Experience of intercontinental flight with a wide-body low-cost airline
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Experience of intercontinental flight with a wide-body low-cost airline

Welcome everyone to this resource!

The review is dedicated to the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth.

The title includes the epithet “intercontinental flight”, which, taking into account its duration, sounds somewhat pretentious. But in fact, that’s how it is. In addition to the “intercontinental nature,” the flight was also interesting because the low-cost flight was served by a wide-body aircraft (the first time such a combination was flown). The direction is also unusual - both for me (I also flew it for the first time) and for this resource (Perth, it seems, has not yet been seen in reviews).

Before the flight.
For starters, dry numbers of flight statistics. The airline is the Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia X. Flight - D7 234. The aircraft operating the flight is A330, registration 9M-XBG. Scheduled departure time: 9.30, actual - 10.08. Scheduled arrival time: 15.10, actual time - 15.09. The flight duration was exactly 5 hours.

I bought the ticket about three weeks before departure, when plans suddenly changed, which turned Kuala Lumpur from the final destination of the route only into a transfer airport. As a result, the purchase of a ticket was strictly tied to the date and even time of departure, since we already had tickets on hand for another plane arriving in Kuala Lumpur. It was necessary to choose a flight that departed at least 6 hours after the arrival of the previous flight, in order to include the risk associated with a possible delay, and no later than 12-15 hours - so as not to condemn yourself to a more than two-day trip, mocking your body. There were more than enough flight options from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, but most of them were connecting. Having narrowed the search to direct flights, it turned out that there were five on that day, among which one met my needs. I bought a ticket for it.
After purchasing the ticket, I learned some interesting nuances. Checking in at the airport with AirAsia X is paid, but doing it on the Internet is as easy as shelling pears, there are no pitfalls or pitfalls. I checked in online 3 days before departure. When filling out the fields, in addition to other routine data, it was necessary to enter the visa number and its validity period (because the passport is from the visa office for the final destination of the country). Without entering your visa information, online registration would not be possible. I printed out my boarding pass:

During check-in, I randomly got seat 54H, which, given the 2-4-2 layout of the cabin, seated me in the aisle with 2 seats. Not a bad option. It could have been worse, for example in the middle rows between other seats. I figured that the board would be half empty and I could move to the window. Since this is a low-cost airline, you won’t be able to eat on board at the expense of the airline. A flight of almost 6 hours without food is not a pleasure, so it was decided to pre-order lunch. The airline's website offered this option:

The choice of dishes was varied, but they were all unfamiliar and therefore cautious in terms of possible spiciness:

At random I chose the bottom option: Prawn and Chicken Wonton Noodles. This dish came with a 0.375 bottle of water. This pleasure cost 21 Malaysian ringgit; upon payment, 4.64 US$ was withdrawn from the card.

Terminal 2 of Kuala Lumpur Airport.
This flight capped my tour, which consisted of three flights from point A to point B. Therefore, as I already stated above, the departure point for the purposes of this review is only a transfer airport. And I’ll start my story from the airport, and not from the city of departure or the road to the airport. My previous flight to Kuala Lumpur arrived at Terminal 1 at approximately 23:00 the previous day, and the current one departed from Terminal 2 at 9:30 the next day. Considering that I had two flights before, each lasting more than 6 hours, and with an 8.5 hour layover between them, I needed to find a place to give my body rest and sleep. The option of spending the second night on my feet or in the chairs of the waiting room (the first was on a plane filled to capacity) was not suitable. Having arrived at terminal No. 2 on the free shuttle bus from Terminal No. 1, I decided to find a hotel at all costs. I got off the bus at terminal No. 2:

Upon entering the terminal, I almost immediately saw what struck my mind the most - the hotel. And it doesn’t matter that it’s a capsule or something else, the important thing is that it will give you the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep before the next flight:

