AirAsia Flight Review: Fly Brisbane to Bangkok Direct for a Song!

AirAsia A330 model plane
Fly Brisbane to Bangkok Direct on AirAsia's A330. Image: AirAsia

Take a spin around town on Bangkok’s new gilded double decker dessert bus or swan across a glass Sky Walk seventy-eight storeys high, with a stream of fresh attractions it seems as though we only ever skim the surface of The City of Angels. Now that AirAsia is taking off from Brisbane to Bangkok with incredibly low fares, we’re able to dive deeper into the Thai Capital and suddenly exploring Thailand with kids has become that little more achievable.

Wondering what it’s really like to fly economy on an AirAsia long haul flight? Here’s our AirAsia X Brisbane to Bangkok flight review with plenty of tips and tricks to make the most of your journey.

Although a guest of AirAsia all opinions are our own.

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Things to Know Before You Fly AirAsia X Brisbane to Bangkok

With AirAsia offering flights to Thailand from Brisbane you might be considering flying AirAsia, we’ve got all your AirAsia queries covered:

AirAsia Airline Does Low-Cost Well

Holding SkyTrax ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Airline’ accolade, AirAsia knows how to do budget and do it well. Critiqued by passengers across a comprehensive range of categories from ground support, onboard service, right down to the cabin lighting, AirAsia has come up best in class, eleven times in a row.

What you get on AirAsia’s Brisbane to Bangkok flight is a no-frills long-haul service, direct to Bangkok at incredibly low prices. AirAsia’s one-way Brisbane to Bangkok flights starts from $239! Find the best AirAsia Specials including Brisbane to Bangkok flights here.

AirAsia Best Low-Cost Airline Award by SkyTrax
AirAsia awarded World’s Best Low-Cost Airline. Image: AirAsia

Yes, AirAsia X is Safe

Sure, AirAsia offers cheap tickets but are you pondering whether is it safe to fly AirAsia?

The Brisbane to Bangkok route operated by AirAsia X Thailand is the fifth airline in the AirAsia Group to pass its Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).

by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA). AirAsia X Thailand now joins 438 airlines including heavyweights Qantas and Singapore on its commitment to the highest safety standards.

Is AirAsia Safe to Fly?

AirAsia’s safety record is on a definite upswing now that it’s passed its IOSA, reaching a globally recognised safety benchmark in the aviation industry. Although an IOSA accreditation does not future-proof crashes nor is it the only factor to consider for a safe airline, there’s peace of mind knowing that AirAsia takes safety seriously and benchmarked against industry best practices.

IATA reports that an airline with a ‘IOSA registry is nearly four times safer than non-IOSA airlines.

Other airlines in the AirAsia Group that have passed IOSA include: AirAsia X Malaysia, AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia and AirAsia Philippines.

AirAsia Thailand (domestic) and AirAsia India are yet to be registered.

AirAsia X Thailand is IOSA Accredited
AirAsia X Thailand is IOSA Accredited. Image: AirAsia

Basic AirAsia Fare Inclusions

The standard AirAsia ticket includes your economy class seat at check-in which is allocated at check-in, 7kgs of carry-on baggage besides two small bottles of 150ml water, not a whole lot more.

Everything else comes at an extract cost on AirAsia is an add-on including: seat selection, checked baggage allowance, seat upgrades as well as food and beverages.

BYO Water Bottle

AIRASIA X TIP

AirAsia charges a reasonable $2.88 (60 baht) for a small 300ml bottle of water. While there’s no water facility onboard AirAsia to fill up a water bottler, there are free water stations at Brisbane International Airport before boarding.

Unfortunately, passengers departing Don Mueang International Airport must forfeit any liquids including water bottles  prior to boarding. There is no refill facility available once you’ve passed security at the gate. It’s best to keep some loose baht to purchase water on the return leg from Bangkok.

Coming Soon: In-Flight Entertainment

Sorely missed is any form of in-flight entertainment onboard the older model A330-300s AirAsia flights to and from Bangkok. However, AirAsia is soon to replace the Brisbane to Bangkok route with its new A330neo fleet. With the plane upgrade comes a downloadable App to view a catalogue of music, movies and TV shows during the flight from your own device.

In-flight WIFI will also be available at an extra cost.

