Save money and fly Air Asia in comfort with these 10 Air Asia tips for the best experience for your AirAsia booking and flight.
I have flown Brisbane to Bangkok return twice with AirAsia and know what I need to do to make sure my flight is as comfortable as possible. You get what you pay for on a budget airline and if you want a blanket, extra seat room, extra food or the winning numbers for next week’s mega draw (just joking), book ahead and pay for it using these AirAsia tips.
With my browser currently showing me fares from Brisbane to Bangkok for $230 (this price changes frequently), I am prepared to put up with a few budget airline discomforts.
Here are my top ten AirAsia tips
1. Prepay your meals
AirAsia has a reasonably extensive menu onboard for a budget airline, but the reality is that they sell out of popular dishes and even pringles sometimes. Solve the problem by pre-ordering at least 24 hours before you fly.
I can recommend the Inspi(RED) burger which showcases Northern Thai cuisine with a bright red burger and green-tinged chicken patty. I know this does not sound good, but the burger is coloured with beetroot and the chicken with lemongrass, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves. It’s from New York chef Hong Thaimee and inspired by her grandmother’s green mayo chilli sauce.
Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice is also a favourite. I’ve made a mission of tasting chicken rice wherever I go, and this one is okay.
Remember you are flying for eight hours from Brisbane to Bangkok and will probably need two meals on the day flight. The return flight leaves near midnight, so just have a good meal before boarding and going to sleep. Enjoy your first meal for breakfast which they serve around 8.30am Brisbane time.
The meals cost 200 baht (about $10) each with smaller meals, like sandwiches, at 120 baht (under $6 AUS). Pre booking your meal gives you the cheapest deals.
I also like to board the day flight from Brisbane. which leaves just after lunch. with a substantial meal in my stomach and a snack for later just in case. On the way home I also purchase a snack just in case. That way if they run out of food, I am not hungry.
Top tip- if you purchase anything on board for cash using Aussie dollars, your change will be in Thai baht. It’s an easy way to get some cash for the airport taxi.
I don’t usually drink anything but water when flying to ensure I am hydrated. In Brisbane, you can refill your empty water bottle post-security at a fountain.
In Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport, you can also refill after security. However, there is an additional security screening at the gate so you cannot take water onto the aircraft. I have been told this is an Australian security requirement.
A small bottle of water is provided after take-off and with your meal in the morning. That was not enough for me, so I purchased additional bottles on the plane. Tea and coffee also were included with the meal service.
If you want wine, beer or spirits when you fly AirAsia you have to pay because it is a budget airline, and my friends tell me they run out of alcohol during the flight.
3. Book the quiet zone
AirAsia’s Quiet Zone on their A330 aircraft (Brisbane to Bangkok route) between rows 7 to 14 is my idea of good flying. There are no kids below 10 years, soft lighting and your meals are quicker. The concept is that people are quiet, and conversations are low. The subdued light enhances the feeling of relaxation and resting. Booking this space is potentially my best AirAsia tip.
This all works very well unless you are sitting behind old mate who refuses to turn his light off or lower his shutter for the whole journey. It also works best if everyone shuts the window hatch for the night journey. Otherwise you will wake up with the sun which in Thai time is 4.30 am.
You also get off quickly and can beat the others to Customs.
Costs for a Quiet Zone seat start at $28.90 AUS. It is cheaper to book this during the initial booking and the cost varies overy different routes.
While you are there, book a blanket for 150 baht. You might not think you need a blanket, but it can get cold on the flight and this might be the AirAsia tip that sees you sleep on the plane.
4. Option up with add ons
Should you choose a Hot Seat when you fly AirAsia? I am not a Hot Seat fan. I don’t have long legs and don’t feel cramped in the regular seats. However, if you need 17.5 inches of legroom, go for it.
Some of the Hot Seats have enclosed sides which I found uncomfortable as it seemed to make the seat narrower.
A hot seat costs from $58.90 AUS to book, depending on the sector.
6. Bring your own entertainment
Load up your mobile device or pack plenty of reading matter because there is no inflight entertainment when you fly AirAsia. It’s a budget airline, remember! I have heard a rumour that they plan to change this but no guarantees here. Don’t be the person who finds the only movie on their phone is Despicable Me has to cloud watch for eight hours.
Make sure you have this AirAsia tip covered.
7. Premium Up
AirAsia call it a flatbed, but I think your head has to be at the same level as your feet to really be a flatbed. That said, I have not flown AirAsia Premium, although I would seriously consider it for a night flight.
This is the cheapest way to get a Business Class experience with priority boarding (always nice), plus a pillow and soft duvet so you might actually sleep well. The seats are a roomy 19 inches wide (compared to 16 inches in Economy).
Nobody has ever said ‘I’m looking forward to that long-haul night flight in economy’. If sleep is essential to you, consider the Quiet Zone as your bottom line when you fly AirAsia.
Don’t think you are going to get away with extra cabin baggage on a budget airline like AirAsia. These guys are strict about weighing your carry on plus your hand luggage to check that it is 7 kilos or under.
Tip – wear that jacket you might need for the plane, put your camera around your neck and leave the heavy laptop at home.
9. Meet Don Mueang
Don is the older, less attractive brother when it comes to Bangkok’s international airports. Don’t expect much when it comes to shopping or bars. We struggled to find anywhere to have a drink before our Saturday night flight home.
It is located about 30 km north of downtown Bangkok which may or may not put it closer to your hotel than the newer Suvarnabhumi Airport. There are train and bus stations close by. If you need to transfer to Suvarnabhumi for another flight, there is a free shuttle bus. Allow anywhere between 50 minutes to two hours for this connection depending on the traffic. There is also an airport hotel at Don Mueang.
10. Think about your needs
My final AirAsia tip is when you fly AirAsia, or with any budget airline it pays to know how the system works so your flight experience is tailored to your needs.
More flight reviews and flying tips
Disclaimer: Eat drink and be Kerry travelled as a guest of AirAsia.