Review of Air Asia flight Siem Reap Kuala Lumpur in Economy

Airline Air Asia
Flight AK541
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 02:10
Take-off 07 Feb 18, 15:00
Arrival at 07 Feb 18, 18:10
AK   #11 out of 22 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 112 reviews
loukas
By SILVER 898
Published on 19th March 2018
Hi and welcome to the report number 4 in this series:

01.02 WAW-DOH, QATAR AIRWAYS - A320 - https://flight-report.com/en/report/30559/Qatar-Airways-QR-262-Warsaw-WAW-Doha-DOH
02.02 DOH-BKK, QATAR AIRWAYS - A380 - https://flight-report.com/en/report/30667/Qatar-Airways-QR830-Doha-DOH-Bangkok-BKK
05.02 BKK-REP, THAI SMILE - A320 - https://flight-report.com/en/report/30925/Thai-Smile-WE-588-Bangkok-BKK-Siem-Reap-REP
07.02 REP-KUL, AIR ASIA - A320neo - you are here
09.02 KUL-SGN, MALAYSIA AIRLINES - B738
12.02 SGN-PQC, VIET JET AIR - A321
16.02 PQC-BKK, BANGKOK AIRWAYS - ATR72-600
17.02 BKK-DOH, QATAR AIRWAYS - A380
17.02 DOH-WAW, QATAR AIRWAYS - A320

After a very pleasant flight with Thai Smile, we arrived to Siem Reap mainly for - what was planned and postponed many times for a very long time - a visit to fameous Angkor temples. Cambodia from the very first moment made an impression of a very rural and authentic country, even if we were so close to the main local tourist attraction. More impressions and photos may be found in the below bonus.

Bonus : Click here display


THE FLIGHT



After almost three days spent in Cambodia it was time to continue our Asia express tour with Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia being the next stop on our route. I noticed that in this part of the world even a short tuk tuk ride to the airport may be intersting as you can see some local life and traffic that looks so different from the one we are used to.



And here we are back to Siem Reap International Airport. This time we are going to see the departures terminal that in my opinion looks much worse and is much smaller than the arrivals hall which is very strange.



There are quite a lot of flights from and to Siem Reap but no long haul flights yet. Except for numerous connections to the closest hubs such as BKK, KUL or SGN, there are many daily flights from China as Angkor is a very popular destination for Chinese during the new year period.

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We head to Air Asia check-in desks to leave our luggage that normally wouldn't be included in the ticket tarrif if we hadn't paid for it extra or bought a special "value pack" where 20 kg bag, a non-vegetarian meal and an additional insurance were included. Tha pack costed just a 2-3 USD more than just the luggage so we decided to take it and taste Air Asia meals that we found decribed in many reports as very tasty. We'll see…

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Here one can easily see which plane types operate to and from REP

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A small garden with sculptures can be seen outside but there is no access to it

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While we head to passport and security control I find out on FlightRadar24 that the plane that is going to take us to KUL has left the airport more than an hour later than scheduled. As a result our flight is also delayed. The good thing is we are going to fly a brand new A320neo, so maybe it's worth waiting? I hope there is going to be something to do here. At this point I discover that cold mornings and usually too strong air condition did their job and I'm starting to have a cold. I just hope the changes of pressure during flight won't make my head and ears explode.

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There are some duty free shops but the prices make us almost faint - they are 4-5 times higher than outside the airport and look really ridiculous. I know there are mostly foreign tourists here that are usually "wealthier" than the locals but paying 5 USD for a small pack of Cambodian pepper that costs 1 USD in the city is a misunderstanding.

Luckily our wait isn't that long and boring thanks to good spotting facilities here and mostly exotic carriers (excluding the Small Planet planes flying for Cambodia Angkor Airlines and Vietnam Airlines).

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I was close to booking this MH flight to KUL instead of the Air Asia one but as the prices went up one day I decided for the LCC.

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Bangkok Airways A319 to BKK

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Spring Airways
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Lao Airlines ATR

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Small Planet
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Finally our A320neo arrives and boarding starts. As always here we get to the plane on foot which gives some spotting facilities.

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Our A320neo

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Cambodia Angkor A320

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Let's get inside!

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The red marked premium seats in the front and in the emergency exits rows. The cabin looks very fresh and new.




We slowly make it to our seats to discover that the difference in temperature between the outside and inside air is approximately 20 degrees Celsius! The cabin is freezing cold. I wear my hoodie blouse that I always take with me but some people wear very light clothes. A girl sitting not far away from us asks a FA for a blanket but the answer is very LCC style: we don't provide free blankets but you may buy one if you wish! (if you don't, please tell us where we should deliver your frozen body - I add in my thoughts). It's ok to offer blankets for purchase but it's not ok to make passengers do it by lowering the temperture beyond any sustainable level.

Pitch is very tipical for a low cost airline and adding to that the very full seat pocket, there's not much space for the legs, even for a 2-hours flight.

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The safety card indicating we are flying the NEO version. I couldn't spot the difference between the classic and the NEO version as far as the safety measures are concerned, maybe the card is in this case just one more promotion leaflet.

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View from my window before we start to taxi.

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Entering the runway

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Take off



Misty Siem Reap. The fog is actually a smog coming from traditional fireplaces located outside the houses - that's the way people still cook here and the smell of smoke is sometimes very intense.



