Transfer to Terminal 2
Kota Kinabalu International Airport is nowhere comparable to SIN
, whereby you can take the Skytrain for inter-terminal transfers, or even walk between them. The only way to transfer between the terminals will be by taxi, an exaggerating RM30 (7 EUR/10 USD) for the 10-minute journey on a small and old taxi. There is a whole fleet of taxis dedicated for the transport (to downtown too) but it seems like not many people are using them.
Taxi from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2
Setting off. Next destination: BKI Terminal 2
A beautiful building on enroute
We're just turning around the airport perimeter. Here is an AK A320 parked at Terminal 2
Looking to the front
Upon entering Terminal 2, what a shock I had! It was in no way comparable to Terminal 1 at BKI
. It's just like heaven and hell. Hot, stuffy, crowded, chaotic.... You name it. It was not until later that I found out that this is a low cost terminal. I guess that answers all the question?
Queuing to check in for various AK flights
Only half the available space was used. The other half seems to be reserved for Cebu Pacific
Nothing to rave about the design here
Preflight and Check-In
I went up to the counter to check-in for my flight. A man seems to be waiting for someone so he told me to go on first. In short, I did not have to wait at all and I got my boarding pass within 10 seconds (!). What great efficiency! I pre-booked my meals and the emergency exit row in advance. By booking the emergency exit row, I also got eligible for Xpress Boarding.
My flight receipt (I refuse to call this a boarding pass...)
A porter came up to me and said, "Mr Tay, please let me help you with your hand luggage. Your buggy is waiting for you right there to bring you to the lounge." I blinked my eyes. Oh, I was daydreaming. Welcome to reality! There are absolutely no lounges to speak of in the terminal, just some shops selling local products. I stopped by a shop selling frozen seafood and bought some abalone. It's cheap, just RM50 for 4 of them. Don't ask me about the taste though, I have not even opened the package!
However, there was a little event that let me worry all the way to SIN
After choosing my pack of abalone, I proceeded to the cashier to make my payment. When the shop attendant wanted to wrap my abalone to ensure that it survives the flight back to SIN
, she seem to have run into some problems and is trying to call her colleague. Being impatient, I told her I'd be back in 3 minutes and went off to the AK
counter to check with the check-in agent if my boarding pass already consist of priority boarding (to be corrected by him to Xpress Boarding... lol) and my meal. After confirming that I just need to show my boarding pass for the services I paid for, I went back to the shop to find that my pack of abalone has already been packed. I requested for them to open it as I was worried they might have switched it for something else while I was away but I was only able to see the newspaper packaging. Not wanting to pursue it further, I paid and left the shop.
My pack of abalone
Airside @ BKI Terminal 2
There was a small security check right beside the shop and there, I entered airside. Relieving from the shock upon entering Terminal 2, here comes another mega shock for this human that is so used to flying out from the 3 beautiful terminals in SIN
. It was very crowded with almost no seats left. Fortunately, there was a small cafe by the side so I decided to sit down and have a cup of ice milo while waiting for my flight.
After finishing my cup of ice milo, I decided to see what is on offer for in this small confined space that is already packed to the brim.
An interesting shop. Made in Sabah
That was pretty much the only shop selling decent stuff, the other shops were selling small earrings, necklaces and such, plus another duty free shop.
Scenes on the Tarmac
The only good point of a small terminal is the ability to see planes on the tarmac very clearly and get within 10 metres of them. Imagine how elated this a.netter has become! Shortly after sitting down, I was greeted by a surprise - The Lotus F1 livery painted aircraft (9M-AFY) has arrived! I was not the only one taking photo of the aircraft, there were dozens of others taking photos of it. I guess not many people has seen this particular plane yet. Also, I witnessed how this particular aircraft managed a 20 minute turnaround at BKI
(no joke!) and was definitely very impressed.
Arrival of the special livery plane. Believed to be operating AK5104 from KUL. It is going back to KUL as AK5105
Another AK flight to a regional destination
This box right next to the boarding gates seem to be hosting a lucky draw to win "First Class Indulgences" to dream destinations. May I know if it includes First Class air travel as well?
Around 15 minutes before departure, boarding was called. There were 2 lines for boarding - Express Boarding and General Boarding. Naturally, I was in the Express Boarding line and top it off, the first in the line. This means being one of the first to board the plane!
I walked briskly to the plane once the gate opened and I had my boarding pass checked. Here is the real experience of how "irama" AirAsia can get! Like a typical a.netter, I snapped photos on the way to my plane. Surprised that no security bothered to stop me.
Still showing AK5105 to KUL even though the flight left 30-40 minutes before
Walking to my plane. This plane is flying to Hong Kong
My plane is on the right, 9M-AQA
My first flight on AK is about to begin on this CFM powered A320!
AirAsia Flight AK6273 - 16OCT10
: Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI
: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN
: 9M-AQA (Delivered on 27th Sept 2010, less than 3 weeks old!)
