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Some of you might know by now that the days of rushing to board an Air Asia flight just to get “good seats” is over. The low cost carrier actually assign seats by the time you check in. No need for that Xpress Boarding gimmick anymore, a relief, right?

Well, maybe.

You see, now there is this wonderful offer from Air Asia aptly named “Pick A Seat” service. For RM 25 per person, you get to choose the hot seats (first 5 rows, and the 2 rows next to emergency exits) that comes with extra leg rooms.

Well, we figure our legs aren’t exceptionally long, so we chose the standard seats. On the way to Bangkok, everything was well good. On the way back, we got this little surprise thrown to us by the airline.

Despite checking in together almost 3 hours in advance, we were assigned SEPARATE SEATS 19A & 20A.

Air Asia random seat assignments

Naturally Mell and I thought it must be a mistake, so we asked the ticket issuing officer if we could be seated together. The answer was very simply, no.

The seats were assigned randomly by the system and can’t be changed. You can however, pay RM 25 for hot seats if you want to be seated together (the RM 5 “standard” seat arrangement deal was not explained)

We then went to the sales counter (there was no customer service counter at Bangkok Airport for Air Asia) to state our case and tried to get it all sorted out without avail. The lady politely asked if we want to have the hot seats, or we could talk to the ticket issuing lady again. Ding dong.

We weren’t exactly very happy with their explanation of how their system works, and why we can’t get seats that are next to each other cos they are already “assigned”. I even asked them to show if the seats are all assigned to those who paid extra with no free adjacent seats anymore, but of course my request was rejected.

So we boarded the plane and seated separately. Apparently there were quite a few parties who had the same treatment. People started exchanging seats as soon as everyone boarded the plane, and we eventually moved to a row of empty seats at the back of the plane.

What I want to know is how that seat assignment algorithm in their system is written.

Discuss : Air Asia – Now Everyone Can Sit Separately!

  1. DAMN FREAKING STUPID MAN.

    When two people check in together, or even BUY THEIR TICKETS TOGETHER, you should automatically put them seated together, it’s so freaking basic and easy to do, you shouldn’t charge people extra just for that FOR GOD’S SAKE.

    It’s like going into a cinema, buying two tickets and being seated at opposite ends.

    STUPID!

    *okay I am calm*

  2. lousy service. wth. surprised such cases do happen. gosh. service needs some reviewing man. lmao.

  3. the algorithm is obviously written to ensure more people cough up the RM5 for assigned seating.

  4. I propose the whole blogosphere goes up in arms about this new “policy” and point out the out-right unfairness to this whole issue.

    How much extra do they make from this?

    Anyway, I hope this doesn’t happen to me when I’m flying to Perth next month.

  5. @David – nah fuck this shit don’t bother about it.

    Just swap them when you get on the plane : )

  6. Yeah, I agree, this is poor execution. People checking in together should be SEATED together.

  7. yeehou’s suggestion is good, but what if there aren’t available seats for you to do that and to top that, uncooperative neighbors?

    bad move by air asia management.

  8. yeah….how come need to pay rm 25 extra just to sit together….this airasia really squeezing our pocket …

  9. Mellissa,
    Chill my dear, chill. hehehe

    YL,
    I know!

    shag,
    Yah I want to see it!

    davidlian,
    Well the extra profit vs the anger would be a good exercise in calculating profit vs customer relation.

    Tan Yee Hou,
    Hahaha.

    Huai Bin,
    I agree!

    Robb,
    Yes, bad move.

  10. Air Asia – Now Everyone Can Fly Apart..

  11. wah davidlian..your proposal very good..how if we do the same thing to show our support for Elizabeth Wong and also Perak state government wtf..LOL

  12. yeah loh.

    after this what? men sitting with men? women with women? men grow beard?

    this is absurd!

    *oh, i randomly spam only because i feel like being angry but i’ve been too happy, so i pretend angry only loh

  13. ya..this is not a good idea after all for air asia….btw dont let this spoil the joyable trip both of u have;-)

  14. i agree. imagine u fly long hours then u can’t get seated with your frens. so pity!!

  15. Actually I don’t quite understand how it works. What if you’re traveling alone and don’t mind being seated anywhere as long as there is a seat? Do I still have to pay that RM5???

    I’m going Perth alone next week and I’m just confused about this seating system. Enlighten me pls.

  16. Kelvin,
    Hahahha good one.

    Yatz,
    Good idea :D

    Firdy,
    You are weird! :X

    breadpitt,
    Yah, very bad customer relation.

    Ruby,
    Yah, very potong stim.