Pay for AirAsia Extras – Food, Drink and Bags

There’s no need to free blankets and headphones from their clear plastic film or rearrange the pillow at your seat as these little luxuries we’re so accustomed to onboard aren’t provided.

Take comfort in AirAsia’s discounted fare considerably lower than Thai Airways, the competing full-service airline and only alternative that offers direct flights from Brisbane to Bangkok.

The only other airline offering cheap tickets to Thailand nearby is Scoot and that would mean a similar product offering and having to travel to the Gold Coast!

Purchase Onboard Comfort Kit

For those that can’t fly without an onboard blanket, AirAsia’s Comfort Kit is available to purchase which includes a blanket, neck-pillow and eye-mask and fetching drawstring bag at a cost of approximately $15 AUD (300 baht).

Checked Baggage Allowance for a Fee

Carry-on luggage is included for free with a maximum weight of 7kg onboard, all checked baggage costs extra on an AirAsia booking.

Receive the highest discounted AirAsia checked bag allowance by pre-booking online. It costs a little extra to purchase checked baggage at the check-in counter.

The cheapest AirAsia Bag Fees can be found by booking online. Pre-booked bag prices for AirAsia luggage are currently set at:

  • 20kg costs $52.50 AUD
  • 25kg costs $60 AUD
  • 30kg osts $73.50 AUD

Note AirAsia luggage fees  are subject to change, click here for the latest AirAsia checked baggage prices

Pay to Pick A Seat

Probably the biggest gripe with AirAsia is having to pay to choose your seat, particularly frustrating for families as being seated together is essential.

To avoid AirAsia’s Pick-A-Seat program, there’s an option of checking-in online early to nab a seat without paying. Kudos to AirAsia for allowing online check-in for passengers under 18 years old, most airlines don’t permit this.

Another way to circumvent the seat selection charge is to curry favour with check-in staff who may allocate seats together on the day. There’s always the risk of not being seated together as the flights maybe sold out.

Cheaper AirAsia Seats with AirAsia Booking Online

Seat selection is available at a discount if you pre-book online via AirAsia’s website, depending on where you choose to sit, fees start from:

  • $19.90 AUD one-way for a Standard Seat located near the back of the economy cabin
  • $29.90 AUD one-way for a Standard Seat in the middle of the economy cabin
  • From $63.90 AUD for an exit row seat
  • From $63.90 for AirAsia’s ‘Hot Seat’. This is the first row of seats with extra leg-room at the start of the economy cabin by the bulk head. It’s in the ‘Quiet Zone’ and kids aged 10 years are not permitted to sit here.

AirAsia Value Pack – Seat, Bag and Meal

AirAsia offers a bundled value pack which includes a meal, standard seat selection and 20kg of baggage for an extra $63.90 AUD per person each way.

Note these prices are subject to change, click here for the latest AirAsia checked baggage prices.

AirAsia Premium Flatbed

There are two cabin classes on AirAsia X, economy and Premium. Choosing AirAsia’s Premium Flatbed angled flat seat at the pointy end of the plane will cost aproximately $400 extra to upgrade one-way on check-in.

A quick search online found prices as lows as $765.50, though most were in the $1000-1300 range when pre-booked. Still, great value compared to Business Class fares on full-service Thai Airways.

AirAsia Premium Flatbed prices online.
Great prices for AsiaAsia Premium Flatbed option!

AirAsia Premium Flatbed fare includes:

  • 40kg of checked luggage
  • Flexibility to change date of flight,
  • Express Check-in
  • Express Boarding
  • Priority Baggage Retrieval
  • Pillow and Duvet to be used onboard
  • A meal and a drink (same ‘AirAsia Santan Meal’ as in economy)
AirAsia Premium FlatBed cabin onboard A330
Fly the pointy end on AirAsia’s Premium Flatbed. Image: AirAsia

AirAsia Offers Self Check-In

AirAsia offers Self Check-in either via AirAsia’s website online or from the AirAsia Mobile App.

Online Check-In is open 10 days prior to departure and closes 4 hours before departure at Brisbane International Airport.

