Apologies to all readers for waiting too long for my next flight report. A lot has happened in the months since my last flight report was completed, and sadly it isn’t a period to reckon with concerning aviation industry lately. Anyway, time to report my return journey to Kota Kinabalu via Kuala Lumpur. For those of you who like to see my first three flight reports you can go to these links below:
4th leg - ADL-KUL onboard D7 247 Background We spent 8 days in Adelaide, and it was such a happy and memorable trip. But, as with everything else, it has to come to an end (or, in my own words - get back to reality!). Except my parents and myself, the other family members came back to Malaysia a day earlier. So, we had one extra day in Adelaide with just my uncle and his family.
The Flight The flight was scheduled to depart at 10.00AM Adelaide time, so my uncle sent us to the airport at about 6.30AM.
Scene outside ADL by the time we arrived there.
Weather forecast for that day was expected to be quite warm with maximum of 28 degrees Celsius!
We proceeded directly to Airasia X check-in counters. In ADL, the airline's check-in counters are actually located at ground floor (arrival area). Since I already checked-in online the night before, I went straight to the baggage drop counter. My parents didn't do online check-in, so they have to go for the conventional process at the airport. I handed my passport, and after brief processing the D7 agent asked me whether I want all my baggage to be checked-in all the way to Kota Kinabalu (he actually mentioned the city as 'KK'), in which I said yes.
This time, I had two checked baggage - one is my own travel bag, the other is a bag full of shopping items my parents bought during our Adelaide stay. I was a bit nervous about exceeding the maximum weight limit, since Airasia is a very strict airline when it comes to penalising passengers for bringing overweight baggage. Luckily, I bought 30kg checked-in baggage allowance in advance during booking. At the end, it turned out my combined checked-in baggage was 31kg, but the agent just let the extra 1kg a go. :-)
My two boarding passes - one to KUL, and the other to BKI.
All airlines have their check-in counters at departure hall, seems that only Airasia X has theirs at the ground floor.
Shops and more shops…
What I truly like about ADL is that the design of the airport is refreshing with nicely combined soothing textures that please your(weary) eyes. It is not a large airport for sure, but surely it is a better Australian airport compared with others I went in before.
We went to have our breakfast.
We were given an outgoing passenger travel card which was to be filled-in by the time we reached the immigration clearance.
After breakfast, we proceeded to the international departure area, and finally bid farewell to my uncle. It was around 8.00AM and yet the entrance to the international departure area wasn't opened yet.
Still no queue…
Around 8.15AM queue started to build-up, but no security staff in sight…
The entrance to the international departure hall finally opened at around 8.30AM. As usual, we passed through security and immigration clearance. Funnily, while I handed my outgoing passenger travel card, the immigration officer in-charge asked me whether I bring A$10,000 to which I replied no (am I that rich to do so?), then further asked me whether I bring any clothes worth A$10,000 (huh?) in which I replied can't be…. With a smile, he let me go. :-) So, we went through this hallway which actually leads us to a duty-free shop. I was like, wow! OK…
You must pass through this duty free shop to enter the international departure area.
SQ A333 from SIN and next to it is our aircraft which is also an A333.
MH A333 also from KUL…
Our aircraft for that flight is registered as 9M-XXB.
Boarding call was announced…
We were informed that the flight load was going to be light that day. So, that should be good news for passengers who want to stretch out by finding extra seats.
Since my actual seat is 10C, I offered my mom to swap her seat so I can get into seat 10A.
This is an area Airasia X call ‘The Quiet Zone'. So, you won't expect any undesirable nuisance (such as a crying infant)
My seat. At 6 feet tall, I didn’t felt cramped.
The Japanese crew onboard our flight was very nice and attentive. She even offered to take photo of us as family. There was also a male cabin crew which judging by the name tag, he must be probably from Iran. Since no IFE screen on-board the flight compared with other long haul aircrafts, the cabin crews performed safety demonstration. Door was closed and we quickly push back and taxied towards runway 05 for departure.