For the first time in my life I used this service. There was an option to book 3, 6 or 12 hours. I took 6 hours, which best suited my needs. At the time of booking it was 1 am. Thus, I check out my room at 7 o’clock and the flight is in 2.5 hours. Fits perfectly into the proposed 6 hours. The cost of the service for 6 hours was 155 ringgit (for 3 and 12 hours it was slightly different - 145 and 165 ringgit, respectively), which translated into rubles was about 3 thousand. I took a shower before and after bed, managed to sleep for about 4 hours, which completely restored my strength. In the morning, a bonus - free tea and coffee overlooking a large bookshelf:

At 7 o'clock I checked out my room and went out to the terminal. I look for the board to find out the status of my flight and my gate number. There is a scattering of flights on the board, mine is still far away:

The board showed that my gate was P6. I followed the direction of the arrow to "departure".

I walked, following the signs. The signs in terminal No. 2 are very clear and visual, they won’t let you get lost. Many airports should learn from Kuala Lumpur in this regard.
I was on level 2. I need to go to level 3. I take the escalator up there:

Signs everywhere:

The corridor led into an open space, shining with all colors with a nice installation "KLIA T2":

The interior of the airport really played the entire possible palette of colors. I have never been to such a “colorful” airport before. But the other airport terminal - KLIA 1 - is completely different, more strict, or something.
Here, in this large hall - and this turned out to be the check-in area - a festive atmosphere reigned: it was crowded, fun and noisy. I have noticed more than once that at airports serving low-cost flights, people look more relaxed, open and carefree. This is most likely due to the fact that low-cost airlines are focused on delivering passengers to vacation destinations and people, anticipating a vacation, begin to feel its atmosphere already at departure airports:

But I had nothing to do here, so I immediately headed to the boarding gate, where the signs directed to the gates with the letters L, P, Q :

I go to the first control, before the exit to the border booths:

They asked where I was flying, assessed my hand luggage, and let me through without any questions. Next - border control:

And here everything is clear and harmonious - there are no queues, there are many working booths. I passed without a single question.
Next, customs inspection, where I put my backpack through the scanner:

The inspection is as easy as passport control. I walk towards gates P, Q, which, according to the sign, are 10 minutes on foot:

I pass by shops, including duty free:

Navigation does not allow you to lose your course even for a second:

The road to the gates led to a long passage between terminals, with windows facing to the aircraft parking lots:

I looked outside for the first time on this day - the sun was just beginning its daily course across the sky:

The passage connected two terminals ( or rather, two different buildings of the same terminal No. 2), the narrow-body sides of airbuses with a bright appearance were parked next to the jet bridges. All of them, despite the variety of liveries, belonged to one airline - Air Asia:

AirAsia is not limited to just one standard livery of their aircraft. The imagination of the company’s creative team did a great job, coming up with many options for coloring its sides. I even met this one: he was gray, his tail was red with the airline logo on it, and his nose was white:

In the distance, through the morning haze, one could see terminal No. 1. By the way - terminal 2, from where I am conducting my review, it is used to serve exclusively low-cost airlines (but not all that fly to the capital of Malaysia): Air Asia, Air Asia X, and, it seems, Singaporean Scoot and Jetstar Asia. That's all. All other airlines, and there are about five dozen of them, arrive and depart from Terminal 1. In the photo below it can be seen in the center behind a row of standing aircraft:

The transition again led to a bright, colorful space, as if I was in a kaleidoscope:

It hurt my eyes from the bright colors surrounding the passenger on all sides:

Against the backdrop of all this variety of colors, the entrance to the AirAsia business lounge looked very faded:

I reached the escalator leading down:

On on the lower level, I followed the signs and headed left:

And again a series of corridors, shops, cafes. It seemed like there would be no end to them:

But there was just a little left, the pointers narrowed my goal to the gates only with the letter P:

Here we had to go down one more level:

Through the window an AirAsia A-320 caught my eye:

And only here, as it turned out, was the inspection before entering the area immediately adjacent to the gates:

During the search, they asked me to throw away the water bottle. But he didn’t throw it away, he just poured out the liquid and left the empty bottle. After the inspection there is a corridor again, but not as colorful as the previous ones. In this corridor, on both sides, there were exits to the gate waiting area: even numbers on the right side, odd numbers on the left:

