Is it worth paying a premium on budget airlines for more comfort?
Guest writer today Sandra takes us through her family flying experience using long-haul Asian budget Carrier Air Asia X
This post is part of our Flying with kids series – pop over to see all our family airline reviews and flying advice
My four-year-old son and I flew with Air Asia X in their Premium Flatbed class from Seoul, Korea, to Melbourne, Australia. I currently live in South Korea and I was visiting family and friends in Melbourne for a few weeks.
My husband wasn’t travelling with us this time, so it meant there were more dollars in the kitty for our flights. We travel a fair bit and he always has an eye on airline deals. We’re the sort of people who plan their trips based on where the cheap flights are going!
He found a great deal on Skyscanner for heavily discounted Air Asia X premium flatbed flights, so he booked them for us.
Luggage with Air Asia X
We had a generous checked baggage allowance of 40kg each that we didn’t need because we were travelling with just one suitcase between us. Now that our son is four-years-old, we no longer bring a stroller or his Trunki (an excellent pull-along or ride-on suitcase for kids), so we didn’t have any extra kiddy gear. Premium Flatbed also gives you priority boarding.
The flatbed zone on board Air Asia X
What I loved most about Air Asia X’s Premium Flatbed zone was that there were only 12 flatbed seats in a three-across by two rows configuration. Most other business-class zones have a lot more seating than that. It felt quite cosy and intimate.
This meant we were served quickly and most importantly, they turned out our lights not long after service, which I was thankful for because our late-night flight was delayed by more than an hour and it was close to 1am when we were in the air and Mr 4 was struggling to stay awake.
They didn’t have built-in on-demand entertainment, but we were given iPads loaded with movies and shows. We didn’t need it for the first leg of our flight from Seoul to Kuala Lumpur, because we snuggled in for the night and slept with our complimentary pillows and quilt.
Airport lounge in Kuala Lumpa
You get access to the Air Asia lounge in Kuala Lumpur. It was easy to find the lounge, but because our flight departed late, we only had about 20 minutes there to grab some snacks and log onto wifi to check messages from home.
The flight from KL to Melbourne was comfortable. My son slept for another couple of hours, making the time pass quickly for him. The food was nothing special and we chose our free meals in advance when we booked our seats.
Related Reading: Flying as a solo parent with kids
Loyalty program and extra perks with Air Asia X
Air Asia has a loyalty program, but because they’re a discount airline, it’s really hard to accumulate enough points to cash in for useful flights. Our baggage was supposed to be priority, but it was one of the last out. It didn’t help that the baggage carousel at Melbourne airport kept breaking down!
Overall view of flying with Air Asia X
I will fly Premium Flatbed class with Air Asia X again. I love that there were only 12 flatbeds in our section – less disturbance from other passengers.
Our flights to Melbourne were about $AU800 each (one way), which was a great price. We returned home to Seoul in economy class via China Southern Air (another airline we’ve had good experiences with) and my son cried when he realised he didn’t have a flatbed for the night. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! I almost shed a tear, too.
Thanks to Sandra for sharing her long-haul experience. You can learn more about Sandra at The Smarter Writer
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