The Seat: While not far and above most exit row seats in it’s class, this AirAsia A320 Hot Seat is pretty good. You get a few extra inches of legroom and no worries that Sir sleeeps-a-lot in front of you will recline into your kneecaps, as his seat has zero recline (poor guy). There’s also a feeling of added comfort when the interior is nearly brand new and still has that “new plane smell”. Air Asia’s A320 fleet is just up to a few years old. There’s no extra width to these seats so I was lucky to be next to an empty middle seat this time. Good seats can always be ruined by the wrong neighbor (See: Sir smells-a-lot and Sir hogs-the-armrest).
Service: Speedy. The flight crew worked quickly to dispense the various food-for-purchase items and complimentary garlic peanuts (seems like an odd choice for such a tight space). Everyone was courteous enough but this was standard budget airline service…with a smile.
Notes: Different sites report varying widths for these premium seats. On this aircraft ALL seats were a standard economy width.. but “hot” seats all had at least some added legroom
Summary: Air Asia provides a great way to hop around Southeast Asia on a dime. The option to pay what (at the time) was a pretty reasonable up-charge for some added legroom and priority boarding is a good one.
Rating: 4 hops (of 5).
Strategy: Book at AirAsia.com and choose one of these premium seats during the ticketing process. Row 14 is the only exit row seat you’ll likely want as row 12 (they skip 13) doesn’t recline.
How I got it: Purchased “Hot Seat” upgrade at AirAsia.com. This was part of a larger itinerary, partially put together for me by CrankyConcierge. Cranky takes some of the legwork out of finding these kinds of premiums and can be very helpful if anything goes wrong during your trip. Check it out!