I recently travelled to Seoul for my end-of-year holiday to tick a certain goal of our collective checklist of wishes.
Living in the tropical equatorial climate of Singapore, my family has never known anything but searing sunrays, extreme humidity and the annual tropical storms from the trade winds that pass through this area. So, when my cousin finally completed the most stressful and gruelling national examination of a primary school student in Singapore, we decided to celebrate by seeking out snow.
We chose to visit Korea because of its beautiful urban cityscapes, picturesque scenery and fascinating history. We were not wrong. Before we set off for Korea though, we visited our cousins in Malaysia and that culminated in our very early morning flight onboard AirAsia X flight D7 504 bound for Seoul-Incheon International Airport.
We woke up at an ungodly hour-4 am in the morning. To make matters worse, we did not have much sleep. Apparently, staying up till 2 am the previous day playing Overwatch with family messes up one's sleep cycles quite significantly. With bleary eyes, we forced ourselves to the airport and it was already packed full of people. Amid the crowd, we looked for our check in counter at 5:05 am and dived right into the snaking long queue.
The super flimsy "boarding pass" issued by the check-in counter. I know AirAsia is a LCC but would it bankrupt them to use stock that at least doesn't crumple like some receipt at a dollar store on first touch?
Following the drawn out check-in process, there was an even more drawn out immigration process. The queue moved extremely slowly and if it was not for the group of Chinese Nationals that gave us their place, we would undoubtedly have missed our flight.
Upon clearing immigration, we had a mandatory morning sprint to our gate which, unfortunately, was at the other end of the terminal.
Pro tip: Arrive at KLIA 2 at least 3 hours before your boarding time because this airport is just DREADFUL.
Thankfully, I did perk up (and get more photo happy) once I saw the bird that we be bringing us over the South China Sea and into Seoul.
Boarding, unlike check-in was much more calm and orderly. We were the last group to board the aircraft but despite that, there were still ample room to store our carry-on bags.
The seat had sufficient legroom for a 171 cm adult like me though the seat was quite narrow. AirAsia's A333s' seats are 18 inches while other airlines boast 21 inches. That did not really bother me personally, but for those who really like their personal space, purchasing the adjacent seat may be a good option.
In seat literature containing safety card, entertainment card, WiFi card and AirAsia's well known Santan menu. I don't recommend purchasing the airline's tablet IFE systems. They're quite expensive and offer very little in choice. Just download your shows on Netflix. Pay for a 1 month subscription if necessary. It's half the price, boasts much more content and lasts a month as opposed to, ya know, 6 hours.
Their WiFi is affordable though I was unable to test it out.
The magazine is fully advertisement. Yes, most articles read like a sponsored post. Nevertheless, the airline's magazine is still an informative and interesting, if not objective source of entertainment.
From gate to ramp. Let's go!
These are photos I smuggled out of the aircraft. AirAsia has a no phone policy during taxi and takeoff :(
Some views from the sky. Cloudy day, so no cool aerial shots which is a real bummer.
First meal service was served an hour after takeoff. I ordered Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak which is a Malay dish comtaining eggs, sambal, chicken and pandan leaf, coconut oil infused rice. Dessert was a burnt cheesecake by T&Co.
The chicken was moist and succulent, the sambal was not too spice nor mild, the rice was fragrant and flavorful and the eggs were quite normal. All in all, the meal from a quality standpoint, was excellent. Though perhaps due to its incredible taste, I really wanted more.
The cheesecake was similarly exceptional. Great taste, creamy cheese and all around a great way to end off the meal.
For 16 RM pre-ordered, this meal felt like a steal.
Looked at their route map after the food. That was vast!
To the toilet to clear out liquid waste in preparation for landing and the ensuing phone ban.
We descend into Incheon without incident and de-boarded onto Korean soil.
Pre-boarding left a very sour taste in my mouth. The terrible check-in process and the atrociously slow and crowded immigration gave me a very bad impression of AirAsia. It also caused a bad start to a holiday and made a tiring morning even worse. KLIA2 is a hot mess and AirAsia has to get them to figure their problems out.
The flight itself was delightful though. Flight was smooth, crew was great and food was delicious. I have no complaints in that regard. AirAsia deserves their title of best LCC in Asia. KLIA2 needs to get the aviation equivalent of the Raspberry awards. But Incheon lived up to its reputation.