Our taxi driver, who picked us up from our hotel for the last two nights, the Eastern And Oriental Hotel, dropped us off at Penang International Airport between entrance 2 and 3. After I paid the taxi driver for the ride, we gave each other a no word just a quick nod of the head goodbye before my parents and I headed inside the terminal. This was only our second taxi ride while we were in Penang but in both cases, I’ve noticed that our taxi driver literally said ZERO words other than just a nod of acknowledgement.
We went and found the check-in desk for AirAsia and after our passports were checked, the bags which I had already prepaid for were tagged and we were given flimsy receipt style boarding passes. Since there really wasn’t much to do or see pre security, my parents and I headed immediately to security where after the security screening, we cleared through exit immigration before arriving airside of Penang International Airport.
Penang International Airport’s terminal is one long horizontal building similar to SNA Airport in Orange County. Since we still had plenty of time until our boarding time, and because I wanted to get rid of all of the Malaysian Ringgit I had leftover, we headed over to one of the airside food vendors where I ordered coffee and a slice of cake to share with my parents. The coffee and cake were not bad for airport food.
After downing the last drop of my Iced Americano, we walked the whole length of the terminal before heading over to the holding area of our assigned gate A1A which was still occupied with passengers for a different flight. We didn’t have to wait long until the other flight boarded, and the holding area emptied out and we had our choice of seats sit and wait for our AirAsia flight AK 753.
While we were waiting at the gate A1A, our aircraft finally arrived and I could clearly see passengers being offloaded via stairs. Even though our gate was equipped with a jet bridge, Air Asia chooses to board and offload passengers via stairs to save money. Since there isn’t much to clean and prepare the aircraft for a low cost airline such as Air Asia which btw doesn’t even offer any free drinks including water, boarding for our flight, AK 753 to Singapore commenced shortly after the last passengers and their bags were offloaded from the aircraft.
Boarding for passengers who had bought “Hot Seats” which are seats with extra legroom were invited to board first followed by everyone else. After having the front stapled copy of our boarding passes lifted, we walked down the corridor past the jet bridge AirAsia chooses not to use, and we walked down the stairs to the tarmac and walked the short distance to our awaiting aircraft. Before climbing the stairs to board via the front of the aircraft, I took couple of pictures of our Airbus A320’s left engine.
During my walk down the aisle to find our seats, I noticed that there was a lot of mist coming out of the aircraft’s air conditioning system which was most likely due to the hot and humidity of Penang Malaysia. My parents and I found our seats 16A, 16B, 16C which I had to pay to select and reserve when I booked our flight. Just like on AirAsia FD 401 which we flew on couple of days ago, the legroom was VERY tight. If you placed anything under the seat in front of you, forget about being able to reach for it. Once passengers were all boarded, manual safety demonstration was performed before our aircraft departed from where we were parked on its own power.
Flight AK753 was not very full today. Quite a bit of seats, including whole rows were empty. I would guess that the flight was somewhere between 70-75 percent full. Once we were up in the air, flight attendants went through the cabin handing out Singapore Immigration Cards which had a very ominous bold red all cap warming on it which read: “WARNING DEATH FOR DRUB TRAFFICKERS UNER SINGAPORE LAW.” People who board flights to Singapore with questionable motives must be sweating bullets when they receive these immigration forms aboard their flight.
Immigration forms were followed by delivery of food and beverages to passengers who preordered and paid for their snacks and meals before the flight. This was followed by two flight attendants rolling a trolley down the aisle selling food and snacks to passengers who wanted to buy something from the inflight menu. While I originally had plans to buy some of the inflight meal items on offer, I decided to pass since our 1:25 flight to Singapore was coming to a conclusion quickly.
During our approach into Singapore Changi Airport, we flew by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel And Casino which is where we will being staying at for the next two nights while my parents and I are in Singapore. After an uneventful landing at Singapore Changi Airport, shockingly, our Airbus A320 pulled up to a jet bridge at Terminal 1 and the jet bridge was actually attached to the aircraft. After boarding two AirAsia flights where they bypassed perfectly good jet bridges in front of the aircraft for stairs, I was expecting to get off the plane via stairs again.
After de-boarding AirAsia flight AK 753, I took some time taking pictures of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 before walking to arrivals to clear immigration and collect our bags. Immigration was quick and efficient and after collecting our three bags from the baggage claim, I found myself a ATM Machine to withdraw some Singapore Dollars so we could take a taxi from Changi Airport to our hotel, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.