Flight Review – AirAsia AK6436: Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu by Airbus A320-200

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AirAsia operates the Kuala Lumpur – Kota Bharu domestic route with 8 to 10 flights daily, making it the airline with the most daily flights between these two cities. With so many flights, it was easy to choose a flight timing at a good fare since the difference in flight times were just over an hour. I picked a cheap afternoon flight, AirAsia AK6436, to get to Kota Bharu to go back to JB by the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran later on.

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Heading to the check-in kiosks to print my boarding pass.

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Printing out my boarding pass from the check-in kiosk.

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My boarding pass for my AirAsia AK6436 flight from Kuala Lumpur (klia2) to Kota Bharu. As it was quite flimsy, the boarding pass just collapsed when holding it up so I had to take a flat-down picture on a random trolley.

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Not heading straight as I always do, this time, I had to go left for domestic departures.

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Heading to the domestic departures section.

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Heading for security screening to enter the domestic departures area.

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Once done with security, it’s an escalator ride down to the domestic departures area.

Unlike the international departures area, there is only one centralised security area before entering which makes so much sense rather than the international departures whereby there is security screening to the gate just downstairs after security screening to enter the area.

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Domestic gates are labelled J and K.

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The standalone J gates are on the left.

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The shared stands with international flights are at the K gates on the right.

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My flight was departing from Gate K16.

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Heading to the K gates on this travellator which was clearly an afterthought. The ramp on top of the ramp took a little bit of extra effort to ascend, I can’t imagine having to push a trolley without brakes on the travellator.

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Heading on to another afterthought travellator.

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The many domestic destinations served from klia2.

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If you had taken a trolley about 2 minutes before, now’s the time to return it as it is an escalator ride down to the gates.

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Heading down to the K gates.

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Hmm, I thought the international departures side was stale enough but this place looks like a hospital.

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Continuing on to Gate K16.

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About 40 minutes before departure, my gate was already open.

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Quite a busy gate with turnarounds of less than an hour.

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Queuing up to get my boarding pass checked to enter the gate.

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Boarding passes are simply scanned for boarding and not torn and taken.

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The gate hold room of Gate K16.

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As I was in an aisle seat with minimal baggage, I opted to be one of the last to board.

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Hmm, pulling a Ryanair here? The gate was closed even when passengers are still queuing to board.

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9M-AJK would be taking me from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu today.

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Queuing up to board the plane.

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Heading down the aerobridge.

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Boarding the aircraft.

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ROKKI Wi-Fi is available on this aircraft.

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Heading to my seat.

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Here’s my aisle seat for today – Seat 23C.

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The legroom on board AirAsia’s Airbus A320-200.

The flight took off at 1.36pm – 26 minutes late due to the tight turnaround time and long taxi to the runway.

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Once the seat belt signs were switched off, the meal service began. However, as I was seated towards the rear, my food took a while to arrive since a bunch of others up front had also pre-boooked their meals.

For lunch, I pre-booked a Chef Hong’s Korean Sweet and Spicy Chicken (Dakgangjeong) for RM10.60 (~S$3.47) and a Vietnamese Chicken Wrap for RM9.54 (~S$3.12). As this is a domestic flight, SST is charged for pre-booked meals.

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Also something interesting which I’ve seen on AirAsia’s Facebook pages is the T&Co X Chatime Bandung Sago Pearl Milk Tea. Definitely had to try this in-flight.

To my surprise, the drink was actually mixed in front of you by the steward when you order it. It tastes really good for an in-flight bubble tea with ample sweetness. The Aged Liu Pao Chinese Tea was not really evident with the milk and rose syrup for the Bandung, but it was good bubble tea nonetheless.

I wonder why other airlines can’t come up with such creative/gimmicky airplane food that people are paying for and ordering in the masses.

After the crowd behind me saw the steward make my bubble tea, orders started pouring in but the steward said that they were sold out of it already. Oops.

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Here’s my main Chef Hong’s Korean Sweet and Spicy Chicken (Dakgangjeong) for RM10.60. True to its description, it was indeed sweet and spicy. The side crispy flakes that came along also complimented the chicken very well when poured over the dish. May I say that this is the first time I’ve ever had a crispy anything for an in-flight meal. Congratulations AirAsia.

As I am not a fan of plain white rice, I didn’t eat much of it once the sweet and spicy sauce was gone.

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For my next dish to try, it’s the Vietnamese Chicken Wrap for RM9.54 (~S$3.12).

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The box packaging was quite small, but I was quite impressed with how little air there is in the box, so the compact wrap was actually quite filling. The stuffing of chicken and vegetables were quite generous with a right amount of sauce too, so that it doesn’t turn out dry like how airline food is usually.

As it was a short flight with my meal coming in quite late, it was a bit of a rush to gobble everything down but I made it in time to stow trash and my tray tables just a couple of minutes before touch down.

The plane landed in Kota Bharu at 2.16pm – just 1 minute late. Not bad.

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Disembarking via the aerobridge.

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Thank you AirAsia for the great flight and great food as always.

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My first look at Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport.

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Parked at Gate 2.

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The exit to the arrival area was just in front of Gate 2.

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Behind, the crowd was forming to board the plane back to klia2.

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Heading down the main staircase to the arrival hall.

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A big welcome to Kelantan Darul Naim at the baggage reclaim area.

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As this was a rather small airport with a compact layout, I think I was out into the public area less than 2 minutes after disembarking from the plane.

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Some shops in the airport.

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The screen shows my flight arrival as 2.20pm. Hmm, perhaps MAHB uses the time the aircraft actually reaches the stand instead?

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My same plane will form AK6437 to return back to klia2.

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Heading out of the terminal building.

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The not-so-inspiring facade of Kota Bharu Sultan Ismail Petra Airport.

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Not wanting to get a taxi to the city if possible, I headed out of the airport to the bus stop to wait for the Cityliner bus to Kota Bharu city centre since I had a bit of time.

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Overall, yet another excellent flight with AirAsia with the on-time arrival and great meal choices available on board. I definitely can understand why they’ve won the Skytrax World’s Best Low Cost Airline title for 11 years in a row. It’s also a lot cheaper and quicker to get from KL to Kota Bharu now by flight instead of getting a train or bus, so it definitely made sense for me to catch a quick flight to save both time and money.

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