Some mountains as we head towards the sea shore that will be visibile soon

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Here it is

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As we start to cross the Thailand Gulf, the service starts by distributing the preordered or - as in our case - included in the travel pack meals. I expected everything somewhere between Cambodia and Malaysia but not italian pasta for goodness sake! A classic rice + chicken would be something more appropriate but let's give it a try.

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It's not bad but it's so spicy that I can hardly breathe. Is it Air Asia's another way to make pax order more drinks? The water included in the set is hardly enough for this spicy as hell pasta and I'm the one who loves spicy food so believe me I'm not complaining just to complain.

A quick look into the BOB shows they have much more to offer and the prices are ok. Next time I won't take the pack and order something else than pasta arrabiata.



As a leading LCC in the region Air Asia has also a huge variety of collectibles with its logo, inlcuding the above mentioned blanket as a part of "comfort set". For your own comfort please buy the blanket! :)



Entering Malaysia's land from the north-east.

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A cloud that we literally circled. Judging by its shape it could cause some unpleasant turbulence. The flight is generally very bumpy but the strange thing is that the fasten seat bealt sign is off all the time. I have a feeling in other airlines (like QR for example) it would be on during entire flight.



We make our final decent over the sea. Is there an artificial palm tree shape island in Malaysia?



And short finals reveal some huge palm tree farms



Welcome to KUL - KLIA 2 - Air Asia's main nest.

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Last view of the cabin and this NEO bird from outside

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KLIA2 looks like a huge terminal, it's hard to believe it is just the second (and the low cost) part of this airport. Let's see where to look for our bags as the immigration process is so fast and nice I can hardly remeber it 5 minutes later.

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Our bags happily arrive and we can go to catch the bus that will take us to the city. Thanks a lot for reading, the series will be continued soon! :)
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Verdict

Air Asia

6.5/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Buy-on-board menu6.0

Siem Reap - REP

6.9/10
Efficiency6.5
Access6.5
Services6.0
Cleanliness8.5

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Hard to say if there is any difference for a passenger between the A320 neo and the brand new A320. Maybe I found it a little bit more quiet but that's it. Nothing exceptional but it is always good to fly a new aircraft and to have a new type in collection :) Air Asia leaves mixed impressions, I would call it a very good LCC, definitely better than Ryanair for example but "the blanket case" and far too spicy food reveals some bad practices. Cabin crew was rather neutral. REP is a very local airport with crazy prices in duty free shops but generally very nice atmosphere and decent spotting facilities, WiFi was also very good and fast. KLIA2 is huge and looks like a giant shopping mall. Very fast and polite immigration officers in Malaysia, no need to fill arrival forms.

Related

9 Comments

  • Comment 437872 by
    marathon GOLD 9557 Comments

    I often saw a Small Planet A320 in CDG. I did not expect that a twin would be in REP !

    7.5 for a cabin which is ice cold and where they SELL you blankets ! You are too kind; I would have slashed the comfort rating, with a stingy pitch at that.

    I doubt the neo version makes any difference with regards to safety information.

    I too would have been disappointed to have pasta on this flight, but it would not be spicy if it was Italian.
    On the other hand, in the BOB menu, Kungpao chicken 宫保鸡丁 is a quintessential Sichuan dish, and famous for its fiery hot red peppers.

    It took me some Google Earth time, but I located the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort, due south from KUL. The ensuing pictures show Port Dickson.

    Thanks for sharing !

    • Comment 438135 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 341 Comments

      Hi Marathon, yes, you are right, I must have made a mistake rating the cabin, will change that for sure. Pasta arrabiata is always spicy but this one was far too spicy for an inflight meal, especially when you have nothing to choose from. Thanks for locating the the palm and Port Dickson. Have a good one!

  • Comment 438275 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5273 Comments

    Hi Loukas! Thanks for this new report in your SE Asian adventures! Hmmm...yeah, I guess there's really no big difference to flying an A320neo vs a new A320ceo. Nevertheless, it's always cool to fly a new aircraft as an AvGeek :-)

    I remember the pitch being pretty tight when I flew Air Asia, but it was ok for a short flight. I wouldn't wanna fly AirAsia for a 3+ hr flight though. I also like their BOB--good choice and super cheap.

    Beautiful pictures as always. Nice aerials! Those sharklets are sexy :-)

    • Comment 438312 by
      loukas SILVER AUTHOR 341 Comments

      Thanks for stopping by, Kevin. Yes, it is nice to fly a new aircraft even if you can't feel the difference. The BOB looks great indeed, I have to try it next time. Oh yes, the red sharklets are fantastic! Have a good one, thanks!

  • Comment 438304 by
    KL651 TEAM 4481 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Good to know that the package sold is just not worth it and it be better to choose what you want from the BoB once onbaord.
    If you don't have a view on the engine, I guess the Neo is indeed just as a regular A320.

  • Comment 440075 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Wonderful bonus shots from Cambodia.

    Nice spotting shots at REP.

    The BOB menu looks extensive.

    Great aerial shots throughout the flight.

    Glad to hear your immigration experience in KUL was positive.

    Have a good one, see you.

  • Comment 459796 by
    Leozz 2 Comments

    Hello so if we purchased their value pack, we cannot choose which meal we want? Thank you.

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