I found my gate. But there was no place to sit down with him. Tired people had already fallen into the few available seats:

It was also necessary to find and decide on a place to sit somewhere before boarding, since the long walk with a backpack was already quite exhausting.
I walked further down the corridor and saw what I needed. Firstly, the free seats:

Secondly, a charging station not far from the free seats:

Thirdly, a source of drinking water, which filled my empty bottle:

I consider the availability of drinking water in a clean area to be a thoughtful decision for the benefit of the passenger. Perhaps, at the Kuala Lumpur airport it was implemented due to the specifics of the local climate (high humidity), but why not do this at all airports in light of the fact that it is forbidden to bring more than 100 ml of liquid during security checks.
I sat waiting for about half an hour at this so-called "intermediate zone". My gate, P6, was not allowed inside and was opened 40 minutes before the flight departure. In order to get inside, the passport was checked and the hand luggage was scanned again. This time the water was not taken away. As soon as they opened access to the hall of my gate, the entrance to the telebridge was opened almost immediately. But I was in no hurry, hoping to be one of the last to board.

Outside the window stood our plane, which was being prepared for departure and boarding was already in full swing:

The Airbus had a rather “poor” livery, compared to those sides that it saw on its way to the gate. While waiting for the passengers to gradually go up the boarding bridge to the plane, I assessed their number and came to the conclusion that I was unlikely to be able to find empty seats by the window, even if I was the last one to board the plane. Moreover, more and more passengers arrived at the gate hall, and their queue even formed due to the slow inspection.
I’m holding out until the last minute. However, I noticed that I’m not the only one and the task ahead is to determine who’s nerves can’t stand it forward:

It’s not possible to go deeper into the gate hall, from there everyone has already been herded to the beginning of the telebridge. Still, I entered it, as I thought, among the last. There was still one more family who inopportunely began to adjust something in the child’s clothing. I go to the boarding bridge, there are no longer any employees at the entrance who usually collect boarding pass stubs:

Walking along the jet bridge, I took several pictures of the plane next to us, also Air Asia, but with a predominance of red in the livery, and my own, on which the flight was to take place:

Almost on the plane:

My efforts and hopes of finding something empty were in vain the chair - the side was full. While I was walking to the end of the cabin to my seat, I didn’t see a single one free, if only to simply capture for review what the interior and seats looked like. He sat down in his seat. The next place, by the window, was occupied:

A shot towards the porthole, with an attempt to snatch from its place what is outside the window:

B There was a monitor built into the back of the seat in front and there was even a USB connector, but neither of these worked either now or throughout the flight. Not for me, not for anyone. How nice it was that I brought my phone's charge to almost 100% while I was waiting for boarding:

The landing was over, but we stood motionless for a long time. The commander announced that the flight was very dense at these hours, and we would have to wait. At least that's how I understood his words. After a delay of half an hour, the plane finally jerked and they began to pull it back. The engines started, we drove off on our own:

We go to the starting point. Behind the window, at the moment of turning onto the runway for acceleration, an Air Asia A-320 with another “new” livery appeared following us for takeoff from the opposite taxiway:

Takeoff, takeoff:

We took off to the north, which allowed us to see through the window in all its glory terminal No. 2, the passage along which went to another terminal building, a dense palm forest right below us, and in the distance - terminal No. 1:

As we gained altitude, we could see Kuala Lumpur in the distance, but we didn’t bother too much with our neighbor sitting by the window, violate his “privacy,” so to speak, and endlessly hold out his hand with his phone in front of his nose to take a photo. I limited myself to only one shot during the climb:

The place on the edge makes you look at the interior of the plane. First of all, I looked at what was inside the seat back pocket. Flight safety instructions:

Duty-free magazine:

Alcohol card:

Expanded magazine, found offers of the same dishes on board as on the website. The website stated that they are cheaper when pre-ordered. It seems like a couple of ringgit, it really is:

