Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Air Asia Bali

I do go on a bit about Air Asia now that everyone can fly, I suppose I want to moan a bit about them but also praise them and then again explain how bizarre I still find flying with them is.
I have just returned from Bali where I celebrated New Year with my fiancee and some good friends from England.

For a change we took the 10am flight out as it was a nicer time to go and the last flight out of Bali (10.55pm) to Jakarta as it was the best option to enjoy another day in Bali.

However, despite these flight times we were sent SMS's informing us to be at the airport and ready for checking in 3 hours before we were due to fly, ie. 7am and 8pm. Great.

So we took the easier option of online check in and getting our boarding passes, which I must say is a great thing to do as it cuts all the hassle out of the airport. All you have to do is follow the instructions online, have a printer available to print your boarding passes and hey presto! you are checked in and ready to fly. We checked in for both the flight to Bali and the return on the same day.

The seats allocated again were bizarre as we purchased the tickets together. We were allocated 'hot seats' or seats at the front of the plane on the way out but not sitting together and on the way back, we were allocated seats right at the back of the plane but together.

So you arrive at T3, Jakarta airport and after showing security your boarding pass outside the terminal you are allowed in and then ignoring anything to do with checking in, proceed via starbucks for 1.5 hours to the departure lounge where at last you pay your 40,000 rupiah airport tax, show some id and get checked in.
Thats it. You are then free to board the flight when it gets called.
This flight was earlyish so we boarded early and then took off late due to the amount of flights taking off at once.

During the flight the pilot wished some one a happy birthday just before the usual notice about drugs and the death penalty, lovely.

Getting off the plane at Bali we were all directed to transit as there was no one really bothering to show anyone the way, so I just ignored them all and headed to the door I am familiar with, walked through arrivals and out into Bali Airport, which I will save for another post.

Bali was great.

Again at some point during our stay in Bali an SMS arrived telling us to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight leaves. Now as we had already checked in, I was not sure whether that necessary still we headed through the traffic to the airport and arrived there at 8pm.
We went to the check in desk but they did not want to know as we had boarding passes and so we on through to the departure lounge.

Being Air Asia, you expect delays. The website in the day said everything was on time, but that was clearly just a lie.
The flight to Bandung was late to take off and we were told at some point around 10pm that our flight was delayed and we would not depart until 11.30pm. Great.

Eventually we saw the Air Asia ground crew setting things up and then were told that we would board in the next 10 minutes, so we got up and queued. When we went to board,  no one took a look at id's and so we were  just let on to the plane, some armed with 3 or 4 pieces of luggage and the scramble for storage space began.
The flight on the way back was very bumpy but the usual. Crammed into tiny seats for just over an hour and trying to sleep while the plane jumped and rolled through the clouds and storms around Java.

Instead of going to the Air Asia terminal where all the other Air Asia planes were, we had to get off at T2 and the walk through some of the terminal, down some stairs and then stuffed into as few buses as possible and then taken to T3 and let off and out into Jakarta.

I should comment, when we were getting off the flight, the cabin crew clearly had to be somewhere and were already off the plane and away. I saw some of them in T3 walking out to transport before the passengers.

So another great flight and fun time with Air Asia. I cant wait for my next flight with them, I going from Bandung.... Should be great

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