them the pain of going through flying stress. Most of my readers would not have lived in Asia for x amount of months to feel not so stressed. Most of my readers would not be like you and me and have travelled for long periods of time. They aren’t used to it.

      And yes on this trip I was highly stressed. Right now I run two extremely demanding businesses full time as well as being a full time parent to two children who are highly energetic. We had major site issues while we were away, a family member came down with cancer, my youngest was really sick and I have been suffering health issues this past year that has resulted in four surgeries and ongoing trauma. so you are right in saying I was more stressed than normal and my toleraton levels are lower. After backpacking on a very tight budget for 15 years, travelling with children and running a demanding business I am a little less tolerant these days.

      I believe the majority of people flying to an annual holiday are leaving behind a number of stresses in their own life, so the minute they walk onto that plane to head to a better time, they just want to relax and enjoy every moment.

      That’s why I wrote this post. Not to whine or hurt Air Asia, but to help the majority of my readers, so they know what to expect, which is what I think I have done a good job of outlining. I’ve said they are great for the short haul and for the long haul I have clearly outlined what they can expect and if they want to save the money, which I am sure a lot of people are willing to do, then they can be prepared. And if my readers make that choice than because of this post they will now know to
      # bring their own entertainment system
      # be prepared with blankets and pillows
      # ensure they have ordered enough food for the plane
      # arrive a little earlier to have a smooth check-in
      # consider spending a night in KL instead of laying over in the airport

      I do appreciate what you are saying for sure. And I think if people can lower their expectations, then they will save by flying Air Asia X and if this is a priority for people then by all means do it and save the money and be prepared. IF it meant that the only way I could travel was to fly them and save the money then I would go again too.

  23. I have been following you guys for some time after accidentally stumbling across you awhile ago, and every new post alwasys seems to touch a chord. Thank you for all that, but todays post is truly remarkable. Not only is it helpful, insightful & useful but to all you wanna be bloggers out there re read this post again and look carefully at how instead of ranting and providing a negative post ytravel was very positive throughout the entire review. This is amazing and I just thought you needed to be acknowledged for that. job well done. Keep up the great work. Love following you guys.

    1. Wow Adam that is so awesome to hear. Thank you for taking the time to tell me that. I am a big believer in empowerment. I don’t believe ranting and being negative helps anybody and I understand that everyone has different views, experiences and beliefs so I have to present things in the best light I can in order to help. I’m just not a fan of complaining for the sake of complaining, I don’t think it helps anyone.
      Thank you so much again. This has given me a lovely boost of happiness to the morning

  24. Thank you for the info! I feel the EXACT same way about Alitalia. Left my kids and I to drive 5 hours to our connecting flight, then it was delayed 12 hours. This is one of 3 horror stories with them. I would rather know in advance how horrible an airline is before trying to save a few bucks. Thanks for the review!

  25. I’ve flown Air Asia several times, although I never had a flight longer than 4 hours. I don’t think I could handle them for a long haul flight unless it really was an incredible savings. I can’t imagine how miserable it must have been dealing with all of that with your daughters! Their check-in process, like you said, is rather annoying. I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I’m pretty sure for a flight I had from Singapore to Bali, I still had to go to their counter for some silly requirement even though I checked in online, printed my ticket ahead of time, and only had carry-on. I wish I could remember all the details. I’ve accepted the idea of buying anything extra on board, but it’s such a pain. And I also hate their online booking system that tries to get you to purchase all kinds of extra things like insurance that you have to watch out for along the way.

    1. YES! the online check in is pointless. We discovered that as well. You still have to line up with the hordes of people for some reason. I think it could be more bearable if the flight hostesses were a little nicer. I found their service so un-Asian, if I can say that. There were no smiles or friendliness at all, which I usually find so readily available in Asia.

  26. I really dislike their booking site where they keep asking you to buy insurance. I think they even automatically put it in there and you have to uncheck it.

    Last time I flew with them was YEARS ago when they had their old fleet (apparently it’s much nicer now), but it’s the only time I’ve ever seen a cockroach on a plane. That was enough for me.

  27. I just stumbled upon this – great article!!

    I find it funny that I agree, yet disagree at the same time 🙂 I have flown Air Asia X a few times Mel – KL, including while 20 weeks pregnant with a one year old and had no problems. I guess it comes down to expectation levels, like people have said above, and being prepared. I don’t go anywhere ever without lots of food and activities for the kids (now 2 and 11 months), so I guess I don’t really relate to being caught out like this. We are actually using them again on Friday and many times over the next couple of months. It was only $1200 return for the 4 of us (including seats for both kids – why have the youngest on our laps when its that cheap) Melbourne – KL, so really no way I could justify another airline anyway. The extra seat is worth paying for extras 🙂

    My only real complaint about them is that if you don’t pay for your seats, they don’t necessarily sit you together. I was really annoyed when they didn’t sit our one year old with us when we flew with them last – what was the point of paying for a seat for her? People moved (Air Asia wouldnt fix it) and it all worked out, but I find that situation ridiculous. Now I just pay for seats for longer flights. The terminal isn’t much fun but actually bothers me less now we have kids as we’re not moving far anyway.

    1. Yes that was another thing that annoyed me about them. They aren’t family focused, hence their new kid free zones which I think is ludicrous. Because you won’t hear the child a few rows back in the kids allowed section crying?? #confused And they really don’t do what they can to help you which is why I think their customer service sucks. It doesn’t matter how budget you are you can still provide excellent service.

      $1200 for 4 people is a pretty GREAT price. I think I could suck it up again just for that bargain and I would have zero expectations. Not even a smile, because I know on Air Asia they don’t come for free.

      1. Oh and i forgot to say that I couldnt agree with you more about paying extra to fly direct. Last trip we flew via Singapore on the way to Thailand. The hanging round in the airport and having to hop on another flight was very painful. I would say this is true of any airline though (and this wasn’t air asia). We didn’t find it nearly so bad on the way back actually, which was with air asia from Penang via KL to Australia. This is purely because we weren’t already totally buggered when we had to deal with the stop though and not to do with the airline. It was more painful from an airline point of view though as we werent officially “connecting” so had to get our luggage and go check in again. This trip, we are just stopping over in KL each way to avoid this.


        I want quiet times at my age of 65. I don’t want to travel listening to SOMEONE’S kids. I am willing to PAY for the privilege of PEACE and QUIET. BUT I do NOT want to subsidize someone else’s responsibilities for controlling THEIR children. Hence my comment: bin dere dunn dat.

        When on full-service flights, I STOP kids running down the aisle and tell them THIS IS NOT YOUR HOME and please respect OTHERS. Be quiet and see Mamma and Papa.

        No one complains when I stop them from running… FIN!!

        Get used to raising YOUR children. I DID NOT ask you to have children and I TOOK MY responsibility for raising mine. NOW I would like peace and quite – especially in a public place, where we ALL have equal rights…

  28. I flew 45 flights with airasia last year,and no complaints.Try these thing to enjoy a flight.1,leave your grumpy western ideas at home.Save it for your neighbour when you return.2,Take your own entertainment.A 13″ laptop is great and or your own galaxy tab,or ipad.I had all three.This also gives you an extra carry on bag for your stuff.4,airasia is great because it is ontime everytime, they do not wait for foot dragers ie Family.5 always be the last one on,if you can.This way you can pick empty seats if they are available.6,If you do not like your seat,you can upgrade in flight with cash,if available.Long haul cost me $100 extra for a sleeper upgrade.7And just like everyone, stewards have their bad days as well,take B12,it stops stress.8 parents with tired children should have more consideration for others and not just themselves.To this day I cannot understand WHY anyone would go on a long haul trip with young kids??? WHY.Dont you have parents that could look after them,did you never go anywhere before they came along.Myself,I would be spending the money on the house to make it safe for the kids,and save for that trip when they are old enough and gone.So if you cant suck it up,stay home and find someone else to bitch about.Airasia is the BEST!!!

    1. We welcome all opinions Mel. As you can see from above lots of commenters have left valuable opinions based on their positive experiences with Air Asia. We love getting those as it is helpful to our readers. I think we were very clear in the post to outline this was just our opinion and was based on several factors, including that we have small children and a busy business. . We gave our opinion in order to help our readers who travel, especially those with children. We want everyone to enjoy their travels and their flight. WE were very fair and stated clearly why Air Asia is a good choice and why it might not be. This was not a post written just to whinge. Perhaps you should reread it and the comments as well.

      Everything is different when you have children. And there is no reason why anyone should stop travelling, including long-haul when they do. My eldest has been travelling long haul since she was a baby and has never had an issue. I’m not sure why you are so scathing towards children and parents. Why would you assume they don’t have consideration for other passengers. I think they have more than those who don’t have kids. And I don’t care how tired a steward is, they are in customer service, therefore they have to wear a smile. Look at the great companies around the world–they all have outstanding customer service.

      We do not welcome abuse and insulting comments. You have no right to say how another person can travel. Travel with children is a richly rewarding experience. So we will never leave them at home. We have parents who can look after them yes. But they also have a life they like to enjoy. If your choice is to spend money on a house that is your choice. Not mine. And there is no manual that states, “This is how you should live” written by ME

      We like to expose our children to the world so they can grow up to be open minded, tolerant human beings who respect the opinions of others and don’t abuse just because they don’t like one someone else has to say. This is probably not the best website for you to be reading as our children feature a lot in it.

      1. Agreed! I have 8 upcoming air Asia flights but they are all short haul. Flying with Qantas to Thailand. I’ve been on a WHV in Australia so money was the main priority for me.

  29. This article made us sad…because we LOVE Air Asia! However, we’re yet to travel with kids, and completely understand some of the problems that may come from that.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah totally! I think Air Asia for those without kids is really a great choice. Some of the deals are amazing. As long as you know what to expect you can definitely make the most of it.

  30. I always state you need to really weigh up it’s it worth to travel low cost – especially with kids.

    Several years back when I was working for our nations major carrier I young man came to check in at my counter. I could not find him on any flight. Eventually he produced his e-ticket.

    “Oh your travelling on “XXX” (the rival low cost carrier”
    “What’s the difference” he asked.
    I replied, “Well we supply a meal, movie, blanket, pillow, and free drinks. But you have a nice flight now.”

