If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, then you would know that I have been to Malaysia twice this year, and both times, I flew with AirAsia because not only is it convenient, price wise, it is what I would pick over a lot other carriers because its got a lot of things going for it. Without further ado, lets delve into the options we have.
Currently, you have two flight options from Kolkata –
- to Kuala Lumpur (seven days a week)
- to Johor Bahru (five days a week)
At the AirAsia website, you would find deals going on from time to time, so scoring a cheap ticket, especially during off-season, isn’t a big deal. I paid roughly 12,000 INR (about $187) for a round trip to Kuala Lumpur, and a return flight from Johor Bahru can cost you as low as INR 8000 ($125), especially because AirAsia is really promoting their flights from Johor Bahru right now. As they are a low-cost carrier, the basic amenities are provided, and the rest is up to you. Here’s my tips to make your trip a more comfortable one:
- While booking, try getting the add-on value pack which allows you to add 20 kg check-in luggage, a meal, standard seat selection, and travel insurance. Now those of you who don’t think travel insurance is a good idea, I would have to say that I HAVE had my luggage misplaced, and I DID get a reimbursement, which took away from the fact that I did lose a few valuables.
- Seat Selection, for me, is actually quite important (therefore my willingness to buy this pack), because I like getting a window seat and then switching off like a light).
- The basic meal has non-vegetarian sandwiches, so if you are a vegetarian, I would suggest booking a hot meal and drink while you are booking the flight (their vegetarian biryani is pretty good, as per S, who bought it every time we flew). I picked hot meals for my Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur trips, and in one occasion picked up sandwiches. I have to admit, the sandwiches were literally the bomb – tuna and mayo, chicken salami and cucumber – seriously good stuff, especially when you don’t really want a hot meal. You also get a cup of water, soft drink, or tea/coffee, which you can select while buying the tickets. Later, you do have the option to change it, and I recommend getting an account to get frequent flyer miles because that way you may end up getting a flight or two for free!
- If you have a flexible plan, then you can add the premium pack, which not only gives you all this, but also lets you change your flying dates twice. Plus, you are allowed to choose from the super-comfortable Hot Seats, with three hour access to the AirAsia lounge, priority baggage retrieval and priority boarding.
- If you are travelling with a carry-on luggage, MAKE SURE its within 7 kilos, by weight, and not too big. Now, this is something both S and I faced during our trip to Malaysia – our luggage was overweight, and while they do overlook the odd few hundred grams, the moment the scale is over that, they will ask you to reduce load, and you might end up wearing a lot of clothes all of a sudden at the airport. It is also QUITE EXPENSIVE to buy extra luggage on the spot, so I do suggest getting a weighing scale and checking whether your luggage is overweight or not BEFORE arriving at the airport. They DO have the option to add more weight to your check-in and carry-on luggage in the website (which is considerably cheaper than what you would pay at the airport), so I DO suggest getting that sorted beforehand if you don’t want to pay a lot of money at the airport.
- Water is NOT SERVED for free in these flights (in fact, in other international flights from other carriers as well), so it is a good idea to buy a bottle after security check, or buy one in-flight. Note: they DO NOT accept Indian currency in the flight, and you would have to pay the money in MYR (Malaysian Ringgit), so make sure you have enough MYR to pay for that.
In case you’re unsure still where to go in Malaysia, see my previous post about it here. In the next few posts, I will be discussing a few fantastic places to travel to in Malaysia.
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited by AirAsia to go to Johor Bahru. However, her experience is based on her own trips as well, and her opinions are in no way biased in any manner.