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Flying from Auckland to Gold Coast aboard AirAsia

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Maureen Spencer flies aboard AirAsia flight D7207 from Auckland to Gold Coast.

The plane:

Airbus A330-300. This is quite a big plane, which seats 377 people. Seating configuration in Economy is 3-3-3 apart from the last nine rows which have a 2-3-2 configuration.

Class: Economy. A budget flight.

Flight time: 3hr 30m.

The seat: 49K — it was one of the double seats, four rows from the back of the plane.

These doubles are great for couples travelling together with no third person in the row to have to disturb or crawl over to get out.

There are options to pre-select your seating — premium flat-bed seats, standard seats (32″ pitch and 16″ wide) or Hot Seats (17.5″ pitch).

Food and drink: No free tea, coffee or water. The menu on the plane is priced in Malaysian ringgits only. I ordered two bottles of water and it took the attendant quite a while to convert the price to NZ dollars ($4) and making the payment proved to be a bit of a drama. There is a minimum charge of RM30 (about $10) for using a credit card. If I paid with NZ or Australian cash, change was given only in Malaysian Ringgits, which were going be of no use to us on the Gold Coast!

Pre-booking meals is encouraged, with discounted prices. They advertised a limited range of mostly Asian meals but there were a couple of Western options and a good range of snacks.

There was a good selection of drinks, with or without alcohol.

Entertainment: Most people had brought their own entertainment in the form of phones, tablets, and books. Air Asia has an Xcite in-flight entertainment system, which you can pre-book for RM49 and the tablet can be shared for RM6. It has a limited range of games, music, movies, TV programmes. There was nothing listed in the June programme that would have enticed me to buy it.

How full: Very full. The majority were Asian travellers, probably heading for the final destination, which was Kuala Lumpur with a short stop on the Gold Coast.

Service: Adequate.

Price: Basic fare was $147. I also purchased seat selection for $22.10, so we could select a row of two seats together.

Luggage: I paid $32 for an extra 20kg bag. Carry-on luggage is restricted to two pieces weighing a total of only 7kg. Our actual carry-on bags weigh 3kg so if we’d travelled with only them we would have had just 4kg for our clothes.

On this occasion our carry-on luggage was not weighed at check in, customs or the gate.

This is the first time in a long time it hasn’t been weighed at the check-in counter at least!

Be aware: We ended up paying $199 — those extras do add up.

Bathrooms: Adequate. Unfortunately they were a bit smelly, even early on in the flight.

Would I fly it again: Yes — for the hop across the Ditch. I like the 5.30pm departure time, which gives you the whole day to get organised and the 6.30 to 7pm arrival time means you’re still in time for dinner on the Gold Coast.

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