Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Untold secrets and tips when booking with AirAsia

Everybody knows about AirAsia. Every quarter all so, Tony Fernandes' airlines will come up with some mind blowing promotions that'll make many holiday planners scramble and rumble for the tickets.

AirAsia has moved quite a distance since I first flew with them.

Early 2007 to Kuching

Occasionally, when you're lucky, you get to book free tickets like this all-in 2-way from KL to JB for a mere RM 15 . Though it's due next July, it's still a worthy bet, so I booked it few days back during the promotion period. I've never go home so "economically" all these years!

It's even cheaper than driving into KL from Nilai!

Of course I've to take into account of airport transfer fees. But I am staying quite near to both airports in JB and Sepang.

But sometimes, you're not that lucky.

Few weeks back I also spotted the RM0 ticket. So I tried to book it, by using credit card.

Looks a good deal

Everything went well and I entered the credit card information, amount, and was waiting for the confirmation page...

HOWEVER,

The bee-zee page popped out

Tip#1: When you see this bee-zee page, and you HAVEN'T PAID for the tix, and you want the tix very much, YOU'VE TO RELIGIOUSLY RE-BOOK IT AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL YOU GET IT. That's the only way. And trust me, by being patient, with a few more attempts, you'll get the tix.

So I clicked on the "I would like to try again", and purchased the ticket again, this time using direct debit from Maybank2u.

Tip#2: By using Direct Debit like Maybank2u, you can wave the convenience fee of RM10 per ticket charged when you use credit card. Maybank2u also records down your transaction history (with your confirmation code), with printable statements in the website. Obviously, the MasterCard (credit card) can't do this.

Storm strucked when I checked my mail, only to discover the first transaction using credit card actually went thru.

Tip#3: Sometimes if there's a lag from the website or bank transaction page, the confirmation page may not appear until god knows when. So, always check your email for the confirmation letter. It takes about an hour maximum.

Same passenger, same time, same place, same flight... I was quite annoyed. (What lousy programming logic the website has... Allowing this kind of blunder to happen)

I resigned to "abandon" one of the tix, as RM90 penalty is charged for changing tix time/venue.

I tried very hard, thru several "in-roads" like emailing the customer service, with no reply (budget airlines are like this).

I once faxed Singapore's budget airline Tiger Airways for a spelling error on a ticket (they don't receive email or phone calls). They actually called me back a few days later to rectify the problem, which left me more than satisfied!

For AirAsia, I even tried the "Live-chat" service, and had to queue up at number 167, waited for like 3 hours without veil.

A last throw of the dice was calling AirAsia @ 600 85 9999, their (worst than loan shark "in terms of interest") Premium Customer Service Line, at RM 1.95/minute.

At least, I managed to talk to an officer and told the whole story, and being promised that the tix refund will be done in 24 hours into my AA credit account (Common sense, no any business will refund cash to you). So I've to buy more air tix from AA now...

The call lasted for like 15 minutes. You do the maths on how much's the cost.

Tip#4: Apply an AA account (or other airlines for this matter). It's free. Log-in when you purchase any tix, as it'll be recorded in your "Manage My Booking" section. The customer relation officer asked for my AA account number, and quite luckily I have one. If not, I'll have to create an account on the spot, and keep the line running for like 5 more minutes?

You can also View and Modify "Current Bookings"

To my disappointment, the credit account was not entered until like 4 days later. With no reply, no statement nothing, I was kept in the dark for a few days, pondering whether to give AA another call, bursting my already burst phone bill. (Luckily I didn't)

Still, better late than never

Spending days in and out the AA website, I (actually) learned how to reserve AA tix (by chance)!

Tip#5: Reserve your tix or more specifically your tix price, for a maximum 2 hours if you haven't confirm on the itinerary. You can pay anytime after the reservation, or else, the tix will be released back into AA website after 2 hours.

Here's the demo I've done, assuming buying a 2-way tix to London (actually hope it's for real).

1) REMEMBER TO LOG-IN TO YOUR ACCOUNT and DO THE BOOKING (Always check your name at the top left hand corner) . After all the formalities, you'll arrive at this payment page:

Choose your bank

2) Log-in to your online banking account. Make sure the https:// domain pops up. STOP here.

Don't need to request TAC number (Means there's no payment made)

3) At this stage, you've bought yourself 2 more hours to think over your booking for FREE.

Make sure you're still logged-in, go to "Manage your booking" from the main page

4) Check your bookings.

There you go~ Click "Modify"

5) Once you've decided, click "Confirm Charges" and proceed with the payment. If you don't want the tix, just leave it as it is. It'll disappear at the time given (See line above "Amount due:", with the time zone being GMT+0. Malaysia's GMT+8).

Try reserving tix with AA next time

Tip#6: Compare tix prices before you buy. DO try out www.airasiachart.com. You can check out tix price in line-graphs. Though not all routes are included, it indicates the floating of tix price.

The programmer who did this website is a genius!

I guess that's about it. Hope this post helps when you're purchasing AA tix. Enjoy your flight. Now everyone can fly!

~~~

I'm heading to Cambodia for a backpack from July 20-27. Departing for Phnom Penh, and leaving from Siem Riep. Anyone interested please let me know.

Somehow, things like climbing mountains, seeking refuge at deserted islands, diving into the ocean, traveling (though still stuck in SEA) gives me something to look forward in life.

These little things actually make my life much more worth living...


Ps: As mentioned, I still have RM80 in my AA credit account. If anyone of you wanna book AA tix, please kindly let me know. If the tix >80, just pay the remainder, if <80, then I can treat you the tix!

18 comments:

XuShen said...

lol . interesting

Xushen

yingqian said...

nice post! thanks for sharing :D

cruSadER said...

Haha. THanks peeps... For the pleasure of flying.

I still not yet finish correcting the grammars and settings la.

XuShen said...

what for.

as long as it is readable.

yeah for the pleasure of flying ~!

but its kinda sad to say i've developed a little bit of flying phobia .. especially flying smaller airbus planes ..

Tan Chia Hui said...

LOL! I like d last tips =p

Bon Voyage =)

weeser said...

Haha~

Yup... For those who've flight-phobia, it's a little hard. No choice.

Maybe travel thru railway or sea?

T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T said...

Wee Ser,

Nice post. Thanx for sharing!
Wonder you have went so many places?
:)
Tom

weeser said...

Yo Tom,

How's life?

It's my pleasure sharing these tips with all my friends. Makes life easier, as u all dun need to learn the hard way (like i did)!

I visit a few places only. Still got a lot to go.

I go to places within my budget. Normally I plan at least 1 outings a year.

blursylvia said...

Nice info, thanks for sharing!

Always admire your adventuring nature and your determination to make your dream true.

Just one thought, would you just go backpack with anyone interested? Haha

weeser said...

You're welcome... Sharing is caring? Haha..

I don't mind to have anyone going backpack with me la~

But we need to help each other and cooperate, especially in a foreign land.

weeser said...

Tip#7: If AA delay your flight for more than 3 hours, you can request free food voucher!

blursylvia said...

Hey Weeser, I'm interested to go backpack. Do you mind to give more details?

weeser said...

Wat kind of details??? I also do research in google~

blursylvia said...

Have you bought air tickets? Where are you going to visit? Any place in your mind yet? Haha, I've never backpack before, rookie indeed

weeser said...

I bought air tix to Cambodia in July next year.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have a message for the webmaster/admin here at tanweeser.blogspot.com.

May I use part of the information from this blog post above if I provide a link back to your site?

Thanks,
Peter

webmaster @ tanweeser.blogspot.com said...

Yup. No prob.