AirAsia CEO Chooses To Fly Rival Singapore Airlines Instead Of His Own Carrier

The experience on low cost carrier AirAsia is so bad their CEO flies Singapore Airlines? Tony Fernandes says the reason is because his flights were full, three in a row, and he couldn’t get a seat – and didn’t want to bump paying passengers. So he was humble bragging.

Fernandes, who recently got a shirtless massage at a management meeting, was humble bragging about his airline’s load factors.

No seat on @flyairasia for three flights so had to take @singaporeair. Hehehe

Airline executives flying competitors is common, and should be more common to understand their product.

What Tony Fernandes would have learned flying Singapore Airlines economy is that the experience is much better than flying AirAsia and indeed better than most other airline coach classes, featuring amenities like foot bars and cup holders as well as seat back video with an extensive library of selections. Singapore Airlines meals in economy are quite decent, and the service is generally good.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve flown AirAsia a number of times and flown four flights on Singapore Airlines. Foot bars usually take up room where my ankles are and are harder than the alternative so I don’t consider them a plus. Cup holders are ok but I don’t need seat back video on short AirAsia flights. What I do need is space for my knees and AirAsia only charges a bit more for emergency exit row seats which are usually mostly vacant. The flight attendants keep non paying people out of them so you might pay and get three seats to use exclusively. I have actually had better flights on AirAsia compared to Singapore Airlines but it is not really an apples to apples comparison (short haul vs long haul).

  2. In my opinion the food on Air Asia – for sale – is better than anything Singapore Air serves in Business Class. I would still fly SQ over Air Asia every time, but they deserve quite a lot of credit for doing a very good job of providing a service and extensive route network for their customers in the face of a hostile government that doesn’t appreciate an ethnic Indian (second class citizens in Malaysia) from competing so successfully against the Malaysian government owned national carrier which has traditionally been a honey pot for politically connected Malays but which Tony Fernandes brought to its knees.

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