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Should we fly Budget?

Opinions and experiences on the AirAsia experience and experience on other budget airlines....
10 years ago, November 7th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #146557  
Air Asia offers low cost tix to Bangkok from Udonthani ....80$ one way...ITS A RIPOFF
Once your at the airport they charge out of the ass for luggage...I was forced to pay over
190.00 for my two bags...


10 years ago, November 7th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #146561  
Why not?

They are by far the best budget airline in Asia.

I've booked with them many times and with all due respect, I fail to comprehend how you missed the baggage pricing menu on their website. It is in clear view below the section where you fill in your personal details.

This is how most budget airlines work. They keep ticket prices low by charging a premium for extras. Even despite the fact that they charge for baggage etc, try finding an airline that offers cheaper prices or the vast and extensive network of flights that they offer.

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10 years ago, November 7th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #146574  

Once your at the airport they charge out of the ass for luggage...I was forced to pay over
190.00 for my two bags...

I think, they should warn people about extra charges when they are booking the tickets. Cheap flights are not much of a money saver, if you are forced to pay for extras, you didnt know about.

Aer Lingus, which I often fly to Dublin with, charges for all checked in bags. I never take any bags that need to be checked in, because I am pre warned.

I fail to comprehend how you missed the baggage pricing menu on their website.

Hopefully, it is this clear for everybody. But, 190 dollars is a lot for them to charge for bags.What did you checked in luggage weigh, Artifact Global? Reply to this

10 years ago, November 7th 2011 No: 4 Msg: #146586  
I've just checked again, in case I was in error and yes, it is perfectly clear. You fill in your personal details and the prices are directly underneath including meals, comfort kits and a whole range of other extras (if you want them).

The price is in Thai Baht and the absolute worst you would have to pay for 2 bags weighing 30kg each is $22 which I think is real value. Getting a flight with any other airline between these two points for $102 would I believe be nigh on impossible. Reply to this

10 years ago, November 7th 2011 No: 5 Msg: #146593  
As a general response to the thread topic, I've always found AA to be pretty wonderful considering the low prices.

The one thing that bugged me was on an 8-ish hour flight from KL to Australia when I didn't have warm clothes and when I asked for a blanket they said they could only sell me one... which would have been ok except I was all out of dollars! So... I shivered the night away.

Still - I love AA. Reply to this

10 years ago, November 8th 2011 No: 6 Msg: #146604  
It's always been very clear to us on the website, that you have to pay extra for bags you want to check in when you book the ticket, as with most other budget airlines. The price at the airport is a lot more, because you didn't pay for your bags in advance. So it's like turning up at the airport with excess luggage.

Sometimes, if you factor in the extra costs for baggage, in flight meals etc. it's cheaper to take a 'normal' airline. You should calculate the costs of both before booking. If Air Asia works out the cheapest, it's a good airline.

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10 years ago, November 8th 2011 No: 7 Msg: #146624  
heya, i've flown airasia maybe 10 times and i think it is very clear that you have to pay extra for baggage, food, entertainment and pretty much everything...on the australian website at least??? It even has a disclaimer saying that if you dont buy correct baggage expect to pay higher fees at checkin for going over. Maybe this is the $100? as i know i paid that one time on american airlines for bringing home an extra suitcase???

I think you get what you pay for on airasia and it is pretty much a seat....i imagine it being similar to a bus ticket. My only beef with them as apposed to someone like virgin who also charges for extra stuff is that airasia often doesnt have the food products that they have advertised when they come to australia. They fill up in denpasar or jakarta and if it sells out on the way to perth or melbourne then too bad on the way back. Which can be quite bad for the long flights to/from australia and if i have kids. But now that i know, i take spare food on ALL flights that arent full service as well as spare clothes for kids for warmth and as pillows etc etc
tam Reply to this

10 years ago, November 8th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #146640  
To us, flying Air Asia always was a pleasure. You get what you pay for - but it is incredably cheap, often cheaper than a bus ticket. On the website, when you book the flight, it has always been very clear what you get and for what you have to pay an extra fee. They do not have much service - but, hey, it is lowest budget. The planes are brand new, ground staff is helpful when you need help, it is clean. there is not much space which might be unpleasant on long flights. But we will definitely fly Air Asia again and again. A public bus in Thailand is often more expensive and by far not more comfortable. Reply to this

10 years ago, November 8th 2011 No: 9 Msg: #146642  
I've also taken many decent flights with Air Asia. I haven't thought that it was overly great or terrible, but just right for a budget traveler.

I confess that the two times I booked longer-distance flights (2 round trip flights) with AA, I decided to pitch in extra dough in the future because I didn't like how the lights were constantly turned on overnight for proselytizing. Still, I'll continue taking Air Asia flights for short trips in the future without hesitation.