    Yiling,
    If alone then no problem loo. :)

  17. 19, 20 just a row different still can touch each other thru some space between the chair n window.

    but i know new couple couldn’t tolerate this lar. i won’t either. LOL

  18. it’s been said before, but i must say it again:

    this sounds really damn stupid :P

  19. I wonder if they do this in purpose so that next trip you will pay RM5 in order to sit together. Maybe should request when you check in before it is issued? Hmmm…

  20. I’d imagine they do it so you have to pay the RM5 per seat to ensure you sit together.

  21. Air Asia simply sucks.

    Once I boarded the flight back to KL from Kuching. With me were two of my ageing parents (my dad has bad backache, can’t stand or walk too long), a preggy wife and 1 yr old super duper naughty daughter. Then I asked the flight attendants guarding the entry for a privileges boarding, and the answer is simply NO. Bastard.

    Well it is still fine with the bad treatment. We queue lor. Then we got back to LCCT, it was raining outside. Goodness to my horror, our luggage were soaking wet. Damn it. Stupid Air Asia. I wonder if I can claim damage from them or not.

  22. Airasia’s seating algorithm:

    “Ahah! A couple! I’ll put one here, another at that end. Mwahahahha!”

    “Hmm, family of 5? Mom and her mother-in-law here, dad with toddler there, grandpa can sit alone there.”

    Oh no I’m taking Airasia to KK in July. :(

  23. Myhorng,
    Exactly!

    suanie,
    Agreed!

    Precious Pea,
    I have a feeling it might be, but Iwant to give them a chance to explain

    ShaolinTiger,
    Yah…

    LX,
    I think you are allowed to claim damage for wet luggage. I think!

    electronicfly,
    Hahahaha, good luck!

  24. ya, Air Asia system for assigning seats is really stupid. What about those traveling with Minors? or those with special needs?

  25. Wow!!! A celebrity blogger stepped into my site! I am honoured, bro. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. My question though, why did you sound negatively surprised when i mentioned Chatuchak Market????? It sounds discouraging especially from a person like you! Any advice? Warnings? Please let me know as soon as possible as i will be leaving tomorrow!
    Thanks
    Chee Hung

  26. Otherwise what other places should i go. I love sight seeing, visiting old monuments with historical significance….you know, for photography….
    Your reply would be greatly appreciated

  27. I didn’t know that! and I’m flying there with my sis next month… I guess the same thing would happen. It’s their gimmick of asking you to purchase the hot seats! Air Asia sucks!

  28. Yea, its sucks and it happen to us on our last trip to/from HKG, which is last week.

    I purchased my ticket separately from my friend, and the counter gal said, only those purchased on the same ticket will be given same row…. and I said fine.

    But when it reach my friend’s turn, he got separate seat with his gf, and this time, reason given was that,it had been pre-assigned by system… so there u go.. WTF?!?!

  29. My Kuching trip next week will not be able to sit with my friend… what a sad sad arrangement :p

  30. if (num_traveler > 1 && !pick_a_seat) {
    seated_together = true;
    while (seated_together) {
    randomize(seats);
    seated_together = are_seats_side_by_side(seats);
    }
    }

  31. this is one way to “force” the passengers to pay extra for the hot seats….bleah!!

  32. lol… what a stupid service…
    Malaysia Boleh! :P

  33. Look on the bright side – you got to feel for that couple of minutes how agonising it was to be apart from your loved one. :P So, you should appreciate her presence more!

  34. well you pay for what you get. budget airlines need to make money to sell cheap tickets so… *shrugs*

    i can’t complain, and aiya it’s a small price to pay… we always pay RM10 every week to have war, what’s another RM5 :P

  35. They did it on purpose so that u pay to seat next to each other.. LOL

  36. What! You need to pay RM25 just to sit together? That’s crap!

  37. apa la Air Asia. mengecewakan leh! must improve system.

  38. this is absolutely hilarious!…hahah..with msian typical accents..HAR LIKE THAT ALSO CAN! …char dou..=.=”

  39. sooner or later we will see tony commenting here.

  40. Tony Fernandez is pointing at you and laughing HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  41. LOL… damn sien lo…. but cannot expect much also la bro!! see you tomoro for futsaL!! haha

  42. They’re really pushing the limits there… fair enough to pay for priority boarding but this is just plain extortionate.

    I that not having preassigned seats was in order to have faster boarding – i.e. everyone just sits where they want as the plane fills up, instead of having to get different numbers to board in turn, etc. But with this system, you’re just going to get more confusion with people swapping seats, complaining, etc…

    For some comic relief – check out the madtv ‘budget airlines’ video :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WM4P3vY4dA

  43. nicktay,
    Good question!

    chee hung,
    Chatuchak is very nice, you should visit it! And who is this “celebrity blogger” you’re talking about? Nonsense! :D

    eiling,
    Yah, or RM5 for “normal seat”

    yew,
    That sucks.