Taxiing towards Runway 05…Adelaide CBD in the distance.
Takeoff - The two immediate regional rivals still on the ground awaiting their respective passengers.
See you again Adelaide!
We crossed along the coastal area of Gulf of St. Vincent towards the Australian outback. The weather was cloudy but nevertheless calm.
The 'X' wingtip…
The clouds began to disappear as we headed towards inland. Green vegetation gave way to brown earth. In just half an hour, we already begin our initial 4 hour journey across the driest habitable continent on earth.
Human settlement is becoming sparse just around 30 minutes into the flight…
One of the things I wish to point out when I was on-board the aircraft is the lack of IFE screens on each seat. Well, it is a low-cost airline anyway. But, for those of you who still prefer media entertainment can opt a tablet during online purchase. The cost to hire the tablet isn't that expensive, unfortunately I forget the price as I was away for many months already since writing my previous flight report.
The (optional) in-flight entertainment, available for hire during online ticket purchase.
It is basically a Samsung Galaxy Tab. A pair of earphones is included too.
The choice of entertainment is rather limited. The posters of movies you see here really were what were offered in the tablet. For a 7 to 8 hour flight, the rather limited choice of movies is sufficient, I think…
Brunch was about to be served. I specifically opt for chicken teriyaki with rice. I am actually mildly surprised that the meal also came with a dessert which was a chocolate mousse and a juice box. All this while I thought if I ordered a chicken teriyaki, I only get what I paid for as what usually happens in Airasia X's sister airline.
Oh, the table cover is also provided…
The meal was satisfyingly good and since they served the meal including the dessert, that makes the whole LCC travel a bit more worthwhile.
I finished my meal and then I took the time to enjoy the view out. Since I never had the opportunity to see the vast red Australian continent from above during daylight, this was the first time for me crossing the continent inside the aircraft in full broad daylight.
The aircraft cruised gracefully in the clear blue sky above Australia…
I always amazed how Aborigines and the European explorers can trek eventually to cover such a vast continent that we on-board the aircraft nowadays take for granted when travelling across the country in great speed. All I see were hundreds of miles of red earth sprawling towards the horizon. Very little human civilization, with most exists as outback highway and maybe one, two or 10 houses scattered miles from each other. But, there is one landmark in the midst of a vast continent that maybe every one of us do know about as explained in the photo caption below…
Yep, this is most probably Kata Tjuta rock formation, which is just nearby the world's famous Uluru (Ayers Rock). I didn't see the Uluru, however I noticed that the passengers sitting on the opposite side of the aircraft seemed to focus their eyes on something below. I thought, they must have seen the landmark. Well, at least I knew that we already at Northern Territory.
Soon after we crossed the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, it was another round of seeing unmarked landscape.
Crossing salt lake areas…
While busy sightseeing whatever is down below, I did so while enjoying songs by a well-known Malaysian artist, Yuna. The album is called Nocturnal. Honestly, now every time I listen to the songs in the album, it reminds me of the landscape down below the aircraft. The songs truly match the mood for flying. Perhaps, you can listen to the songs too by this artist while inside the aircraft sitting by the window seat.
Probably somewhere over Western Australia…
We cruised at 40,000 feet…
Shopping catalogues for everyone onboard…
As we cruised along northwestern Western Australia, that barren landscape began to give way to scant greeneries before finally reaching the Indian Ocean.
We exited Australia towards the Indian Ocean near Dampier Peninsula. That thin line you see here is Cape Leveque road.
It took us about 2 hours to cross the Indian Ocean before reaching Indonesian archipelago. In the meantime, second round of meal service was offered to all passengers.
The sky above us…
I was hungry so this time I had to buy a meal on-board since I only made advance payment for one meal during online purchase.