    1. Ha That is the difference alright. Sometimes you can handle the difference other times you can’t. So much harder when you have kids

  31. Hi, have been reading all the above. My husband and I are in our 50’s and have travelled with Air Asia a few times, Sydney – KL and Sydney – KL – Saigon, Hanoi – KL – Sydney. We have had no problems at all. As you know it is a budget flight you take your own in flight entertainment, bought meals when we booked, paid for extra leg room seats and we had excellent seats – but they come at a price. For the prices you pay for these incredible flights it is worth every cent. We have been doing trips for a very long time and are always looking for the cheapest flights possible and making the most of what we pay for. As the saying going “you get what you pay for” – which is so true. I would rather use the extra money saved which is much more than a few dollars towards hotels or day trips etc.

    Go Air Asia – you rock and wil be using you to go to Singapore soon.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Carol. Every person has different travel needs so it is great to hear how Air Asia works for you. I’d fly them short haul again and long haul if I was not with the girls. Everything is different when you travel with kids! Air Asia definitely serve a purpose though and saving money is always a good thing

  32. I love Air Asia have flown with them on many occasions solo and most recently with my 8 month old from the Gold Coast to Kl then onto the UK with KL airlines.
    I found Air Asia to be 10 times better than the major airlines. We organised a room in the Tune hotel for our 8 hour layover and I think this is a must if you have kids. Our boy was crawling at this stage so also booking the bulkhead gives you more room to let them move around. I would pick Air Asia every time over the major airlines as they are always significantly cheaper and the hostesses were great with our child. You have to be organised with budget airlines and take downloaded movies on your own computer to entertain the kids and pack food. I agree if it is not hugely more expensive a direct flight will always be best but if you are going to save $1000 which is often the case then Air Asia is the way to go!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences Mel! It’s always great to hear from a wide range of people, because everyone is different. Great idea about the hotel room for your layover. So good for the kids.

  33. I flew Air Asia from Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur last November and while the on-flight experience was exactly as I expected, the check-in process is what has made me swear off Air Asia.

    The “boarding passes” they sent me to print when I bought the ticket weren’t actually boarding passes so I had to stand in line to get “real” ones. Only two counters were open for a fully booked flight, there was no automated check-in or fast lane for people like me who only had carry-on luggage. They were painfully slow checking people’s baggage and were making a point of weighing every last piece of carry-on luggage and charging people to check them if they were .1 kg over the limit. Complicating matters, none of their staff knew how to use the credit card machine so the line came to a screeching halt for 5 minutes every time someone incurred extra fees while they screwed around with it. I nearly missed the flight because of this and I know that lot of people behind me in line wouldn’t have been able to make it.

    1. Nightmare! It’s amazing how they haven’t managed to get good systems in place. It’s an awful way to start your flight, I’m sure if they fixed this they would have happier customers. But it doesn’t really seem like they care much about this as I found service on the plane to be quite rude and unfriendly. Definitely no smiles

  34. you sound like a real pain in the arse and I hate kids on flights. if they aren’t kicking you in the back, they are screaming. KEEP BRATS AT HOME

  35. Hi Caz — I feel your frustration Nd you raise some valid points. I’m an ex-employee of AirAsia and it’s a company that works with total discipline to keep cost down so fares are low, and its safety is superb. It knows it isn’t perfect and is making progress to improve, little by little. And lets not forget, AirAsia has changed so much for low wage people in Asia by making civil aviation affordable. The company is a force for positive social change. But it still has room to improve, of course. You should try it again after its IPO later in 2013.

    1. Thanks for sharing Paul. It’s great to hear the positives about Air Asia. We think that it definitely serves a purpose and is a worthy airline. Would love to see the changes that come about. I think up the customer service and it will improve it dramatically, and I don’t think that should cost too much more. A smile is free!

  36. I had booked my flights prior to reading your story. Mel-KL-Penang-KL-Phuket-Melbourne via KL. I paid $2100 for 2 adults 2 kids with bags, seats and food. Your story terrified me prior to going, we always fly Thai Airways but we saved near on $2500 going with AA. But AA were no where as bad as some people have written. Yes 10-30mins extra queue wait, seats and inch smaller, no entertainment etc….. We took extra food and drinks, had iPads, but more importantly we flew night flights between Melbourne and KL and the kids slept for 6 of the 8 hrs. We ate before departing. I think people with kids need to organize themselves better, fly at night. We flew night flights with Thai and same thing. The savings flying with AA paid for 3 1/2 weeks accommodation. Can’t fault AA. I’ve been delayed loads of times with full service airlines, got food poisoning from Singaporevcairlines once. I’ll fly AA every time especially if I get mad deals like they have

    1. Fantastic Dave. So I am hoping that our post helped you prepare for the flight with extra food and entertainment. That was of course our intention, not to stop people from flying AA. If it saves you that much money and you’re prepared than we think it is worth it.

      1. Caz, in fact your post was very very helpful indeed because we did prepare well. Very worried, but like I said I really didn’t have much to worry about. I believe everyone’s preferences and experiences can be very different. I have another family trip to Sth East Asia coming up in the next few weeks flying AA with another huge savings than full service and you just never know what could happen. But I’ll be prepared for anything and be positive and take it as it comes. My family and I love our holidays, as long as we aren’t statistics on Air Crash Investigation we will be happy. Keep up the good work Caz, your travel blogs are a delight to read.

        1. Ha Ha. I am with you there Dave. I think at the end of the day as long as you touch down in one piece, any airline is good!! I hope you enjoy your upcoming trip!

  37. I think the airport that you mentioned in KL was LCCT.. it’s for low cost airport such as Air Asia.. it’s either international or domestic flight as long it’s Air Asia, it would be landed in LCCT.

    I agreed with the professionalism shown by Air Asia crew. The management should send their air crew to a call centre/helpdesk training to talk nicely to a customer which on board.

    I was travelling to Bangkok with Air Asia last week with my wife and my daughter (3 years old). The time we going back to KL was 4am in the morning and she was napping on my chest all the way into the air plane. During the take off, i was told by the one of air crew to untie my seat beat (because i was tighten it together with my daughter while she sleeping) and the crew advised only to tight the seat belt on me cause anything happen or injury on my daughter will be my responsibility.

    The was they talk to me like talking to someone that very stupid and not professional at all. I don’t mind if they talk nicely to me with some smiling on their face.

  38. Loved your writing especially since I flew on a hell flight overnight from Melbourne to KL last night. Plane was so hot and stifling (I thought they liked to freeze you so one was forced to buy their blanket). Having said that, I was in the new child-free section (rows 7 to 12) and it was quiet. My advice to you is just remember its a Malaysian airline and Malaysian cultural logic is sometimes wanting. I have lived in Malaysia for nearly 10 years and try to fly with Singapore Airlines (though I couldnt resist the AUD$470 return on Air Asia. The food is swill so being a Vego and Gluten intolerant you are really pushing your luck. As for the flight attendants, we never saw them from the indifferent slight smile when boarding to the gossiping with each other as you are leaving the plane.

    1. Ah yes. All sounds so familiar!! Glad you survived the flight and at least you got a good deal. That’s an awesome price.

  39. Hi, I have travel many times on Airasia and I kind of agree with you, budget airlines, budget services. I hardly see the crew members smile, let alone giving help when we’re struggling with our luggage. Having fly to Paris Orly from KL in 2011, I told myself not to take anymore Airasia flight of more than 4 hours journey. And Airasia is definitely not for kids. There was a couple on the same flight on our way back to KL from Orly. The baby was so uncomfortable that he/she kept on crying.

    1. I think Air Asia could so easily improve their airline just by improving the customer service. I don’t think this should be something you cut because it is a budget airline. I’d certainly want to fly it more if they did.

  40. I only take AK flight for short-haul route. For long-haul, I prefer MAS. Have u tried MAS? It ‘s very good indeed!

  41. I felt like I had to comment here. We flew with Air Asia with my 20 month old to KL and Cambodia and they were wonderful. I have nothing but glowing remarks to make, so it goes to show that every experience is different. My daughter is remarkably good at flying and travelling so it may be a different scenario when we go with my son Singapore and Vietnam in six weeks. I take all the food the kids could possibly eat as well as drinks and a whole suitcase of entertainment. We found the air hosts friendly and generous with their time. They actually took my daughter for walks etc. We always pay for the extra leg room though and that makes a big difference too. Based on my last trip, Air Asia was my preference!! We also always fly in the daytime when our kids are happy and not too tired…

    1. Thank you for sharing Amber, It is wonderful to hear the positive experiences people have had. It’s great to know that there are some people within the company who believe in the value of customer service. If I had this treatment I would be a loyal customer without a doubt. Just goes to show how important it really is.

  42. Oh and they also let us check in 10 mins before the flight left Phnom Penh because we left our passports at the hotel. they rushed our bags through and directed us which way to run. They were truly lovely. I nearly cried when we realised we’d forgotten the passports and my husband had to catch out tuk tuk driver to go screaming back to the hotel. The whole time though, the check-in staff were just saying “you no worry” “we wait”. All with a smile. It was one of my moments where I truly appreciated the Asian cultural attitude to so many things…. And on top of all that we can’t stop raving about going to Cambodia with a nearly 2 year old either. It was a fantastic choice for a kid friendly culture!!!

  43. Good post with good response. Thanks for sharing your experience regarding your travel. So, in future, I would be choosing airlines according to my comfort.

  44. Great post! I think it is obvious that you and your husband are great parents. My wife and I have travelled once with our son when he was 13 months old. It was a long haul flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver. He did fairly well, but there were a few meltdowns.

    We are travelling to Thailand for a week from Macau. Air Asia was the cheapest option for us. I have read your comments and discussed your observations with my wife. Luckily for us it is only a short flight (2 hours). Our son is now almost 2, so I think he will be just fine. We decided to stay one night in Macau so that everyone is well rested (we live in China). We purchased the priority seating (first row), so hopefully having a bit extra leg room will make a difference.

    My sister says that we are crazy to travel with our son, but we think it is great for him to experience new things. He has been to Hong Kong a few times, and every time he has had a blast. I don’t see the harm in it as long as you carefully plan everything in order to minimize the ‘risk’…if you know what I mean 🙂

    As for the airport, I actually prefer to fly into Don Muang, as it was the same airport when I first ventured out of my home country over 10 years ago. I can’t wait to smell Bangkok again…weird…but yes…the smell will bring back a lot of memories.