The queue at BNE for Bag Drop was considerably shorter than that of the standard check-in.
Save yourself a queue by using Self Check-In with AirAsia

Check-in Online Early

AIRASIA X TIP

Self-Check-in is highly worthwhile as the Bag Drop queue is minimal compared to the queue for the check-in counters. We waited 45 minutes in line at Brisbane International Airport to check-in.

The check-in queue at Don Mueang Airport was much faster taking around 15 minutes with more counters open.

AirAsia Flies into Bangkok Don Mueang Airport

AirAsia X flight from Brisbane to Bangkok flies into Don Mueang Airport (DMK) rather than Bangkok’s main international airport Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).

AirAsia Flies Out Of Don Mueang Airport (DMK)

AIRASIA X TIP

While it takes roughly the same amount of time to travel into central Bangkok from either BKK or DMK (approximately 1 hour), the two international terminals are location separate and it takes 20-30 minutes to travel between them.

All too common is mistaking the departure airport for BKK rather than DMK, always remember AirAsia flies from Don Mueang to ensure you’re not driven to the wrong airport.

AirAsia X Bangkok to Brisbane Flight Frequency

AirAsia operates a Brisbane to Bangkok route, four times a week.

Here are all of AirAsia’s flight schedule to Bangkok from Brisbane:

AirAsia's first Brisbane to Bangkok route from Brisbane International Airport.
Brisbane to Bangkok with AirAsia

AirAsia from Brisbane BNE

Brisbane to Bangkok flights on XJ311 depart BNE at 12:50pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays.

XJ311 arrives Bangkok DMK at 7:10PM

BYO Entertainment

AIRASIA X TIP

Load up electronic devices, pack a charging cord and bring a book for the day flight over.

AirAsia from Bangkok DMK

Bangkok to Brisbane flights on XJ310 depart DMK at 24:40pm on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays.

XJ310 arrives Brisbane BNE at 11:35AM.

Pack Luxuries Onboard For a Good Sleep

AIRASIA X TIP

Pack a neck pillow, eye-mask and ear plugs for the overnight flight. Wear something warm as the cabin gets cold.

AirAsia Brisbane to Bangkok Flight Review

Here’s what to expect Onboard AirAsia’s Brisbane to Bangkok Flight.

Plane Facts

AirAsia X Thailand currently operates A330-300s on the current route from Brisbane (BNE) to Bangkok (DMK) using codes XJ311 (to Bangkok) and XJ310 (from Bangkok).

The planes are of the older model and while the beige upholstered Standard Seats may have dulled and the scarlet trim a tad tired, overall the cabin feels modern, light and bright.

With AirAsia’s imminent delivery of a new fleet of A330neo’s, the Brisbane to Bangkok route will be serviced by a shiny new plane promising more space, a quieter cabin and better fuel efficiency which means continued low prices.

AirAsia's A330Neo aircraft soon to service Brisbane to Bangkok route. Image: AirAsia
AirAsia’s A330Neo aircraft soon to service Brisbane to Bangkok route. Image: AirAsia

Pay a Little Extra for the Hot Seat

AIRASIA X TIP

Ours in row 7 was directly behind the Premium cabin. We were the first to board. Being a bulkhead row, there was ample legroom in front without people reclining towards you. There’s some advantage on being in the first row of the economy cabin as you’re the first on and off the plane.

Just a note, Hot Seats in the front of the plane in the Quiet Zone does not allow children under 10 years, however there are Hot Seats further down the plane.

How Long is the AirAsia X Bangkok to Brisbane Flight?

Allow 9 hours and 20 minutes for AirAsia to fly from Brisbane to Bangkok.

The return flight duration from Bangkok to Brisbane is 8 hours and 35 minutes.

No entertainment!? There's always the pretty clouds outside for your 9+ hour flight.
No entertainment!? There’s always the pretty clouds during your 9+ hour flight.

Brisbane to Bangkok

The scheduled flight duration for AirAsia’s Brisbane to Bangkok flight is 9 hours and 20 minutes.

Our XJ311 Brisbane to Bangkok flight was scheduled to depart at 12:50pm from BNE, arriving in DMK at 7:10pm hours.

Due to late arrival of aircraft, our XJ311 flight departed BNE at 1:14pm, arriving DMK at 8:20pm. The flight was 1 hour and 20 minutes late with a travel time of just over 10 hours!

