Life in TransitA Digital Nomad in Asia

Why I Switched from AirAsia as my Main Airline for Inter Asian Travel (and what I switched to)

A tale of two airlines.

A tale of two airlines.

With all due respect, AirAsia was the pioneer in the Asian and possibly global low cost carrier industry.

Its cheap flights to just about everywhere in Asia for little more than the cost of a seat makes travelling between Asian countries very affordable. This single-handedly changed the face of Asian tourism.

The way that AirAsia saves costs is by offering no-frills service. The bare bones cost of your flight give you nothing more than just your seat.

Everything else, from a drink to a snack and even to check in baggage costs you extra. It was great at the dawn of this industry when you were given options, instead of having everything bundled together for 1000 of dollars for a single flight.

Inflight entertainment was of course nonexistent.

But lately, there has been competition and the competition is pushing hard.

I first flew on an airline two years ago where I was given free check in baggage.

That made things really convenient. I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I could carry my bags on the plane. I just tagged it and into the cargo hold it went. The price for the flight was comparable to the AirAsia flight.

Recently, I have found yet another airline which gives me more value, for a price that is just as competitive as AirAsia.

Last night, as I boarded my plane on that airline, I notice that there was a touch screen terminal in front of me. I clicked around was disappointed that all I could do with the screen was turn it on and off adjust screen brightness and volume.

”Can’t expect much for a budget airline,” I thought to myself. “They probably just use this on long haul flights.”

However, as we taxied to the runway, I noticed it changed. It was now a full-fledged inflight entertainment system.

The system included movies, television shows and even games for kids. There was also a USB plug that I could use to charge my device.

That alone would have made my 1700 THB flight from Don Muang airport to Kuala Lumpur much more exciting than an AirAsia flight.

Yet, when we took off, I was offered a free drink and a pack of cookies.

Although the drink was just water, the little things like that really make a difference. Sometimes, you get the munchies and are thirsty because the air in an airplane is rather dry. You don’t have to pay extra for a small snack and the gesture is totally appreciated.

You also aren’t forced to buy overpriced food. The food prices aren’t much more than airport prices. These little things make the service a lot better than AirAsia in value.

I should also mention that 20 kilograms of free check-in luggage was included in the price.

This was actually the second time I have flown Malindo airlines and this time, I didn’t even check the AirAsia site before I booked my flight on Malindo. While I have no complaints about AirAsia generally, I think the low cost carrier competition space is getting a lot tighter and with that, a lot more value for the customer.

Which is your favourite airline?

Please share your answer in the comments below
Posted in: Cover, Journal