After a rough start to the year with illness and injury, my travel plans were in shambles. I was hospitalized in with pneumonia and had to miss my direct flight from Penang, Malaysia to Hanoi, Vietnam on AirAsia. Flying direct is more environmentally-friendly and AirAsia has many ecological programs to offset their emissions. I was supposed to go on a press trip that I’d been coordinating for months in Ha Long Bay and Sapa that would focus on sustainable and community-based travel experiences. I was devastated when I realized I’d have to miss out on the trip, and my flight. Luckily, getting credit from AirAsia due to my medical emergency was a breeze. A few weeks later, I was healthy enough to head to Vietnam in time to make yoga teacher training at Nomad Yoga.
I was devastated when I realized that there were no direct flights from Penang, Malaysia to Da Nang, Vietnam. More and more airlines are realizing that both of these cities are hubs for digital nomads but there’s yet to be a direct route between the two cities. Hopefully, this will be the norm soon as there’s a new flight route being introduced this year between Da Nang, Vietnam and Chiang Mai, Thailand.
With my state of health, I couldn’t handle the headache of trains and buses in order to reduce my omissions and I had a limited time window for when I had to arrive in Vietnam. I decided to fly, even though it would include a layover, which is one of the most harmful aspects of flying.
To make matters worse, I have a 15-hour overnight layover in Kuala Lumpur! Luckily, the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge is open 24 hours at KLIA2 in the departure hall. I decided to spend my night in transit in the lounge as I needed somewhere cozy to relax. Here are 5 reasons you’ll love AirAsia’s Premium Red Lounge.
VIRTUALLY NO PLASTIC
Sustainability matters to AirAsia. Although it’s a budget airline they’re often releasing new projects to reduce their negative impact—which includes senseless single-waste plastic. I was thrilled to see that the lounge’s buffet and bathrooms are virtually plastic-free. I’ve been in more upscale lounges before that serve everything on plastic which is not only horrible for the environment but doesn’t create the luxurious ambiance that you’d expect from an airline lounge.
At the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge in KLIA2, the buffet features reusable plates, cutlery, and cups. This small detail makes a major impact. The lounge buffet has snacks available around the clock, although the vegan-friendly options were quite limited. There were some vegetarian dishes.
LOVELY QUIET SPACES
I arrived in the lounge around 10 p.m. and was relieved to see that the quiet space was virtually empty. On the second story of the lounge is a space that resembles a backyard. It’s complete with extra large plush lemon-hued beanbags and faux grass.
No one was around so you better believe I made a giant beanbag fortress. I felt like a kid again sleeping on bean bags which surprisingly made a very cozy place to snooze for a few hours. A few passengers came in and out of the room throughout the evening but everyone respected the silence of the space so it maintained a zen atmosphere. Shockingly, no airport announcements could be heard here. AirAsia teased me and said that I was probably the longest guest they’d ever had!
In the morning I still had quite a lot of time to kill during my 15-hour layover at the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge. The sunroom was so warm and relaxing that I did my a gentle flow yoga practice—my first in ages after being so sick. It was so quiet I was also able to meditate for a while.
GREAT SPACE FOR PROFESSIONALS
You’d be hard pressed to find a seated area in the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge at KLIA2 that wasn’t equipped with numerous outlets for charging your devices. There’s even a locker area with built-in charging cords for various smartphones and tablets. The WiFi in the 24-hour lounge is incredibly fast and the calm feeling of the space makes it a great place to get a few hours of work done before your flight. Free flow coffee and tea can help keep you caffeinated if you’re layover is at an odd time of day like mine was.
The comfortable AirAsia Premium Red Lounge at KLIA2 is mostly used by short transit passengers. Entrance is RM 79 (about USD 20) for 3 hours of access. There’s a VIP room available for an additional fee for those who need a quiet space to hold business calls. The AirAsia Premium Red Lounge is open to anyone, not just passengers of the airline.
FULLY-EQUIPPED BATHROOM FACILITIES
If you’re between flights and have a long layover you’re likely dreaming about having a hot shower. Well, at the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge showers are included in the price of entry unlike other lounge areas in the KLIA2 terminal. There are large shower stalls that are equipped with refillable toiletries and super plush complimentary towels are provided. Locker storage is available to hold your carry on for 30-minutes while you use the bathroom facilities so you don’t have to worry about your belongings. My insider tip: you can trade your boarding pass as collateral for the huge towels at any time, grab two to use as blankets if you’re sleeping in the lounge overnight!
INSPIRING RUNWAY VIEWS
I absolutely love to get lost in thought as I watch the runway at airports. There’s something so inspiring to me to think about the thousands of people in transit who are either coming or going from a great adventure—whether it be to a destination they’ve been dreaming of, a visit with family, or an important work meeting.
Nothing can remind you to catch flights, not feelings, quite as well as gazing out a window as planes come and go from the runway. In the middle of the night, the silent runway stays still in preparation for the thousands of travelers who’d start to arrive with the sun. My visit was during the full moon which loomed just above the airport casting a beautiful light on the sleepy runway. By night, soothing lights along the exterior of the airport flow in a beautiful gradient of colors.
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I was a guest at the AirAsia lounge. All opinions and photos are my own. This article contains affiliate links. Please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.