My first AirAsia flight from Delhi to Guwahati last year was in budget class. My recent Delhi to Goa flight was anything but.
AirAsia has a fleet of six aircrafts that cover 10 destinations across India&mdashVizag, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Delhi, Kochi, Goa, Bengaluru, Pune, Imphal and Jaipur. My flight to Goa was on board The Pioneer, dedicated to the father of civil aviation&mdashJRD Tata. The entire aircraft is a tribute, with photos from his life on the interior and exterior of the plane.
The low-cost carrier mainly targets &lsquobackpackers&rsquo, i.e., AirAsia is firmly on the side of the budget-conscious. The other great thing about the carrier is its hassle-free online booking system. However, AirAsia also has premium services like Red Carpet&mdashan airport service which offers porterage, lounge access and priority boarding and de-boarding. Currently AirAsia offers this only on flights out of Delhi and Bengaluru. There&rsquos another programme called Hot Seat, where guests can get an upgrade and enjoy some extra legroom Finally, there&rsquos Big, a frequent-flyer loyalty programme.
I quite enjoyed the in-flight meals. Santan, their multi-cuisine menu, has a fairly wide array of choices, ranging from traditional Indian dishes like pulao, murg tikka and dal to western cuisine offerings such as chicken-mushroom pie, and, JRD&rsquos favourite, the signature grilled basa fish with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. I had to have it, and it was delicious.
But as the song goes, &ldquoevery rose has its thorn.&rdquo AirAsia&rsquos thorn came in the form of delayed flights, which might have been due to the number of flights in operation (can&rsquot be sure). Well, while I hope that my next flight with AirAsia won&rsquot get delayed, I can&rsquot really complain. I got my seat upgraded, got extra TLC from the crew, and was escorted to the airport lounge without any baggage retrieving hassle on my flight to Delhi. Yes, I got Red Carpet(ed)