  45. Hi Caz,

    Quick question. I want to fly from Chiang Mai to Phuket by myself. It’s a direct 2 hour flight more or less and it cost less than the next alternative which is Bangkok Airways which in total is 4 hours with a stop in Bangkok — although I don’t have to switch planes. My main concern is getting there. I’ve heard stories about both airlines canceling flights because they’re not full or late flights. Any suggestions? I’d greatly appreciate it? Oh and how much do they charge for baggage?


    1. Hi Nicole,
      I’m not sure about the cancelling of flights. I think the Air Asia flight will be fine. They are really great short haul. You’d have to check online when you book as to baggage fees but I think its around $15

  46. Flown air Asia several times to Bangkok and Phuket with kids and had no dramas. Plan for the kids don’t expect personal catering for your circumstance, research properly the xtras and meal options, pay a little bit more for better seats. In my opinion if u treat the plane as a bus to a destination and not a holiday experience then you won’t have a drama. Yep it’s long haul but seriously if you think full fare airlines dress up like the wiggles and entertain your children you really need to get out more. I’ve flown full fare air and the staff can be just as rude as anyone. Prior planning people!!!!! Get it right before you go, take the things that entertain your kids, if u have to have special dietary requirements that even the best supermarkets dont stock then self cater- buy your wine at duty free on the way out of aust and sneak a glass on the plane – shouldn’t get caught cos as u say u didn’t see the cabin crew much……if long haul and children doesn’t fit your family maybe consider a holiday in your own country til the kids get bigger- that way you keep the kids and yourself happy whilst keeping someone employed within this great country of ours. All I can say prior planning……..

    1. Love the sneaking the glass of wine trick. But, in today’s world you can’t have the duty free on you, it goes in the hold, but I reckon you could be deviate and sneak something on!

      Check out our site a little more, you’ll see we definitely get out a lot and we are actually planning a massive road trip around Australia leaving 30th Sept. Can’t wait to share our beautiful land.
      You can read more about it here https://www.ytravelblog.com/bucket-list-one-year-road-trip-in-australia/

      Thanks for sharing

  47. Enjoy it, I have lived and travelled in every state so you will love what you see…. Hmmm only flew out of Aust recently and my duty free sat over head all the way???? Carried it on myself from international departures. Do you now have to go back out of the international departure area and back to the check in counter and check the duty free in as hold luggage or something?

    1. No way! That is so great you can do that. Usually they take it off you when you buy it and put it in a special holding place on the plane and then you pick it up when you arrive. Way better that it can sit over your head. Back to the old ways, love it!!! I’m hoping on my next international flight I can do this. Come to think of it we had no duty free on Air Asia, so this may be the way to fly for sure!! 🙂


  49. Love AirAsia and being budget you can’t expect all the extra trimmings. I have always found the service friendly and helpful – more so than the carrier where you get all extra’s. I would rather pay $300 return to KL and spend my cash enjoying my holiday because at the end of the day it is only 8 hours and i agree with one post there are lots of other ways to entertain children – books, colouring in, activity books, cards…. there is too much emphasis on electronic gadgets to entertain children. I travel AirAsia all the time as a single parent with 2 children and would highly recommend them, i have never had any complaints.

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  51. You two must be the worst parents ever. You are the kind of people who make flying on budget airlines horrible for the rest of us having to put up with your screaming kids, just because you were either too dumb to know what you were flying into, or too tight to pay for a full service airline. What did you expect flying on Air-Asia? You get what you pay for, and if you can’t suck it up, don’t bother ranting and complaining online. It was your own fault, and you just made the flight hell for the staff who obviously didn’t want to deal with you, and for all the other nice passengers around you.

  52. Honestly, I’m hearing way too much whining/complaining by the both of you. Ultimately, you were the ones who made the decision to fly with Air Asia X. No one forced you to fly with them. Take/show some responsibility. Please do your readers a favor, next time you decide to fly, book a full service carrier so you can spare us the whining. Also, your comments about AA’s flight attendants being rude/unhelpful is invalid. You only flew on certain routes on Air Asia X, Air Asia berhad, & most likely Thai Air Asia. Fly all regions/routes in D7/FD/AK/PQ/QZ/JW before passing judgement. I have flown with AA countless times, sometimes their service was good, sometimes it wasn’t so good, but most of the time I could care less because I knew they were a low cost carrier. BTW, what makes you think a FSC’s service is any better than a LCC’s!? Have you even flown with China Eastern, United Airlines, or American Airlines? Finally, what makes you think Swampy(BKK) is superior than Don Muang(DMK)!? At one point in history, Don Muang “was” the gateway to Thailand. Even today, the old airport is serving its purpose as being the LCC airport for the greater metropolitan Bangkok. By the way it puzzles me that you’d rather take airport link into Bangkok instead of taking a taxi. Sure it makes sense if you’re traveling solo, & you arrive into Bangkok during rush hour, but it doesn’t make sense if you’re traveling with kids & a lot of luggage. The price difference should be nominal, if not the same if you’re taking a taxi from Swampy. Have some realistic approach/ideas next time you visit these countries & airports. Just like abbreviation/acronym suggests, KL’s LCCT is a low cost carrier terminal. If you want quality service/entertainment, next time you travel I suggest flying into Changi(Singapore), or Incheon(Korea). Otherwise If you want to keep traveling on a budget, be real, lower your expectations, have patience, & stop complaining. Happy travels.

    1. Didn’t notice the disclaimer at the end “Part of our flight costs were covered by Thai Tourism” till now. But the authors didn’t consider to utilize Thai airways, and had the balls of steel to use a Malaysian based low cost carrier instead. Yet that grants author all the right to gripe online. Okay, that makes total sense…

      I understand the one of the author is a female, but why was this post not written from a 3rd person view? I really don’t think getting emotional, and the use of profanity(ARSE/WTF) is going to help with this posts credibility either.

  53. Mateo de Buenos Aires

    I came across your blog after searching for reviews on AirAsia. I’m an independent traveler with no children so I probably have a different perspective on the airline.

    My first comment is that you get what you pay for. If you want smiling/attentive/helpful flight attendants, then splurge on a ticket for a non-budget airline.

    I also agree with other posters about bringing books for children to entertain them.

    But, I agree with you about their not having extra tablets available and it seems odd that they don’t keep extras onboard.

    It’s always good to hear personal experiences about airlines/fights, so I appreciate your post.

    1. Thanks Mateo. I think if you see my comments, you’ll notice I did bring books for my children. I never travel without them. Also smiling customer service reps is not a high verse low budget thing, it should be standard no matter what. Smiling is for free.

  54. As a consumer we often feel so powerless. We need a collective voice. When big business lets us down, they need to feel our pain and frustration. If they don’t listen we should walk. I once made a promise never to use Optus again and I intend to stick by that even though they continue to try to lure me back with discounts.
    I also have little respect for Air Asia. On my last flight, I left my air conditioned hotel room, pool and room service to go to the airport for my Melbourne bound flight only to find that it was delayed 4 hours. I discovered that the airline had known about the delay but waited 5 hours before even forewarning passengers. Once at the airport there was no apology, just excuses. Lunch was a voucher to McDonalds (do people still eat that crap) and to get it you had to go back through immigration.
    We are just numbers, dollars in this companies goal to maximize short term profits.
    Logic suggests that where an airline offers substandard customer service this will most likely flow through to other parts of their business. i.e airplane maintenance.
    Fly Air Asia at your own peril!

  55. As a traveller, i found airasia convenient. Yeh, the seats are cramped, the food sucks, you pay for all the extras (which i do not need). But they have always been on time and takes me to my locations without fail, and I save alot, on other important things.

  56. Hello. The only negative I see on long haul budget flight model is the entertainment and food and drinks – but that is the ‘budget’ model. At least with airasia you get it for reasonable price. The rest of things mentioned here could happen in any flight. I am European living in Malaysia with a family. We fly with airasia a lot and rarely pay more than 20USD for a ticket (we only buy in sales). We could never afford that with traditional airline. So far with over 15 return flights we have never had a problem with a rude (or even not smiling) crew or anything like it. On the end, it has been voted by the best budget airline in the world (but I do not know on how the voting works). For me, Airasia is great budget airline, even with kids and long haul – but is still a budget airline. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for sharing Richard. With those flight prices I’d be happy to fly Air Asia all the time too. So glad you’ve had experience with smiling crew, maybe that will happen for us next time. I sure hope so

  57. Caz,
    Wonderful job you are doing! Did my first ever booking on AA the other day – 4 of us, Perth – KL and then KL to Chennai. First tried to register on their website. Very difficult process indeed and then online booking plus the extras.
    A confirmation email came but still waiting to receive their promised itinerary/details: “Your booking has been confirmed, thank you for choosing AirAsia. Your flight itinerary and payment details will be emailed to you shortly.
    Want to check your itinerary immediately? Just use Manage my booking.”
    Tried login in – can’t! Dont know how long to wait. Any advise?

    1. Maybe give it a 24 hours and then contact them if nothing comes through. You should have it on your bank records if you paid it. I don’t think it will be a problem/ Be sure to check your spam folder just in case it went in there.

  58. We always speak Bahassa Malay as soon as we talk to a Malaysian Air Asia employee on our flights which are ultimately to Penang. Those sexy looking Air Asia hostesses respond with a smile and friendliness. We avoid generally Australian tourists (except those on our same traveling wavelength) because some of them are so rude. On the plane there is no escaping some of them whinging and behaving badly. When I was travelling extensively overseas 40 years ago it was just the same. Please put this in your mind. As soon as you leave your home for your holiday enjoy every experience (it could be your last). Be friendly to these people who are transporting you and get you to your destination safely. Even when I was flying out of Addis Abba 40 years ago and one engine started smoking we knew we still had three that were O.K. And to the lady who started all of this. Havn’t you got anything more positive to do?

  59. I don’t have kids, which makes my travel process easier. At least, most of the time. Be glad you didn’t fly on Thai Airways, which backs its “Bad Service Guarantee” with the full punch of the imperious, arrogant Thai government.

    When I didn’t understand that I HAD to show my boarding pass to the FA to board a Thai flight, I was deplaned. Funny thing was, the flight they put me on had the exact same crew as the one I missed. They must have been REALLY scared of me! Or… they were just arrogant, passive aggressive Thai government workers.

    Compared to Thai, the only truly bad Asian airline, Air Asia doesn’t seem so bad. It has, however, gone a bit downhill as it’s gotten larger.

