Flight Review: AirAsia AK1794 from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu by Airbus A320-200

AirAsia AK1794 is the new morning flight from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu which launched on 1 August 2018. With the addition of this flight, AirAsia now offers a twice-daily service on the Singapore – KK route. The new flight departs at a convenient time of 10.55am from Singapore, arriving into KK at 1.20pm, which is perfect for my short visit to KK.

My boarding pass for the AK1794 flight, retrieved from the FAST check-in kiosk.

Heading to Gate G10.

A whole bunch of AirAsia flights on the departure board of Terminal 4.

My flight was ready for boarding about 45 minutes before departure. A quick scan at the automated boarding gate, and I was on my way to KK.

The KK-based 9M-AHZ, on duty for my flight.

Heading down the aerobridge.

Oh, what’s this?

ROKKI Wi-Fi is available on board 9M-AHZ. Hello free in-flight entertainment and affordable connectivity for this 2.5 hour flight!

The interior of AirAsia’s Airbus A320.

The legroom available on board.

The tray table comes with an advertisement panel which looks like an IFE screen.

However, the real IFE is right here, available once the plane hits 10,000ft.

The plane was relatively empty when I boarded early, however, it did fill up and the flight was pretty full once the doors were closed.

Pushing back from the gate.

Waiting for a bunch of other aircraft to pass before joining the taxiway.

An Air India Express Boeing 737-800.

A Lockheed C-130 with no insignia on it. Hmm.

There’s a gap behind the C-130. Is it for my plane?

Apparently not.

After a few minutes of holding short of the taxiway, I was finally on my way in the queue.

C-130 taking off.

Queuing behind the Philippine Airlines Airbus A321.

Perpetual long queues for departure at Changi Airport.

More big planes in the queue.

Lining up on Runway 02C for takeoff.

Asiana Cargo’s Boeing 747-400.

ANA’s 50th 787 in Singapore.

Singapore Airlines’ A380.

Bye Singapore.

Passing by Pulau Ubin…

… and hello Malaysia. That was quick.

Turning west above Pengerang…

… and goodbye West Malaysia.

Crossing the South China Sea to East Malaysia.

Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, the crew began preparing for the meal service.

I pre-booked the Chicken Lasagne with coffee for S$4 for lunch.

The Chicken Lasagne tasted pretty good, but I think it’s a different caterer (based in KK) as it was softer and slightly less cheesy than the KL version. Nevertheless, still pretty good for in-flight pasta.

I also purchased a Chats Plan for RM9 (~S$2.99) from the stewardess to try out AirAsia’s in-flight WiFi. The code comes in a scratch card when purchased with cash on board, similar to prepaid top-up cards.

The Chats Plan comes with 3MB of data for the listed chatting apps only, regardless of flight time (so don’t buy it for a short JB – KL flight unless it’s an emergency).

The welcome screen of ROKKI Wi-Fi upon connecting to it.

The selection of movies and clips on the free WiFi.

AirAsia seems to be promoting this Pokemon episode for their ROKKI Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it’s just this one episode and not a full series.

I tried to login to get the free 2MB Chats Plan for members.

Unfortunately, when I looked around the portal and checked with the stewardess if it’s still available, it was unfortunately no longer there.

You can purchase the Chats Plan by credit card on the portal, but I opted to pay in cash just now.

After keying in the access code from the scratch card, I was connected pretty quickly. The ROKKI Wi-Fi portal keeps track of the amount of data remaining on the plan.

The bar will change from green to red after using up 2MB of data.

Once you hit the quota of 3MB of data, an alert will be shown on the portal.

Discounted plans are available if you’d like to renew it by credit card for the remainder of the flight.

All plans are only valid for the flight that you’re currently on, and is not transferable to the next flight – so don’t buy it thinking you can use the discounted plan for your next flight.

With the delicious meal, in-flight entertainment and Chats Plan connectivity, the 2.5 hour flight flew past (ha.) pretty quickly, and it was time to descend into Kota Kinabalu.

Flying over Papar.

Flying past Pulau Dinawan.

Feels as if the aircraft is ditching on approach to KKIA.

Phew, made it to land.

Touched down at KKIA.

Turning away from the former KKIA Terminal 2 (or LCCT). All flights are now consolidated at Terminal 1, which is probably a lot more comfortable for the passenger experience.

U-turning back to the terminal building.

Hmm, wonder why this is parked at the passenger terminal.

Passing by the domestic section of KKIA.

Turning into the apron.

Turning into Gate 2A.

After the plane stopped, it was a few minutes wait before the pilot announced that the plane needs to be pulled forward a bit more to connect to the aerobridge. Hmm.

Parked beside AirAsia’s 100th Awesome Plane sharing Gate 2.

The aerobridge connected after the pull forward.

Disembarking from the plane.

Now to check if it’s the pilot who stopped short of the mark or it was the aerobridge’s problem. Looks like the plane has been pulled past the A320 mark, so it’s KKIA’s aerobridge which couldn’t reach to the actual stopping position.

It was quite a long aerobridge walk, possibly the longest I’ve experienced.

Looks like the aerobridge had 3 portions and was extended almost fully.

Heading up the escalator to the international part of the terminal.

KKIA has a shared arrival and departure transit area.

Heading down the escalator for immigration.

Immigration was quite dreadful, with just 3 counters open for foreigners with an influx of international flights from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Bangkok at the 1pm-ish window. The immigration queue took about 1 hour – and that’s only because I managed to get a fast-moving line.

Finally heading out of the airport.

From here, I walked to the Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus counter to find out the next departure time, since I well and truly missed the 2pm departure already.

Overall, AirAsia is definitely worthy of being the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the 10th year in a row (2018) in the Skytrax World Airline Awards. The crew are polite and friendly, with very affordable in-flight meals cheaper than at the airport, fast meal service, and now, even with in-flight WiFi connectivity for free entertainment streaming and very affordable in-flight WiFi plans (as compared with other airlines – not comparing ground plans) for connections from the air to the outside world on the ground.

Truly, Now Everyone Can Fly with frills similar to or exceeding boutique airlines’ standards at low-cost prices.


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