DownUnder2Borneo

A mum, dad and their three kids from Tasmania, go on an epic adventure in Borneo for 3 weeks in December

Well hello Air Asia X

Today is a first on Air Asia X. I’m committed to discovering what the X is. Is it an X factor? Is it an algebra thing? Will I need a year 9 student to figure it out?

Maybe X represents mystery – as in X marks the spot. It’s a mystery why after using the web check-in on my phone that i never got to flash the SMS boarding pass to anyone.

We’d left our digs at 7.00 arriving 8.05 at Tullamarine in drizzling rain which isn’t bad averaging just under 60km/h. I drop off the family, swing past the car rental, join the winding queue to check our bags. We pass through security which I found stressful because of the shouting about getting fluids out of bags. Despite me telling her Abbey had a full water bottle. What was i supposed to do with it? I thought of the bins, but i didn’t want any of the shouting dudes shouting at me. I called her back and told her to drink it. Then I drank the rest. We fill out immigration forms and line up finally arriving at gate 7 to hurriedly
eat brekky at 09.50 because X stands for no food allowed on the plane. I feel stressed.
The no food on board policy is a bit annoying but whats this? The flight takes off and I spy with my little eye something beginning with “chip packet” to my left and diagonally in front a sausage and egg mcmuffin appears. Great. Out with our Bread Top pastries and we’re into it. The announcement comes later not to eat your own food.

Knowing that kids need at least one or two things to do to prevent them annoying hell out of their keepers (aka parents) I had pre booked meal for each of us – nasi goreng for $10 per head which I could get in Malaysia for quarter that price. I was being stung but we were covertly fighting back doling out seaweed, dried jackfruit, chocolate bars (possibly a mistake) and our own water.

I did feel a bit hot on board and at one point wished I could take my t shirt off but thought after my gym effort yesterday, that might make others hot and there could be a cumulative cabin warming effect so I decided if I couldn’t handle it I’d soak my Mountain Design quick dry t-shirt in the sink and see just how quick that sucker could dry.

The flight was fairly uneventful save for someone dropping a stink bomb 6 hours in. Two rows in front were fanning their faces with boarding passes. I loudly interrogated the kids “did you fart?” making myself heard for at least a few rows. They denied it. I know they were telling the truth because it was so overwhelming they definitely would have claimed it if it was theirs.

I always enjoy a good look around for anything unusual on planes. The regular person sleeping with their mouth wide open is an oldie but a goodie. I noticed a girl sporting a black and green polka dot skort brought a faux fur jacket on board. I wondered how that would go in 35C heat. Personal sweat lodge anyone? Then there’s the guy in row 40 with the comb-over that retreated back to its own hemisphere but not quite all the way and ended up on quite a jaunty angle. This hairstyle really should make a comeback just for my own sick sense of humor.

I flick on the iPhone and scroll through my movies and select Warrior starring Nick Nolte who plays a washed up alcoholic war vet who abused his wife. His two sons grew up hating him and became estranged from each other – one becoming a marine, the other a high school teacher. The younger one driven to deal with his demons and the older by financial hardship entered a global UFC competition unbeknownst to each other. They fight one another and the ending had me in tears. Crying on planes isn’t unusual for me though. I recall tearing up watching Reece Witherspoons courtroom performance in Legally Blond II on a plane from the US to Australia. Maybe the stress leading up to getting an international flight makes me more emotional – then again when I’d gathered composure and told Nani the Warrior story her tear ducts started up too! Worth a look.

On balance we found Air Asia X isn’t bad. Aside from the food issue (which can be subverted) it’s cheap but not nasty like some budget carriers. Whilst there are no personal air vents making a boarding pass mandatory for fanning it looks like they spend a bit more than jetstar on recruitment – false eyelashes and beehive hairdos and all. And the Air Asia app is cool. When you check in it downloads the boarding pass which I’m assured will work on our next leg to Kuching.

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One response to “Well hello Air Asia X

  1. Grace Ng December 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I love Air Asia – I found them to be better than Jetstar Asia. Basically, you pay for what you want. True that the meals are expensive but the full fare flights, you pay at least US$30 for a standard economy class meal.

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