    1. Wow! I’ve flown Thai airlines a couple of times, and while I think their planes are a little outdated, I haven’t experienced anything bad. I haven’t really with Thais anywhere. But, I know that’s not always the case for everyone. IT goes to show all businesses can have good or bad moments.

  60. Perhaps a historical context would shape up your view to bigger picture. Air Asia was given a licence to operate in order to dismantle the monopoly of Malaysia Airlines in the domestic market. The latter has failed in its objectives to encourage movement of people between Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian part of Borneo.

    With Air Asia coming in, there were a lot more movement of people between the two sides of Malaysia because of the cheap ticket prices. Because of this, the Malaysian Government allowed Air Asia to take international cities’ slots that were originally given to Malaysia Airlines (under bilateral government-to-government deals) and hence Air Asia started to venture outside Malaysia. Regional routes served by Air Asia became cheap and the travelling market became more affordable.

    Say whatever you want about Air Asia, it has fulfilled two key objectives, (1) at home, it was able to break up the domestic Malaysian market to allow better integration of people within the two sides of Malaysia, and (2) at regional level, it has succeeded in breaking up the regional routes’ market so that more people are able to travel.

    Air Asia has broken down the market in the Asia-Pacific region. Even full-frill airlines had to reduce their prices. Everybody is feeling the heat – Thai Airways, Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Philippines Airlines, Cathay Pacific – all are pressured to reduce their prices.

    Recently I bought tickets (2 adults + 2 kids) for KL-Bali and KL-Hanoi and found that Malaysia Airlines Business Class tickets were only 20 to 25% higher than Cattle-class Air Asia tickets. Infact, Malaysia Airlines Economy Class tickets were frequently cheaper than Air Asia.

    I am not an Air Asia fan. I find them despicable and spit at their brand whenever I see them. But I thank them for breaking up the monopolistic nature of regional travelling routes through cheap price tickets offered by all airlines as a result of competition. Now I can travel more frequently and travel by business class even though I won’t be using Air Asia.

  61. I could not agree with you more. This was my first trip ever, never been on a plane before. To fly to Bali took a whole day! 8 hour flight, stop over in kualar lumpar (worst airport! After being on a flight for 8 hours and having to pay for food – which there wasn’t much! – was such a disappointment to arrive at kl and not have an option to eat!!!!) flies were everywhere and on majority of the food, nothing to look at or to entertain yourself with! We had a 4 jour layover and were so restless! Then we had to fly another 3 hours to Denpasar. All day this took us and has scarred me a little to travel again. Being my first time, I was looking forward to friendly staff, getting a blanket and peanuts (just things you always hear about – I know it’s something small but for me this was exciting.) I also didn’t know that you had to pay for things on the aircraft. I didn’t budget this and would much rather have paid extra to fly with another airline. The money we saved was pretty much spent on the plane! Entertainment was shocking, paying $20 Australian dollars to be entertained for 5 movies to choose from! Although, thank god I did have that option or I would’ve been going insane on the flight. So restless! And by the time we arrived in Bali, I was so aggravated, starving and physically and emotionally drained. Will definitely not be flying with air Asia again. Such a terribly experience, especially for my first time ever going on holiday and being on plane.

  62. After reading your article, I got in conclusion just a couple of things:
    -Most of the issues you complain or review in a bad way about, are things you knew or assumed to be like eventually they were. (Again, we knew…, again, it’s what’ you get). I quite think you could have written your review just without the big bad experience of have to fly with them, which seems you didn’t enjoy at all.
    -You really trust in electronic devices to calm down your kids, which is fair enough, but not maybe the ultimate way of raising up your little kids;) How do you manage at home? Do you offer them free entertainment as well? Your flight to BKK (Do Mueng) was only 12 hours, a day has 24, and there are 365 in a year…

    I want to be polite, but I quite reckon each and every single airline review I have read so far, it’s just personal and only a random sample of the loads of things can happen to you when flying. I kindly respect and appreciate your feedback about the airline, but it quite doesn’t make sense that we keep complaining all the time about things, that, after all, we knew how they are…


    1. Pedro, We’ve written the article to explain our personal experience, yes. That is why we have this blog. But, we have also written to help prepare people for any flight they are going to have so they can have the BEST experience. I have received so many emails from people who have read this article thanking me because it helped them be prepared for their Air Asia flight and so have a great flight.
      And I really don’t think you should judge how we raise our children and manage them at home. They rarely watch DVD’s. WE are currently road tripping around Australia, and they’ve rarely even watched one. No DVD’s in the car, just fun times with us. Perhaps you should look around on the blog a bit before you assume what we do with our children at home. I think we are raising our children pretty well. My daughter is 6 and has a reading age of a 9 year old at least. So I think we have it covered.

      1. To be honest, I probably typed too fast in my keyboard what I wanted to say, and this kind of communications no in a face-to-face, normally lead to “disaster” when we are a bit rough.

        I absolutely take my comments about how you raise your children back, I honestly think I exceeded the line being ironic about that. We all know how difficult children can be inside a plane for a long journey (in fact, Air Asia has started operating with areas of the cabin “free of children”), so I can understand how helpful your comments were for others in order to understand better how they can prepare their trips. But, to be fair with my original opinion, I still do think that there can’t be a massive difference between the entertainment they can get from Air Asia, or from any other airline. And at the end, don’t we all have plenty of tablets and ipods, iphones and stuff like that to just watch, listen to or play the tune/music/movie we like the best?

        What I was trying to say… (that was massively hidden through my bad manners maybe, I guess…) is that flying is very personal. And to be fair, all airlines can have “a good day” and “a bad day”. And I assume that as long as you make your review public, you’re open to accept comments confronting your opinion, which in fact makes the whole reviewing article richer;)

        Said that, I kindly would like to apologize for the tone I used. I probably though it could sound ironic and funny, but I didn’t want to talk about your kids.


  63. This is a kind of airline with their smart team operating on ways to discover to empty our wallets. Yes, you should always act smart with Air Asia. If click to buy for a round trip you would end up paying more extras compared buying for to and from in separate. Their system is designed to capture your return to be increased if you’re using an always same IP address. Their strategy to drain your wallet.

    What I always used to do is either using Tiger to and Air Asia for a return. I saved thousands of $$$ by this way. So guys let’s be smart it’s our hard earned money!

    For things like comfort and respects – Sorry Air Asia is out of that category. I still remember the long lines of human standing rows before even a plane to board arrives. Shawn The Sheep!

  64. Not to be rude, I find your complains quite ridiculous since you know quite well, Asia Asia is a budget airline. As a frequent flier with Air Asia, we always supported their slogan “Now everyone can fly”…and indeed, we can fly in less than half the amount needed if you pay for a high cost airline. I dont think I can fly to so many countries if not for Air Asia. Give and take. After all, I dont expect people to treat me like royalty if I only pay for a little sum. I definitely must dig my wallet for drinks. After all, I only paid for the flight seats, and nothing else. This was made clear before ticket purchase.

    They offer pre-booked meals to make sure we get what we want; no guarantee if you didnt booked earlier. I respect people who are vegetarians, but how many fancy styles do you need in a low cost airline???

    I strongly agree with Daniel from the previous comment, if you rely on the plane facilities to entertain your kids, how much facilities you expect from a low cost airline? They serve to fly you to destinations (safely), not entertaining kids with gadgets! In fact, i’ve flown with my 4 year old girl for 8 hours flight with no entertainment, I faced no problems during the entire flight. And the layover is also by choice, it’s not their fault that forced you to book that flight.

    This particular Kuala Lumpur airport (LCCT) is just a temporary landing spot, the new airport is still under construction, due next year. And Air Asia moves their landing at Don Mueng Bangkok because Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airport in the world; we queued up for over one hour just to clear custom last year. Don Mueng definitely saves us ample times.

    1. Hi Soo,

      I think we were very clear in stating that we knew it was a budget airline and that Air Asia doesn’t hide that fact. I also think we were crystal clear in stating the pros & cons for flying Air Asia and other budget airlines on LONG HAUL flights with KIDS, which we wanted to provide to our readers who can then make their own informed decision.

      Thanks for your comment.

  65. While I empathize, it’s also cheap for a reason. At least they don’t treat you like Ryanair does!
    I love to travel cheap & I have to say that Air Asia is the best low cost airline in my experience. It’s even better than some airlines I’ve used in USA & EU.

  66. All I read was waaaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaa me me me, my children are soooo smart! Wow, you two sound like the last people I would want to be seated next to on a plane…

  67. Thanks for the info i am flying Air Asia from Seoul to KL to India. hoping it wont be too bad since I am by myself. I knew the reviews were not very good for Air Asia I still booked it hopefully wont regret it!

  68. Hi Caz

    I absolutely agree that their staff are uncaring and ground service stinks. I just returned from Langkawi to Singapore. We booked Airasia and even paid for 60 kg of extra weight and seat space. We were slightly delayed due to my son throwing out his breakfast that morning and I had to wash him up. Infact we were only 5 min late before they close the counter for checking in bags. We had 2 young kids with us. They adamantly refused to check in our luggage and said we can board without our luggage! How helpful is that comment???

    We travel widely and very often and never have I encountered such indifference and unhelpfulness. I have been in various situations and many airlines, even budget ones have been very helpful and offered alternatives.

    In the end we decided I leave with my 2 kids and my husband booked another flight taking the luggages. I had to lug the carry on luggages and 2 young kids and rush to immigration. Did they land a hand – NONE. They had no one at their counters and there were 2 officers and no one offered to help or call for someone to help.

    When we were boarding the aircraft, we saw the ground staff, open the non carry on carrier luggage compartments to put in items such as baby carriers that passengers did not want to bring on board. The flight was not even a full flight!

    What an awful airline, never travelling on it again.

  69. I definately agree. Flying budget airlines like some backpacker living on noodles is acceptable if you are young, dumb and full of …. But when you have your little sprogs with you needing constant food and attention, do yourself a favour and either leave the kids at home or take short and fully (expensive) seviced flights. On the bright side I am sure you gave your kids immune system a boost by exposing them to the filthy environment which is a cheap skates pressure tube. Well done!

  70. June Kim (준에엗아)

    “the airport at Kuala Lumpur was the most boring, drab airport in the world” is because you arrive and depart at the LCCT if you are using Air Asia which is the low cost terminal only for budget airline. it is not the main international airport.