Cockle: You're right, the luggage information is definitely on the website when you are booking online right next to the check box if I recall correctly.
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10 years ago, November 8th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #146654  
B Posts: 580
We were just stopped from entering our flight at Singapore airport for not having a return ticket to our destination in the Philippines.

The guy on the Cebu Pacific Air counter took great pleasure in seeing us run around trying to buy the needed ticket in the 10minutes he gave us before he would pull our bags off the flight. First I went to the Cebu Pacific ticket counter and asked them to sell me four tickets out of the Philippines to any destination. This took a while as the lady had a few calls on her mobile phone which she insisted on answering as my anxiety grew. She then quoted me a fair of S$823. I assumed that I could get most of this back if I subsequently cancelled the ticket, so I agreed and handed her my credit card. "We don't take credit cards" she said, "only cash". I tried to explain to her that I don't usually leave Singapore with $800 dollars of local currency in my back pocket. She pointed over towards some ATM Machines on the opposite side of the concourse. My daily limit is about US$500, but I tried anyway. THIS EXCEEDS YOUR DAILY LIMIT!

I went back to the guy at the check-in. Go to Tiger airways he said, they accept credit cards. So off I ran. The only ticket they could sell me was one that returned to Singapore. Ironic since under these rules I couldn't actually even use it since there was no ticket out from Singapore. She quoted $700 and said there were no refunds on the ticket.

I went back to the ticket counter. The guy said I could get a refund if I wrote a letter to Tiger Airways, but I sensed more than a little dishonesty in what he said. At this news I ran back over and asked the lady if this were the case. "Who told you that?" she said. Ryan. Ryan doesn't work for Tiger airways, these tickets are non-refundable. She then called Ryan on her mobile phone. Ryan eventually came. He didn't speak to the woman. he simply said "That's it! I've taken your bags off the flight".

As I walked back to the desk with Ryan to inform my wife, my three year old and one-yr old kids that we had been abandoned at the airport I said to Ryan, "You better get used to the sight of me Ryan cos I'm gonna be in this airport as long as it takes to get this put right, and the reason you can be sure of that is because we have nowhere else to go!"

When we got to the counter he ceremoniously tore the tags from our luggage and Jennifer began to weep. I asked him if he had a superior I could talk to. He said he didn't, that he was his own boss. I said in that case can I have his surname. He refused, storming off saying that our problem wasn't his problem.

We had a hotel booked for that night in Manila and an onward domestic flight the next day to the north of Luzon. We could just forget all that and change plans…head back into Malaysia and up into Thailand overland, or cross over into Sumatra.

But it was the principle. I couldn't walk away from this.

I ordered some coffee, got the kids installed in the McDonalds play area and went to work. I talked to many people and eventually found out who the boss was. After an hour or so I eventually got to speak to her. She didn’t work for the airline, none of the check-in staff did. They were employed by the airport. Ryan was from the Philippines so that meant that he had a supervisory role over the flights on Cebu Pacific. I began my pitch with “I know the reason we weren’t allowed on the plane is because we didn’t have a return ticket and those are the rules…”

I spoke to her for about fifteen minutes. She never said a word. Then she said she would come back in 10mins after talking to some people. After twenty she returned and said she had convinced Cebu Pacific to put us on the next flight in two hours and that in the meantime could we go online and book a ticket out of the country to satisfy the policy.

We decided that we would fly to Thailand in December. We spent an hour trying to book a flight online with Tigerairways and then enlisted the help of two very friendly individuals who work for the airport to assist in such matters. They couldn’t get the payment to go through either. They questioned whether both our credit cards functioned. Then one of them approached the Tigerairways sales desk. Apparently the flight we were booking was a code share and couldn’t be booked online. Nowhere online had it stated this. We had wasted an hour.

We didn’t even consider booking with AirAsia as I know from previous experience that AirAisa does NOT accept US Credit or Debit cards. This I know because I spent an afternoon back in June on the website failing to buy tickets. I then spent an eternity on hold after calling AirAsia to book the same tickets over the phone. This again failed leading the salesperson to question the validity of my credit cards and who then told me to contact my bank(s) and ask them why the payment wasn’t going through. The banks said no payment had been requested. I then called AirAsia back and eventually was able to speak to someone in a senior position who said “Oh Yeah, AirAsia doesn’t accept US Credit Cards”. Nowhere on the website DID it say this. I said it might be a good idea for them to put this information on their website. I have no idea if they have.

Anyway, we eventually booked a ticket online to Thailand with Cebu Pacific and boarded the plane.

The next day at the Cebu Pacific Air desk the check-in lady said our luggage was overweight. We had paid for 30kilos online - she said and the scales were at 33. I seriously thought she was joking. But no, she said I would have to pay the equivalent of $30. I took out my rain jacket and put it on, Jennifer put on her hiking shoes and I gave the check-in lady a New Zealand guidebook, for which she seemed rather happy. Upon seeing this my three year old son broke down and started weeping hysterically, “I want our book!” he said. The book was awkwardly returned to my son as all eyes in the checkin queues turned to the check-in lady.