I appreciated the legroom:

I didn’t notice that it was cramped. But if he were sitting in the middle, then this would probably be the case. But a place on the edge provides certain advantages - you can stretch one leg into the aisle:

And outside the window it was beautiful - cumulus clouds, a bright sky and islands against the backdrop of the ocean. About 40 minutes had passed since takeoff, and the plane was flying over Indonesian territorial waters:

Eh, I should have bought a window seat! I hoped for chance, but it didn’t work out...
Sitting by the aisle, my gaze rested on the toilet installed in the middle of the cabin. While there were no queues there, I decided to visit it.

Since the toilet was located in a place of honor - right in the center of the cabin, while you were inside you didn’t have to bend over backwards, as happens when visiting similar establishments if they are located near the side, and even on narrow-body sides. In the same toilet, one could stand at full height without feeling cramped or uncomfortable. But there was also a negative aspect of such a location. Usually, toilets, even in the middle of the cabin, are somehow disguised with curtains or separated by partitions, but on this flight it looked in full view, like a rural toilet at the end of the garden. This is what its exterior looks like:

Coming out of it, you immediately fall into the arms of hundreds of eyes, and you get the feeling that the walls of the toilet are transparent and all these people have gathered in their chairs solely to watch the sacraments that happen to you behind the walls of the toilet.
But enough about base instincts, because the pleasant part of the flight was coming, which was supposed to dilute the rolling boredom. At the same time, flight attendants and stewards began pushing food carts in two aisles. Since I had a pre-order on the website, I was among those who would be fed first. This is the airline's policy - first to pay, first to eat. Secondly, food will be offered to those who wish it and are willing to pay directly on board. Not enough passengers pre-ordered for the cart to stop at every row of seats. A steward came up to me and asked for a boarding pass - he checked my name and seat number with the order. And then it dawned on me: if I had changed my seat on my own and sat by the window, they simply would not have found me, and in order to eat, I would have to contact the cabin crew. After checking the boarding pass, they brought me this:

I opened the lid of the hot dish, and under it there were more lids - one real, the other improvised from a leaf of some plant:

Opened another lid:

It didn't look very important. Whatever is not important there, I’ll tell you straight - it looked disgusting. Against the background of all these preparations with opening the lids, gastric juice increased the feeling of appetite, and here it is... But let’s wait to rush to conclusions. The smell emitted by this set was not so hopeless. Let's taste it.

And you know, it tasted like nothing at all! There are no signs of “orientalism” with all these strange and spicy seasonings. What looked like crumpled dumplings had a subtle taste of shrimp (they were ground and were inside the dough), not spoiled by any rubbish that is usually added to them in search of new taste sensations. The noodles were soft to taste (although you couldn’t tell by looking at them), and were also piquantly chosen for the usual Russian taste. Even the water with which you usually wash down overseas specific tastes was not needed after the plate was completely empty.
After the end of the meal, even the mood lifted and a state of delight arose (maybe something was mixed in?).
The only problem remained that the empty foil plate It took a long time for them to remove the folding table. After distributing pre-orders to passengers, the second series began - again rolling out the carts and now a slow procession with them along the rows and offering lunch to those who were sick in the pit of their stomachs.

Taking into account long questions and suggestions As payment in different currencies, which the flight attendants translated into Malaysian ringgits at an extremely unfavorable rate, which sometimes gave rise to disputes, sometimes outrage and even bargaining, the cart could linger at a row of seats for several minutes. At one of these moments, I watched what was happening, sometimes appreciating the performance from the back rows:

And sometimes in a parallel row, where the same scenario was played out:

In addition to the main courses, various soft drinks, chips, and snacks were offered:

Until the carts moved at a slow pace along the entire length of the rows, until the second batch of passengers had dined, no one took my empty container. This lasted about an hour and a half. So another question is who has priority when distributing food. It’s not very comfortable to sit all this time with the table reclined, on which the remains of disposable dishes were waiting in the wings to go into the trash.
When the dishes were finally removed, we managed to look through the porthole - there was already another continent there - Australia:

