Review: AirAsia X Airbus A330 Premium Flatbed class (Kuala Lumpur-Sydney)

Overall Rating

By Matt Lennon, September 9 2016
AirAsia X Airbus A330 Premium Flatbed class (Kuala Lumpur-Sydney)

Kuala Lumpur - Sydney

Aircraft Type

Airbus A330


AirAsia X


D7 222

Cabin Class

Premium Flatbed



The Good
  • Super thick and comfy pillow
  • Great leg room
  • Meal served when you want it
The Bad
  • Angled bed
  • Affordable way to fly in comfort


AirAsia X doesn't have business class – it's offiically called 'Premium Flatbed', and the bed slopes at angle to the floor – but it's still a cost-effective way for business travellers to fly to Kuala Lumpur and beyond.


AirAsia X offers Premium Flatbed checkin desks, with travellers allocated 40kg per person for checked luggage. Sports equipment requires paying an additional fee, which is cheaper if purchased online ahead of your flight.


The Premium cabin consists of two rows of six seats, laid across the cabin in a 2-2-2 configuration.

1D, being in the first row of two Premium rows, offered plenty of leg room – even stretching my legs right out wasn't enough to touch the galley wall in front.

Crew placed bottles of water at our seat, the same brand as economy class. Remember, it’s a low-cost airline so you won’t see any champagne, orange juice or newspaper coming your way.

Seated in the first of the two Premium rows, there is nowhere clearly visible to place my shoes, however the second row offers one compartment per person for this.

The control panel in my left armrest offers four different directions for my footrest, two directions for my headrest - both for manual adjustment of my seat, as well as three buttons for instant transformation of the seat into a recline, flatbed or upright. Over my right shoulder is my reading light.



After takeoff, the crew comes through to enquire whether I would like to have my meal now or in the morning.

Depending on your preference, you can either then be served a late dinner or a breakfast in the morning prior to landing.

Premium fares have a meal included, and as we’re on an 11pm departure from Kuala Lumpur, I opt for breakfast in the morning.

This arrived around 90 minutes prior to landing and while being the same food and service as what an Economy passenger would receive (served in a plastic container and eaten with plastic cutlery), it was surpsingly tasty: a nicely prepared egg omelette served with breakfast potatoes, a chicken sausage, grilled mushrooms, a small container of baked beans, another bottle of water and a small container of orange juice.

Entertainment & Service

AirAsia X offers Samsung Galaxy X tablets for rental, which are loaded with some of the latest movies, TV shows, music and games. This can be pre-booked and paid in advance for a discounted fee than what you will pay onboard. Stock is limited so to ensure you get one, book ahead. There is also an inflight magazine in the seat pocket.

The thing to remember about AirAsia X is that, like most else in life, you get what you pay for. But Premium Flatbed is  comfortable, reasonably spacious and a significantly more cost-effective way of travelling when your budget doesn't stretch as far as flying with a 'full service' airline.

Matt Lennon travelled as a guest of AirAsia X.

Also read: Malaysia Airlines A330 business class review, KL-Sydney


Matt Lennon is not just a frequent flyer but also a frequent cruiser, travelling the world by sea and air.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 62

The Air Asia flat bed is pretty much what I have always thought premium economy should be.   Get rid of all the business and first class bling and just give me a comfortable option for sleeping on a long haul. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2015

Total posts 123

 Some time ago, there was an interview with the now ex-CEO of Malaysia Airlines about unbundled Business class fares with the passengers being able to forego perks for a cheaper price point. I am totally for the idea as I would rather not have food on a red-eye flight or not sit in a lounge to maximise sleep in the morning.


I use Air Asia X regularly because their flight times out of Sydney and KL really fit my schedule. (10+ times a year now) I never actually purchase a premium flatbed. Air Asia offers a $80 upgrade option if there are unoccupied seats on the flight 24 hours before the actual flight time and there are always empty seats. And I must add that the seats are rather comfortable! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 240

One of the reasons lie flat products are the exclusive domain of Business and First class is because, the main reason people chose premium classes is the ability to sleep horizontally. Given the space each seat takes up - it's also a reason why airlines can and need to charge 2-4 times the Y class fare.

If premium economy became a basic flat bed product it would severly caniblize Business Class demand, even if the bells and whilstles weren't included.  

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 134

i feel like the next generation of premium economy seats could be an angled-lie flat bed in a 2-3-2, or 2-2-2


30 Jul 2015

Total posts 109

I do believe we will see the angle flat as the new evolution in Y+.  Plenty of these used seats (from old J class) in storage to be upholstered and trotted out as new Y+

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 68

Does anyone know an approximate cost for this product? E.g. Syd - KL return?

I'm interested to know how it compares to full service carrier fees.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 220

i have utilised plenty of times but sadly they arent as cheap as once was. i am more interested in a bed for overnight fligths then whats served up to me

note option town for upgrades also

04 May 2015

Total posts 268

Why don't you go to Air Asia's website and search for fares on the dates you want to travel? Easy to do.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

25 Jul 2013

Total posts 68

Okay at the group's suggestion, I have looked up fares online.

The full fare (lie-flat seat option) is typically more pricey than travelling with Malaysia or even Singapore Airlines, unless you can get a sale fare several months out, at roughly 1/3 of the price! Talk about erratic pricing! I found a (discount) return fare for less than $1000 when booking for March.

Would be great to include this kind of info in the article ;)

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2551

We usually don't include prices in articles because it can depend on when you're booking, it can change, and these articles are still being read years down the track in which case 'old' pricing could be misleading to readers. It's the work of a minute for anybody to visit a website and get a price for dates they want to travel, so that's the better option.

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 79

Just would like to point out that the tablets are Galaxy Tab, not galaxy X. Galaxy X is the rumoured name of Samsung's high tech foldable device, internally codenamed Project Valley.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2016

Total posts 4

I recently flew Emirates to KL and home on Air Asia X flatbed.  I actually found air asia seat much more comfortable.

I got the air asia flight for $299 so it was a bargain.

I also just got a return Melbourne to Bali flatbed for $289 return which may have been a mistake fare.

I also purchased an economy ticket to Colombo Sri Lanka and used their Optiontown service to bid for an upgrade to flat bed.  Cost about 95 for the upgrade and i got it upon check in.


16 Apr 2011

Total posts 2

Good review and full agreement from me. I've used this service and had a good nights sleep and pleasant breakfast and service. The only unpleasant moment was an obnoxious customer who had booked too late and tried to wangle an upgrade very loudly and rudely. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

It's a good product that can often be purchased at a great price (particularly with OptionTown upgrades), and probably the only LCC premium class that deserves the Business moniker (looking at you Jetstar and Scoot).

That said as described the food is basically the Economy meals on a tray with a single drink, whereas Jetstar provides a much more full service offering in its 'Business' class

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 174

Out of curiousity, just did a quick search, Sydney to Hong Kong ... Air Asia X and SIA in November.

AirAsiaX Premium Flatbed: $3200 (via KL)

SIA Business Class: $3400 (via SIN)

Not exactly competitive given AirAsiaX is a low cost carrier, especially since Singpore gets you proper business class seat, meals, drinks, lounge, ffpoints, and service.

Plus of course SIA has a good safety record ... 

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 2

During a mega sale I bought tickets for Melbourne to Hong Kong return in August next year return, premium flatbed for $800. Yes close to departure with load factor high prices may not be very different, but try getting that price at anytime for full service carrier.

Also we are talking AirAsiaX, not Indonesian AirAsiaX, and as such Singapore Airlines would have the worst safety record for the two airlines.

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