Again, the menu came in set which is quite nice for an LCC I think. The offering is greater too. The one inside the plastic cover is fruit pieces. :-)
Grilled Chicken Thigh Roast with Cranberry Sauce…
There was nothing to see through the window while crossing Indian Ocean, so I took the time to watch a movie. But, I soon realised that the Galaxy Tab battery level was increasingly exhausted. Note that the crew didn't hand out charging plug and charging port is not available onboard this aircraft.
As we neared Indonesia, clouds began to appear - tropical climate sets in…
We entered Indonesian airspace via Bali and then onwards to Java. I can't see much of Java since it was covered by clouds. However, another first for me occurred in this flight - I finally had the chance to see a volcano in broad daylight.
See that cone peeking through the clouds, that is a volcano :-D
With a little help from Google Maps, that volcano must be Gunung Raung, just nearby Gunung Ijen (not visible).
We left the densely populated Java…
Another volcano sighted… probably Mount Semeru.
Just a short hop from Java is Madura island…
After exiting Madura, we flew along Java sea onwards to Singapore, then entering Malay peninsula.
Dark clouds looming over Lingga island, off the coast of Sumatera…
At about 3.00PM (Malaysian time), we began our slow descent.
Big ship with the 'escorts'…
Flew over some islands…
I didn't realise that we already crossed Singapore, probably passengers on the other side saw it. Anyway, it was very quick, in no time we already flew along the west coast of Malay Peninsula.
The city of Malacca…
Probably due to heavy traffic, we were on holding pattern for two rounds if I am not mistaken. Saw an Airasia aircraft, probably on holding pattern too. Interesting sight…
Now on final approach to runway 32L…
Some buildings and rows and rows of oil palm trees…
We landed at about 3.40PM, that is 40 minutes earlier than scheduled. The view towards (now opened) KLIA2, which is now the homebase of Airasia and Airasia X.
We arrived at KUL-LCCT few days before the opening of KLIA2…
We disembarked from the aircraft via stairway. Upon exiting the aircraft, the heavy, humid and slightly smoggy air just filled the atmosphere. The cabin crews were nice enough to station at both the aircraft exit and the entrance to LCCT to bid us farewell. Upon entering the LCCT, the scene was even heavier with lots of other passengers inside. I wouldn’t say chaotic, but coupled with the heat (seemed as the air-conditioning wasn’t powerful enough to cool the terminal), I just want to get out of the LCCT as soon as possible. The immigration clearance was easy. Fortunately, a self-biometric identification machine (is that what the machine is called?) were installed in multiples so Malaysian passport holders just go and insert their passport in the machine for verification - very quick process with no long queues. Anyway, as I write this report, LCCT was no longer is the base for AK and D7 since they moved to KLIA2.
That's it! Stay tuned for my last flight report detailing my final leg of the journey.
Air Asia X
Adelaide - ADL
Kuala Lumpur - KUL
That’s the end of my fourth instalment in my series of trip reports. So, what do I think about Airasia X? Honestly, it was OK because from the price point of view you get what you paid for. I personally think long-haul low-cost flights for up to 8 hour can be bearable for most people as humans can make the most out of LCC flights like what I experienced by sleeping. The entertainment was just average with nothing to shout about, but would be better if the airline provide some sort of USB plug to charge the tablet or any other mobile devices. And the food – I didn’t expect the meal to be served in a full set because all this while I thought Airasia only give a meal according to what you paid for (You pay peanut, you get peanut, nothing else). But, it is commendable that the long haul sister airline provide a more complete set.
Regarding airports, the only element that I think Adelaide airport management can improve on is the assignment of security officers swiftly at the security and immigration clearance to prevent waiting and long queues. But, I guess international flights out of the city isn’t that extensive, so managing international passengers flow is not that a huge task. I don’t think I want to review about LCCT since the terminal has ceased operation (but, note that my ratings of KUL refer to the LCCT). Looking forward to experience the difference at KLIA2!
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