Airline of the week – Air Asia


When you think globally of low-cost budget carriers, a few names spring to mind: Southwest Airlines (US), Tiger Airways (SG), Jetstar (AU), Easyjet (UK), and Air Asia (Malaysia).

As I’m based in the US, I have flown a number of times with Southwest, and it’s always been a pleasant, humor-filled experience. Easyjet I would steer clear of, based solely on the reality TV show they presumably voluntarily participated in that each week showed cranky aggressive check-in staff, late or cancelled flights, and drunken football fans/passengers trying to get to matches on the continent. And don’t even get me started about Jetstar, who hands down wins the worst (read completely non-existent) customer service award of all time. My parents nearly missed my own wedding in Hawaii last summer due entirely to Jetstar’s inability to run their airline with any degree of interest in operating flights when they claim they will. I’ll leave it there, but Jetstar richly deserve it’s reputation.

At the opposite end of the spectrum within low cost carriers, I recently flew with Air Asia from Singapore to Phuket with family, and we all were genuinely very impressed with all aspects of our flights, from check in through to inflight services to baggage handling.

Be warned, Air Asia do nickel and dime you on the weight restrictions/baggage allowance, but plan accordingly and you can fly to a wide range of destinations for very little.

How little is little? We paid about US$300 for four people to fly roundtrip SIN-HKT all in. Best of all, the planes are ultra clean, crew friendly, and on-time performance is excellent. Current specials on Air Asia from KLIA include Phuket for RM 50 and Melbourne for RM 220; out of the UK look for seats from GBP 160 into KL and then GBP 13 for a ticket to Krabi, Thailand. Or how about Melbourne to KL for AU130 and then an additional AU160 to London, each way, all in? These are just a few of dozens of remarkably low fares from a low-cost carrier that aims high, delivering a terrific flying experience.

For couples holding a destination wedding, regardless of the location, be sure to check sale prices on Air Asia – with many routes, rock-bottom prices, and great service, it’s possible for family and friends who might not have the budget to attend a destination wedding to RSVP yes!

Tip: Check out the onboard duty free for super wraps/shawls at bargain prices; they make nice additions to your welcome baskets for wedding guests.