Topic Author
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:37 am

Asian Trip: Advice Sought On Local Carriers

Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:05 pm

I am to embark on an asia trip in a month and was wondering how the following airlines are to fly with, in economy that is:
Malaysian Airlines
Air Asia
Siem Reap Airlines
Vietnam Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines

Also, I am not sure whether to fly Thai Airways or Scandinavian Airlines from BKK to CPH, this flight will be business.
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:00 pm

RE: Asian Trip: Advice Sought On Local Carriers

Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:50 pm

I can only comment on VN. So far this year I've made 25 flights with them; all in economy and all domestic. All have been on an Airbus 320 and none of the planes had a first or business class cabin. 40% of the flights have been with a western pilot. About 85% of flights have been on time...the latest to depart was about 30 minutes late. Weather seems to be the biggest delay factor in Viet Nam as it is always raining somewhere in the country. I will have another 15 flights with them this year.

All in all not a bad airline. Have fun with them.
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:48 am

RE: Asian Trip: Advice Sought On Local Carriers

Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:10 am

I have flown VN, Air Asia, and Siem Reap Airways (and MH but that was a long time ago).

SIem Reap Airways is basically the Cambodian version of Bangkok Airways. They managed to serve a snack and drink on the short hops from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Overall, their service is excellent, both in the air and on the ground. The plane I flew was an ATR-72 which only had Y class seating w/o any IFE.

I flew VN only once, within Vietnam. They also provided a drink and snack service on the 1 hour long flight from Danang to Hanoi which was on a rather modern Airbus (A320?). The flights were on time and my overall impression was positive. Seating was ok and no IFE was available butagain these were rather shirt domestic flights. The only problem was booking the flights in Vietnam. I had to go to a local travel agent to get the tickets as internet booking on their web site was not available back then (May of this year).

Air Asia is a low cost carrier. Booking flights on their web site is pretty easy and they have an extensive network of flights in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Their service is no frills - you can get express boarding for an extra fee but there are no seat assignments and you have to pay for all food and drinks. They also discourage outside food consumption on the planes. The food offerings consist of various snacks and sandwiches; alcohol is not available on their flights. The seating is also somewhat tight but that is to be expected on a low-cost carrier. Air Asia may still have some old B737-300 aircraft in their fleet which show their age inside. However, these planes are gradually replaced with modern A320 aircraft which are in much better shape. Overall, considering their cheap tickets they are ok if you book them in advance and for flights of less than 2 hours. I am not sure if I would like to fly them extensively on longer flights, mostly because of their cramped seating and total lack of IFE.

Also, Air Asia has a rather limited baggage allowance (15 kilo for checked bags AFAIK) and they sometimes cancel flights or change flight times. That happened to me several times so if you book well in advance you should periodically check your flights. If you are connecting to another flight or simply have to be somewhere at a certain time I would allow for a lot of extra time or have a backup-plan when flying Air Asia.

Have a great trip.
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:52 pm

RE: Asian Trip: Advice Sought On Local Carriers

Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:42 pm

I flew on MH a few times within Malaysia, and to Singapore. B737 and B777 very comfortable in economy, and I expect the service to be good. Also got the chance to fly Business Class on the A330 and that was very good, i'm sure you'll have a great time with whoever you fly with though.
Next Up: Back to the US - Charlotte & Kansas City
Posts: 525
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:25 pm

RE: Asian Trip: Advice Sought On Local Carriers

Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:30 am

MH is my favorite carrier in economy. Flew them BNE-KUL-FRA last year October and the 34 inches pitch and the friendly service really make a long flight in economy acceptable. Would assume their service is similar on all their routes.

Cheers from Brisbane,


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