  71. i just came back from a long haul from Osaka to KL then to Singapore. Worst travelling experience of my life. flight itself was ok. but the admin side (check-in, transfer etc.) was just tragic. the check-in queue was not just unnecessarily long but also very confusing with inadequate signs. agree totally with the “show boarding pass for food” part. and i had to “verify” my boarding pass again at the KL LCC even though i was already checked in and thus almost missed my connecting. chaos at KL LCC transfer and no staff took control. everything was just a mess. to end it with a bomb, they decided to misplace my bag. still have no news about my bag’s whereabouts now. I WILL NEVER, EVER, FLY AIRASIA AGAIN. Airasia – Now everyone can fly, but don’t bother flying with them.

    1. Eek so sorry for your bad experience. If they just fix up these little annoyances it would work well. It’s a common complaint about the airline. That tells me fix it. It shouldn’t cost too much for them

  72. I flew to Singapore from Sydney with Air Asia last week. I regret flying with AA. Preordered meals were of very poor quality. There was a only very limited selection of food available for purchase – only peanuts, chocolates, and fizzy drinks. The flight was freezing cold and I had to pay money to rent a basic blanket. No credit cards are accepted on board. If you pay in dollars balance is paid in MYR- another rip off!!! There was no IFE.

    There were 2 small children about 10 and 12 years travelling with their parents, who changed their seats and moved near to a window just before we landed in KL to get a areal view of KL. They appeared to be visiting Asia for the first time and bit excited. Many hot seats (they do not look different to economy seats) were unoccupied and were vacant throughout the flight and there was at most 20 min flight time left. The children were asked to return to their original seats by the flight attendant, as they were not entitled to sit in “hot” seats. I thought the way they said was quite rude.

    The flight attendants speak little English. They are careless – I was sitting on the aisle and quite a few times my shoulder was hit by their trolley. They did not seem to care. This was my second time with AA, and I would advise Aussie mates to carefully think before you fly with this budget airline. I think what they sell as business class is probably as comfortable as Quantas Economy.

  73. i’m a malaysian and thank you for choosing AA to fly to your destination…after reading all the pros and cons about others experience throughout the process from booking, checking in, boarding and landing, i guess that planning our travel is crucial and understand how AA online system works is the key process.

  74. Is this the complaint section? I was told that I wasn’t allowed to get refund or receive the next flight for free. I was in Denpasar bali and was scheduled to fly at 550 am to jakarta. We arrived at the check in counter at 5:20 am and was told their system already had been shutdown and we were not allowed to check in. They told us that there are no refund and we must pay for full price for the 9 am flight. They said check in must be 45 minutes early. I never heard such a system that require passenger to pay full price if they have 30 minutes before the flight. Don’t fly this airline please and their staff are not compassionate. Remember I arrived at the counter at 520 am due to 30 minute wait for a taxi from the hotel. I ended paying for full price for the 9am flight and the airline didn’t arrived until 1045 am. This is the worst experience i currently had and hopefully will never happen again in the future. The reason why I choose airasia because they accepted credit card from America. All the local airlines such as lionair will not accept my credit card.

  75. I have been travelling Airasia since they started more than 10 years ago for domestic within Malaysia travels. What has aroused my concern since last year – is it really safe to travel Airasia? The following are my experiences:

    1) 4 passengers from 1 family managed to get onto the flight without their boarding passes being torn off
    2) 1 passenger bound for Senai – Kota Kinabalu managed to be on the Senai – Penang flight before take off
    3) Penang – KL early morning flight – air hostess announcement – there are 10 extra passengers on board so we need 10 volunteers to get off. If not, the flight is not going to take off. All passengers were seated no one was standing. What actually happened I have no idea. But 10 volunteers had to get off only then the flight took off.

    So is it really safe to travel airasia? Your guess is as good as mine. Well I would not want to travel via AA with my whole family on board.

  76. Hmm. If you had flown Air Asia before you should have been aware of the challenge for children. I will say that even on the bigger airlines at full price the service sounds simuler.
    In relation to the staff well Australians are getting a bad reputation with the asians as complainers and trouble makers this does not put a smile on any ones face as I am sure my comments will not make you very happy either.
    if It was me I would not have taken the kids as they were of the age that they would not have enjoyed the situation at all anywhere in Asia good god man kids don’t start to think till they are near teenagers then they can cope with what you are complaining about..
    My basic thoughts are I think they tried to support you the best they could for the price you paid If you are also spending 600 for accommodation In Thailand your paying to much. Try the Crown in Bangkok at $50 a night also if your paying that much for beer your going to the wrong places also. Sounds to me like as travelling goes you need an education sorry nut if your travelling like that your doing it all wrong.. Travel light don’t take to much with you as you only have to lug it around buy all your gear over there cloths etc take a small bag and travel light don’t take your home with you. Try travlling around Australia first..

    1. LOL. Maybe you should read the site a little more before you comment. That way you know how much we’ve travelled and in what style AND that we are travelling around Australia. He He.

  77. I have travelled in all ways around Australia from Campers to Motorcycles to coach and Motels I even did a stint as a Interstate trucker.. t makes me laugh each time I see a caravan being towed by a huge fuel guzzeling 4×4 when I did the same on a motorcycle last week for a tenth the cost got there quicker ate in the same places slept in the same parks and had the same facilities.. I have travelled all round the world since I was ten I’m now 58 and am again about to hop onto a plane to go back to Asia yes Using the very same airline your complaining about. You really get what you pay for ..

  78. If I say I have the experience for travelling you can guarantee that I have done the same and more around the world. Try getting out of or into JFK with kids. Or get out of England when it snows and you have to camp in an Airport. Or your airlines goes broke EG compass Airlines. I would have loved to hear what you would have said if you were on today’s Singapore Airlines flight that returned because the Air Con broke however they had to wear the masks for the full return trip.. Now that I’d even have something to say something about even though breakages happen.
    My last flight was in August last year as an example. One guy complained heavily that his video froze up. well the Engineer turned off the whole lot for the whole plane until I got up and apologized for all the Australians on board to the head flight Stewart who I knew from earlier flights. After my very polite words the Stewart put down his lunch and proceeded to see the Engineer who restarted the video’s and all was well. I was not the one who complained although I know who did and the guy was not attended to by any of the staff because they did not wish to give him any further fuel to make a further complaint about to the airline.
    My suggestion don’t winge your only giving the Aussies a bad name overseas. also as a complainer Air Asia I am sure will have your names and Photo’s on their list
    I know many people In Thailand and all over Asia I know they do their best to serve you with constraints on price. You paid $600 not $1100 don’t complain.. I will guess that your next flight may not be so pleasant with any Asian Airline. Myself If it does not go well there are ways and means of fixing that without getting upset if you learn nothing else out of this learn this do not get upset with the Asians. They have a bad habit of turning on you.. Tkake the hint and learn something from someone who has been travelling both here and abroad most of his adult life. I hope your next adventure works out better.

  79. Actually it sounds like Air Asia won’t be taking to much notice I read a little bit further and they have a good laugh as I have. You get what you pay for. You never get a Ferrari performance from a mini moke.

  80. Rant of an inexperienced traveler who doesn’t know a word of proper planning. Sorry to be harsh, but your writing proves only that.

  81. Hi there,

    I read your post a couple of months ago before travelling Air Asia to Thailand from Sydney as a family of four – a trip very similar to yours. Thanks for the tips. My wife and I had both flown Air Asia separately before this so we knew some of the things to plan for. YOu highlighted some others.

    Overall I have to say I’m a big fan of Air Asia. You mention $600 (per return ticket?). We booked tickets more than 6 months in advance and paid just under $2500 total. I regularly checked Qantas and Thai for comparable fares. We saved around $3000 total compared to booking those airlines.

    The thing is we actually found Air Asia to be really good. Part of that is to do with lowered expectations, part to do with planning and part to do with the fact that actually, in many ways the service is as good as the premier airlines. In fact I’d say my normal experience of Qantas BA in recent years has been that the service is stressful. Stewards are under pressure to ‘do it all’ with a smile while having a huge workload and it often shows. Air Asia were slick and seem to respond quickly to every call.

    A few points to consider for those who might fly Air Asia:

    1. The food is very good value especially if you book in advance. Although officially they have a no outside food policy, we never saw this enforced and we and other families ate their own food freely on all four flights we took.
    2. Two $5 Target travel pillows and a thin throw made the kids as comfortable as on Qantas. On the long hauls we were seated together even though we didn’t buy seats together in advance. On both flights attendants let families and people move around to find the best fit e.g. a guy was supposed to have a window seat with two of us next to him. They let him move to an empty row instead and the guy next to me also moved to somewhere with an empiy seat next to him. Result: family of four spread out over 6 seats on an almost full flight.
    3. Entertainment. We supplied our own. You can buy a lot of ipads with $3000 saved!
    4. LCCT terminal KL – it seems really busy. However, everytime we have been there we have spent only a few minutes in queues. For us it’s an optical illusion caused by it being less spacious. We have been processed quickly every time.
    5. Weight limits. I first flew Air Asia at short notice as just one leg of a longer trip. They made me pay for being a few kilos over on the bag, which other airlines didn’t. However, on this trip most of our hold and carry on bags were 05-1.5 kgs over and they ignored this every time. I figure you have about a kilo to play with but wouldn’t want to test them further.

    Happy flying. May be we’ll try Scoot next…

    1. Awesome. so glad you had a great experience. Thank you for sharing, it’s very helpful to those reading this post. We certainly don’t want to turn people off flying Air Asia, merely help prepare them so they do have a good experience like you had.

  82. I like AirAsia. It’s a well organized airline and usually on-time. I just can’t stand the LCC terminal at KLIA where they fly from. I hope this new terminal comes up soon.

  83. Hey guys,
    Great blog and i think your experience with airasia is pretty consistent with the experiences of most airasia passengers.

    I gave airasia the benefit of the doubt a few years ago when i flew from Brunei to KL. It was undoubtedly one of the worse mistakes of my life. The flight arrived late from KL took late from Brunei. I prebooked my inflight food and when it arrived, it was stingy in portions and mostly inedible. All of that was tolerable. What just completely out me off was the cavalier and completely indifferent attitude of their cabin crew. They were rude and callous and in severe need of refresher’s course in customer relations. Every single item that they could charge you with was charged. I had to repeat that experience when i flew out again a few days later.

