Review of Air Asia X flight Bangkok Chitose in Business

Airline Air Asia X
Flight XJ 620
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 06:24
Take-off 03 Nov 18, 00:05
Arrival at 03 Nov 18, 08:29
D7 17 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 1090
Published on 18th November 2018
With almost 5hrs to spare, we did a bit of lounge hopping at Don Mueang, first visiting the Miracle Lounge. Having seen and read rather great reviews of the Miracle Lounges at the main Suvarnabhumi Airport, the one at Don Mueang was nowhere near the quality of the ones at the main airport. Furnishing was basic and looked make-shift.

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The buffet selection was not too bad though, offering a range of choices.

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After about 2hrs at Miracle Lounge (Priority Pass members are limited to 2hrs per entry), we went over to the Coral Lounge. I had visited this lounge on my last transit via Don Mueang early this year and knew what to expect. Lounge décor was definitely much more pleasant than the Miracle Lounge.

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Buffet consisted of finger food, warm mains, servings of pasta, desserts and beverages. Cocktails and alcoholic drinks are available from the bar.

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40min prior to departure, we headed to the gate, where boarding had already commenced.

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02 November 2018
Thai AirAsia X
XJ 620
Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) - Sapporo New Chitose (CTS)
A330-300
HS-XTA
Premium Flatbed (Business Class)
Flight Time: 6H24M



XJ's 1st A330 aircraft, HS-XTA, would be operating the flight today. XJ is expanding rapidly this year and had acquired 3 additional aircraft, including a 'new' ex-SQ A330 (ex 9V-STA) which is still in the SQ seat configuration pending retrofit. The new aircraft (HS-XTI) is primarily operating on the DMK-NGO route, but was also deployed to CTS on the day before and after my flight. Missed the chance to fly on an ex-SQ cabin but AirAsiaX-operated flight, which would definitely be an interesting experience.

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The Premium Flatbed cabin consists of 12 angled-flat beds, with plush pillows already placed on occupied seats. The cabin would only be 8/12 on this flight, and economy seemed not too full as well.

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Each seat is equipped with a divider, reading lights and power ports.

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Safety card. Inflight magazines were the same as the previous flight.

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After boarding, hot towel and a bottle of water was distributed to each Premium Flatbed passenger.

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Being a lightly loaded flight, doors were closed on schedule and we pushed back. Safety demo was again performed by the crew.

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'Lotte world' liveried aircraft beside.

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Passed TG aircraft parked at Don Mueang for maintenance/storage.

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Departure from Rwy21L bound for Sapporo.



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Quick visit to the lav upfront, which only had the basic amenities but was clean.

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After takeoff, plush red duvets were given out for our use. Immediately, we reclined our seats flat and settled in for the red-eye. Crew also confirmed that we would be having our meals before arrival in Sapporo.

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4hrs into the flight, I awoke to a breaking dawn.

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It was soon bright outside. BOB service was conducted in economy at the back, but our small cabin remained dimmed. Crew would offer the meals only when we woke up, allowing us to maximise the sleeping time. A couple of pax only had their meals less than an hour to arrival.

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Due to a website/app glitch, we were able to pre-order up to 3 meals each! I had the Kung Pao Chicken with Rice and Roasted Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce. The meals were served on a tray, along with a cup of coffee.

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The Kung Pao Chicken with Rice fell short of expectations, and was hardly authentic. Think Chinese takeaway food in the US.

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The Roasted Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce was a better choice definitely. At least the chicken pieces were still juicy.

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My friend had the Tasty Grilled Chicken with Baked Jasmine Rice and Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak.

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The grilled chicken with rice was decent, but the nasi lemak was nowhere near the version served on Malaysia AirAsia.

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We also shared a Vegetable Stew with Rice Pilaf. 2 mouthfuls and I left it…. It just tasted weird….

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After our meals were cleared, we were already leaving Honshu and crossing into Hokkaido.

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Flying past the city of Hakodate as we started the descent.

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Along the coastline of Hokkaido as we descend into Chitose.

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Flew pass Chitose airport during the approach. Pillows and duvet were also collected by the crew.

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Approach and landing on Rwy19L.

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Quite a lengthy taxi to the international terminal, passing the busy domestic terminal.

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Parked beside TG's B744, which is the 1st international arrival of the day and the other sole aircraft at the international terminal.

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Final view of my seat while awaiting to disembark.

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Peek of the aircraft.

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Immigration and baggage reclaim was fast as the earlier TG flight had cleared. We then proceeded to the domestic terminal to catch the train direct to Otaru, where we would stay for a night. The train ride from Chitose to Otaru was slightly more than an hour.

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Verdict

Air Asia X

6.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment5.5
Buy on board6.5

Bangkok - DMK

7.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Chitose - CTS

8.9/10
Efficiency8.5
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

AirAsia X offers a comfortable premium hardware with basic amenities, which is what you would be paying for essentially. Service and catering is definitely no match with the full-service carriers, but you are not paying for them for the cost of the ticket. When at an attractive fare, I would definitely fly on AirAsia X again on mid-haul flights as at least it offered more comfort over the economy cabins.

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1 Comments

  • Comment 476248 by
    KL651 TEAM 4231 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    The catering looks really cheap compared to the rest of the experience that is actually premium.
    But as you say given the price difference with legacies as you still get a flat bed seat and that's what really matters.

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