AirAsiaX Review: Cebu to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur

An unexpected flight after an airport shuts down.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

A short getaway to Cebu in the Philippines transformed into a longer one after an accident at Manila Airport grounded flights to and from Manila for the evening leaving me stranded in Cebu.

And when I say me, I mean me and thousands of others. By the time it was announced that my flight home to Sydney was officially delayed, all flights on my carrier (Cebu Pacific) the next day were booked out forcing me to seek alternate arrangements.

The answer came with AirAsiaX who had available seats out of Cebu via Kuala Lumpur. With airports in chaos, I hopped on board with home in my sights.

AirAsiaX review details:

Route: Cebu to Sydney via Kuala Lumpur
Duration: 17 hours, 55 minutes
Flight Numbers: Z2 7112 (Cebu to Kuala Lumpur) and D7222 (Kuala Lumpur to Sydney)
Aircraft Type: A320 and A333
Dates Travelled: 18 August 2018
Class: Premium Flex
Frequent Flyer Program: AirAsia BIG Points
Points earned: 4,718

In short:

  • Quiet zones, which are a godsend after multiple flight delays.
  • Meals are substantially-portioned, well-priced and tasty for a budget airline.
  • Earned frequent flyer points.
  • Both flights were delayed.
  • Layover in Kuala Lumpur is six hours – a long break between flights but not long enough to visit the city.

What did I like?

  • Quiet zones: AirAsia is one of few airlines that offers a quiet zone, a small section behind business that is kid-free. While it doesn't restrict chatter between adults, to live up to its title it feels like an idyllic private area where you can rest easy knowing no child will wind up kicking your seat or stretching out into your personal space.
  • Substantial meals: Meals were above standard compared to other low-cost carriers I've been on and were extremely budget-friendly, starting from US$3.50 per meal.
  • AirAsia BIG Points: I earned a nice 4,718 points on my journey. While that won't get me anywhere from Sydney quite yet (Sydney to Kuala Lumpur requires 21,875 points) it's gotten me ⅕ of the way and I think that's pretty decent.

What didn’t I like?

  • Delays: Both legs in this journey were delayed. The first was due to a knock-on effect from Manila Airport’s night closure, forcing our flight out of Cebu to arrive two hours later than expected as it was originating from Manila. The second saw us board relatively on-time only to sit on the tarmac for almost an hour waiting for a final staff member to arrive due to a change of flight staff. Both times, communication regarding the situation was fairly consistent, but the multiple delays were tiring and I could have done with some smooth sailing on at least one flight.
  • Long layover times: From Cebu, AirAsia has two options to Sydney: the first has a six-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, the second has a 15-hour one. We chose the former to get home as quickly as possible – but it's too short to head into the city for some extra exploration and feels uncomfortably long at an airport.
  • Crew friendliness: While I understand delays happen and can cause crew to become stressed, the ground staff were snappy when we approached them for updates. We asked to bump our travelling companion who was seated away from us up to an available seat in our row, and they were reluctant. They eventually agreed after multiple explanations.

Would I use AirAsia again?

While AirAsia wasn't my first choice of airlines from the Philippines, as a budget airline, it lives up to its name as one of the better options offering quality meals and comfortable amenities at fair prices. If I were heading anywhere on its network, with minimal layovers, I would consider them again.


Want to try AirAsia out yourself? Here are the latest deals to get you in the air:

It looks like we don't have any coupons at the moment. Take a look at our most recent deals

Deal

Up to 47% off gift cards

Verified Yesterday
Available for 3 months, 6 months and 1 year premium membership. Code can be used at any time and the credits do not expire. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off domestic flights

Verified 2 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights from 12 December 2021 – 28 February 2022. Destinations include Hamilton Island, Cairns, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Domestic flights from $33 each way

Verified 3 days ago Expires 13 Dec 2021
Available for travel until April 2022. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Brisbane, Perth and more. Sample fare is Sydney–Melbourne with Jetstar. Other airlines include Virgin Australia from $44, Rex Airlines from $60 and more.
Code exclusive

Up to 30% off Australia hotels + an extra 10% off with code

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on stays until 31 December 2022, including Christmas and New Year's Eve when you use the code. Destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 72% off today's deals

Check out today's deals at Catch and enjoy up to 72% savings on fashion items, jewellery, personal care, electronics and more from top brands. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Campervan hire from $5 per day

Available on select routes, dates and locations in Australia, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns and Brisbane and New Zealand.
Code exclusive

Get $10 off activities with code

Available across Australia including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives, high teas and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 48% off Australia experiences + an extra 10% off with code

Available on activities including skydives, whale watching cruises, day tours and more. Must purchase 2 or more vouchers. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get $5 off activities with code

