I recently traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Bahrain via Qatar Airways. Since the begining of 'Air Asia Era,' I didn't even remember when was the last time I flew with a normal airline. What amazed me this time was how have I changed my traveling style due to the fact that I was so used to traveling 'Air Asia Style' guiltily.
When I travel with Air Asia, I always arrive the airport with no checked bags, so checking in was easy and fast. This time when I arrived at KL International Airport, I was shocked that the queue to check in was so so long! It took me almost 1 hour to check in myself with my 19.5kg luggage!
Then I proceed to the immigration check point and then further to my departure gate. Shamefully, I was 'rushing' to the gate hoping to get a seat as front as possible at the waiting room. That was because I was, again, applying my 'Air Asia' traveling style to try to get the best seat on the airplane. Then I suddenly realised, 'Wait a minute, I do have a seat number on my ticket. Why am I rushing?'
When it was time for boarding, the flight attendant announced that it was boarding time for the First and Business class passengers. Then it was time for senior citizens and passengers with young children. At last, it was my turn together with the rest of the passengers. When I got on board, I found my seat and happy to see that there were blankets and pillows on my seat. I was also happy to see a screen in front of me. I happily seated and the flight attendant handed me a sticker with options of: 1. 'Wake me up for meal' 2. 'Wake me up for duty free shopping', 3 ' Do not disturb'. I immediately put on sticker number 1 and took a nap. Sure enough, when the meal was served, I was waken up by the flight attendant to enjoy my midnight snack. :D After I finished, I continued my beauty nap...zzz
When I woke up in the middle of the night, I could request for water. Then I watched a few minutes of movie before I fell asleep again. When I was awake again, it was time for breakfast. Not too long after that, it was time for landing.
All these can't be found in Air Asia or other low cost airlines. I am so used to traveling in low budget that I have forgotten the comfort of traveling in a normal airline. If without Air Asia, I don't think many people can travel as frequent as they do now. For example myself who work in Bangkok, going home to Kuala Lumpur is made cheaper by traveling with Air Asia (only sometimes). Malaysian Airlines is loosing business due to stiff competition from Air Asia that they have to lower their price to get customers. Travelers are indirectly benefit from the price war between airlines.
With the introduction of baggage charge on Air Asia, I began to travel light. Unless necessary, I would always have only carry on with me. It save money and also save time during arrival because i don't have to wait for my checked luggage.
I am not saying that Air Asia is the best. But I have to give credit for how it changes people travel. What is interesting to me is that how different we travel depends on the type of airlines travel with. Of course whenever I can afford, I will go for the normal airlines. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen too often. So, I am glad that Air Asia is there to fly me from one city to another.