Review of Air Asia flight Bangkok Yangon in Economy

Airline Air Asia
Flight FD2753
Class Economy
Seat 14F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 20 Mar 13, 16:20
Arrival at 20 Mar 13, 17:05
AK   #9 out of 21 Low-cost airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 108 reviews
FriendlySkies
Published on 24th October 2013
For inexpensive travel within Asia, Air Asia is a great choice for those who don't mind flying an airline that only offers the no-frills experience. Charging for everything from seats to bags, Air Asia has established a large presence in South East Asia, and bills itself as the airline that enables everybody to fly.

Flying to Yangon can be tough if you want to remain on oneworld, so I decided to look outside the box when booking my trip. Air Asia, at the time I booked, operated three non-stop flights from Bangkok to Yangon, allowing me plenty of time to make my connection from Cathay Pacific. The one-way fare came out to $66 including taxes, plus $11 for the ability to select a seat at booking. Had I not paid, a seat would have been randomly assigned to me at check-in.

Just a few months before my trip, I received an email from Air Asia that they were moving all services from BKK to Don Muang (DMK), the old Bangkok airport. Though this did not impact my connection in Yangon to Thai, it did mean that I would have to travel between BKK and DMK, which can take over an hour in rush-hour traffic. Air Asia did not offer to pay for transit betwen the two airports, though I did discover that a free shuttle runs hourly from 5:00am - 10:00pm.

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Shuttle Bus from Suvarnabhumi to Don Muang


To board the bus, passengers must have some proof of an onward connection, or be able to show a same-day boarding pass. With Air Asia requiring a visa check before I could print my boarding passes, meaning no online check-in, the dragon agent scowled and accepted my Cathay Pacific boarding pass, allowing me a seat on the bus.

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The ride to Don Muang took over an hour, because of the heavy afternoon traffic. Upon our arrival, the driver wished each of the passengers a safe trip, and pointed us towards the ticket counters.

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Arrivals Area



To enter the Air Asia ticket lobby, all passengers were required to go through a mini security screening. Both of my bags were scanned, and then I was able to proceed to the nearest agent. My passport was checked for the Myanmar visa, and within minutes, my boarding pass was printed. I was a bit worried that the agent would notice my rollerboard, and make me check it, though she didn't seem to notice or care.

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boarding pass


Before proceeding to my departure gate, I had to go through passport control, and then a small security checkpoint. Unlike most Asian airports, there were no signs or agents around to say what items had to be pulled out of my bags, so I left my laptop and liquids in my backpack, which the x-ray operated didn't even seem to notice.

There is no lounge for Air Asia passengers, so I spent time in the food court, before proceeding to the gate area.

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$4.50 for this chicken meal


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With no working power outlets, and no wifi, I spent the next two hours in the holding area, which reminded me of the Dulles 'A Gates'. My laptop did have enough power for me to watch a movie, though without internet, it was a boring layover.

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remote-stand waiting area


Shortly before boarding began, a huge group of passengers for my flight, and the others departing from the same gate area, began to surge the various gate counters. During this time, I noticed one of the gate agents measuring various carry-on bags with the sizer, and thought for sure that my bag was going to be checked, costing me a great deal of money. Fortunately for me, the agents ignored it again, and I was allowed to board with my TravelPro Crew 7 19 rollerboard and a full backpack.

Today, our flight was departing from a remote stand, which meant a bus ride across the tarmac to the A320 waiting to take us to Yangon.

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Air Asia Airbus A320


The temperature was well over ninety degrees, and with the afternoon humidity, it was not the most comfortable boarding process.

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On-board the A320, the cabin was divided into 'hot seats' and regular seats. The 'hot seats' had the red tops, while the regular seats were all black. On this particular flight, I paid for the exit row, and ended up being the only passenger in either of the exit rows.

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Exit Rows


During boarding, a flight attendant came around to ensure that I was supposed to be sitting in the exit row. Throughout the rest of the boarding process, she carefully watched over the exit rows, chasing away several seat poachers.

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Once the manual safety demonstration was completed, we began our fairly short taxi to the runway. Along the way, we passed a familiar livery, now redesigned for 'City Airways'.. :-)

Air Asia does not allow passengers to consume outside food and beverage aboard the aircraft, and they certainly do their best to up-sell buy-on-board food items to passengers. During the booking process, I was offered the opportunity to purchase several of the products listed below. On-board the aircraft, these items were offered, along with several hot and cold drinks.

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I went ahead and purchased a coke for $2 USD, though I did not buy any of the food options. I had some snack mix in my backpack, which I ate once the flight attendants moved past my row.

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Thirty minutes later, the flight attendants came around with immigration forms for Myanmar, and to collect trash.

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Within minutes, we descended out of the clouds, and the countryside of Myanmar appeared.

Upon our arrival, all passengers were directed towards customs and immigration. I had read soem reports of passengers being able to transit without needing a visa, though there seemed to be some inconsistency with regards to who a passenger needed to ask, or how they could go from the arrivals > departure area without clearing customs.

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(photo courtesy: maftravelgraphy


The walk from the plane to immigration was extremely short, and just before entering the queue, we passed counters for passengers who had purchased visa on arrival.

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Immigration - (photo courtesy: maftravelgraphy)


Upon presenting my passport, the agent smiled, and noted that she had seen a lot of Americans flying into Yangon recently. She went on to ask if there had been a good fare, to which I responded affirmatively. :D I don't think she knew that some people had booked five or more of these tickets! Despite my immigration form showing that I was only going to be transiting, my passport was stamped, and the agent welcomed me to Myanmar.

