We once again took advantage of AirAsia Premium Flex to fly from Singapore to Penang, Malaysia.
The one-way all-in cost was just under $100 US per person.
So we knew that we really like AirAsia’s Premium Flex product and that we wanted to book row 1.
Singapore Changi airport can be reached by the MRT subway system. But taking a Grab (Uber for Asia) was just a little bit more expensive. So we splurged.
It’s a quick 20 minute ride from the Singapore CBD to Changi Singapore Airport.
AirAsia Premium Flex Airport and Check-In
AirAsia operates out of Singapore Airport Terminal 4, which is a relatively new terminal, having opened in 2017.
AirAsia has among the stingiest carry-on policies in the world. ONE carry-on item that weighs less than 7 kg.
We had decided to not tempt AirAsia’s strict enforcement of carry-on bag weight and check our small bags.
So we made our way to the AirAsia Premium Flex desk where there was only one person ahead of us checking in. Gotta love Premium Flex!
Singapore Terminal 4 Priority Pass Lounge
After we cleared Singapore automated immigration, we did the security dance. Then we headed to the Singapore Airport Terminal 4 Priority Pass Lounge. The lounge is amazing and covered in detail in another blog post.
AirAsia Premium Flex Gate and Boarding
The Departure Board told us to be at the gate 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time which seemed odd. But we obeyed. Soon we understood why.
They called boarding just as our aircraft pulled up to the gate. Again, we were confused…did the plane land empty!?
They called Premium Flex first as they always do and we dutifully scanned our boarding passes. We went through the gate, which led to a walkway down a level. Just before we reached the jet bridge we found a stanchion and a staff member. She told us to wait in queue while the incoming passengers got off the plane.
NOW it made sense! They scan departing passengers’ boarding passes and THEN you queue up just before getting on the jet bridge while incoming passengers get off. This way there is no delay in boarding or departing if there are any issues with scanning boarding passes.
When the incoming passengers got off the plane we boarded. And I must say, their approach created a very quick boarding process!
AirAsia Premium Flex Seats
We know from experience that the best seats on AirAsia are in row 1. So we had selected seats 1C and 1D, across the aisle from each other.
Row 1 on the left hand side (1 A, B and C) is slightly better than the right hand side (1 D, E and F). The bulkhead on the left has a plastic window that make the seats feel even roomier than they are.
If Row 1 is not free then the next best seats are the second exit row where legroom is also plentiful.
In both row 1 and the exit rows all carry-on luggage goes in the overhead. So the real advantage of row 1 over the exit row is the ability to be the first off the plane.
Pro Tip: Since you can’t keep your carry-on under the seat in front of you in the exit row, the bulkhead row 1 is the best hot seat row. It has get leg room. You get on and off the plane first and there is no disadvantage of lack of underseat storage since underseat storage not allowed in the exit row either.
AirAsia Premium Flex Meal
AirAsia meal service works like this: passengers who are in Premium Flex or who pre-order (and pay ~$3US) get their meal and a cup of water delivered on the first service pass.
The flight attendants have a list of hot seat passengers and pre-orders by seat number. You nevertheless must present your boarding pass to confirm you get the meal. The flight attendant stamps your boarding pass when the meal is delivered.
During a second pass by the flight attendants they sell any meals left over on a first-come first-served basis, along with drinks and other snacks.
The meal was once again Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice.
It’s not a very keto-friendly meal with all that rice. But the chicken is always enough to make a nice snack.
AirAsia Premium Flex Flight
The 1 hour 20 minute flight passed quickly and uneventfully. We landed on time and ready to settle in for three weeks of slow travel in Penang, Malaysia.
AirAsia Premium Flex Checked Bags
Premium Flex includes Xpress Bag for checked luggage. They slap a big yellow sticker on your bag. It is meant to be among the first delivered on the baggage carousel.
Once again that worked for one of our bags – it was the first to come out. But not for Lisa’s bag which was among the last to come out.
AirAsia Premium Flex Singapore to Penang Bottom Line
AirAsia Premium Flex is a great way to hop around on short flights in southeast Asia. It’s cheap, efficient and Premium Flex makes it comfortable.
This was our fifth AirAsia flight. We will take our sixth AirAsia flight when we move on to Bangkok.
It just works.