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If you find yourself on one of Air Asia X’s many A330s, there is a good chance that grabbing one of their flatbeds will be the most rewarding thing you could ever do.
To most of us, travelling with Air Asia X is usually done at the cheapest possible price. Flying in business class is rarely entertained, especially when there are other carriers out there that offer a better range of services at a competitive price. But ever since my last long-haul flight on AAX, I’ve been entertaining the idea of upgrading to a flat bed for a single leg of a trip.
At the moment I’m based in Melbourne and if I were to jump onto the site and book a flight to Tokyo, I’d be travelling for around a day from door-to-door. 9ish hours in the air between Melbourne and Malaysia, 9ish hours sitting around at KL’s LCC terminal and 7ish hours in the sky from KL to Japan. On top of this, you’ll have to spend a few hours in the airport negotiating Japan’s customs/immigration queue which was ultra-painful in my experience (I’m bringing a portable seat the next time I go).
So why not upgrade that last leg to a more comfortable seat? Getting that added rest before landing in Japan is well-deserving the extra money (especially for the immigration queue). Plus paying for the single upgrade instead of having the entire return flight will be a lot nicer to your wallet in the long run.
There are a couple of ways to do this after you have booked your initial flights.
Firstly, you can do this on Air Asia’s website up to 4 hours prior to departure time. Just log in and poke at the ‘manage my booking’ section till it does what you want it to do.
You can also do this when you check in or even if you’re up in the air (its listed on their in-flight service menu, along with upgrading to ‘hot seats’ and those iced milo cartons that are ridiculously delicious).
It’ll cost you 600ish Ringgit (around 200 Aussie bucks) per leg so it can be costly as long flights generally have a stop-over, turning a return trip into a 4 leg nightmare.
Also, there is a site by the name of Optiontown which can get you upgrades for almost half the price. They have a special deal with Air Asia which allows them to sell any remainder flatbeds that are available 4 hours prior to your flight at a reduced rate. All you do is give them your details and if they are able to buy a flight, they’ll charge your credit card. If no flight upgrade is available, your fee will be refunded.
Although Optiontown does have a professional relationship with Air Asia as well as a handful of other carriers, I’ve seen a handful of bad reviews of this service which has resulted in seats not being awarded and people temporarily being out of pocket of the upgrade fee. I don’t know about you but the uncertainty would add a lot of unwanted anxiety that is otherwise not needed when you’re bouncing from one hemisphere to another hemisphere.
From what I’ve read, Air Asia rarely gives free upgrades for the usual sweet-talking traveller. Being a low cost carrier, every dollar counts so you’re going to have to pay. But given that its only a 200 buck upgrade, it isn’t all that expensive in the long run.
Have you flown AAX on a flatbed? How was the experience? Enlighten us with your knowledge in the comments section below!
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