Thai Lion Air / Malindo Air, an alternative to AirAsia for KUL-BKK

I normally fly with AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, and vice versa, as fare is normally cheapest amongst the pack.

If you are not new to my blog, you might remember that I was annoyed with AirAsia, because of their ridiculous Adhoc Seating Allocation policy. Read here if you missed it earlier. So much so, that I flew with Tigerair recently. Read here on my experience flying with Tigerair.


Thai Lion Air / Malindo Air

 Few months back, I was thrilled to learn that Thai Lion Air also fly the KL-Bangkok route. Wait, was it Thai Lion Air or Malindo Air?


Both Thai Lion Air and Malindo Air have the same ‘look and feel’

 I knew that for the KL-Bangkok route, Thai Lion Air was on some flight sharing arrangement with Malindo Air. So, I did a bit of reading on this subject.

Thai Lion Air signed an interline agreement with Malindo Air, a Malaysian carrier in which the Lion Group owns. Malindo Air is based in Malaysia, it is a joint venture between National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI) (51%) of Malaysia and Lion Air of Indonesia (49%). The name Malindo is derived from the names of respective countries: Malaysia and Indonesia.

 I have been wanting to try it out, to suss out the competition. Anything to move my travel funds away from AirAsia.

I just flew with them, as I found rock-bottom cheap airfare, only THB 915 for one-way KUL-BKK for my trip to Bangkok. Processing fee for direct debit is also at a nominal THB 15. 

Not only that, it comes with a long list of perks:

  • A generous free 20 kgs (international) and 15 kgs (domestic) Checked-In Baggage Allowance
  • Cabin bag, one piece, not more than 7 kgs (same as AirAsia)
  • Free 15 kgs Sporting Equipment
  • Free refreshment
  • Assigned seating
  • Free In-flight entertainment, but need to bring own headphone

There were quite a fair bit of negative reviews about flight cancellation, delay, rescheduling on Thai Lion Air. Oh no. But, since I was not in a rush, I decided to risk it and give it a try. Well .. mine departed as scheduled. Hooray!


Web check-in failed

 Web check-in is only opened 24 hours before flight. I didn’t manage to check in, despite doing it correctly.


Check-in counter at Counter W at KLIA2

 So, I checked-in at counter. As easy as ABC. No queue; I was attended to immediately. They didn’t even check the weight of my hand-carry baggage.


Thai immigration form handed out at gate

 I like it that staff already hand out Thai immigration form at gate, so that we can fill in the form whilst waiting for boarding.


Kayu nasi kandar, anyone?


Appetizing menu

  F&B is available on board, at additional cost. Love their vibrant food menu. They even have Kayu nasi kandar. I was stuffed from late lunch, so didn’t order anything.


Complimentary water and snack

 All passengers were served a bottle of 220 ml drinking water and a snack. I gave away my pack of biscuits to the couple seated beside me.


In-flight entertainment is free

 I watched a movie on board, because it’s free. Freeeee. How liberating. Please make sure that you have your own headphone. I watched Triump in the Skies, a movie that I didn’t even know of its existence. I thought that it was Triumph in the Skies series.

There is a USB port on the panel of the entertainment system, for passengers to charge their gadgets.

All these, I shall forgive them for their rough landing and muffled captain and crew announcement.

I will fly with them again, for sure.


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.