Baggage claim was just past the immigration counters, though with no checked bag, I walked on to the exit doors, and was immediately bombarded by locals offering me cab rides, sim cards, and many other items. I declined, and proceeded outdoors so that I could say that I had left the airport on this mileage run.

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Outside!


See more

Verdict

Air Asia

6.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Buy-on-board menu5.0

Bangkok - DMK

6.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness3.0

Yangon - RGN

8.9/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Overall, my flight on Air Asia was much better than I thought that it would be. The agents and flight attendants I interacted with were very friendly, and young :D, and the overall travel experience was pretty decent. I certainly can't complain about the price of the flight, and though I had to transfer from BKK>DMK, it was fairly simple with the free shuttle. Although I have already booked an upcoming intra-Asia flight on Silk Air, I wouldn't hesitate to book with Air Asia in the future.

Related

15 Comments

  • Comment 90910 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10484 Comments

    Hello my twin, it's nice to see you here

    Thanks for sharing your first FR and welcome aboard

    Air Asia is a good opportunity for a short flight at unexpensive fare

    Looking for your first class flights to follow ;)

  • Comment 90919 by
    AirCanada881 1631 Comments

    Hi there. Thanks for this report. I flew Air Asia in September and I paid for a hot seat but on row 1. since the plane wasn't full I moved to row 14 with my wife and the flight attendants did not tell us off, not sure if they knew we had paid extra for these seats or not. However they did ask us to return to our original seats for landing as we had not been briefed about the emergency procedures.

    Anyways thanks for sharing :)

  • Comment 90965 by
    FriendlySkies AUTHOR 4 Comments

    Thanks, all! Lots of FRs coming up! Hoping to get my EWR-SIN from SQ, and maybe even CX F JFK-HKG in the next couple of days.

  • Comment 91010 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4845 Comments

    Great report. Thanks for taking the time to post and welcome to Flight-Report!
    I'll be flying Air Asia for the first time in a few weeks so I'm glad to see yet another report with a positive review. Too bad they are no longer at BKK; I don't like having to change airports. I had originally looked at a routing through BKK for my upcoming Asia trip but realized I had to get over to DMK so I decided to connect in another city. That gate area doesn't look anything like the A gates at IAD...A/B concourse is the nicest most modern part of the airport. Do you mean the dingy UA C/D concourse or the RJ gates at the end of A? Judging from your screename, I'm guessing you are a UA fan? Can't wait to see the reports our of RGN. Welcome aboard!

  • Comment 91013 by
    marathon GOLD 9405 Comments

    In the era of electronic tickets, there is yet another example of the need for a paper printout of your ticket, just in case (which happened several times to me).
    They don't require to remove your laptop from your hand luggage in Taipei either, and there was a time when they never did anywhere.
    I hate boarding areas without a single electric plug. These areas should be for recharging your electronic toy, not for draining it !
    I wonder why some airlines bother to mention that their aircraft is ETOPS qualified.
    I wonder what happens if you take your own sandwich from your luggage once the plane is aloft ? Seems like a ridiculous ban to me, and I guess I would make a point to disregard it.
    This is a great first Flight Report (only the pictures are too small, 1024 pixel wide is best). Thanks and welcome among contributors to the website !

  • Comment 91014 by
    pititom GOLD 10121 Comments

    Thanks for this first FR ! It is very pleasant to read but try to post larger photos next time please :)

    Air Asia is really doing the job. It's a company I consider everytime for short connections in Asia, and my two experiences with them were pleasant.

    Welcome aboard !

  • Comment 91026 by
    KL651 TEAM 4426 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    I didn't even know Don Muang was still open to pax trafic!
    Air Asia definitely seems to offer a convenient and cheap way to fly around Asia.
    Looking forward to what's coming next ;-)

  • Comment 91030 by
    flyingjapans 1371 Comments

    Hi, thank you for this FR.
    Also looking forward to your trip back!

    Air Asia still is a good option for cheap travel within Asia.

    Would it be possible to see what Myanmar's stamps look like?

  • Comment 91039 by
    FriendlySkies AUTHOR 4 Comments

    @KévinDC: Thanks! It certainly wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, though perhaps I got lucky. Btw, I the flight # should read FD not AK, as this was operated by Thai Air Asia, which is FD, rather than Air Asia, which would be AK.

    @Marathon/Pititom: I'll make sure to post larger photos in my next FR. Didn't want to make the site too slow to load with a bunch of big pics!

    @KL651: Thanks! I've got some fun FRs coming up- Just need to find some time to write them!

    @Flyingjapans: Absolutely! I'll take a photo in the morning when I land in GRU.

  • Comment 91052 by
    East African 1490 Comments

    Hi Daniel,

    That's a very nice FR, i really like the fact you centered the pictures and their comments ( i did not know it was a feasible option).
    The hot meal choices are appetizing indeed!

    Thanks for sharing

  • Comment 91053 by
    A380B77W 4348 Comments

    Thanks for this nice FR and welcome here ;)

    I didn't know that US Airways is going to Bangkok with a 737 XD !

  • Comment 91058 by
    mynameismud 862 Comments

    Welcome, nice to see you here.
    Do you think FD try to enforce the no outside food onboard ?
    So you only stepped out of the airport and did not spend any more time in Burma ?
    i booked 2 of those ex-RGN fares but unfortunately had to cancell them both...so i am really curious to know what was your routing and airlines involved.

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