The first time I flew with Air Asia was in early 2000 for a quick holidays in Seam Reap, Cambodia. There were many empty seats.
Since then, it went on many years before I flew with Air Asia again. I vaguely remember the reason I chose not to fly with Air Asia.
Perhaps the first flight after my long “avoidance” from flying with Air Asia was when I flew to Busan, South Korea in 2012. Of course, the fare was the cheapest then, both to Busan and Seoul. Even made my sister join me in Seoul before flying to Jeju-do and returning to Kuala Lumpur via Busan. Since then, perhaps 90% of my flights in and out of South Korea had been with Air Asia. Yes, since then, I visit South Korea on a frequent basis that colleagues and bosses regarded it as my hometown. Well, perhaps because I am likely in either Seoul or Busan whenever there are long weekends.
If you recall, I did say, “… the fare was the cheapest then, …” Why? Because nowadays, Air Asia is not always the cheapest airline flying to Seoul. In no way am saying the add ons are hidden charges causing the fare to increase. I agree with Tan Sri Tony on this. You pick and choose the add ons having awareness of the costs. Un-check all the add ons and you will get the “original” price that got you to the Air Asia booking page in the first place, cheapest or not.
Cheap to me is no longer the appropriate description of the fare. Henceforth, I will describe it as reasonable. What is reasonable fare? Well, I believe it means getting the most out of every penny I have paid. I no longer go for the cheapest but for the most reasonable. As a result, often nowadays I fly business class when the fare is between the cheapest Air Asia fare and the fare other airlines have to offer versus each of their very own business class fares. Confused? To put it simply, comparing the fare for KUL-ICN-KUL flights on Air Asia economy class vs KUL-ICN-KUL Malaysia Airlines business class vs KUL-ICN-KUL Air Asia business class resulted in KUL-ICN-KUL Malaysia Airlines business class as most reasonable, I will go with Malaysia Airlines. Generally that is how I decide on which airline to fly especially for my annual holidays in Europe. Still confused? Well, the fare is the one in the middle and it is on business class. If you are flying economy only and have no intention of paying extra, this makes no difference and sense to you. By the way, cheapest Air Asia fare to me means the fare inclusive of baggage allowance of 20 kg and food.
What I want to say is this; Air Asia have since, allowed many people to travel places. Personally I feel this is the case when I travel in and out of South Korea. Most recent “good deed” by Air Asia is the direct flights to Jeju-do. Without which I would have to either fly to Busan or Seoul in order to get to Jeju-do. I visited Jeju-do for the second time last month. Flying in, I had this running through my mind; I feel grateful for Air Asia’s decision to fly direct to Jeju-do! I do not need to spend unnecessary time in other places when I wish to spend all if not most of my time in Jeju-do. Yes, I felt very grateful. So, I have this to say to Air Asia; thank you for flying direct to Jeju-do. From the statistics reported in tourism articles I had read, noting the increase in visitors to Seoul and Busan since Air Asia flies direct to both, Jeju-do will likely experience the same increase, thus increase in economy through tourism. For the past 6 years that I have been visiting South Korea, I have personally seen the increase.
Generally, affordable fares offerred by Air Asia have allowed many people the opportunity to travel places. I do hope it will be more competitive in its pricing as I have noted somewhat uncompetitive fares thus me flying with Malaysia Airlines to Seoul, on business class. You can imagine the fare “discrepancies”. Nevertheless, again, the higher fare here has nothing to do with the add ons as my decision to fly Malaysia Airlines business class have always been after comparing against Air Asia business class fare. That should be logical.
Anyway, thanks to Air Asia I get to enjoy long weekend in Jeju-do and these –
1. All photos were taken using my LGV30+
2. This is not a paid review
3. None of my trips mentioned were sponsored by Air Asia.