About an hour and a half before boarding, the flight attendants handed out entry forms to everyone, or an immigration card, I don’t know what to call it:

It seemed that the questions were standard, and some even seemed strange. Do you have tuberculosis, what is your profession, do you import seeds... He automatically entered the logical “no” or “yes” without even thinking deeply about the essence of the questions. But still, I was confused by one point, and I asked my neighbor, who turned out to be an Australian: is it really important to note that I am bringing meat with me (there was a point about this in the questionnaire) if I have several pieces of half-eaten sausage with me? He answered - definitely! They may not check, or they may conduct a random check, and if they find this sausage on you, even just a little, they will issue you a hefty fine. After his words, I had to ask the flight attendant to bring a new declaration form, where, when asked: do I bring meat with me to Australia, I ticked “yes.”
The commander announced a reduction. Outside the window, through the dirty glass, incomprehensible structures were visible, more like dry lakes with a coating of salt:

They entered from the north directly, that is, without making a turn over the ocean and Perth. Suburbs began to flash outside the window:

Just before landing, we flew over Perth - that part of it where the private sector, so characteristic of cities in North America, South Africa and Australia:

Landing, mileage:

Taxiing to the terminal, which is below in the photo. Our place will be in front of Scoot's dreamliner:

We stopped at the telescopic bridge. Passengers disembarked without much commotion:

After arrival.
I walk along the jet bridge:

Through the window you can see two planes - both from Singapore - Scoot and Singapore Airlines:

Next - through the gallery :

Through the full-length gallery window a "scoot" dreamliner was visible:

Looking back ago I saw the A-330, the hero of the review:

AirAsia and Scoot in one frame:

Then walking along the gallery you could see a Singapore Airlines dreamliner :

Then the gallery brought it to duty free. And not tangentially, but precisely into it, through which you had to go to passport control:

Some of the arriving passengers stocked up on drinks here.
Next passport control. The queue was not divided into “friends” and “strangers”; everyone walked en masse to the many working booths. It took about 30 seconds to get through passport control. The Russian passport did not evoke absolutely any emotions. No one asked for a visa (it is not stuck in the passport), nor was an entry stamp given - everything is computerized there. After looking at something on the computer screen, the border guard returned the document to me with the words: welcome to Australia.
I passed passport control, I move on:

I go down the escalator to the baggage claim area, which I didn’t have it with me:

I had already forgotten about the declaration and thought that I would now be free, but that was not the case. After the baggage claim hall, I went out to the new one, where I came across a huge queue of passengers from all flights arriving in Perth:

Here's Welcome to Perth, as the screens above the queue mockingly broadcast... Not to say that the queue did not move at all, but there were so many people that moving through it took about 30 minutes. When I got to the customs officers, they asked me if I had declared anything? He answered that yes and handed over the declaration. The declaration was taken away and sent for thorough inspection. To be fair, they sent for inspection not only me, but also others: some selectively, some of those who also declared something. First, they put my backpack through a scanner, then they asked me to open it and show the “meat.” He dug up the remains of his sausage and showed it. He said that I had a very long journey (and this was indeed the case), and I took food with me for a snack. I only found out on the plane that meat cannot be brought into Australia. But there was no need to build such an exculpatory dialogue, since they answered me quite civilly that there was no problem with that, you could take your smoked sausage and go through.
Went out to the arrivals area:

Looking back, left here:

Perth Airport will be disassembled to the bones in another review. Upon arrival, we needed to get to the city as soon as possible. Therefore, I go outside, where I am greeted by hot, but dry and comfortable weather. Just a sharp contrast after humid Malaysia. The climate in Western Australia is very pleasant, Mediterranean-type:

Here I called an Uber taxi and got to the place. On the way to it:

In conclusion, a screenshot from the 24Flightradar of my flight:

Thanks everyone for reading! Safe flights everyone!
Vote for review:

AirAsia X

Airbus A330-300

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Perth Airport

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