Saturday, June 18, 2011

AirAsia's Cheap tickets to Malaysia

After our first trip to Srilanka which was of just 2 days duration, I had plans to make another trip to SL by end of this year. But had to drop this plan because things have changed- Spicejet is no more offering promotional fares of Rs 4008 return tickets to Colombo (now it costs 5.5k) and flight timings also have changed-from early morning to mid-day, meaning lot of day time will be spent in travel, instead of site seeing. A ferry service has also started last week from Tuticorin to Colombo. Added it to wishlist.

Suddenly I noticed Air Asia is offering discounted rates to fly between Chennai and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Displayed fares were Rs 2008 one way + taxes.

Tempted by ultra low fare ads issued by Air Asia, I’ve planned a quick 2 days trip to Kaula Lumpur later this year. Air Asia’s advertised fares are extremely tempting, but the total cost ads up to about 1.5-2 times the advertised fare when you attempt a booking.

Malaysia-petronas-twin-tower file photo
Here’s a quick run through of my ticket booking exercise:

From Chennai to Kuala Lumpur and back, Air Asia’s advertised fare in Rs 3500 One way. But when I tried booking, it showed two options- a regular fare of Rs 3948 and a promo fare of Rs 2008.

Fair enough, I selected Rs 2008 and proceeded… (for the sake of saving 2000 rupees, I had to sacrifice half a day of the vacation-instead of taking Saturday morning flight which would have given me half a day at the destination, I booked a less popular Saturday evening flight, which reaches Sunday morning)

I was shown a total return fare of Rs 6000 (Rs 2008 is base fare one way + various surcharges and fees)

If I had to select regular fare of Rs 3948 and return fare of Rs 2008, total would have been Rs 8140

I thought Rs 6000 is fair enough. It is still half of what anyone else would charge (Air India express and Jet charge about 12k for a return ticket to Kuala Lumpur )

Next I had to declare if I want to checkin any baggage, at extra cost… Rs 550 for under 15kgs, Rs 750 for 25 kgs, one way. I chose to skip this, thinking for a 2 day trip I should manage with a cabin bag.

Next I had an option to select seats-You can select your preferred seat, at an extra cost of Rs 450 per seat… else you’ll be allotted seats at the time of boarding, based on availability… I chose to gave up on this, as I could save Rs 900 on round trip

Next was meals preference- opted for veg meal at Rs 173

If you want convenience kit, Rs 350 extra (not sure what all it includes, guess tissue paper and such stuff)

Next was to select if I want shuttle in Kuala Lumpur… I didn’t select this- will decide on the ground if it is needed. I guess they’ll ask us to walk till the terminal instead of taking us in a bus…

AirAsia charges Rs 120 per ticket for paying through credit card… totally it costed about 13.5k for 2 people with meals (and no checkin bag or shuttle or anything else),which was still about 40% cheaper than what regular airlines would have charged. If I'd selected seats, opted for checkin bag & convenience kit, it would have added another 2400 Rs per person for return ticket, making the cost difference between Air Asia and full service airline to about 25%.

When I tried booking 3rd ticket, the Rs 2008 promo fares had gone and I had to book at regular price of Rs 3948 & taxes. Have to work on Visa part next. Haven’t made specific plans as to what to do there in Kaula lampur for 2 days- initial plan is to book a budget hotel and check out the city using some city tour services. Any recommendation welcome.With about 7k per person spent on airfare, aiming to cover other expenses- visa, hotel, site seeing in another 7k per person, so that trip should cost not more than 14k per person.

Keeping expectations very low and making this short and experimental trip to Malaysia. If all goes well, can plan more such visits whenever AirAsia offers promotional fares. Thankfully AirAsia is not charging extra for seatbelts, emergency door, oxygen mask etc

Petronas Twintowers: Photo by Partho

Similar: Srilankan Trip: Purpose, FAQ, Digest * Chile Posts digest *

19 comments:

Srinivas said...

Yea dude... this is a good deal you got.. even my friend suggested AirAsia.. he lives in Bangkok... I might just get there in October. Btw, you know about Indigo's cheap Rs.9999 offer to Bangkok Oct onwards? Check out their site... Btw, Im also planning to go international soon.. Maybe Bangkok, Vietnam, Cambodia in Oct.. let's see.. Hey also I've started my own page at http://facebook.com /backpackerforever Do check it out :)Srini

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks. Saw Indigo rates.. good but they're ex mumbai... will have to add 6k per person for MAA_BOM sector...

Also bank balance not favoring another international trip after this KL one...

The wild said...

the whole concept of low cost carrier is to give the option of paying for what they want to the end-user ,so yes at times the airline might gain slightly but on a whole he wont gain much since everyone will rarely opt for all the services.

Secondly there are busses which leave for the main city area just outside the terminal.if i remember correct it is 12 ringit i guess ,takes an hour to reach the main city area,from there u can take a taxi to ur hotel -will work cheaper

Air asia will land in a lowcost terminal (at this terminal only lowcost carriers land and takeoff)-no aerobridges ,simple airport -this is where they cut costs and pass the same to the passengers.Air Asia is the worlds leading low cost carrier and the fastest growing.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

Sankara Subramanian C said...

air asia and most of SE asian airlines do this kind of break-up...it is always best to read the fine print. 2 days for KL might be too less...u shud have possibly tried for a long weekend...anyways, i am sure you will make the best use of it...

