To end my amazing trip to Australia I decided to book a stop over in Malaysia on my return journey. I already had a flight booked from Kuala Lumpur to London with British Airways, so I just needed to find a flight to Kuala Lumpur from Adelaide. I looked at many options including Qantas, Malaysia Airways and Singapore Airlines, but then by chance I heard about an option with an Asian low cost airline, Air Asia. Premium Flatbed is the Air Asia low cost business class product which I had found.
I booked my seat on Premium Flatbed well in advance and it cost just under £300 one way from Australia to Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately Air Asia does not operate from Adelaide, so I chose to fly out from Melbourne, which meant that I had to book an internal flight from Adelaide to Melbourne prior to the flight.
Air Asia Low Cost Business Class
Check In – There were 7 check in desks at Melbourne Airport for the flight, one of which was for Premium Flatbed. Although the regular queue was quite long, the Premium Flatbed queue had only one family in front of me checking in so I didn’t have to wait long. Each Premium Flatbed customer is entitled to 40KG of checked luggage.
Lounge – For customers traveling out of Kuala Lumpur there is lounge use, but unfortunately there is no lounge access for flights departing from Melbourne.
Boarding – As with any premium class of travel, Premium Flatbed customers are invited to board the aircraft first. As there are only 12 seats in the cabin, boarding was pretty quick.
Seats – There are two rows of 2 – 2 – 2 seating, so 12 seats in total. The seats are angle-flatbed seats, and they are spacious and comfortable. Full controls for the seat are located in the armrest, so you can position the seat to your desired position. Complimentary pillows and blankets are also provided. There are a few areas located around the seat to store items such as shoes, books and drinks etc, with plenty of overhead locker space. Interestingly you get no additional cabin baggage allowance, so each passenger is allowed one cabin case plus a laptop/rucksack/handbag with a combined weight of 7KG. I think my bags would have weighed slightly over this limit, however no one on the gate seemed to check any of the premium passengers carry-on baggage.
Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Cabin – The cabin itself was clean and tidy, decorated in Air Asia’s grey and red company colours. Being a low cost airline there was advertising on the bulkhead walls, and on our aircraft the advertising was for the film X-Men Apocalypse. The exterior of the aircraft also had X-Men Apocalypse branding on it.
Food – On Air Asia’s low cost business class, each Premium Flatbed customer is entitled to one free meal which can be ordered online in advance or onboard. Additional items can be purchased for around £3 per dish. I chose a noodle dish as well as chicken satay, and taking into consideration the same meals are available throughout the aircraft, and that they cost approximately £3 each, they were excellent value for money, and surprisingly quite tasty too.
Drinks – Bottled water is complimentary, but all other drinks are available for purchase. There is an extensive range of hot and old drinks available, as well as alcoholic options. The drinks are also very reasonably priced, and multi buy options are also available. They have prosecco and wine available for £4.50 a bottle, £4 for spirits and £3 for beers. Compared with some of the low-cost carriers in Europe these prices are very reasonable.
Entertainment – There is no built-in onboard entertainment available, however you can rent a tablet from the cabin crew with all the usual entertainment options available. Premium Flatbed customers have complimentary use of a tablet. For anyone excited about the X-Men Apocalypse branding on the plane, the film is unfortunately not available on the tablet.
Disembarking – Disembarking at Kuala Lumpur’s low cost carrier terminal (KLIA2) was relatively quick, but the gate was across the airbridge, so it was quite a walk into the main terminal building to retrieve our bags and exit the terminal. Our bags were tagged as priority and did arrive relatively quickly.
Verdict – Although Air Asia’s low cost business class product does not include some of the usual business class perks such as free drinks and lounge access, and the meals are the same throughout the aircraft, for the very small price that I paid for an 8 hour flight it was worth it, even for the comfort level alone. The big question is, would I fly Air Asia’s Premium Flatbed again? – Yes I would!