Available when you spend a minimum of $250 on activities such as hot air balloon flights, rally driving, skydives, high teas and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get 12% off Australia tours and experiences

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select dates on activities such as sightseeing tours, jet boat rides, hot air balloon flights, wine tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Extra 10% off worldwide hotels with code

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on stays until 31 December 2022 when you use the code. Destinations include New Zealand, Fiji, London, Maldives, Japan, USA and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Perth campervan hires from $58 per night

Available on select travel dates. Sample rate is for a rental in Welshpool. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 30% off activities across Australia

Verified Yesterday Expires 25 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates on activities including jet boating, skydiving, hot air ballooning, getaways, wine tours and more. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 69% off holiday packages

Verified 2 days ago Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select dates until December 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more.
Deal

Up to 50% off Qantas flights

Verified 2 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights until 28 February 2022 to destinations including Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Darwin, Broome and more.
Deal

Up to 50% off: Australia flights from $32 with Jetstar

Verified 2 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights from 1 December 2021 – 28 February 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne.
Deal

Australia-wide flights from $67 return

Verified 3 days ago Expires 22 Dec 2021
Available on flights until February 2022 to Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Launceston and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Melbourne with Jetstar.
Code

Third day free on rentals

Verified 3 days ago Expires 11 Dec 2021
Available on rentals until 12 December 2021 across Australia, including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Code exclusive

Get 10% off all Tick travel insurance policies

Verified 3 days ago
Only on Finder. Use this code to get a 10% discount. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 40% off Australia getaways

Verified 4 days ago Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on stays until February 2022. Destinations include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide, Townsville, Tasmania, Sydney, Broome and more.
Deal

Up to 20% off + $99 deposits on Australia adventures

Verified 4 days ago Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on trips from 6 November 2021 – 15 April 2022. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Rottnest Island, Cairns, Darwin, Sydney, Byron Bay, Uluru, Canberra, Jindabyne, Great Ocean Road and more.
Code

Up to 15% off Australia car and campervan hires

Verified 5 days ago Expires 14 Feb 2022
Available on select rental dates until 14 April 2022. Destinations include Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Melbourne experiences

Expires 12 Dec 2021
Available on attraction passes, gourmet tours, supercar driving experience, hot balloon flights, skydives and more.
Deal

Up to 43% off things to do in Australia

Available on select travel dates across Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and more. Activities include day tours, zoo and animal interactions, tandem skydives, hot air balloon flights, jet boat rides and more.
Deal

7-night Phuket getaway for 2 with flights from $2,715

Expires 7 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates from 1 May – 31 October 2022. Includes return airfare, stay at the Centara Villas Phuket, airport transfers, Phi Phi Island Explorer tour and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

From $247: Australia cruises in 2022-2023

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on cruises in 2022–2023. Destinations include Brisbane, Adelaide and more. Sample fare is for a 2-day cruise from Sydney–Melbourne.
Deal

Australia-wide flights from $59 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available from November 2021 – September 2022 to destinations including Cairns, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina and Sydney-Coffs Harbour. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 36% off last-minute domestic escapes

Available on stays within the next 14 days. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 36% off domestic stays + free cancellations

Available from until February 2022, including Christmas and New Year's Eve on destinations including Broome, Mackay, Launceston, Darwin, Perth, Cairns, Sydney, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Australia experiences

Available on select dates for activities such as skydiving, hot air balloon flights, bridge climbing, high teas and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.
Deal

Up to 42% off activities for kids

Available on select dates for activities like whale watching, go karting, sightseeing tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.
Deal

40% off travel

Enjoy 40% savings on selected travel bags with minimum $199 spend at Strandbags. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 48% off things to do on the Gold Coast + extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include indoor skydiving, sightseeing cruises, hot air ballooning, getaways, jet boat rides, spa treatments and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 36% off domestic getaways

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select dates in 2021, plus get free cancellation with select hotels. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Canberra and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

New Zealand flights from $340 return

Expires 30 Dec 2021
Available on flights from 20 January – 31 March 2022. Destinations include Christchurch, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland with Jetstar.
Deal

Up to 20% off 2+ days Australia and New Zealand rentals

Expires 11 Dec 2021
Available on rentals until 11 December 2021 when you book 21 days in advance. Destinations include Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Auckland and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 40% off things to do in Australia

Available on select dates and activities including hot air ballooning, skydiving, sightseeing cruises, whale watching cruises and dining. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and more.
Deal

Up to 15% off local activities

Available on select dates on activities including day tours, skydiving, hot air ballooning, attraction passes and cruises. Destinations include in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney + Extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of 250. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives, whale watching cruises, dining, high teas, spas, getaways and attraction passes. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 23% off flying experiences plus an extra $5 off with code

Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights. Destinations include Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site