Air Asia is known primarily as a budget airline, but it does offer a premium product in the pointy-end of its planes. Air Asia’s A330 long-haul aircraft are equipped with twelve “Premium FlatBed” seats, as our member potm discovered on a recent trip to Bali.
This member had booked a sale fare from Melbourne to Bali, but was re-routed via Kuala Lumpur after Air Asia subsequently ceased direct flights to Bali.
I managed to grab some return flights from Melb -Bali on the premium flat beds for the grand sum of $281 return. It was during a sale and I’m not sure if it was a price error or not but the premium class was selling for the same as cattle class. Not only do you get a lot more comfort but luggage and a meal are included for free! Unfortunately a few months later I was informed that Air Asia were to cancel their Melb to Bali flights. My choices were to get a full refund or to reroute through KL.
The Premium Flatbed seats are located in an exclusive mini-cabin at the front of the aircraft, and are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. Although the seats are not completely lie-flat, they do transform into an angle-flat bed.
The seat reclines back into a bed but it is not quite horizontal so you are left lying on a slight angle. I kept feeling myself slipping downward while sleeping but it was much better than being in cattle class still.
Premium FlatBed class comes with a few other perks. One such perk is the ability to skip the oft-lengthy check-in queues. Passengers also receive a complimentary meal, bottle of water, blanket and pillow on board. Though other drinks, in-flight entertainment and amenities on-board still cost extra.
Pillows and blankets were provided free of charge but there was no entertainment. Not that it was needed as it was lights out and bed time after the meal. Meal quality isn’t any better in the premium class. The only difference being you get a tray with your food.
Air Asia recently opened a “Premium Red Lounge” at KLIA2, the low-cost terminal in Kuala Lumpur. Premium FlatBed customers have access to this lounge, as do Economy flyers on a Premium Flex ticket. Other passengers can enter for 79 ringgits (around $25).
The lounge is quite spacious with lots of seating and power points. There is even a beanbag room which is where I'm sitting right now typing this. Food and drinks is very basic. Some sandwiches and triangle things with some low quality meat inside. Nasi lemak rice with sauce and those fish and nut thing but there was no egg or meat. Drinks consisted of coke, tiger beer, some very diluted orange flavoured drink and a coffee machine.
Although it doesn't quite offer the same perks as Business class on a full service airline, it seems that the Premium FlatBed product is a worthwhile step-up from Economy at an affordable price.
If you've bought an Economy ticket on an Air Asia A330 flight, it's possible to upgrade to a Premium FlatBed seat at a very affordable price using a website called OptionTown. Air Asia also sells upgrades at check-in, and even on board the aircraft, if there are any vacant seats remaining.
Read the full trip report HERE.