    The LCCT terminal they flew out from was hot, crowded and basic eminities were absent. Airasia regards their customers with disdain and it shows in all aspects of their service, from check in through to arrival.
    That one time was enough to rattle me for a long time.

    I will never fly with Air asia again. After all the add ons are charged against their fares, the difference between them and a full-service airline like Royal Brunei or Malaysia airlines is very minimal. For that, i would hAppy pay to avoid being treated like trash. Life is too short.

    Frankie Chong.

  84. For an experienced traveller, you seem to have extremely high expectations of a budget airline. I have travelled AirAsiaX many times and have found their service to be better than other budget airlines eg Jetstar Easyjet Ryanair.
    They are open about their charges and I have no problems with their leg room or comfort. Their food is lousy but what else do you expect with an airline, especially a budget one. We buy our food at the airport and take it with us. We also travel with pillows, ipads and books to keep us entertained.

  85. Hi, thanks for your detailed review. I really felt your pain when you found out there were no tablets for the kids. I was wondering if you saw anything of their premium seats – I’m thinking of travelling long haul with my 14yo daughter in premium seats. I’m a nervous flier and the glass(sssss) of wine are essential to get me through so that’s a worry. And I will definitely load up our own iPads just in case.

    1. I didn’t try them out but I think they’d be okay, certainly better than economy and if you can get a good price then why not? I’d be going for the glasses of wine too! DEfinitely take your ipads on the long haul flight.

  86. air asia is the worst airline – the refund for the flight they cancelled just as we where checking in for it?! and their e-forms are a joke. that website doesn’t work ( i think on purpose ) and their call centers are entirely unhelpful 🙁
    never flying with them again

  87. What were you expecting???? it’s a BUDGET AIRLINE…. if you want great entertainment systems aboard, a fantastic array of culinary dishes 50 thousand feet up in the air, a chair that’s so spacious you can lay down and go to sleep and can massage you and so on, then fly first class on an expensive transatlantic flight. (of course be ready to pay thousands for those 8 hours of great service).

  88. This is good review, but it can also help people be more prepared when travelling with children. As a single adult with 3 children being boys aged 7,8,10 we have travelled to Thailand and even flew to Paris with Air Asia (when they were flying there) and have been able to enjoy many a trips to Thailand with this cheap budget option. You are able to get really good family details to Phuket or any asia destination with flying Air Asia. Many times we flew for the same price as 1 adult on a full service flight. The benefits with Air Asia being they we were able to experience travel.. But saying that being a budget traveller myself I was always prepared… and it starts with the following……
    1) if you don’t pre-order the entertainment unit… make sure you take either your own… Laptop, harddrive, ipad, iphone, battery recharger unit, earphone spliter if you have multiple children, plus books pads colouring, games… Each of our boys have there own entertainment pack in there travel bag… It helps a million…….
    2) Take food on the plane… Who would take food off kids… everybody does it…. go to the supermarket and pack a snack pack.. make sure you don’t take liquid, but a snak pack or even a mcdonalds pack… pre-order them some food too… but when the plane takes off, you pull out there pack in there bags and there happy… You can buy a drink after you have checked through customs… so put that in your bag if you want a drink….. too….
    3) make sure you have seating together.. pre-order seating… its worth the money…..
    4) there is the Tune hotel in Kuala Lumpur across the road from the airport… its cheap… have a rest there on your lay over instead of hanging out at the airport… it’ll be worth the 30 dollars…….
    Always get some arrival cards in your travel pack for the next time you fly in because its always good to have….
    Air asia can be fun with kids… its good to be prepared… have fun and everyone can fly…..

  89. Leonie Stickland

    Hi! The posts and your patient responses, Caz, made fascinating reading.
    I recently flew AirAsia Perth-Macau-Perth, via KLLCCT each way, paying for a premium seat on the return leg (an overnighter). The food was reasonably priced when pre-ordered, and I was careful to choose what I thought would be the tastiest and least greasy. The ‘entertainment system’ only had old movies, but there was one I enjoyed, so I did not mind much, but next time I will load up my own tablet computer with things to watch.
    I will gladly pay for premium seats each way next time I fly AirAsia, which will be soon — there is no comparison with other airlines in terms of price. The schedule is not bad, either — I can leave Perth at 6.50 am and arrive in Japan before 11 pm the same day, for example.
    I am tall, and the flat bed experience was worth all of the other inconveniences, such as the longish wait at KL. Various travellers’ comments had prepared me for the wait, and I had a tablet with which to amuse myself with the free WiFi iin the transit lounge, There is a hot- and cold-water dispenser near the toilets, and I had tea bags and a mug, so could make myself tea, as well.
    The OptionTown system for paying in advance for a chance to upgrade at a bargain price sounded good, but it was, alas, too good to be true in that while I had received a confirmation email some hours before the flight, saying that my upgrade request had been successful, the staff at Perth Airport upon my arrival there said that nobody had been upgraded on that flight because the premium cabin was fully booked. That was a real disappointment, all the more because I had been delighted to think that I had been upgraded. It would have been less upsetting had the upgrade request been rejected in the first place.
    The staff did not seem rude, but they were less engaged with the passengers than I am used to on other airlines, and in the premium cabin they seemed happy that most people simply wanted to fall asleep as soon as possible.
    My policy is always to smile at the cabin crew, greet them in a warm manner when I first board, and be courteous throughout the flight. I usually find that it is well worth it in terms of the service they give me in return. Ialso take a super-light carry-on bag, have no check-in luggage, and am prepared to wash my clothes every night of my travels so that I need not pack much.
    Bon voyage, everyone!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing Leonie! This is awesome feedback and very helpful for our readers. I’m glad you have had mostly great experiences. I’d be interested to try the premium myself.

  90. We had almost the same issues with Air Asia last month. Maybe the airline is really a good choice for people without kids, but when the whole family flies, it could become very inconvenient. But I also cannot be very negative about them, since we booked our tickets through http://www.tiket.com and for the lower prices, you can’t expect much better service.

  91. This blog is just one big complaint about Air Asia, and I don’t know why I continued to read this useless information.

    What do you honestly expect out of a low cost carrier which gets you to Asia for 1/3 if not 1/2 the price???

    Cry me a river jesus!

    If you want service, good food, entertainment for kids etc, dont be a tight arse and fork out the money to fly with a normal carrier.

  92. As a single budget traveler I really should have read more reviews and paid more attention to the website. Flying from HK to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur was a real ordeal. I only found out about the charges on check in baggage when I got to the airport (my mistake really, though I’m pretty sure I added it on to the website), which ended up making the flight approx the same as a regular carrier, let alone extra food etc. Both flights left off-time, (first one 15 mins early, the other something like a half hour late), and the first flight to KUL was quite late.

    But my biggest gripe isn’t so much the airline as it is the airport. KUL is easily the worst airport I have ever been to for transfers. If anyone reading this is planning to make a transfer at KUL, I recommend either changing or making sure you have at least 4 hours to transfer. It took me more than 2 hours to get through TWO sets of immigration checks (why are there two!?) and THREE sets of security checkpoints (I’m used to being checked once for transfers), all of which were completely ineffective from a security point of view (no body scanners, nobody cared if you didn’t put all your bags through and most bags seemed to go through the x-ray without being even looked at by a staff member). To add insult to injury there are almost no signs at all for transfers. When eventually I arrived at the gate after sprinting for quite some time, I discovered the gate was only just being opened for passengers literally only a few minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave.

    Naturally, your milage may vary, and it’s probably possible to have a smooth transfer at KUL, but I’m never going to risk it again.

  93. Sounds like your standard story of “poor me”. At the time of booking ONLINE , all EXTRAS are noted right in front of you , don’t blame others for your mistake! . Do you complain about Jetstar’s lack of “freebies” also. Air Asia is an excellent BUDGET Airline and people like you, drag it down , because your expectations don’t meet your budget . Next time book Singapore Airlines/Etihad/Qantas/British or Emirates , I would recommend Business Class for you and leave the rest of , who understand what we are doing and getting when booking with a budget airline.

  94. I’ve never fly air Asia x before. Thanks for the info.. talking about long travel, anybody here ever fly KLM? I found it as the worst airline ever. Try to imagine my situation, I was flying from singapore changi to Amsterdam schipol last November for a pipeline job and my company sponsored my flight. It was a 777-300er and I’m in the economy class. But due to the small seat, I have to put away the pillow and blanket they provide and keep it in the over head compartment. But after a few hours, I found it quite cold in the cabin and decided to use the blanket but I’m stuck between two passengers who are both sleeping at my right and left. No choice, I pressed the crew assist button to get help getting the blanket. Three hours passed, nobody came. Three 1/2 hours later the stewardess came and without any questions, pressed the button off and just walks away. Left with no choice, I had to wake up the guy no my right, say sorry, and took the blanket myself. And he was annoyed. The reason why I didn’t keep them below my seat is because somebody already put a backpack there. But the food was marvelous. Anyway, during the 13 hours flight, nothing much going on its just that I’m annoyed of the service given. On my way back, they have me the same airline and I tried the assist button to see weather the cabin crew come to assist, the same thing happened. Is it because I’m Asian, so they thought that I don’t know what is the function of the buttons in-flight and its my first flight? Well, I’ve been travelling alone since I was 17 and I found that is not a right way to serve your customer. No wonder KLM holds the worst air disaster in history.

    1. Bad service for sure! I find I’m always cold on planes too. I make sure I have extra blankets nearby. I’ve never flown KLM and probably won’t if they hold that record!

  95. If you value yourself and family you would not travel on any budget airline. AirAsia does not have a proven longstanding safety culture such as airlines like Qantas.