: Airbus A320-200
: 4 (Terminal 2)
Time of Departure (Scheduled)
: 3.02pm (2.55pm)
Time of Arrival (Scheduled)
: 4.55pm (5.10pm)
: D44 (Terminal 1)
Upon boarding, the fresh leather smell made me conclude that this plane should be quite young but I did not expect it to be less than 3 weeks old on the day of my flight! Definitely a sparkling new plane with the factory fresh smell to prove it.
Beautiful cabin with no red headrests over the "hot seats"
Upon sitting down, I was requested by a flight attendant to show my boarding pass. Also, several announcements were made through the intercom to remind passengers not to take rows 1-5 and 12 and 14 as those are reserved for passengers who have booked the seats in advance. I guess AK
is really taking measures to prevent "free loaders". The leather seats were really comfortable and I guess I could actually stay in them for a long haul flight, just throw in a PTV!
Taxi and Takeoff
After a rapid pushback, the engines were started and we were on our way to runway 02. At this point in time, I was regretting that I did not take the time to visit this wonderful city in East Malaysia. Probably next time, Kota Kinabalu!
View from my seat
Getting pushed back
Taxiing to the runway
A view far into the distance
It was a powerful takeoff from runway 02 and I'm off East Malaysian soil on my way back to SIN
roughly after 3.5 hours in BKI
Takeoff VIdeo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODQEwjtpTjo
In Flight Services
Shortly after takeoff. Kota Kinabalu is beautiful from the air!
Besides anticipating my Chicken Rice meal to be served to me shortly after takeoff, I flipped through the in-flight catalogue and wrote down several products that I wish to purchase. I guess I was the biggest customer onboard this flight! (Or was I the only customer?) It turns out that the AirAsia Slim Mouse was not available. It would have been a very good addition to my office laptop!
My list of products with my ugly handwriting
The meal was served shortly upon reaching cruising altitude. For RM8, you get a hot main dish (it's so hot that my hands almost got scalded upon touching the packaging!) and a hot coffee/tea. I'd say it's definitely very worth it, although the portion is sort of small. After finishing my chicken rice, I was not very full so I decided to go on and order a Shepherd's Pie which tasted great with the tender and creamy chicken.
My meal - Chicken Rice Set
Shepherd's Pie - Unopened
Presenting: AirAsia's wonderful Shepherd's Pie!
Flight attendants hard at work
In Flight Entertainment
Being an LCC, it's normal not to have any TVs at all in the cabin. Therefore, there was totally no IFE on this flight and the safety demo was performed manually. Naturally, my iPhone got into good use for listening to some songs.
My IFE - iPhone!
30 minutes before landing, we descended towards Singapore Changi Airport. This would be the first time that I'm taking off and landing at SIN
on the same day, less than 8 hours apart! It's wonderful how technology has improved that I managed to travel 2900km in the short period of time, complete with a 3.5 hour stopover.
Beautiful clouds while descending
Landing Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4r8nfm_NuQ
We landed smoothly on runway 20R at SIN
and taxied to gate D44 at Terminal 1 to disembark. Except at the budget terminal, it seems like no airlines (even LCCs) use remote gates or airstair boarding. All of them uses jetways. This leads me wondering if AK
will eventually move to the budget terminal referring to a certain forum post on a.net stating that AK
is "jetway sensitive".
UPS Boeing 757
My first sighitng of a Boeing 737-200. How I wish I was on that!
Didn't know that DL had ground services here. Inherited from NW I believe
Like my previous flight, I waited for all the passengers to disembark before proceeding to the front to ask for permission to visit the cockpit. My heart was not thumping like mad this time since I already did it that morning but still excited to visit the cockpit, which I wish to be my office one day! The kind FO actually offered to help me take a picture of me sitting in the captain's seat.
Here you go - My first public appearance on a.net!
How I wish time pauses at this moment! Presenting the wonderful cockpit instruments, sparkling new!
Immigration was a breeze at SIN
as usual and within 15 minutes I am landside. While walking through terminal 1, I couldn't help but to take this following picture:
Row 4, where my first Business Class experience began..
TR: Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
So, was AirAsia really mesmerizing? Answer is: Yes! For an LCC, they have definitely surpassed my standards and the comfort and most importantly, the quality of food. However, one thing they have to improve on is their service as there were absolutely no smiles from the flight attendants.
Past Trip Reports
Flying 5 Star - SQ SIN-CAN-SIN (2009) (by Initious Mar 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Sardines In A Can - Jetstar Asia SIN-HKG-SIN (by Initious Mar 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern SIN-CAN-WUH Vv (1/2) (by initious Apr 2 2010 in Trip Reports)
Away We Go - China Southern WUH-CAN-SIN (2/2) (by initious Apr 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Oldest Vs Newest: Royal Silk Class On Thai (by Initious Jun 13 2010 in Trip Reports)
First On Airliners.net - CZ Shanghai To Shantou (by Initious Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
18 Hours Of Royal Orchid Service: Thai PVG-BKK-SIN (by initious Jul 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Good Morning Borneo! - Where Silkair Unwinds... (by initious Oct 17 2010 in Trip Reports)