Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My first time with Aeroline

I have heard many comments about Aeroline before, and once it started operation in Queensbay Mall Penang, I took the opportunity to give it a try. Basically, what made Aeroline different is that it claims it's a convenient way to fly. In other words, apparently it gives you the same comfort of flying without the hassle of checking in, going to airport, etc. It also claims to bring the standards and comfort of air travel to customers to ground travel.

Apart from that, Aeroline introduced the concept of mobile business lounges on the road, with attentive on-board crew to serve food and drinks. There is actually a lounge area on the first deck of the bus, with sofa and a table in the middle, sort of like a mini conference room. Plus, every seat is powered with a AC power point, so using the laptop is not a problem!

What I like about Aeroline:

1) Online booking for Penang-KL or KL-Penang
This is extremely convenient especially if we want to book tickets to come back from KL. Usually you need to buy the tickets from KL bus station itself, but for us who are in Penang, it would be difficult to buy the tickets beforehand. We'll have to ask someone from KL to help us buy, or take the risk and only buy the tickets only when we reach there.

2) Pick up/Drop off at shopping malls
This is another big advantage of Aeroline, as it does not stop at the busy Pudu bus station. I can't tell you how much I detest Pudu! It's always freaking crowded with people and cars, and the place just gives me the creeps especially at night. But with Aeroline, it goes directly to the shopping malls in KL such as KLCC, Sunway Pyramid or One Utama. Isn't that cool? Door-to-door shopping! Also don't forget the safety part.

3) On-board toilets
This is extremely useful for people who tend to visit the toilets often. Having toilets onboard means that you never have to worry about drinking that bottle of water, or that cup of coffee. However, the toilets are for light usage only, so heavy users are requested to inform the steward/stewardess so that the driver could stop at the nearest rest area. :)

4) Meal on board
Depending on your boarding time, Aeroline provides a meal for the passengers. I have friends who were served with Subway sandwich before, and for me, I was served with Chicken Rice once. Food was not too bad, but it was definitely convenient and useful for the long journey.


Chicken rice

5) Movies on LCD screen
There were two movies shown during my journey from Penang to KL. One of them was Alvin and the Chipmunks, which was really entertaining and kept me occupied for almost 2 hours. Even though the big screen was shared, each seat has its own speakers on top of your head (near the aircon vents), so you would not have problem of not being able to hear what's being said.

6) Blankets on board
For the very cold night time journeys, or when the aircon chose to be extra cold on that day. The blanket is very useful to keep warm.

7) Comfortable seats
In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a very tall girl and I always have problem with legroom - be it in cinemas or in aeroplanes or cars. However Aeroline's seats are comfortable and have plenty of legroom. Plus, you could actually recline your chair until it's almost horizontally flat! Of course, the drawback is that once you're lying flat, your head is pretty much close to the lap of the person behind you. Very weird position. *LOL*

Window seat

Leather seats

What I don't like about Aeroline:

1) Long journey
No matter what they claim, it's still a bus and it depends heavily on traffic conditions. If your travel time coincides with the peak hours, then be prepared for massive traffic jams. I went to KL on a Thursday evening at 5pm and boy, the jam on the bridge took more than 30 minutes! :( I was just unlucky because jams usually occur on Friday evenings only. *sigh* The whole journey took me exactly 5 hours to reach 1 Utama. Butt ache OK.

2) Limited travel times
Perhaps due to its relatively new service, there are only 3 time slots to KL each day, and each of them goes to different malls. 1 for KLCC, 1 for Sunway Pyramid and 1 for One Utama. If you want to go to 1 Utama, you have to take the 5pm bus. There is no other choice for you unless you want to go to a different drop off point.

3) Aircon too cold
This is by far the biggest problem for me on bus! Traffic jams, I'm still OK, if the bus is comfortable enough to distract me. But the aircon in this bus kept blasting onto my head, it was TOO cold and strong. Even after I closed up the vents, there were still small holes where cold air could escape from. Gosh. During the first couple of hours, I could still stand it. But during the last 2 hours, I was shivering and even the blanket did not help much. Unless I covered my whole head underneath the blanket, which would mean that I couldn't breathe. *frown* Next time I should bring some cellophane tape to close up the holes! :P

So, there you have it, my 2 cents on Aeroline. It is indeed more convenient and comfortable than other buses which stop at Pudu, but of course my first choice will always be Firefly! :) If the Firefly tickets get too expensive only then I will revert to Aeroline. After all, nothing beats flying when it comes to travelling. :)


foongpc said...

I used to sit Aeroline from PJ to Singapore and I really like it! I love the ample leg room and the seats with cushion behind make it very comfortable. I've no problem with the aircon, however. It's more convenient than taking the plane, that's for sure.

iamthewitch said...

I agree with you... Maybe I'm more sensitive to cold air. :S