Bangkok to Brisbane

Our XJ310 Bangkok to Brisbane flight was schedule to depart at 11:40pm, arriving BNE at 11:35am the next day.

The expected flight duration from Bangkok to Brisbane is 8 hours and 35 minutes.

A technical issue with seat allocations resulted in our XJ310 flight pushing off at 12:13am,

arriving BNE at 12:11pm. The flight was 36 minutes late.

Inside the Economy Cabin

We have a choice of 365 economy seats positioned in a 3-3-3 configuration.

The seat rows at 9 abreast is slightly snug and the aisles on either side a little narrower. As an example, the full-service Qantas A330-300’s is configured in a 2-4-2 combination, seating 8 abreast with an extra 1.27cm width per seat. That’s slightly more room and less people, however once you get to your seat you can hardly feel the difference.

Comfy AirAsia X Economy Seat

AirAsia economy seats are surprisingly comfortable, the leather upholstered seat provides decent cushioning and the adjustable headrest offers adequate support. While the standard seats don’t offer legroom in spades, it was sufficient and comfortable for a long haul flight.

The one apparent downside was the cabin temperature. It was rather hot during the day flight to Bangkok. Similarly, on the overnight flight from Bangkok to Brisbane, the cabin was quite cool. Unfortunately there are no overhead jets to adjust airflow to your seat.

The seats in the middle of the economy cabin seemed warmer than those at the front of the plane.

Narrow Seats with a Generous Recline

The seat dimensions are 41.9cm (16.5 inches) wide with a very generous 81cm (32 inch) pitch when reclined, this is considerably better than many full serviced airlines, including Cathay Pacific and Qantas. It also matches the pitch offered on economy class seats available on rival Thai Airways at a bargain price.

Having to fit more people per row makes AirAsia’s seats more narrow than most. The couple of centimetres either side makes a slight difference, where you do wrestle a little more for elbow space or inadvertently knock knees with your neighbouring passengers. Overnight flights are particularly trying as contact is made with one another when jostling about for a comfortable sleeping position.

Pack something light and warm onboard

AIRASIA X TIP

Pack some layers to throw over in case it gets cool. A large neck scarf that can be used as a blanket or a warm jacket is all you need to feel warm and cosy onboard AirAsia. You’re almost flying full-service but paying allot less!

AC Power Plug

There isn’t a USB outlet however each seat has AC power with a universal power plug to charge devices located by your feet.

Pack Charging Cord & Power Plug

AIRASIA X TIP

Keep devices alive by packing both your power plug and charging cord onboard.

Standard Seat Pocket

The seat pocket in front is large enough hold the various in-flight magazines. With the elasticised pocket you can just about slip a couple of tiny bottles of complimentary water. You could perhaps test it to it’s limit with a few other personal items.

Roomy Overhead Compartment

There was plenty of overhead compartment space to use onboard. Nice one AirAsia!

Decent Legroom

The lack of seat back entertainment means there’s no bulky metal entertainment units by the floor of some seats. As a bonus, this provides more under seat room to stretch out or place belongings.

Window or Aisle Seat Only

AIRASIA X TIP

We all know that the middle row seat is the pits, more so on AirAsia X with the narrow seats. Whether you choose an aisle seat for a quick getaway or a window seat to lean on, avoid the middle seat!

If you’re unlucky enough to be allocated one, eye out a spare spot and swiftly bags it once the cabin is cleared for take-off! Our day flight over to Bangkok was not full and there were many folks spread out, particularly towards the tail end of the plane.

Great Customer Service

As well as being impeccably groomed, the AirAsia cabin crew were kind and courteous. They were quick to pick up any rubbish, prompt with the delivery of food and drink purchases and happy to assist.

Other airlines budget and full-service that can take a feather from this low-cost carrier’s cap!

Good Value Food

Hot meals are served onboard and can either be pre-purchased online, saving a little extra cash or a smaller selection is available to purchase onboard.

Our Korean Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Rice came with a sprinkling of veg and side of crunchy puffed garlic. A note of caution, when they say spicy, they mean it! Although tasty for airline food, the dish packs a punch. Portion size was small and one meal couldn’t sustain the entire 9+ hour trip. Food on the cart did run out quickly, we’d recommend pre-purchasing at least two meals for the day trip.