Lakshmi Rajan said...

I was just joking to my wife that instead of going to Delhi every year to her home we should start planning abroad vacations, it will work out cheap :P with such packages, they really do!

Have a wonderful journey!

magiceye said...

have fun in KL!

have clicked wisdom. posted at http://365project.org/magiceye/365

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Deepak
Ok.. Somehow couldn't open the link..

LR: Yes, abroad is cheaper than domestic destinations

Sankara:
I know two days is little less, but with everyday cost adds up. If all goes well, will plan similar trips in future...

The Wild:
Thanks for additional inputs. T
his will be useful

Sneo said...

KL is fun and shopping. people shop there 24 hours a day. you might also be doing the same.

beware of taxis. they loot 24 hours too...

visit genting highlands too

NAMA TULUVER said...

Hi Nidhi,
You have got a nice deal. Have a great trip.

We would expect a follow-up article of getting a tourist visa, process, cost, necessary documents. Thank You

Shrinidhi Hande said...

SD: Don't give ideas... already low on budget...

NT: Sure..

Ms S said...

Enidhi avare,
You may be trying to be budget conscious, but sorry to say you are not trying to maximize the value. The type of travel you are doing is typical middle class mentality - converting every bill and commenting how "caaaastly" foreign is. When you are in a new place, it is good to try and save money but we should try to focus on what makes this new place so special.
When you do such short trips and try to save on money by skipping meals or time or safety, it is saving you rupees but costing you peace of mind and enjoyment. Why go on holiday if you are sleeplessly rushing from one place to another ? Better to sleep at home with a full belly and a comfortable bed, alva?
You may try to live on fruit diet in South Am or push a sleepy driver beyond his limit in SL and this may save you money. But why are you risking your health and safety?
My middle school Kannada class textbook had a lesson "Golden Gate Parkinalli" - I think it was Kuvempu writing about his travels. It taught me how to view the world in a different light and to be open to new experiences. Suggest you try to something new this time around! Happy travels!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Ms S:
Happy to note that you've been reading many of my posts.

Coming to your point, I completely agree, one can enjoy holiday more leisurely, without worrying about money, time etc.

But then, I do have some limitations on how much money and time I can spend. All I try to do is try to make the most of my travel within these limitations. If I had more money and time I would certainly have spent it on travel. I do have few friends who occasionally take long leave or sabbatical and go travel to their heart's content...

Given the constraints I have, do you have some suggestions I can do things differently?

If I travel my primary objective will be to see new places and take photos- I don't really mind skipping a meal if needed or get up at midnight to catch a flight.

Sleeping at home with stomach full of food won't allow me to see places I've never been before to. With little sacrifices I am able to fulfil few of these wishes.

I don't remember reading any lesson called Golden Gate parkinalli... will try to read if I can get hold of it...

Suggest me how I can do things differently..

S said...

Thanks for accepting my comments, Srinidhi. I wondered if you would cut out parts that you thought were objectionable (like you did with an older comment of mine).

My suggestion is to have patience, save time and money. This way you can stay longer in a place. Look at budget hotels or hostels that are clean and safe. Oddly from what I have noticed, Indian restaurants usually have the cheapest meals in most Western countries for vegetarians.

Bon voyage!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

S:
I don't edit comments- I either publish them or reject them (if it contains links to commercial sites, or spammy comments not relevant to posts)

You didn't answer my question as to how I can make my trip better... given the time and money constraints, pls explain where do I get this patience and how I can stay longer...

Ms S said...

Look at it this way - which do you prefer of these two options? 4 trips each costing 3000Rs to local areas within a 3 day range of your city. Or a 20000Rs trip to a Foreign city but just 5-6 days of holiday.
My guess is you will say these two are not comparable because of the cost factor. Your choice will reveal what kind of travel style you prefer. Would you like 10 day trips or 1 longer holiday?
This is where a mature person would see the benefit of patience -- it takes a bit of self restraint to put off immediate gratification and focus on a future experience that is much more pleasurable.
As for editing/deleting, I wonder if you can think back to the time I used a word that indicates commercial sex workers and you chose to cut it out. Made me think you were not really a very mature person considering it is the oldest profession in the world and you were embarrassed by and choose to ignore the realities of life.

Keep working on your blog!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

S:

I would do both short trips and long trips.

When time and finances permit, I will plan long trips as you suggest. Till then if I'm termed immature of impatient so be it.

Regarding earlier comment, I didn't delete it but asked you to resubmit an edited one. If I chose not to discuss certain topics on my blog, it is my discretion. It is fine if I'm viewed as anything

Nisha said...

Your post made me smile. :)

For going to South east Asia I always prefer Air-asia. It is inexpensive and gives you a lot of options.

The convenience kit has a thin blanket, an inflatable neck pillow and an eye mask. I bought this on my first flight with Air asia. Except neck pillow, other two are still in use.

What I don't like is their timings. They don't have a fixed time everyday. But I guess that too is done to give more options to travellers.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Nisha: Thanks for your inputs

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