The Cheap Way to Fly in Asia
January, 2012—Cha Jones
When living in the United States I use to love traveling the friendly skies on Southwest Airlines. Of course, some people would rather fly on an airline where their seats are pre-assigned. However, I have found that Southwest has some great things to offer and the first come first serve seating arrangement doesn’t bother me.
On Southwest you are able to get a better seat if you fly more frequently or if you do early check-in. I also like the fact that Southwest is one of the only airlines that still doesn’t make its passengers pay for checked baggage. I can appreciate that because it has become really ridiculous considering the fact that unless you are staying on a trip for a very short time, then you need to check baggage.
International flights decrease checked baggage
I recently looked-up some information on a flight to America and was amazed that United Airlines has recently adjusted the number of bags that you can check for their international flights. I could not believe that you are only allowed one checked bag and one carry-on. WHAT! Are they crazy? When traveling overseas, unless on business, many people are on extended stays, moving, or traveling for work on a short-term contract. So, why are you taxing me on baggage and I am already paying a great deal on the flight? OMG! I remember when I first moved to Korea I was able to check two bags at 50lbs a piece and have two carry-on bags. Well, it’s a new day. I hope see the sadness in my heart?
Asia’s discounted way to travel or not
This summer I was told about Air Asia Airlines and I must say they have some great rates on international flights within Asia. However, there are a few things that you should know prior to booking. If you look up the flights you will find that the rates are good, but booking online is a little difficult. Also, when you begin to book you will notice that you will be prompted to pay for travel insurance, seating assignments, baggage, meals, and prepaid transportation once you’ve landed at your destination. Now, I will say this, if you don’t choose to purchase your seating assignments you will get a free assigned seat. If you can travel with just one carry-on, then you will not have to pay for your baggage. However, I clicked on everything to opt out of the travel insurance and could not get out of paying it, because I was unable to proceed without purchasing. And if you don’t want to pre-pay for your meal, then you can pay a little higher rate while in-flight.
Well in Asia, Air Asia is the discount airline that can get you to several locations at a pretty good rate. Now, in my opinion Air Asia is no Southwest, but it is a pretty descent airlines. There are some major differences which led me to my opinion and they are listed below:
- Obviously Southwest is not an international airline and Air Asia is
- On Air Asia you have to pay for insurance, meals, pre-assigned seating, and baggage
- Their flight attendants will also encourage in-flight shopping (like many other airlines)
- Drinks and snacks will cost you
Tips when flying Air Asia Airlines
I would encourage you to be prepared to really spend a little time on the internet while booking your flight. I never did find and easy way to communicate with a live person if I had any questions, so keep that in mind as well. Also, when you fly, I would suggest that you bring a blanket because they turn the air-conditioning on even in the winter. If you don’t buy a pre-assigned seat, don’t worry you are able to move if there are any free seats available before takeoff. For the most part, I found that flying on Air Asia was pretty good, but I will say that they do nickel and dime you to the point that I am not sure you have a huge discount when you finish paying.
Where can you go on Air Asia?