Lufthansa747
Topic Author
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:38 pm

Long time no reports, haven’t had much time with a lot of trips and some issues back in Finland. Anyway, here’s another one, I don’t think this route has been covered before at airliners.net.

With about 30 sectors already booked on Air Asia for various trips, I was looking for a quick getaway from Angeles City. Only a few airlines serve Diosdado Macapagal International airport; the tiring road trip to MNL was out of the question for this trip. Air Asia offered a great fare to Kota Kinabalu, and the Le Meridien had cheap rates as well. So after a phone call to the Philippines, I quickly booked a trip for myself and the girlfriend.

09 September 2009
Clark Diosdado Macapagal International (CRK/RPLC) – Kota Kinabalu LCCT (BKI/WBKK)
Air Asia AK/AXM 6265
Airbus A320-216
9M-AHF
1540-1735 – On Time
Economy Class, Seat 7B
Fare 9.90 EUR


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Victor Alexander
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © T.Y. Bob LEE



So it was 9/9/09 and the flight had cost 9.90 EUR… What a coincidence. It was a quick 10-minute ride from the hotel to DMIA, certainly great compared to the tiring 2-4 hour journey to NAIA depending on Metro Manila traffic. After supporting the Philippine Tourism Authority with the PHP 1620 travel tax, we were quickly checked in by the friendly AK agent who didn’t bother checking the carry-on weight or other nonsense. I had invested 1 EUR each for pre-assigned seats, namely 7A and 7B.

Immigration and security were quick –flying out of CRK is such a refreshing change to MNL T1 especially. Although I must say flying Cebu Pacific out of NAIA 3 is not a too bad experience these days.

Plenty of seating at the renovated departure lounge. The Filipinos have a thing with their phones and sms…
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/1.jpg

9M-AHF arrived a few minutes early from Kota Kinabalu, and boarding started soon. I must say I really like Air Asia and their fares now that they offer assigned seating. What a change from the mad rush before.

DMIA terminal building, Spirit of Manila Airlines MD80 in the background
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/2.jpg

Boarding of course via stairs
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/3.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/4.jpg

Welcome aboard the world’s best – Air Asia uses that heavily in their marketing these days
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/5.jpg

I gave the window seat to my girlfriend – the load was very low at around 50%. This was in the middle of Ramadan though, must have had an effect. Standard buy on board service was offered, I decided not to have anything this time despite the hot meals being rather cheap at around 2 euros.

Cabin view – almost nobody at the “hot seats”, row 1-5
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/7.jpg

After an uneventful flight, we started descent into Kota Kinabalu after about 1.5 hours in the air
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/6.jpg

We landed on time and taxied to terminal 2, a carbon copy of Kuala Lumpur LCCT in seems. Air Asia’s expansion has been rather stunning – they have a massive operation in Kota Kinabalu as well. We were the first ones at immigration, and it took barely a minute to clear. Then hopped onto a taxi to the Le Meridien.

Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

At 50 Euros per night this was a great deal given my SPG Platinum status. We were upgraded to a Royal Club suite with Royal Club lounge access obviously. This was already done online weeks before check-in which I found rather impressive. No complaints apart from a poor check-out experience that made us almost miss the return flight.

Living room sitting area
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/8.jpg

Dining table
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/9.jpg

Minibar and stuff
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/10.jpg

Sofa in bedroom
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/11.jpg

Bed
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/12.jpg

Two flat screen TVs in the suite
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/13.jpg

Bathroom
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/14.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/15.jpg

Kota Kinabalu

Some pics around the city
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/16.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/17.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/18.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/19.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/20.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/21.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/22.jpg


11 September 2009
Kota Kinabalu LCCT (BKI/WBKK) – Clark Diosdado Macapagal International (CRK/RPLC)
Air Asia AK/AXM 6264
Airbus A320-216
9M-AHF
1320-1515 – On Time
Economy Class, Seat 6E
Fare 15.10 EUR


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Victor Alexander
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © T.Y. Bob LEE



They claimed no working printer at check-out at Le Meridien-really unacceptable for a 5-star hotel and I was fuming after it took 15 minutes to check out. Thankfully we made it back to the airport before the closure of the counters – Air Asia can be rather harsh if you miss the cutoff time.

