AirAsia AK723 from Kuala Lumpur KLIA T2 to Singapore Changi Airport T4 by Airbus A320neo Flight Review
Continuing on from my MYAirline flight from Kota Bharu, it was a direct international transfer to AirAsia AK723 to continue back on to Singapore. On schedule, I had 1 hour and 40 minutes between flights which was comfortable enough to transfer. Little did I know then I was off to an uncomfortable delayed flight which ended with a blackout.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA T2)
Arriving from the domestic Pier J at KLIA T2, I followed the signs for international transfer to have a separate immigration facility within the transit area so as to not join the Hari Raya exodus crowd.
The departure board in the domestic transit area shows all flights departing from KLIA T2.
My AirAsia AK723 flight would be departing from Gate L4.
Following the path to international transfer. The walk to international transfer and Pier K was a bit long and winding with turns along corridors and low roofs due to the stacked design with international departures above it.
The international transfer area is beside the escalators down to Pier K.
Heading in to the international transfer area. Do note that the transfer counter is not in operation. I had did my online check-in before my flight already, so I was using a mobile boarding pass.
Do note that you must have a boarding pass already to use this facility.
If you do not already have a boarding pass, whether printed or mobile, you must go out to the public area to do your check-in there (if even possible for AirAsia?) if you have not already done so and retrieve your boarding pass there.
The good thing about KLIA T2 is that there are no checks for a single booking by AirAsia at the transfer area for paying Fly-Thru service passengers, unlike in Bangkok Don Mueang, and anyone with a valid connection and boarding pass can use this transfer facility, even if not on the Fly-Thru service.
As expected, there was no one at the international transfer immigration. There was a single manned immigration counter to serve this 1 passenger, me.
Heading up to the international departures level after immigration.
Customs checks are conducted once up by a customs officer, but no x-ray scanning is present. After another check of my boarding pass, I was free to enter the international departures area.
Re-checking the departure screen.
As I had a bit of extra time due to the early arrival of my MYAirlines Z97104 flight, I headed over to the Satellite Building first to get a snack.
Heading down to the main transit area which looks leaps and bounds nicer than Pier L.
KLIA T2 Buggy Service
Heading back, I decided to wait for the buggy service.
The buggy arrived within 2 minutes of waiting. Not bad considering that there is only 1 buggy on service.
Heading through the duty free store on the buggy.
Heading on the Skybridge past many walking passengers going to Piers P and Q.
Heading back to the main terminal building.
To my surprise, the buggy turned left to Pier L instead of dropping me off at the pick-up point after immigration.
The free buggy service dropped me directly at Pier L.
Thanks to the friendly crew of the KLIA T2 free buggy service for the direct transfer. Now I’m way early for my flight.
Heading down to Pier L for security screening. Liquids, aerosols, and gels (LAG) restrictions apply on international flights out of Malaysia, so remember to empty your water bottle before security.
Gate L4 is just ahead.
But alas, my AirAsia AK723 flight has been delayed by 35 minutes.
This delay was reflected on the very closed Gate L4 as well.
Closer to the new gate opening time, the queue to enter extended out to Gate L2. Boarding passes are scanned before entering Gate L4, operating as a closed gate hold room.
Getting my mobile boarding pass ready.
A few passengers to my turn, the gate closed as it was at full capacity already. The gate will reopen when the aircraft is ready for boarding. Perhaps this was for the better as I’d rather be in the corridors of KLIA T2 than the stuffy gate hold room.
The gate reopened for boarding at 9.56pm when the aircraft had just arrived. Yeah, we’re not going to make the 10.05pm revised delayed departure time.
Heading down the ramp to the gate hold room.
The gate hold room was very stuffy with almost the whole flight inside there already. I’m glad I was not too ahead of the queue and waited in the corridor instead of the gate hold room.
Boarding is by zones as usual without scanning of boarding passes as they have been scanned already before entering the gate hold room.
Heading down the aerobridge.
9M-AGJ would be operating on my AirAsia AK723 flight from Kuala Lumpur KLIA T2 to Singapore Changi Airport T4.
The interior of the AirAsia Airbus A320neo.
My seat was at 18A by the window.
The legroom on board AirAsia’s Airbus A320neo.
The menu and duty free catalogue featured the new Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce which I have ordered for this flight.
It was a very full flight on AK723 this night which was surprising, considering this is the reverse direction of the Hari Raya exodus. The aircraft was also very warm with many passengers having to resort to using the safety card to fan themselves, including myself.
The aircraft pushed back from the gate only at 10.38pm.
The view of the KLIA T2 Skybridge and satellite terminal from the plane.
Taxiing to Runway 33 Shortened.
My AirAsia AK723 flight departed from KLIA Runway 33 Shortened at 10.57pm – 1 hour and 27 minutes delayed.
Making a u-turn to head south after the northerly departure.
AirAsia Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
My pre-booked meal was served shortly after the seat belt signs were switched off. I ordered a Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce for RM16 which comes with a bottle of mineral water when pre-booked online.
Hot meals are not available for on-board sales on the short flight from KL to Singapore.
Unfortunately, the Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce was not as good as I had expected. Perhaps the oven was set to steam instead of convection, but the nasi himpit and onion was overly soggy, and the Chicken Satay was dry. The amount of sauce in the foil cup, however, was generous and almost full, enough to last for the satay, onions, and rice cakes.
For now, Firefly still wins the in-flight Chicken Satay race.
Flying past Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) for a southerly landing in Singapore.
Approaching Singapore Changi Airport on Runway 20R.
Singapore Changi Airport
My AirAsia AK723 flight landed at Singapore Changi Airport at 11.45pm – 60 minutes delayed.
Heading off the runway past Terminal 3.
Taxiing over South Cross to get to Terminal 4.
Changi Airport Terminal 4
The plane arrived at Gate G12 at 11.52pm.
I had expected a perfectly normal disembarkation, but after the landing music and the doors were opened, the aircraft blacked out leaving a quiet plane without air-conditioning and music. Lights were also down to emergency lights only, and the aircraft quickly became very warm again. Some passengers had to resort to shining phone lights to retrieve their bags from the overhead compartments.
Heading off the blacked-out plane using the emergency lights. Luckily this blackout happened when the aircraft was at the gate already and not in-flight.
Heading up the aerobridge.
Following the petal trail to arrival immigration.
Heading down to the transfer hall and arrival immigration.
Immigration was instant with the many eIACS gates available. As usual, some passengers got held up because they did not fill up their SG Arrival Card (SGAC) despite the multiple signs on approach to immigration.
Heading past duty free with nothing to buy, and I was flying in from Malaysia anyway. Also, I was trying to get out fast enough to catch any last buses still departing from Terminal 4.
Customs followed without me visiting the baggage reclaim belts which I walked passed through without delay with my 1 small sling bag, and I was back out in Singapore.
I quickly headed over to the bus stop via the underpass to see what my options were. This 1-hour delay is a game changer between catching the last train out of Changi Airport to thinking how to avoid the midnight taxi surcharge.
Not many options left, but I was still able to get a bus out of the airport to hail a taxi from the street outside the airport to avoid the S$6 Changi Airport surcharge compounded with the 50% surcharge past midnight.
It was quite a disappointing flight on AirAsia this time round with a 1 hour and 27 minutes delayed departure from KLIA T2, stuffy and claustrophobic gate hold room at KLIA T2 Gate L4, not-very-good Santan meal of Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, the aircraft blackout during disembarkation, and leaving me to decide which 5 buses to leave Changi Airport with by the time I arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 4 proper.