  96. Thanks for the lengthy detail post. I was just about to book my flight with AirAsia to Sri Lanka with my family (4 yr old and 1 yr) and after seen this. I changed my mind. 🙂

    After adding all extras, price difference was only 1000 AUD compared to Singapore Airlines

  97. Not only do I not fly Air Asia any more,they stole my credit card info. I went into the Air Asia office on Tha Phae Road in Chiang Mai to buy a ticket to Vietnam. I had two cards..one a debit, one a credit..they looked almost identical…I used the credit card instead of the debit card. I had not used it in about 9 months. My bank called me less than 10 hours later…asked.. Where are you? I answered Thailand. They said someone was using y card in Los Angeles at Sam’s Club (members only). I am not a member..I live in Thailand. The first charge was under $5..just to test it…my bank is good..they caught it..the next attempt was for 13,000..a down payment on a car, lol. I was staying around the corner…sooo I went back in the next morning…The girl who had helped me was there…I just looked her in the face and said: I KNOW you stole my credit card info!..Her response : HOW DID YOU FIND OUT SO QUICKLY? YOU COULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN YOUR STATEMENT YET. She actually didn’t realize this was an admission of guilt!
    Over the next four months, I went to : police, Air Asia at CNX airport, Air Asia at Bangkok. NOTHING was EVER done! Last I checked she was still working there…of course whenever I am in the area I warn ANYone going in..to NOT use a credit or debit card in there!
    I won’t go into how they cheat you on the web site..how they intentionally make it difficult to remove baggage charges,etc. That is the most recent thing they added to take your money! I flew to Vietnam…and just didn’t take the return flight. I flew to Luang Praband instead. I will never fly Air Asia again.

  98. Air Asia are good for what they are and your summary was balanced. I agree with your comment about navigating the booking pages carefully as they are always trying to sneak things in, but so are all the others. I booked incredibly cheap flights and the date I chose somehow unchose itself and I was booked 2 weeks earlier. I rang immediately to correct it and was charged more than the original flight I tried to book to correct it. That said, even with their bloody minded approach the flights are still cheaper by thirty percent than the cheapest flights I could get two years ago. I will be making sure I’m checked in early, there early, have my bags the right dimension and weight and giving them no excuse to screw me over because I know they wont hesitate.

    1. Thanks Paul. Just trying to provide a balanced opinion from our personal experience to give other families like us the heads up.

  99. Many Malaysians are also apppalled by the Air Asia experience especially its low cost terminal, but we are also proud it is a LCc doing well and allowed many malaysians to fly.

    The domestic are OK, my forst long haul flightsnis from Kl to Melbourne in 2020,the low cost terminal was awful, i was 1.8m and the seast pitch was unbearable, food was below standards since I am sued to he pampered on Malaysia airlines food. Overall,it was Ok, but an uncomforatble experience comared to premium service.

    Anyway, something to look forwards to is the new dedicated low cost terminal that will be opened on the 2nd of May 2014. The 45 million capacity terminal will use aerobridges and feature 24 hours eateries, someretail shopping that will be avialble 12-24 hpurs and extra amenities such as a kids zone even a paid movie theatre with proper transit lounges which will make transiting more comfortaboe especially for families travellimg on budget carriers..

  100. Such colorful article and well written. The comment section is akin to a unicorn colorful vomit.

    I definitely understand the way you written and all of your problem faced with Air Asia, when being under prepared. Alas, other could prepare themselves, and lower their expectations a bit.

    I am travelling solo to Melbourne this year, and this will be my first long haul flight with Air Asia. I find it funny that the plane is bare boned like its domestic flight, but it is a no frill airline, plus I took the red eye flight so won’t be using any form of entertainment. Although I was up all night to Seoul via MAS Airline and to L.A via Cathay Pacific. I shall load up my tablet! LOL.

    I am more concerned about the width of the seats though, because according the SeatGure, the width is only 16.5 inch.. Eeek! Even the domestic Airasia has 18 inch width. seat. However the pitch is more generous with 32inch for Airasia X and 29 inch for regular domestic Airasia. I was relatively comfortable in the domestic, so the Air Asia X should be okay. The WIDTH is very concerning for me though. I can I have to politely stare the person next to me and politely to tell them to keep their elbows withing their seats.

    I guess with Air Asia, again, if you managed to prebook everything in advance, like a month or so, everything should be smooth.

    Also, really important, please print the boarding pass at home, because sometimes the machines at the Airport do not work for whatever reason and you have to pay at the counter. DON’T PAY!!!

    I hope well behaved are in the flight with me 🙂


    I have used AA since it started and travel both domestic and back to Australia. You pay a cheap fare especially if you book a few months out . Secondly you know its a no frills airline up front. Personally I think they are great value for money and my son and daughter and their children regularly visit us.
    For my Son and Daughter they use Optiontown and book a spare seat at a very small cost and they travel with the children overnight.
    With Option town you can upgrade for a Premium seat on the longer trips at a reduced cost when you book you ticket and they will let you know within up to 3 days before the flight if you were successful with the upgrade. If there is not one yourmoney will be re imbursed with in 5 days.
    We have used this a lot and for day flights longhaul going from KL had 100% hit rate.
    We all have choices however not all the Premium Airlines are all they are cracked up to be and at least A A have a new fleet of aircraft and the Pilots are very good.

  102. This will be my 3rd journey on Airasia. I came across this post because I was searching for options to go on an earlier flight back to Malaysia (in Jakarta for a meeting, and expected to finish early but not sure – so booked the later flight). But strangely, this was the only convenient flight timing-wise. Wonders – Airasia does not seem to allow for flight changes within 48 hours of departure even if booked on a higher priced fare. I was sure that I will never again fly Airasia for the same reasons you mentioned (I have 2 older kids…and they just hated it!). No vegetarian options and yeah, you would have thought that they will have 1-2 items extra on the flight for emergencies, but no! There is a thin line between LowCost and CheapSkate and I think we all know which one AirAsia is. I dont even think Airasia is that low cost – if you book well in advance, you get a comparable fare. And Malaysia’s LCCT is a joke – and AirAsia staff is the worst I have seen. But I guess we can only complain or not to fly this airline.

    Finally, I am sure that all the other people that talk about bringing a book along for their 5 year olds dont have a child (and hope they never will)! Our entire carry-on is stuffed with books, toys, games and whatnot… all to keep themselves engaged and not disturb other passengers. But the way some passengers behave as if they suddenly became an adult the day after they were born just makes me sick.

  103. wow, thanks for the feedback! I actually stumbled upon this website by accident, but turned out to be extremely helpful!! I\d be flying to Sydney on a first visit this June from the Sultanate of Oman, and i’ve found that flying via Kuala lumpur and then booking with air asia X is less than half the price of any other alternative. But i’ve learned from your lesson, and i’ll be staying in kl for four days to get my bearings together and continue on with this strip. Sorry that your trip was so horrendous. Maybe another trip would prove better, specially since they’ve opened KLIA2, which is light years better than the depressing LCCT terminal.

  104. my first journey on air asia for me was frm kuala lumpur to Thailand. i was still 13years old tht time, it wasnt tht bad for me. The leg space was a little small though. The flight attendant was also nice and but i agree with u tht the airport sucks. they changed to a new airport klia 2! i heard there are alot of shops. i’m very very excited as my next flight with air asia is next week to langkawai! btw i’m from Malaysia ^^

  105. I agree with regards to staff behaviour, i had travelled to KL and Bangkok on Airasia flight and found the staff are rude, is it because we are flying on cheap fare.

  106. I was flying back to Toronto, Canada via Shanghai from Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 2014. When I approached the Airasia counter and they refused issuing me the boarding pass because I did not have a China VISA even I was doing the transit via Shanghai. I had ended up buying a new EXPENSIVE ticket from another airline and continued my trip back to Canada.

    I even confirmed the Visa requirement with the Shanghai custom officers when I reached Shanghai. They are surely they do not require a visa from any airlines as long as you are in transit within 24 hour and have your final destination flight itinerary ready.

    I filed a refund and complaint to Airasia and they refused as you guess.


  107. Hey I think this is a good platform where we can share our ideas on the airline. I have been very keen to travel around Asia when i do get the opportunity but now I know which airline I need to avoid. Hope that our comments can reach them in the future and we shall see the difference.

  108. I would also like to add my recent experiences with Air Asia over the past few years I have used them a lot as I am based in Bali and I always found them to have very cheap air fares if flying around Asia or even going to Melbourne via KL.
    I am quite tall and would always book premium seats which does add to the cost of the ticket, but for me it was worth it and until recently I had no complaints with Air Asia`s service .Over the past few years they have cancelled a few of my flights which really screwed me around as I had organized 6 months in advance for this trip and had to buy new tickets at the last minute and just recently they have said that another 2 flights that I have booked have been cancelled ?? Don`t bother complaining as you may as well talk to yourself has been my experience.
    Now I did find them good until something goes wrong and something always seem to go wrong.They have this mentality of not wanting to hear even valid complaints ,good luck in getting them to listen.In a recent email they sent me they said the problem had been resolved.Air Asia have a system called manage My Booking where you can log in to check on the flights that you had booked possibly months in advance,My problem was that I just could not get in to check my flights and I am sure I am not the only one that has had this problem.I had it a few months earlier and had to wait on line for over 45 mins for some one to get back to me and help me to get into manage my bookings to check my flights which in the end they did.So after telling me the problem had been resolved do you think I could get into manage my booking.No still couldn`t get in.I did not worry about it too much until I missed my Bali to Bangkok Flight which I thought was on Thursday the 5 th of June but was actually on the Wednesday the 4 th of June.Which meant I had to buy another ticket as my Indonesian visa was almost expired.I ended up flying with Tiger Airways the ticket I bought 8 hours before the flight cost me around A$25 more than my Air Asia ticket bought a few months before.When I did arrive in Bangkok I went to the Air Asia office to complain about this but they just gave me a website address (the one which gave me a reply that my problem had been resolved) They also said to me that I should have been sent an email informing me of my Bali- Bangkok flight a few days earlier ,But I did not receive any email about this
    After this experience I won`t be using Air Asia so exclusively and some of their tickets that I have bought a few months in advance on their sale prices I never even used as plans do change and if you want to change dates on Air Asia tickets it does cost and to do this you need to get into manage your booking.
    I saw after my problem with missing my air asia flight which I do attribute to not being able to access my manage my booking with Air Asia .And if you have a complaint and want to get any satisfaction from Air Asia good luck with that.
    And for all Flight attendants flying on Air Asia ,I think because I was flying a lot with Air Asia the management sent me an email asking me to spy on the flight attendants .Tell them how the service was ,get their names , I was also told not to tell the flight attendants this ,and that they would send me an email which they did with a list of questions about the flight attendants service.
    From now on I will not be flying with AirAsia so much but will check out other options and their customer service really sucks.

