Actually the title to this post is very misleading. You cannot get really cheap flights on airasia unless you book a century before you plan to fly. Sure, going back to Kuching costs just RM69. But can anyone here honestly tell me that they have paid just RM69 to go back to Kuching before? Here’s a list of how airasia can give you those low fares. Sometimes.
1. Misleading advertisements.
So you think you can go to Bangkok for a holiday using a RM1 note to buy your ticket and still get 1sen back? Of course not. It says “FROM RM0.99″ Yes, you might get a seat with that price (RM0.99) but wait! What about the airport taxes? What about the new security taxes?
If I’m not mistakened, airport tax is about RM65 and the security tax is about RM5. So a ONE WAY TRIP to Bangkok is going to cost you RM70.99. Sure, it’s very cheap. But can you always get it that cheap? Not likely.
2. No frills means no frills.
Airasia Boeing 737-300 taken from Adrian’s blog. Look at this picture carefully and then look at the next one.
MAS Boeing 737-400 I used to come back from KL for Christmas. Can you spot the difference?
Maybe a view from this angle will help? (from Adrian’s blog again)
If you still haven’t noticed it yet, Airasia is not using the aerobridge. The aerobridge is a “tube” that connects directly to the front door of the plane so passengers can leave and enter the plane without being exposed to the elements of nature like the sun and the rain. By not using the aerobridge, they can cut down on costs.
But you might argue that a bit of sun or rain won’t hurt us. Sure it won’t. I don’t mind being under the sun or in the rain. But I think those top company executives would mind a lot.
3. Minimum crew.
Airaisa flies with minimum crew.
Minimum crew means the number of crew they have in the cabin is the minimum required for that number of passengers. The minimum number of crew is required to safely guide all the passengers out in case of an emergency.
MAS puts 5 cabin crew in every of it’s 737 instead of just 3. This is to ensure that the meals are served on time and that all the passengers’ needs are fulfilled. This also means higher operating cost. So Airasia shaves off some cost by cutting down on the number of cabin crew on a flight.
4. No meals.
Overpriced food. What? No nasi lemak with prawns? (again, picture from Adrian’s blog)
This might not be important to some people. But nevertheless, Airasia saves cost by not providing meals for its passengers. You might think this is no big deal. But I’ve heard that a single meal alone costs RM100 on a MAS flight. The cost of the meal includes raw material, preparation, cooking, logistics and maybe some taxes. Everything in the airline industry involves large amount of money.
So Airasia saves around RM100 per person by not providing meals and they gain profit by selling over-priced food on-board.
5. Less baggage.
Airasia only allows you to check in 15kg worth of baggage. MAS allows up to 20kg before charging for the extra weight. 5kg might not seem like a lot, but if there are 148 passengers, MAS planes will have to carry an additional 740kg. 740kg might not seem like a lot of weight, but not carrying the 740kg additional weight is going to save Airasia a lot of fuel. In the long run, it’s going to be a lot.
There was a bulletin a while ago demonstrating how, by bringing just a 1.5liter bottle of water (1.5kg) alone aboard each MAS flight can cause extra fuel costs amounting to millions of Ringgit a year. That’s 1.5kg. How about 740kg?
6. Less staff benefits.
At MAS, I get free medical for me and my family, I get rebate and free travel (economy seats with meals, 20kg baggage allowance, aerobridge, in flight entertainment and free orange juice) and sometimes the jumpseat!
At Airasia, you don’t get medical or staff travel. Yes, you don’t get free tickets. I think that’s a way of saying that their tickets are so cheap that they don’t need to give discounts to their staff.At Airasia, you get 8 free tickets a year to any of Airasia’s destinations (provided by Airasia insider).
7. No night-stops.
This won’t affect me, but to pilots or cabin crews who have worked at MAS, this might be a great loss. A night-stop basically means staying over for a night at another location other than your hometown. Say you live in Kuala Lumpur and your duty requires you to fly to Jakarta. And it just happens that Jakarta is your last destination during that day’s work. So instead of flying you back, they check you into an expensive hotel (they use Hilton during night-stops in Kuching) and give you allowance to spend. So not only do you get to visit a place with free travel, you get free accomodation and money to spend.
At Airasia, there are NO night-stops. If you’re from Kuala Lumpur, your last destination will be Kuala Lumpur. You will come to work from home in the morning and go back to your home at the end of your shift. So Airasia saves a lot on hotels and allowances.
8. No cancellation refund.
Normally people won’t cancel their flights. But in the event of an emergency, if you cancel your MAS flight, you still get quite a lot of your money back. If you cancel with Airasia, you get RM0. Again, this might not be important to some people, but still, it’s the way you treat your customers.
9. Aircraft configuration.
Seat pitch determines how much legroom you have.
As a low cost carrier, Airasia configure their planes differently from MAS. At Airasia, there’s only one class. Those who have been on Airasia will discover how little leg room there is and how little the seat reclines. Their planes are densely packed to maximise profit. There’s no in flight entertainment so they save a lot on the screens, IFE modules and the whole system. Approximately how much I don’t know, but it’s up to millions of Ringgit.
KLIA imposes a higher tax so by using the LCCT Airasia can provide cheaper tickets due to the lower tax.
So there you have it. 10 reason why Airasia can give you cheaper flights. This is not a post to criticize Airasia. This is for those complaining how much MAS flights cost. If you can live with no frills travel, Airasia is an excellent choice. If you’re an executive, your company will surely provide you flights on board MAS. Airasia is here to provide better connectivity within our country and to our neighbouring countries and to enable more people to travel. And that is a good thing.
As for me, I’ll stick with MAS for the time being
Disclaimer: Some information may not be exactly 100% true. Everything provided here is for educational purposes only. I will not be held responsible for anything that results from this post. Continue reading