The good thing is that there’s no huge price gauging onboard, pre-booked meals cost around $7 AUD and comes with a bottle of complimentary water.

Take your pick from Asian style Nasi Lamak, a Western Roast Chicken dinner or a Vegie Rice Bowl option.

Bringing Your Own Food on AirAsia Flights

AirAsia has a general rule that outside food is not permitted onboard. We would put a wager that this will not stop Aussies from doing so and the staff are rather too polite to cause much of a fuss.

There’s obvious etiquette when sneaking your own food onboard – don’t be one of those guys that bring on something offensively smelling or messy to eat onboard.

Pre-Book AirAsia Meals

AIRASIA X TIP

By pre-booking your meal, there’s a wider selection to choose from and you receive a bonus discount for doing so. Once onboard there’s only a choice of two hot meals and a limited amount is available. On our flight, the meals ran out quite quickly.

Another reason to pre-book your AirAsia meal is that cabin crew serve pre-ordered meals first before making their way down the aisle with the food cart.

Beverages are offered for purchase onboard, an Asahi or Singha Beer costs $7 AUD (150 Baht) and bottles of water are $2.80 (60 Baht).

Credit cards are accepted, though there is a $15 AUD or 300 baht minimum spend. Australian and Baht is also accepted onboard, change is given in Thai Baht.

Fellow AirAsia Passengers

There’s a mixed bag when it comes to flying Brisbane to Bangkok on AirAsia X.

Our XJ311from BNE to DMK flight consisted of a majority of holidaying Australians made of up elderly and middle-aged couples. There were a small group of families making the most of the cheap fare.

There might’ve been the odd drunk or merry couple starting their holiday early

As it was outside of school holidays, families consisted of many travelling with babies and toddlers, it would be safe to assume during school holidays families would make up a larger group flying and there would be more school-aged kids onboard.

Our XJ310 return flight from DMK to BNE consisted of a majority of Asian and local Thai groups, including friends and inter-generational families. The next largest groups consisted of returning Australian couples.

No drunks onboard the return flight, as we were taking off past midnight, most of us fell asleep for the majority of the flight.

Get Away with No Meal on Overnight Flight

AIRASIA X TIP

As it’s a eye dropping late overnight return flight from Bangkok (most are) it’s easy to get away with not ordering any meal onboard on the return journey. Breakfast is offered what feels like dawn and you don’t have much of an appetite to eat.

Bangkok with Kids

Exploring Bangkok with Kids is easy, economical and opens up a whole world of crazy, chaotic, South East Asian themed fun!

With endless options, choose your own city adventure from; sampling the fluffiest rainbow layer cake in a unicorn onesie at Bangkok’s Unicorn Cafe, hopping on and off a Chao Phraya Tourist Ferry at your leisure or cruising Chinatown in a Tuk Tuk.

Check out our Bangkok City Guide here.

Rainbow Unicorns everywhere! Unicorn Cafe Bangkok.
Bangkok’s Unicorn Cafe – Rainbow Unicorns everywhere!

Would We Fly AirAsia Again?

AirAsia isn’t pretending to be anything other than the best low-cost airline. While the warm hospitality from the rather attractive crew and scarlet trimmed modern interiors might lull you into a false sense of full-service familiarity, we must remind ourselves of how much we paid for the flight before becoming disappointed that there is no warm towel offered before take-off.

We would not hesitate to fly AirAsia again, given its safety rating, great service and comfortable cabin. To elevate your flight, load your device with the latest entertainment, pack a blanket and pillow and recline that seat right back – it’s as if you’re flying full-service only with plenty of spare change to spend when you get to Bangkok.

Dropping in on Bangkok is now easy peasy and Thailand is closer than ever before, wanting to explore further check out our Complete Guide to Phuket with Kids here.

AirAsia run promotions and sales regularly, particularly being a newcomer to Brisbane. For the cheapest AirAsia fares keep any eye on the AirAsia promo and news on Facebook here.

AirAsia Flight Brisbane to Bangkok Rating

10 Online Booking
7 Check-In
9 Customer Service
8 Food
7 Comfort
9 Cleanliness Onboard
10 Value for Money
8 Flight Schedule
8.5

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