We're going to LANGKAWI next weekend for our anniversary this year.. and we're looking forward to soem relaxing time.. plan for munchkins to spend a whole day at a spa there while I doze off by the beach.. yes I love dozing off on the beach.. under cool shade of coconut tree and the sea breeze.. that would do me more good than any spa..
but first we have to deal with flight and accomidation and I would like to use this opportunity to review 2 airlines that could fly you there. The world famous MAS (Malaysian Airlines) and local favourite AirAsia. This review is from my experience booking, boarding and flying the 2 airlines in the last years..
Round 1. Flight Booking
Air asia definately know what they're doing with the online booking system via web. The website is both fast and secure but what is mroe important is that the system is very userfriendly. You select the departure location and your destination, dates and you'll be presented with available flights AND TICKET PRICE.
The budget traveler in me loves this as I can adjust my traveling schedule to best meet my budget. Payment can be made online with credit cards and also maybank2u directly from the website which is very good to those who don't use credit cards.
Let's look at Flight Booking at Malaysia Airlines.. They started the online booking last year. Same intuitive interface, select your departure and arrival airports, dates and you will be presented with available flights ONLY. There's no indication of the ticket price so I have no idea which flight would save me more money. BAD BAD BAD!
Winner : AirAsia
I have the uncanny impression that the ticket prices are all the same for any flights on Malaysian Airlilnes. Ok sure, I selected the flight that I wanted and then only I could get the ticket price on the next screen. Which brings us to second part of our review.
2. The Money
OK here is where the most important part of this review is. My return ticket to Langkawi for 2 person on AirAsia comes up to RM159.96. I was lucky enough to found a very good price for the tickets at RM9.99/person/way plus taxes. I wasn't very sure that this was the best deal I could get until I checked on the price on Malaysian Airlines webpage. The same return trip for 2 person at same time frame would cost me a whopping RM 892.00.
Winner : AirAsia
Next would be another important factor to consider. The quality of service. The experience factor and I will base this review on the following experiences that I had.
1. Flight from Kota Bharu to Subang Airport
(before all domestic flights moved to KLIA)
2. Return flight KLIA - Kuching Airport
3. Return flight KLIA - Kota Bharu
1. I took the flight on Malaysia Airlines from KB airport to Subang airport returning from my grandparent funeral. Services byt the cabin crew was of expected by a world class airline. The flight took about 45 minutes and it was too short to have any much experience. The seating arrangement is fixed with the seat number clearly stated in your boarding pass. I opted for the aisle seat due to I was flying alone and it was almost dark. We were served an orange cordial which tasted like vitamin C tablet. Strangely enough, nothign much for me to remember except for the terbulance we had in mid air. Hehehe I guess I was nervous because it has been a while since I last flew on a plane then.
2. Last year me and munchkins booked us return ticket to kuching for our anniversary. The return ticket was RM235.96 (I have this figure from my Airasia past travel information). It was free seating so everyone sort of rushed to get the best seats on the plane. It felt like I'm boarding a mini-bus but we only have ourselves to blame for that. I was glad to see that pregnant women, children and the elderlies were let boarded first before the rest of the passangers.
On AirAsia flights, you buy your baverages from the flight attandance. The price is a little higher from ground price but you get to choose. No vitamin C tablet water for me. I opted for a canned drink for both me and mucnhkins. About 10 minutes later the flight attandance came around again collecting any rubbish you had after finishing your drinks/ snacks.
3. Last holiday my family decided to spend the week in Kelantan. We're going to take that 8 hours drive up there but I had concern that it would be too much for my aging mother. I booked return flight for her to Kota Bharu and have her brother pick her up there so that the travel would be a short and pleasant one for her.The ticket price was RM200 for return flight for 1 pers0n due to the festive season.
The departure in KLIA was at 7:30am and we arrived at the checkin counter at 6:45, just minutes before the counter closes. If you have been to KLIA, you know that the walking distance from the immigration counter to the boarding gate is quite far. A normal person would take about 15 minutes of walking just to get there. I had concern that my mother would not make that walk in time before the boarding gate closes. I seeked help.
AirAsia counter had assistance service where their staff would bring elderly or disabled passangers in wheelchairs to the boarding gate. It's not free but I guess not everybody needs this kind of assistance. So I gladly pays RM12 (official rate from airasia) for the staff. My mother made it to the boarding gate with time to spare. She was pleased that I arranged that for her.
Winner : AirAsia simply because I get to choose what to drink on AirAsia flight.
I would have to say that AirAsia is doing a better job at serving domestic customers. I have never been on Malaysia Airlines international fights but I heard so much good comments of them. My somewhat limited domestic flight experience so far shows that AirAsia is cheaper, and in par with Malaysia Airlines domestic services.
Malaysia Airlines need to improve on their online booking services. AirAsia wins by allowing users to plan the best flight to pick for their budget.
Allowing passangers to choose what snacks and drinks to have during flight is another good step by air asia. People appreciate that kind of freedom even if it would cost them few extra ringgits.
Looks like we're flying on AirAsia again this year and this time to Langkawi. I'll write up some more review hoperully of my great experience holidaying in langkawi.
Good day everyone!