Incidentally, our flight was delayed by 3 hours. Ten minutes after it was due to depart I asked someone about the flight. They told me it was delayed. I asked if they planned to make an announcement to this affect. "We're busy" the guy said as he stood and chatted with four of the check-in girls.

For the record, the flight from Singapore to Manila with Cebu Pacific was booked online back in June. It had been a promotional fare. It was advertised as FREE ($0.00). After all the additional costs (which if you look closely, ARE RIGHT THERE ON THE WEBSITE – some printed in font larger than others) the free flight actually cost us S$156.

Sometimes you get what you don't pay for!

[Edited: 2011 Nov 09 00:47 - aspiringnomad:90 ]
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10 years ago, November 9th 2011 No: 11 Msg: #146655  
What gets my goat a little is that budget airlines are what they are; a cheap carrier that offers nothing more than to get you from A-B quickly and efficiently, yet people still bleat, moan or complain when THEY don't read all the required information and get hit with extra charges or they don't receive the 'first class' service that they feel they are entitled to.

Budget airlines still offer a much better service than many airlines that were about 20 years ago. I remember making flights to Israel in 1989 and 1990 with the now defunct Dan Air and Sterling. I spent 5 hours in a cramped B727 with my knees up against my chest due to the lack of any usable leg room. I also remember paying almost 500 pounds each time for the privilege too.

If it hadn't been for the likes of Air Asia and Ryanair, I would never of travelled as much as I have had the fortune of doing, simply because I wouldn't have been able to afford it. I agree, that some airlines do have 'hidden' charges, but these are usually small and once you have used a particular airline you automatically incorporate these costs into your budget.

BnK: If I had one complaint, then I would second your comment about Air Asia's cabin temperatures. They are a tad on the chilly side. I flew to London with them a while back and while I wore plenty of clothing, knowing that it would be cold in London on arrival, I still felt a little uncomfortable.

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10 years ago, November 9th 2011 No: 12 Msg: #146682  
ha, Nick - we remember flying Dan Air when we were kids going on our holidays with our families...we are lucky it didn't put us off flying forever. Donna's Dad still jokes about Dan Air and outside toilets 😉

We aren't quite sure why people have such a problem with budget airlines - you pay for what you want. It just so happens it suits us as we never travel with checked-in luggage and never want food. If you want all the extras then budget airlines are definitely not for you!

Agree that Air Asia cabin temps (well most airlines cabin temps) are way too cold, we just make sure we have our jumpers ready.

the free flight actually cost us S$156

Jason, you are right about the special offers on budget airlines, this is one thing we miss about the UK. If you advertise a flight in the UK it has to include everything, here in Asia they advertise it at 0 fare, you go through the booking and it ends up £100! The other thing that annoys us - actually, within Asia, Tiger are the worst - are the convenience fees added on for paying by credit/debit card. On Tiger flights these sometimes come to over £15 on a return flight for two - and this is only added at the very last stage of the booking process. Reply to this

10 years ago, November 9th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #146701  
B Posts: 897
Id have to agree regards AA cabin temp. I fly budget airlines for a simple reason....what i often save in airfairs equates to my accomodation etc.

I flew a combo of air asia, jetstar and lion air a few weeks back to Manado to go to Bunaken to do some diving. The spur of the momentness (not sure if thats a word but its the best i can come up with) didnt give me a whole lot of opportunities for grabbing saver fairs but on the leg from Denpassar to Manado I had two choices... Garuda for $886 return or Lion Air for $210 return. The $670 was the entire cost of my diving, accomodation and food on Bunaken.

Air Asia are often known for flying out a bit late so just allow a few extra hours for connecting flights. They make it very clear on their website they are a point to point carrier and if you miss a connecting flight thats tough luck even if it was due to a delay..dont cut things fine with any airline esp AA.

Excess baggage..well again..Jetstar got me in Denpassar on the way home but that was my fault. I impulsively grabbed that ticket because someone rightly pointed out I needed a return ticket and i simply forgot to pay for excess baggage.

Im ok with budget airlines if it means what I save on an airfair pays for a week of diving eating and sleeping. Reply to this

10 years ago, December 1st 2011 No: 14 Msg: #148172  
I´ve done 7 flights with them, including 14 hours from KL to London. I have no complaints, their website is well designed unlike Ryan Air or Spirit Air and various other budget airlines. I never found that there was anything hidden to be confusing or to drop a sneaky charge.

Their food is decent and well priced if you book it in advance. None of my flights ever departed late.

Obviously I recommend them.

I have also flown with Ryan Air several times, I would think hard before doing a flight more than a few hours with them, even though the prices are amazing. I also flew with Cebu Pacific a couple of times with good experiences, no problems or complaints. Reply to this

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