Flight-Report

Review of Air Asia flight Ho Chi Minh City Kuala Lumpur in Economy

Airline Air Asia
Flight AK529
Class Economy
Seat 17F
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 21 Jan 19, 10:35
Arrival at 21 Jan 19, 13:35
AK   #9 out of 20 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 103 reviews
AriffAzrai
Published on 12th March 2019
This is the flight report for our return flight from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Kuala Lumpur (KL).
The report for KL-Saigon can be retrieved here: AK524: KUL-SGN

On the day of our departure, we woke up early to have breakfast at the hotel's cafe and prepared ourselves to check-out from the hotel. After that, we waited for the pre-booked transportation that would bring us to the airport. We were a little surprised to see a large bus that can accommodate up to 30 people greeted us at the hotel's backdoor as we thought the agency where my elder brother booked the transportation would provide us a van. The bus driver explained to us that big bus was the only mode of transport available by the agency as other vans and cars were fully booked.


A unique-looking arch in the middle of Saigon's busy street.
photo arch


Airport Experience



Around 20 minutes later, we arrived at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport. I never knew that the airport was so close to the city center. I felt the journey was extremely short compared to the distance of KLIA from KL city.
photo airport 2photo airport 1

At the curbside.
photo airport 3

We took trolleys to carry all of our luggage and bags.
photo airport 4

As we entered the terminal, we immediately made our way to the check-in counter to drop our checked-in luggage.
photo airport 5

AK's check-in and baggage drop counters. We didnt spend a long time at the landside. Once we were done with dropping our checked-in luggage, we went through the security and customs to get into the airside area.
photo baggage drop

Some of the duty-free items available in the airside.
photo duty free


We did a quick toilet stop while walking to our boarding gate, Gate 26 where there were huge windows located near the restrooms that made plane spotting session possible.

Vietnam Airlines A350 and VASCO's ATR72.
photo vn

PAL arriving from Manila.
photo pal

Beautiful livery.
photo spotting 3

Docked at the gate.
photo spotting 4

Next to Jetstar Pacific.
photo spotting 5

After the quick toilet break and plane spotting session, we continued walking to Gate 26 and when we reached there, we found that most of other passengers were already there. We managed to find some empty seats for our family and waited there until the arrival of our aircraft.
photo gate 26


It was already passed 11am, but there was still no sign for the arrival of our aircraft. We expected that our flight would experience some delay. At 11++am, our plane finally arrived and docked at the gate. Passengers from that flight disembarked and passengers that going to KL including us were lined up and readied for boarding.
photo dtg 1photo dtg 2


But almost 30 minutes later, the boarding process still didnt take place. To our horor, the gate agent on duty made an announcement to inform all passengers that the plane that would bring us back to KL was having a technical issue and our new departure time would be at 4pm. The agent also informed that our departure gate has been changed from Gate 26 to Gate 19. All of us then moved to Gate 19.


At Gate 19, every passengers of flight AK529 were receiving free food voucher courtesy of AK that can be redeemed in the airport's Orchid Lounge. Our family and most of other passengers went to the Orchid Lounge to redeem our free meals. There was a long queue before the order counter and the lounge was so packed with most of the dining tables were already occupied. We thought that we will be served buffet-style of meals, but instead each of us was only allowed to redeem 1 ala-carte meal and a beverage offered in the menu. Luckily for us as Muslim travelers that Halal meal options were also available. At this time, I was so tired and my mobile phone's battery was almost empty (yeap, I took all my flight report photos using mobile phone's camera), so I really wasnt in a mood to snap any picture of the Orchid Lounge or the complimentary meals that we received. The meals were just ok and nothing to shout about, but it managed to make us feel full for the next few hours.


After we finished eating, we returned back to Gate 19 for our flight departure. From here, I can see our aircraft that having technical problem being parked at the remote stand.
photo gate 19

With limited number of activities available to do in that area, I tried to kill the long waiting time by doing more spotting.

China Southern's A321.
photo cz

Nok's B738
photo nok 1photo nok 2

TG's B772
photo thai

VN docked at the gate and a couple of Vietjet planes at the back.
photo vietjet

After almost 2 hours of waiting in Gate 19, the gate agent came again with another surprise announcement. This time, the agent told us that our departure gate has been changed AGAIN to Gate 14 and our new flight time may further delayed to 5pm. I can sense the feeling of anger and disappointment among the passengers about this latest update. I totally understand their feeling and I feel pity to them and myself as well to be caught in this situation.

From Gate 19, we moved to Gate 14. We hoped and prayed really hard that Gate 14 would be the very last boarding gate for us as we had no energy left to walk and move somewhere else in the terminal.
photo boarding gate 14


Boarding Experience



Thanks God after 20 minutes of waiting, the gate agent announced that our aircraft's technical fault has been fixed and it was ready for boarding. 2 buses were used to transport all of us to our aircraft where we will board in a traditional way via the stairs.
photo menaiki

Our plane.
photo naik 2

Boarding via stairs.


Entering the plane.
photo cabin 1

Steward assisting the passengers.
photo cabin 2

My seat. Just like the previous flight, my seat was 1 row behind than the rest of my family members' seats.
photo cabin 3

The view of our plane's wing and Tan Son Naht Airport terminal.


More group of passengers from the next bus entering the aircraft.
photo cabin 4

The boarding session lasted pretty quick and once done, I was quite shock to see few empty seats remained as I thought it was going to be a full flight. Obviously some passengers had decided to book themselves into another flights that departed earlier than ours.
photo cabin 5

Once the door was closed, the safety demo was performed by the crew and our aircraft pushed back and taxied to the active runway for takeoff. Finally, our aircraft really left the ground at 5:35pm.
photo view 2photo view 4


Inflight Experience



The takeoff was really smooth and around 10 minutes in the air, the inflight service started beginning with the distribution of pre-booked meals, followed by the regular BOB and inflight sales.
photo cabin 6

Initially, my brother had booked the same Roast Chicken with Pesto Sauce for me like the previous flight, but 1 of my nieces agreed to exchange her Chicken Rice with my Roast Chicken. We also received complimentary Mineral Water with the pre-booked meals.
photo chicken rice 1

The Chicken Rice definitely tasted so much better than the Roast Chicken. I glad with my decision to do the exchange!
photo chicken rice 2

The remaining of the flight went uneventful and I spent the rest of the time by looking the views outside.


About to land in KUL.
photo landing 3

Touched down in KUL.
photo landing 4

Taxiing to our gate.
photo landing 5

And parked at the gate.
photo landing 6


After we cleared the immigration, we reached at the baggage carousel No 10 where we found that our luggage were among the last to be collected.
photo luggage

My mum and I waved goodbye to my elder brother and his family. Later, both of us went to Marrybrown for dinner before taking the Grab ride to return back to our home. We reached our house safely few minutes before midnight.



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Verdict

Air Asia

6.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Buy-on-board menu6.5

Ho Chi Minh City - SGN

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.5
Services6.0
Cleanliness7.5

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Another pleasant experience flying with Air Asia. The technical problem and long-hours of delay were really horrible and something unfortunate, but I guess the safety of all passengers should always remain priority and above all other aspects. The inflight meals onboard this flight tasted better than the previous flight while the cabin crew provided adequate service and assistance though not overly friendly. Nevertheless, it was a good flight and they managed to bring us to the ground safely ;-)

Information on the route Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) Kuala Lumpur (KUL)

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