Trip Report: AirAsia Indonesia’s HOT Seat to Bangkok

AirAsia Indonesia Airbus parked at Jakarta terminal.
Photo Credit: Indy Udol

BANGKOK – My trip was on one of AirAsia’s lesser-known branches, Air Asia Indonesia, from Jakarta (CGK) to Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport). This was one of the most pleasant Air Asia flights I’ve had in many months as a frequent flier on this airline.

Air Asia is the bread and butter of low-cost flying in South East Asia, helping to connect cities to cities within countries and internationally in the region. Air Asia is one of those airlines that could never go wrong and is known for one reason; its competitive price.

The airline has a special place in many hears of South East Asians, as it enables one to travel cheaply and propel tourism and business trips at a premium cost. 

My flight was on a Friday (04 November 2022), which is obviously a busy time of the week to fly. Many Indonesians fly to Bangkok for holidays and business, which explains why most passengers occupying the flight were Indonesians. 

My aircraft

AirAsia Indonesia aircraft at Jakarta terminal.

Excuse me for the reflection. My haulage today was the typical A320 bearing the registration of PK-AZL. This is one of the oldest airframes that the airline possesses 14.3 years.

Formerly, the aircraft flew for its mother company, Air Asia in Malaysia under the registration of 9M-AHP with a serial number of 3582. This airframe joined Air Asia Indonesia in 2018 and was delivered brand new to Air Asia Malaysia in 2008. 

Not a Great Start

Departure terminal at Jakarta.

I do not want to say this, but I felt a bit (very) entitled on this flight as I booked the airline’s infamous ‘Hot Seat’. These seats are the desired seats that you can find on any airline, but in this case, are the emergency exit seats, and the forward seats.

Passengers booked on Hot Seats are entitled to have priority, which in this case did not happen. Boarding procedures here at Jakarta’s ‘finest’ Soekarno Hatta did not impress me at all.

Finally on Board

The cabin of the AirAsia Indonesia flight to Bangkok

After standing in line for a good 15 minutes, I was finally in my seat. I am glad to have booked Hot Seats as this flight was nearly full 95% cabin load I’d say. The boarding process is summed up in one word – Chaos. The best feeling is that you are going to likely have the entire row of seating to yourself knowing that you paid extra, but that is about to change.

As the cabin crew said boarding was completed, I knew that this will be a good flight as I will have the entire row to myself. I was wrong, a couple of upgraded from the conventional seats to my row, which threw me into a mini-depression.

Luckily, the gentleman sitting next to me was courteous enough and moved to the opposite row, where he took the free 12C seat, while his wife had the 12D leaving a free seat between me and me. At least I’m not squished for the next 3 and a half hours. 

Nice Leg Room! 

Taxiing out to Runway 25R 

Full Power Takeoff from CGK Airport, leaving a hazy Jakarta behind.

My Pre-Order meal is the Nasi Kuning – all Hot Seat passengers are given a free meal and water. It was indeed spicy and flavourful! This made up for the boarding mishap at CGK Airport. 

Menu Selection 

Merchandise for Sale 

I indeed bought one for myself! 

Bottom Line

Nothing could go ever wrong with Air Asia, consistent food and great service. I’d say flying with Air Asia is like going into McDonald’s, you pay what you get and expect the same service across the board.

PHOTO CREDITS: All photos Indy Udol

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