    TZ,
    Or pay more. hehe

    Klaw,
    HAHAHAHA

    racoon,
    Haigh

    sotong,
    Malaysia boleh! :D

    GraZie,
    Angryfying is more like it. :P

    Chriso,
    The problem is they didn’t even tell us the RM5 option, kept trying to sell the “hot seats” instead.

    cdason,
    I guess so. lol

    foongpc,
    Or RM5 each for the “normal seats”

    Jade Zheng,
    Betul pun.

    huiwen,
    Yaaa

    kelly,
    Hahaha

    Suertes,
    Maybe! LOL

    andrew,
    OK see you! :D

    julian,
    Hahhaa that’s a hilarious video!

  44. How much did u pay in total for the pick a seat service? RM5 is only for one way per person. That is why on your way to BKK, it was OK because u’ve paid for the pick a seat service. However if you need that service from BKK to KL, you need to pay another RM5 during booking. I have checked with Air Asia.

  45. That is nonsense and bodo!
    Aiks, now I am wondering how my next trip sitting arrangement will be like. Sobss

  46. i dont have time to read all the comments but here is my 2 cent

    maybe, just maybe, there is 2 counter to check your boarding pass and at the same exact time when the person at the counter punch your name, the other counter also punch his/her.

    maybe. luckily when i board back to malaysia from gold coast, all 5 of us are in the same seat.

  47. Celebrity blogger? You,lah…Who else???

  48. 3 years later… KY has to sit his 5*kids all over the plane…

    lol,start earning more money now…

    *got twins duh…

  49. now that’s an eye opener. traveling with 11 more ppl, i couldn’t afford but to ask everyone to fork out 5 bucks each to get the seats together

    but i couldn’t agree more that if 2 ppl were to check in together, why not just put them side by side

    i guess that’s where the marketing scheme kicks in

  50. OMG OMG OMG you stayed at reflections!!!!!!!!!
    i love that hotel!!!!!!
    and that room that you stayed in is my favorite!!

  51. I made a booking last week and I do recall that if you do not choose your own seats a message will pop up stating that the seats will be randomly given to you.

  52. CC,
    Yah you are right.

    Estherlei,
    Hehehe be very careful. :)

    sicksand,
    That wouldn’t be a good enough excuse though.

    chee hung,
    Hahah don’t be silly! :P

    lb,
    5 kids in 3 years will be very hardcore! hahaha

    satkuru,
    That’s RM 55 x 2 ways hehehe.

    pinkpau,
    Yess it’s so best, 202!

    JasonSky,
    When I made the bookings the whole “pink a seat” scheme hasn’t started yet. Oh well..

  53. hahaahha…funny as hell !!!..i hope next month i don’t get this shit !!! i’ll enrage, grow big graawwwlllll

  54. janelgrace

    nevermind-lar. don’t pissed off just coz u 2 don’t seat together. make sure it would happen again lor, after all you can fly so cheap and not separated while in Bangkok, count that blessing rather than being angry over little petty case… cheers!!!! with airasia, everyone can fly :D

  55. it’s not poor execution , management, system design etc.. in fact it’s brilliant! they keep doing this and people have no choice but to pay the extra $25 to sit together.
    Ingenius way of doing business but very very bad for the reputation. Bloggers! blog this and show them consumer power!

  56. Just back from Perth.
    We had out seats separated from each other. 3 of us.

    How stupid, even when I say, we want to be seated together.

    Still they gave us separate seats. How dumb those people are! *sigh*

  57. hahahahaha………that is one of the freaking reason why i had never take AA unless my company forced me to. with those crap….i am willing to pay MAS RM425 for the bkk trip this april rather than the RM200++ for the AA. no wonder they do not have hotline or complains email or else, everyday will be bombarded with this kind of crap.

    everyone has their bad experience at AA and i got 1, 1 which i would go to tony fernandez and slap the hell out of him.

  58. Terenceg,
    Hahha pay RM5, now!

    janelgrace,
    Hahaha, wasn’t exactly angry but frustrated.

    ryan,
    Hahaha brilliance? I guess it can be measured differently.

    tom,
    Hahah that’s not very fun was it?

    unknown,
    I hear you. :)

  59. So, where is the blogger Tony Fernandes? His staff must get him to read this, so he knows how stupid the system is.

  60. was it that bad?

    i was just flying to bali through airasia a couple days ago, me and my mate are assigned right next to each other and better still there was an empty seat next to us, so we both had a row to ourselves!

