My first AirAsia flight from Delhi to Guwahati last year was in budget class. My recent Delhi to Goa flight was anything but.
AirAsia has a fleet of six aircrafts that cover 10 destinations across India—Vizag, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Delhi, Kochi, Goa, Bengaluru, Pune, Imphal and Jaipur. My flight to Goa was on board The Pioneer, dedicated to the father of civil aviation—JRD Tata. The entire aircraft is a tribute, with photos from his life on the interior and exterior of the plane.
The low-cost carrier mainly targets ‘backpackers’, i.e., AirAsia is firmly on the side of the budget-conscious. The other great thing about the carrier is its hassle-free online booking system. However, AirAsia also has premium services like Red Carpet—an airport service which offers porterage, lounge access and priority boarding and de-boarding. Currently AirAsia offers this only on flights out of Delhi and Bengaluru. There’s another programme called Hot Seat, where guests can get an upgrade and enjoy some extra legroom! Finally, there’s Big, a frequent-flyer loyalty programme.
I quite enjoyed the in-flight meals. Santan, their multi-cuisine menu, has a fairly wide array of choices, ranging from traditional Indian dishes like pulao, murg tikka and dal to western cuisine offerings such as chicken-mushroom pie, and, JRD’s favourite, the signature grilled basa fish with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. I had to have it, and it was delicious.
But as the song goes, “every rose has its thorn.” AirAsia’s thorn came in the form of delayed flights, which might have been due to the number of flights in operation (can’t be sure). Well, while I hope that my next flight with AirAsia won’t get delayed, I can’t really complain. I got my seat upgraded, got extra TLC from the crew, and was escorted to the airport lounge without any baggage retrieving hassle on my flight to Delhi. Yes, I got Red Carpet(ed)!