A Guide to AirAsia X Seat Options – Can You Take It Long-Haul?

I am fresh off a Hot Seat on the 8-hour Kuala Lumpur-Sydney AirAsia X flight and here to give the lowdown.

AirAsia X A300 Quiet Zone

The passengers were out of central casting. Of the mainland Chinese tourist/real estate shoppers, South and Southeast Asian tourists, the three gals (musicians?) in cowboy hats, and assorted others, my favorites were the Australian hippies returning home from who knows how long on the Southeast Asian beaches.

The guy popping up after meditating in the boarding area.

AirAsia X Boarding Meditation

The gal strumming a ukulele.

AirAsia X Boarding Ukelele

Back to AirAsia X and the seats. Yes, the seats are tight and narrow. Not unbearable. Not great. Exit rows even tighter. For the first time I felt both side of the exit row seat press on me a bit with my size 35-ish waist.

AirAsia X operates A330 and A340. The AirAsia blog gives full details and seat maps in Finally, New Seats for AirAsia X. All Australia routes have these seats.

Both have lie-flat business seats (on the A340 they are interestingly in the middle). Both have Quiet Zones which are the same seats as elsewhere in the cabin, sold at additional cost. All seats have power outlets. In-flight entertainment is available on tablets for rent, not integrated into the seat.

Hot Seats are detailed in the AirAsia blog post Hot Seats! Extra Legroom on Long-Haul AirAsia X Flights. The post is honest about each seat, with many pictures. For instance, the most expensive economy seats are the bulkheads in the Quiet Zone, going for US$62 on my flight. They have more room than the typically bulkhead, though not as much as the exits.

I was on the A330 and paid US$53 for exit row 15J. Tremendous legroom. The window seat has a large door protrusion.

AirAsia X A330 Row 15

In line with online comments I saw the flight is often empty and every passenger had a least a row of their own. I bought the exit row anyway because I was worried it was going to be one of those cases where the seat map is empty because people don’t have seat assignments and then suddenly fills up.

If you want an advance seat assignment without paying you are sent to the far back which looked rather full at booking.

In-flight you can freely switch seats as long as not taking a Hot Seat or Quiet Zone. A couple who tried to slip into Hot Seats were chased award.

My exit row was great to stetch out, had good recline (no one behind me) and I had the row to myself. The paid meals were great, too.

I would have no hesitation saddling up with AirAsia X again.

Readers, what are your AirAsia X experiences?

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  • Eric

    Those puffy pants. Why does everyone buy those awful puffy pants?

  • Business class with angled flat seats was worth the fee on an overnight flight to me, slept well. It’s really an economy class flight with biz class seats, but the sleep is worth it. You can still upgrade at airport based on availability.
    I wouldn’t bet on getting your own row – both of my most recent flights between KL and Australia were packed….
    Also, not all seats have power outlets, only some of the hot seats, depending on plane, so bring s battery back.
    I found the economy seats to be uncomfortable on long flights due to the lack of back support and padding – fine for <4h, bad for 8+h….
    KLIA2 must be the worst airport for connections: I had long walks and 2 security controls each time, making short connections difficult: plan enough time!

  • john

    RTC, when you are bouncing around city to city do you have your plane reservations set in advance or do you buy the next city in-country? Do you have to have an outbound flight to get into a country? or is that is depends?

    Thanks, Stefan…

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Eric – for years I wondered what stores even sold those, I have only seen them in the wild. Now most have gone away in favor of tights.

    @Rupert – thanks for the detail and corrections. I agree on KLIA2, you need to be an endurance athlete. The pleasant surprise was that while each pier has security it is not ultra-annoying SIN style at the gate, so I could fill up my water bottle prior to boarding.

    @john – usually in advance, though last month West Africa I booked in 3 tranches based on visas I got and have found most of these shorter international fights the last-minute prices are similar to advance.