  61. I don’t get what the fuss is all about, I see this change as a good thing:

    You don’t need to pay the $25 for the “Hot Seats”, just $5 to pick your seats and keep your party together. And what’s $5 when you could save hundreds comparing to the other airlines? And won’t it be nice now that you don’t have to check-in early and run to fight for the seats? Just see it as a mere $5 increase to the fare and you have a better service. Lighten up people!

  62. SK,
    Hahaha beats me.

    jessbabe,
    You’re lucky. :D

    PeteAce,
    If only they told us the RM5 option instead of trying tirelessly to sell the RM25..

  63. KY, sorry my post wasn’t really directed at you. I understand your situation since you didn’t know about it. I am thinking the $5 had to be purchased 4 hours before the flight, but the hot seats maybe the only exception at that time.

    Anyways, with Air Asia I’m more concerned about their delays more than anything else. One of those delays could cause you much more trouble that what it’s worth, especially with connecting flights. I’ll be visiting using them from HK to KL, hope all goes well.

    Cheers. :)

  64. […] AIRLINES SO SUCK IT UP AND DO YOUR GOD DAMN JOB) so if you want to read more about it, you can click here. Suffice to say, I was not happy AT ALL, and thankfully the flight wasn’t full and the person […]

  65. PeteAce,
    Hahah don’t worry about it, and good luck to you! :D

  66. You do have to wonder about the service these guys at Air Asia provide sometimes. It doesnt do much for encouraging repeat business. I can see im not the only one to have problems with their service!

  67. Air Asia Reviews,
    Hahah that’s why you have the whole site dedicated to just that.

  68. - dafne3 -

    Being an airline that offers low fares most of the time, this is how they profit.

    But yes, there is the Standard seat option of paying RM5 per person per ways should U want to be seated together.

    The Hot Seat @ RM25 per way allow U express boarding and access to the first 5 rows with extra leg room.

    I believe it is not the check in thaty doesn’t want to change the seats but is the system limitation as they have set it thjat way knowing if amendment is allowed, there will be plenty of changes made.

  69. dafne3
    Yah, it’s all about squeezing more out of the customer, a necessary evil I guess.

  70. Hi, i stumbled upon this blog when i was browsing for a channel to vent out my frustration towards the notorious low budget airline. it’s bad enough they’re charging for check-in baggage and pick-a-seat (all just for the sake of “lowering” down their fare to attract more business). I just realized that they’re charging for telephone enquiries as well! oh, they’re smart enough to maintain the general line with the so-called “Self Help Menu” in order to avoid being bombarded with consumer outrage. But i’d personally tried the line and it’s unbelievably frustrating! the command is slow, and there’s no back option. Mis-key one button & u’ve to start all over again. i’d to re-call 5 times in order to get the info that i want FINALLY. obviously the very helpful self-help menu is designed to frustrate callers until they give up and eventually have no choice but to call the “Premium Customer Service Line”. oh, it’s premium alrite; they charge at RM1.95/min! i’m giving this airline a thumb-up for their excellent and PREMIUM customer service!

  71. ko,
    hahaha welcome to our world! I guess sometimes it really pays to fly the normal airlines

  72. Xavier Wong

    Just jump into your blog today while search for FREE SEATS FOR AIRASIA.
    Well, I think when free seating, nobody appreciate and now you pay if you want good seats or to seat together everybody complaint.
    This June 4th, I will fly to GCoast and pay $25 x 8 person x return=
    $400.
    See, in order for us to fly together, chose seats COST ME $400
    for my group of family just to be in group.
    I think it up to anyone to decide when you want to fly together or
    fly apart.

  73. Xavier Wong,
    true, true.

  74. Jonathan

    Google with “AirAsia Separate Seats” and found your blog.
    My flight is tmr and found out both of us have separated seats despite under same booking number. Same old system after one year. Aug 2010

  75. yeah stupid dumba** airline. will do whatever to frustrate ppl so they can squeeze more from you. damn pissed off…

    sorry, i needed to rant… :grin:

  76. I paid for my seats for the longer flights just to be sure. But I tested my luck for a 2 hr flight. I did a web check in and they assigned us two seats together, not sure if we are lucky or something. I read that they might assign the seats sequentially from front to back? Otherwise one can do mock check-in at different times and see if they assign you different seats.

  77. Air Asia did this in purpose!!! I have tested their ‘pick seats’ system, they just want us to buy and rearrange the seats.
    This ends up make customers request for seats exchange among themselves immediately when they get on board, it happens in my last trip with AirAsia and delay the take off… stupid Air Asia, they thought they can earn extra from customers, don’t know how much they’ve lost due to the delays…

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