It is a new year and a year of new destinations to explore. Starting this year of travels was a short trip to Seoul for the cold winter and my virgin ski experience. Flights were on a mix of Thai AirAsia group and SQ, and it would also be my first experience of the AirAsia X Premium Flatbed product and see how it compares to the full-service airlines. The flight up to Seoul required a transit in Don Muang, with the SIN-DMK sector on FD, and DMK-ICN on XJ. Both are part of the AirAsia group and offers through check-in and luggage transfer.
The AirAsia group uses Changi's new Terminal 4 since November last year, which was where I departed from tonight. Terminal 4 was new, but expectedly with very few airlines using the terminal at the moment, there was hardly any passengers. So lets start with a review of the new Terminal 4.
Very bright check-in hall.
Majority of flights were from the AirAsia group. Definitely not a busy terminal currently. Not sure if Changi can attract more airlines operating narrow-bodies to this terminal as with the 17 narrowbody gates, they seemed to be very under-utilised.
AirAsia's self check-in counters at Row 4.
Boarding passes for both sectors were issed by the machine. Note the many codes on the boarding passes? Will explain the reason later on.
After boarding passes were printed, baggage were brought to the self-bagdrop counter. As I was flying on Premium Flatbed in the connecting sector and eligible for priority handling, a "Xpress" tag could be obtained from the staffing manning the premium counter, though it did not really work as my bag was not among the first on the baggage delivery belt in Incheon.
A baggage receipt was also printed.
Unlike the other terminals which has screening done at the gate, T4 has centralised screening just after immigration.
After security, you would be required to walk through the duty-free shops, which were mostly very empty due to the lack of passengers.
Same sight in the departure hall, which was not busy as well.
The eateries available at the Food Hall.
There is a Peranakan Gallery, which is a heritage showcase of Peranakan culture, which is the theme of this terminal. Interestingly, the SQ kebaya uniforms were also showcased!
More shops screaming for customers.
The fascade of a couple of the shophouses are actually animated screens. One of the highlights of the T4 attractions other than the quirky seats and benches.
It was a pretty long walk to gate G1 where the flight would be departing from. Passing the many empty narrowbody gates.
I liked the open concept design for the waiting lounge with a pretty comfortable waiting area.
17 January 2018 Thai AirAsia FD 352 Singapore (SIN) - Bangkok Don Muang (DMK) A320 HS-ABY Economy Class Flight Time: 2H00M
A320 operating the flight to Bangkok.
With the short turnaround time, boarding commenced shortly after the passengers from the arriving flight has disembarked. Passengers seated in the Hot seats (seats with red headrests) were allowed to board first. Being on a Premium Flatbed ticket, we were allowed free seat selection, including Hot seats, on this sector, and chose the emergency exit row for the legroom.
The seats fitted on this aircraft are slimline seats, different from the seats on my previous AirAsia flights. According to the web, this aircraft was initially bound for Air Berlin, but was bought over by AirAsia instead. Legroom, expectedly, was very good at the emex row.
Boarding in progress. Flight was about 3/4 full, with most of the red-coloured headrested Hot seats remaining unoccupied.
Stuff in the seat pocket which included the English and Thai versions of the inflight magazine, BOB menu and duty-free shopping guide.
View out the window. Note the very empty gates. Even SilkAir aircraft were using the gates as remote stands.
All ready to go.
Safety demo was performed manually and we pushed back for the short taxi to the runway.
Departure from Rwy02C bound for Bangkok.
Service commenced shortly after departure, with the distribution of pre-booked meals.
Included with the Premium Flatbed fare was a free meal and drink on each sector. However, due to some glitch in AirAsia's website/mobile app, we were "allowed" to select 2 meals for free on this sector. Hence I pre-ordered the Japanese meal of Salt and Chilli salmon (which came with miso soup and a jelly dessert), and a Mango Sticky rice dessert, as well as 2 drinks. Ended up with a feast!
Hot miso soup in a cup, great for warming the stomach.
The salmon was good but a bit spicy.
Ending with the strawberry jelly dessert and mango sticky rice. The mango sticky rice was much better than the jelly.
After the meal was cleared, I visited the lavatory. It was clean and stocked with the basic amenities.
View of the cabin.
Lights were dimmed for the rest of the flight for passengers to rest. Just lazed at the seat till descend into Bangkok.
Approach and landing in Bangkok Don Muang Rwy21R. Arrived right on schedule.
A short taxi later and we parked at the remote stand.
Comfortable seat with great legroom and decent recline on the 2hrs flight.
Disembarking. One of the cabin crew was at the tarmac thanking passengers.
Another look at the A320 from the tarmac before boarding the transfer bus to the terminal.
After clearing transfer security at the arrivals and heading up to the departure level, we needed to kill more than 2hrs at Don Muang. Using our priority passes, we headed to the Coral Executive Lounge.
The lounge, which is the newer of 2 lounges in Don Muang, is tastefully furnished with ample seating and lounging areas.
There is a basic but decent buffet selection.
Grabbed a variety of nibbles to snack on.
Thai Air Asia
Singapore - SIN
Bangkok - DMK
It was a pleasant and comfortable short sector on Thai AirAsia.
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