Checked baggage screening
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/24.jpg

Check-in counters at BKI LCCT
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/23.jpg

I did online check-in the day before, so they just had a look at passports and stamped the boarding passes


They must have more than 1 A320 at BKI these days


Immigration and security were very quick, and we were soon in the gate area. Somebody else taking pics too…
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/27.jpg

AK ads
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/28.jpg

It’s Air Asia territory here at T2
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/29.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/30.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/32.jpg

I don’t know what it is with Air Asia and me – it’s 9M-AHF again to take us back to CRK. I always get the same reg on Indonesia Air Asia too…
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/31.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/33.jpg

A Malaysian Air Force plane and a Transmile B727F
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/34.jpg

Load was about 70%, and we had 6E and 6F this time. Really an excellent crew on this flight, very friendly and professional.
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/35.jpg

Legroom is of course LCC style, but fine for short hops around Asia
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/36.jpg

I decided to have some food this time – a hot dog and a can of Pepsi for about 2 Euros
http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q61/lufthansa747/bki_ak/37.jpg

It was an uneventful flight up to Clark, and I decided to buy some Air Asia stuff from their onboard sales. My girlfriend was not feeling too well for reasons I’d find out in a couple of days, and the crew couldn’t have been any nicer about it. A top notch experience for a ridiculously low fare.

We landed on time at DMIA, and being in the front, cleared immigration in no time at all. Took a car to Angeles City for PHP 300 and a nice short break to Malaysia was over.

Thanks for reading.

Lufthansa747
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:16 pm

Hi Lari,

very enjoyable short report, good to see a Lufthansa747 posting again!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
I must say I really like Air Asia and their fares now that they offer assigned seating. What a change from the mad rush before.

Excellent news, hadn't heard about that yet.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
I decided to have some food this time – a hot dog and a can of Pepsi for about 2 Euros

One cannot complain about these prices.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:54 am



Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
My girlfriend was not feeling too well for reasons I’d find out in a couple of days

Might congratulations be in order perhaps?

If not, then best wishes to your girlfriend mate.

If so, then CONGRATS!
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:51 am

Hi Lari !

Very nice report with excellent pics!

Wish you had more time to post reports........

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
MH017
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:03 pm

Congrats to Elaine and Lari !!!  Wink

Great report; looks like you had a wonderful time at KK, weatherwise...

Hope to see some more trippies in the future...
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8133
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:02 pm

Hi Lari,

Good to see you flying again, if not in F  Smile

With fares like this, you cannot say no & the service looks good, unlike some of their european friends!

Best Wishes

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:37 pm

Terve Lari,

Nice to see you returning to the TR scene. Looks like you're back with your usual shenanigans - both on ground and in the (hotel) bedroom  Smile

Hope to see more from you soon, I've always been quite a fan of your reports and travels, and as a fellow Finn very interested of the latest developments as well.
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:19 pm

Hey, Lari,

great stuff and also nice location pictures.

With Asia at all and Air Asia especially that far away a nice read in the German
autumn rain.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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KLASM83
Posts: 397
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:57 pm

Great TR of little documented destinations and nice, new Airbii!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
. The Filipinos have a thing with their phones and sms…

OMG? srsly? lol

I don't think it's the Filipinos, but most of us young people today.
Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
 
reifel
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:00 am

Actually I think this could be true  Smile I can't comment on the Filipinos, but the Singaporean have for sure more little electronic things (and more sophisticated) than we have over in Europe. Just take the MRT, they're all playing games or watching movies on their handhelds, and not just the younger ones... absolutely incredible  Smile

Back to the report. Thanks a lot for sharing. I flew Air Asia a few days ago from SIN to KUL and I must say that they have a solid product which don't looks "cheap" as the LCC's that we have in Europe (just thinking about Ryanair and Easyjet...). Plus they offer hot food for a very good fare, especially if booked before the flight it's not more than 2 EUR for a hot dish...
 
