Flight Review – AirAsia AK406: Kuala Lumpur to Padang by Airbus A320neo

Connecting from my flight from Singapore, I had slightly more than 2 hours to connect to my next flight to Padang, AK406, departing at 11.00am from klia2. With no checked-in baggage, this procedure was rather easy.

I headed to the transfer counter to reprint my boarding pass. However, if you have already printed your boarding pass at home or have a mobile boarding pass, this process can be skipped.

Once done, follow the signs to International Departures, which is facing back to the pier. Confusing, I know.

Head upstairs.

Continue through this strange corridor.

Proceed for security screening, and you’re in the departures level.

But unfortunately, up till now, there isn’t a single screen showing my onward flight information. Not a very smart design.

I headed to the screen just after the immigration counters to check on my flight.

My flight to Padang will be departing from Gate P1. Great, here comes the long walk on the Skybridge.

Heading to Pier P.

The most crucial travellator on the Skybridge broke down. Fantastic.

Heading downstairs towards the junction to the piers.

Heading into Pier P.

I got to the pier slightly early in case of long queues at security, but I guess I didn’t have anything to worry about. Maybe I just got lucky.

Gate P1 was the very first gate immediately after security, so that thankfully is the end of the long walk for me.

I got to the gate slightly more than 1 hour before departure.

Gate P1 is an “open” room, with boarding passes checked only upon boarding. As such, I was free to wait anywhere around the pier for my flight.

The plane was not at the gate yet.

About 35 minutes before departure, 9M-RAE from Phuket taxied into the gate.

This plane was delivered to AirAsia only on 5 September 2018.

Guess I have a brand new one month old plane for my flight to Padang.

Queuing to board my flight to Padang.

Boarding passes are checked and torn upon boarding.

Heading down the aerobridge.

The interior of the brand new A320neo, still with the new-plane smell.

The upfront Hot Seats, which I’m not seated in.

My seat for the flight. The brand new leather seats were a welcoming sight.

The legroom, however, feels tighter than the older A320-200s.

Getting ready for pushback.

As the doors were closed, I found myself with an empty row to myself. Excellent.

With the tight legroom, I self-declared a little bit of extra space for myself on this flight.

Passing under the klia2 Skybridge.

Taxiing to Runway 33.

Preparing to take-off from Runway 33.

Goodbye KL, feels strange to leave just after 2 hours without even getting my passport stamped.

Making an immediate left turn for the sea crossing to Sumatra.

Flying over the Straits of Malacca.

For an early lunch, I ordered the Roast Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce, predicting that I might still be a bit full from the Nasi Lemak I had a couple of hours ago. It’s also a new item on the Santan menu.

The Roast Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce was actually pretty impressive, second to that of Singapore Airlines’, but with a better sauce. I’m actually pleasantly surprised that a high quality western airline meal option can actually be found on a budget airline.

This might be my next favourite dish on AirAsia.

The Airbus A320neo wingtip of AirAsia.

Welcome to Sumatra.

Descending into Padang with a nice view of the coast.

Flying past the Grand Mosque of West Sumatra – the largest mosque in West Sumatra, and the second largest mosque in Sumatra.

Flying past Basko Grand Mall.

Flying past Sutan Sjahrir Air Force Base, which was formerly Tabing Airport, the gateway to Padang.

The landing into Padang has one of the nicest views in the region.

Glad to be back in Padang.

The view of Minangkabau International Airport’s terminal building from the runway.

Making a u-turn back to the terminal building at the end of the runway.

Taxiing to the terminal building.

It was a quick taxi straight into Gate 2, the main gate for international flights. Regular scheduled international flights to and from Padang, with the termination of QZ140/QZ141, are only to and from Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia. Seasonal international flights include Jeddah and Medina for Umrah and Hajj pilgrims.

Parked beside PK-GFR, the 123rd Boeing 737 delivered to Garuda Indonesia.

Disembarking from the aircraft with the aerobridge.

Heading into the terminal building.

So near to the railway station from here, but yet so far.

Heading down to immigration.

As I was one of the first passengers to get off the plane, immigration was rather quick. 2 counters were open just to serve this flight as the next flight from KL would only come in in more than 4 hours’ time.

From here, I headed to the railway station to purchase my train ticket to the city.

Overall, yet another short and sweet flight with AirAsia, and it’s great to be back in Padang again, though I really wish that the non-stop QZ140 flight from Singapore to Padang would come back some time in the near future.

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