Thursday, 17 January 2013

Flying AirAsia or JetStar?

I happened to be away from Penang earlier this week. Caught an AirAsia flight on the way out on Sunday and returned by JetStar on Tuesday. This was only the third time that I had flown by Jetstar while returning from Singapore.

In my opinion, JetStar's cabin services remain far more superior to AirAsia's. Their cabin crew are much more polite and helpful. Without being asked, they would unhesitatingly help the passengers with stowing away their bags in the overhead compartments, whereas AirAsia's cabin crew would invariably just stand and watch the passengers struggle on their own. Big plus point for Jetstar.

That's one of my two main reasons that sets the two airlines apart. The other reason?

Jetstar uses the aerobridge at the Penang International Airport while AirAsia forces their passengers to walk up and down some flights of stairs just to get into their aircraft. It precludes and discriminates the elderly from flying their airline. This was actually my primary concern last year when I brought my aunt and my in-laws to Singapore for a holiday. Choosing Jetstar over AirAsia became a no brainer.

It is a very stupid policy by AirAsia. It has been mentioned before by the media - for example, here and here - that the cost is only about 25 cents per passenger to use the aerobridge based on a full load of passengers. Apparently, AirAsia looks too stingy to fork out this amount, true to their low-cost business model, but in the process they inconvenience and alienate a significant segment of those who want to fly with them.

If I have a choice, I wouldn't use AirAsia and I know that I do have a choice on the Penang-Singapore sector.

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