MHG
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Nice report from lesser covered airports (and airline - Air Asia Malaysia that is)

Confirms my own various experiences with Air Asia and i still must say they remain being the pacemaker (quality wise) among LCC´s all over the world - Ryanair is not !!!
I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:00 pm

Hi!

Thanks for the great little report on AirAsia. It's a great airline. Very good fares, and for us Europeans, unbeatable prices for onboard service. When will U2, FR etc. start to offer 'hot meals' for 2 Euro's  Silly
The report brought back little memories I have from BKI. I was there for about 2 hours, during a MH B772 flight NRT-KUL, making a stop at BKI. I couldn't leave the departure/transit lounge, but I really wanted to go outside to explore the island.

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
thegreatRDU
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:21 pm

Great Report If you ask me, Air Asia pioneered the concept of the LCCT
Our Returning Champion
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:36 am

I am actually taking this trip in mid february but BKI-CRK-BKI. 250 RM return a steal.

Got some work in the economic freezone for a couple of days. Since CRK is much closer to where I will be its great to have AirAsia flying.
First time that I will be staying in that part of the Philippines, any suggestions for hotels and good bars?
If your around lets meet up for a beer.
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
Lufthansa747
Topic Author
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:50 am

Thanks for the replies!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):
very enjoyable short report, good to see a Lufthansa747 posting again!

There will be more... Sorry for being bad repling - read your excellent USA report but never replied to that!!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1):


Excellent news, hadn't heard about that yet.

Yeah, about EUR 1 for a standard seat and EUR 5 for row 1 to 5 and exits. It completely changed my attitude towards AK/FD/QZ.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
Might congratulations be in order perhaps?

Yes, thanks... 3/3/10.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 3):
Wish you had more time to post reports........

I will post more in due time, Incl TK 77W. Big grin

Quoting MH017 (Reply 4):
Congrats to Elaine and Lari !!!

Thanks.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
With fares like this, you cannot say no & the service looks good, unlike some of their european friends!

Yeah, I hate FR, yet i think U2 is not too bad. And they just announced HEL-CDG and HEL-MAN.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 6):
Looks like you're back with your usual shenanigans - both on ground and in the (hotel) bedroom

Legend. I enjoy your reports too but I'm bad at replying...

Quoting KLASM83 (Reply 8):
I don't think it's the Filipinos, but most of us young people today.

No. Simply no. You need to come here to see what the free texting etc does to these people... Filipinos live with their phones and SMS.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 13):
Got some work in the economic freezone for a couple of days. Since CRK is much closer to where I will be its great to have AirAsia flying.

Will be here Feb 20 onwards. Hotels depend on your budget... ABC, Lewis Grand, Savannah are nice while Bangkok Hotel, Royal Amsterdam, Le Mirage and Euro Asia are cheaper. Must say the Holiday Inn was an overpriced dump when I stayed, though it has been renovated. Overall, you are not getting nice hotels here cheap I'm afraid. Please PM me about the bars, I think that should stay out of this forum...  Wink

Regards,

Lari
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
akhmad
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RE: Amazing Air Asia: CRK-BKI-CRK A320 09/09/09

Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:04 pm

Hi Lari,

Nice report with Air Asia. I will be flying them myself and thanks to you I know what to expect.  Smile

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
So it was 9/9/09 and the flight had cost 9.90 EUR… What a coincidence.

9 is probably your lucky number. 9.90 EUR was indeed a bargain. I have spent more than you but it was still reasonable.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Thread starter):
We were upgraded to a Royal Club suite with Royal Club lounge access obviously.

The suite looks fabulous. All of the luxury for 50 EUR each night!  Wow!

Cheers,
Suryo
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