Here we are in Australia, having flown Singapore to KL, and then from KL to Coolangatta on budget airline Air Asia. Did the budget flights compare to similar flights we have taken on other airlines? The price certainly was a fraction of the price of the Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Sydney so I tried to overlook any inconveniences that we faced. Most were small but a few really did make the trip uncomfortable. Here are the major differences between a normal flight and a budget long-haul flight:

The worst for me was no blanket on the overnight flight. I could have (should have) bought a "comfort pack" for RM35 when I booked online, but I didn’t spot that add-on. The "comfort pack" consists of a cosy blanket, eye covers, and a blow-up neck pillow. If you are not well dressed this is definitely worth buying.

I was freezing all night, and wished I had worn longer trousers, socks and fleecy jacket instead of cotton cardigan and three quarter length jeans. Thankfully the kind man sitting along from me let me use his “comfort pack” which he said he didn’t need, so I gave the blanket to Ben, who was also cold, the eye covers to Maya, and I got a few hours use of the pillow.

The second thing, and the first we noticed as soon as we entered the plane , is the narrowness of the seats. These planes should be configured 2-4-2, but instead they are 3-3-3, adding as extra seat to each row. If you are a large hipped person this is going to be a major squeeze.

The third was the on flight entertainment. There was a small selection of movies and TV series to choose from (nothing very interesting), but at a cost of RM30. This could be pre-paid or paid via credit card on the flight. Really, we didn't bother with this as it was a late flight and we needed to sleep.

We booked a meal each online, and they were fine. Actually the kids meal was pretty good; penne bolognaise with a juice, chocolate bar, raisins and a little puzzle. There was no need to pre-book meals though, as they were only RM10 on the flight and all available.

The trolley service was incredibly slow; no drinks trolley soon after take-off, and the meals seemed to take hours to get to us, by which time the kids were almost asleep. Apart from that, the flight was fine! We were on time, there were a few extra seats for people to spread out, although not for us unfortunately.

We arrived at 7.30am to a chilly 10 degrees Celsius, although it soon warmed up to around 21 degrees. It is wonderful to be here, we are all sunburnt from the unexpected warmth of the winter sun in Byron Bay, but feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Enjoy the Singapore National Day Parade, and will try to write again soon.


Elaine said... @ August 7, 2009 at 2:04 AM

Hi Milly,

Just wanna read your blog to see how you are getting on and see your adventure on the flight. Oh dear...hope you are having lots of fun with your family back home. :)

Anonymous said... @ August 9, 2009 at 1:10 AM

Good info. Thanks for posting!

Jinghui said... @ August 11, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Thanks for sharing your stories ! Especially on budget airlines operating on medium and long haul flights !

Have fun back home in the Land Down Under !!

I missed Queensland !!


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