D7 551 Economy Class (CTS-KUL)

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Air Asia X is the regional/long-haul arm of Air Asia.  It was previously served by A340s which has since been replaced by the more fuel efficient A330-300.  My flight D7 551 is served by this plane.

The Air Asia X A330-300 consists of 2 classes: Premium Flat Bed (aka Business Class) and Economy Class.  Within Economy Class, there are 3 options (basic, plus and flex).  Basic, as the name suggest is only the basic fare with no luggage allowance and meals.  Plus comes with 20kg luggage allowance and 1 meal (no choice allowed) while Flex comes with 2 meals and 20kg luggage allowance (and FOC change).  Additional luggage allowance can be added during check out.

The A330-300 has 12 Premium Flat seats (which is a typical regional style angled lie-flat seats) and the rest are economy class seats (in 3-3-3 configuration) which is further divided into multiple zones and hot seats.

Check in was straightforward, we were issued our boarding passes and we queued up to enter the departure hall.  Our flight was about 75-80% full and thankfully, I had no passengers next to me.  Boarding was rather haphazard as the ground staff failed to board passengers according to zone.  Things proceeded smoothly once everyone made their way into the cabin.  There was no delay in boarding and soon we were on our way to Kuala Lumpur.

The seat, as expected is rather tight as A330 typically seats 8 abreast.  Seat pitch is still acceptable, but it was still tight for me.  There is no personal IFE but entertainment system can be rented at RM 60 (RM 49 if prebooked online).  The selection however is extremely limited.

My ticket included 20kg luggage and 1 meal (which were pre-selected as Nasi Lemak).  There are other options available but these will incur additional cost (unless one chooses full flex ticket).  The nasi lemak was ok for budget airline meal and it comes with a bottle of mineral water.  My parents’ tickets had 2 inclusive meals (nasi lemak and satay).

Date : 14 October 2016

Flight : D7 551

Plane : A330-300

Photo taken : iPhone 6s

Seats : 23H

Duration : 8 Hours 30 minutes

Flight was pretty smooth and uneventful.  Seat width and pitch was limited for my height but it was bearable for a morning flight.  The meals were OK in quality (although the Satay was a little dry) but quantity wasn’t great.  It was cheaper to pre-book your meals online than to purchase it during flight.

 

As for service, do not expect legacy carrier level of service as this is still a budget airline.  Passengers were greeted during boarding but you won’t feel much warmth unlike when you board MH or SQ.  Throughout the flight, I had minimal contact with the crew other than during meal service.  I can describe the service as ‘efficient’ – fast, curt, eager to get things done ASAP and move on.  Keep your expectations low and you will not be disappointed :).  Do not forget that Air Asia X is a budget carrier.

 

We arrived at KLIA2 on time, and after a short taxi we came to a stop and as I disembarked, I realised that we did not have an aerobridge!  everyone had to walk down the stairs and walk on the tarmac to the terminal building.

This was my first time (and I hope the last) in KLIA2.  The walk to the immigration counter took almost 10 minutes.  The immigration queue was thankfully short.  However, it took almost 30 minutes for my luggage to appear (the carousel was serving both Chitose and Danang flight simultaneously!)

After collecting my luggage, I exited the gate only to realise that the exit is another 10 minutes walk from the gate!  KLIA2 looked more like a shopping mall than an airport and I find the layout rather inefficient (unlike Chitose).  Personally, I still prefer KLIA more than KLIA2.

Overall, the flight was acceptable as I had 3 seats to myself.  I would not want to try a red-eye flight on these seats.  Given a choice, I would rather not take Air Asia X again (unless to try the Premium Flat Bed).

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