  109. I use them lots, am a “big” member and for the most part my experience has been good.
    I do sympathise with you travelling with kids. Perhaps the “quiet zone” could be re-branded to the “kids zone”. Hostesses could be trained to assist with families. They certainly have the potential to capture the “family” market and if they are proactive, they need only offer this option on routes where families are more common or times more favourable to families.
    My gripe though, is that they have removed “month view” and 7 day view for their fares. Now you must click through each day to find a fare. The refresh rate – at least on my computer – is woeful. I lost patience looking for a fare in the month of July 2014 and booked with Tiger. IMHO Tiger is not as good as Airasia, but $$$$ matters to me a lot..
    Why the lack of transparency over their fares????

    1. Totally agree with you on the Kids Zone. They could really create an awesome niche there, but I’m not sure they care enough to do that. I hope they sort out the website issues as you’ve just shown they’re losing customers

  110. Hi folks – I know this is an old post, but it’s one of the few that for me, hits the nail perfectly on the head. For me, I’ve no kids to worry about (as of yet, and grateful for it!) and AirAsia – I’m based in KL – is the business for short trips or long weekends away. BUT, the AirAsia X long-haul doesn’t – and never did – do it for me. Even looking through these comments it’s clear many of the people who use the service do it by buying a premium seat or some other “luxury”. The service has tended to be borderline rude, the base fare gets you really nothing other than taking you to the destination and when travelling long-haul, the truth is most people need some way to pass the time, or eat/drink, or have some level of added comfort. I’ve also gone solo with them a few times and it’s been bearable – but it’d need to be a major price advantage under normal circumstances.

    1. Thanks for sharing Andy! Loved hearing your views. It has it’s good and bad for sure. Long haul it’s not for me, but I’m happy to go short haul with them.

  111. Hi all, please could someone help i’m planning a trip to thailand with my boyfriend and airasia seems like the airline that is ideal to both of our budgets when we are there to go from bangkok to chiangmai and krabi but i’m unsure whether you have to pay for luggage as it doesn’t seem to say anywhere on the website. We would both be bringing a suitcase and we don’t want to be faced with fees when we get there.

    1. Of course you need to pay for the luggage to check in on any budget carriers, that is why it is not written because it is too common already. Anyway, you will find out when you book the ticket. If you want to save on that, fly light and only take your small bag into the cabin. If you are not ready for this inconvinience, the only other option is to take full service flight which you will pay more. I find it strange that someone still not aware of such things on a budget flight.

      1. I think if you read the post properly you’ll see we’ve addressed this and explained the reasons we didn’t like the flight, but also why we think they can be good.

  112. Yup….you pay for what you get 🙂
    I have flown long haul with AirAsia 5 times in the last 18 months (Melbourne to Phuket) with the obligatory stop over at the LCCT in KL.
    Brilliant airline if you pay for an upgrade to a lie flat business seat at check in (about $250 AUD).
    For you $250, you get 25kgs of baggage included, a meal, entertainment system.
    If you are that tight that you aren’t prepared to pay for a seat that turns into a lay flat bed (and I am 6 foot and 115kgs) that is comfortable….well, I just don’t get it!

    1. Absolutely agree. The whole post is complete bullshit. The whole point of low cost airlines is to provide you a seat on plane to get from A to B and charge as little as possible. “I love a glass of wine with my meals” – wtf?

  113. I have flown airasia with my 2 kids, a 2 and 5 yrs.old. its a 3 and half hour flight and no problem at all. My kids just slept during the whole flight. I just brought snacks for them and candies so they wont get bored in case they dont want to sleep. What i like about airasia is that they are not strict in check in.. our flight before is 1130 am and yet at 11 am they still allowed us for check in.

  114. I can’t decide if I’m glad or not that I didn’t see this before I booked my flight from Shanghai to Sydney with AirAsia. On the one hand, saving $400 odd dollars was a pretty sweet deal compared to my other options – but I’m a lot like you in that in-flight entertainment and meal times are something that makes a flight fun.

    I did smartly book both in advance (as well as extra luggage that I now realize I probably didn’t need), but I’m not filled with confidence after reading this :-/

  115. regarding this post… I’d have to agree on some parts!

    I absolutely hate that they charge for everything. yes budget and you have to pay, but I agree on the taking out your wallet bit. it sort of makes one feel annoyed(at least me). on the part about entertainment, I prefer my own. Even though I don’t have kids, I do have my own ipad and ipod. When flying commercial or budget I have em’ loaded with things I want to do. watching movies, playing games or working on stuff. For blankets I would usually use a jacket as alternative, because who brings their own blanket! for food maybe try bringing your own although they say they don’t allow your own food, just give an excuse, something like the options on board are not enough or kids being picky eaters, I don’t think they’d let you starve! I once saw someone on a somewhat short flight eating KFC on board and they didn’t care the least.

    Thing is, I’ve always felt it be better to sit commercial for long haul because the overall atmosphere is better, and when you need help at least you know they will help.

  116. It seems like you don’t know the proper way to raise a child. I myself got seven children and everyone of them become successful professionals nowadays. I never let them watch tv or play electronic gadgets when they were small. I want them to only focus on their studies and their success now proves i’m good at raising children.

  117. The problem is not with Airasia but your poor parenthood. You should become a stay at home mum instead of blaming friendly airline services. I know you look down on Asians and want them to treat you like queen. Stop being rude and respect others.

    1. “Stop being rude and respect others.”
      Classic! Because you’re a stellar role model of this. Gave me the best laugh of the day. Thank you.

    2. Really?? How about you spend 5 minutes on our site and you’ll realise how much we love Asians, have lived in Asia and travelled Asia extensively. Oh, and have travelled the world extensively with our kids. We’re not being rude and disrespectful, we call a spade a spade! This post was obviously not written for you sir, but for the thousands of other Australian families considering a long-term flight with Air Asia and what they could expect, the good and the bad, which we outlined CLEARLY in the post. Read it!!!

  118. andrew betancourt

    I had to laugh at your posting. The fact that you mentioned that there is nothing to eat for you as a poor vegetarian gluten free human tells me something. also the fact is that you are on such a budget that spending a penny is just so terrible. You should stay home, enjoy your neighbors, enjoy your local attractions and stay off any airline and you will feel so much better.

  119. Hello, I’d just been looking online to find out what I can do about Air Asia and saw this. Just wanted to let everyone know about our problem. I’m an American living in the Philippines. My family and I flew Air Asia last year to Hong Kong short flight, no problems. This year, after checking flights and hotels, I decided to book flight and hotel together with them for Kota Kinabalu. All went well confirmation said everything was fine. The next day I went on Air Asia to see about assigning seats and found my flight had been moved to the next day with return a day later. Thought no problem we’re flexible, but later found they changed flight but didn’t change hotel dates. Only # to call was in Malaysia, hard to understand and after 15m they cut me off. So tried online chat, they said they could only change my flight which could not go back to the hotel dates so useless. They did take my # and email said they would contact. 2 weeks now nothing. I’ve sent emails to there contact email but nothing. Hotel wants to help but can’t change cause it’s prepaid. They got me in contact with Expedia they wanted to help but could not change in there computer because it was a package with Air Asia. They finally connected me with Hotels.com. they tried everything was going to cancel the booking refund the credit card and re book but in the end found out they would be refunding Air Asia card and charging mine (so paying double). Every review I’ve found online says Air Asia will call you back but it never happens. Right now they’ve stolen one nights lodging from me and I’ll have to pay another night on the back end. Even reading their terms and conditions it says no changes or modifications but if they change anything for more then 12 hrs they are responsible. I guess if they ignore everything the customer just goes away. My flight is in a little over a week and nothing is getting fixed. The other problem could be hotel, many will cancel the reservation after first night if a no show. I will email them. They did text me 7 days after reservations where made saying flight was changed (but I had seen it 6 days earlier online) and I did see they changed my printed confirmation online to change the flight but not the hotel.

    1. Sorry to hear about your situation. I can’t personally help but I wouldn’t let this go and keep contacting them. Have you tried messaging them on their FB page?

  120. I agree with the point that Airasia is a damn lousy airline. Not only the food available have limited choice, but also not good. There are no entertainment service at all. The chinese air steward are also rude like hell and treat his customers like shit. I will also never choose Airasia again. Together we boycott Airasia. Sorry for my bad English, Im from Cambodia.

  121. adorable children and cool post. If it is any consolation, I once took a long distance train from Belgrade to Bar which was 11 hours! Evil communist style, hole in floor for a toilet, narrow corridor, and by old I don’t mean ancient, but hardly maintained since Tito was president. Because of Montenegro becoming independent I had to show my passport four times slowing everything down and this was a snail’s pace already. Oh and I had to squat down somewhere in a filthy corner because the train had 3x as many passengers as seats. In a poor country like Serbia that means sitting somewhere around fag butts, take it from me everyone smokes there and a lot! But in the end I had a fantastic holiday at the beautiful Montenegrin coast!

  122. only flew wit AA once.. but since i hv set my mind tht IT IS a budget airline, so my expectation wasnt tht high n i had an extra seat between my buddy n i tht we’re able to use to play cards on, so no complain..

    but i think, ur review is not fair to AA too.. i flown emirates, turkish, qatar, air france n of course as malaysian, MAS. to me, apart from food, i dont find myself craving for other things from the airlines compare to budget airlines.. ur issues i can sense were mainly on entertainment, the ridiculous budget airport, food n long queue at check in..

    1) wow.. seriously?? no ipad? its 2014… i never relied on the airlines entertainment system. i carry my ipad around. have sélected my own movies/series on it.. hv my songs on my phone.. n seriously, with kids even on full fledge airlines, i dont think the small screen behind the seats will help.. so live wit it.

    2) on food.. hey, IT IS BUDGET.. book earlier.. but yes, on the online services, AA sucks.. but again, they are budget.. cut cost on all things.. including systèms.. how do u think they make money?

    3) the airport.. well as one of my fellow malaysian mentioned, there’s new terminal for budget.. never been, but i bet it is better thn the “supposedly cargo terminal” of the last one.. try to google KLIA2 for more info. n hopefully the check in issue shud be solve wit this new terminal too..

    anyways.. ur review was good as it gives the insights flying budget wit kids. just i dont like the way ur words n sentences implyin the blame on AA when u r aware of their business model – BUDGET – CUT COST ON EVERYTHING. like u cutting cost on ur fare

    1. 1. What rule states that EVERYONE has to own an ipad??

      2. As we MENTIONED several times in the post we knew it was budget!! And yes their online booking system sux as you agree!!

      3. The new airport WAS NOT BUILT when we flew with them!

      So, how is it again that our article is not fair to AA??

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