After about a month hunting for cheap flights to Cambodia, I finally found it online. It was through AirAsia again, and this time it was roughly $200 US for a trip from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap and back.
That’s only $50 per leg, all taxes included! If you’re flying from Malaysia, that’s only $100 round trip. Not too bad at all.
What is bad about AirAsia, though, is the flight schedule. They really leave it up to us to plan the best routes and make the best of that low fare.
For example, flying to Siem Reap from Jakarta is a big hassle. Why? Because there is no direct flight, and the plane from Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap leaves at 7 in the morning with only one plane a day and four flights per week.
The hassle factor comes in from the fact that there isn’t a plane arriving early enough from Jakarta to catch the Siem Reap plane. Thus, the only solution is to fly in the day before and spend the night in Kuala Lumpur.
Staying overnight at the airport
Refusing to pay for a hotel this time, and not wanting to go through the unnecessary back and forth trip and waking up at 3 a.m. to catch the 7 a.m. flight, I decided to rough it and spend the night at the airport. I got in on the latest flight from Jakarta, which arrived around midnight, and then just hung around the airport for five to six hours.
If AirAsia’s LCCT airport was like Changi then I wouldn’t mind the waiting so much. But LCCT is, well, LCCT. Facilities are sparse, seating areas limited, and there’s not much to do.
LCCT does live up to its name, Low Cost Carrier Terminal. (I still can’t believe they named the terminal as such. Was the marketing department asleep when it was chosen? But then again, I’m sure the low cost part of it contributes much to my cheap flights to Cambodia.)
But LCCT has improved a lot recently. They now have the Food Garden, a food court that is open 24 hours. Plus, there is now fast and free Wi-Fi at LCCT. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi doesn’t work at the Food Garden, even though the food court is only about 500 meters away from LCCT’s main building.
Even so, for many the Wi-Fi service is heaven sent. If you don’t have anything to do for 5 hours, rest assured that you can find plenty of stuff on the internet.
Is it safe to stay overnight at LCCT?
There were lots of people around the airport during the wee hours of the night. Most of them are Malaysians, who, like me, were waiting for their next flight. While I know they hated to be there, I’m glad there were plenty of people around. It made for a safer environment, especially when it was so late at night.
So at that small terminal, the day never seems to end. Airport workers keep working, restaurants keep serving, and the money changer keeps changing.
Things about AirAsia
When it was time to check in for the Siem Reap flight in the morning, everything went smoothly. There was only a 15 minute delay and that is a great feat for AirAsia. But then, on the plane I was reminded of another AirAsia trait: the very cramped seats.
I know I did say that it’s a short flight from Malaysia to Cambodia, but that two hours on the plane was just torture. With an almost full plane, and with people on each side, there wasn’t much that a person can do, not even to stretch the legs or the elbows.
Again, I reminded myself, “You chose AirAsia and you knew how it would be”. Oh yes, I knew, I had just forgotten about it. But I won’t forget again. AirAsia does offer cheap flights to Cambodia, but with a price.
So to fellow travelers who get their cheap flights to Cambodia through AirAsia, know that the above inconveniences could happen to you.
If you happen to board an empty plane, then that’s great. If you happen to experience no delays whatsoever, that’s amazing. But just know that the chances of those things happening are somewhat slim.
However, if you’d still like to fly with AirAsia, here are some tips that might be useful if you know you’ll be camping overnight at LCCT. I know they would have benefited me if I had followed my own advice.
Tips for making your LCCT transit more bearable:
- Bring a laptop, a Smartphone, or a PDA with Wi-Fi capabilities, and make sure the battery will last as long as your transit time. If that’s not possible, consider getting an adapter that will fit into a Malaysian electrical socket. That way you can use the AC adapter instead. What good is a Wi-Fi when you can’t access it?
- If you need to spend the night at the airport and don’t feel comfortable enough to sleep while waiting, consider taking a long nap in the afternoon. That way you’ll be able to stay awake the entire night.
- Travel light. There’s nothing worse than having to lug several bags, a backpack, and a laptop, and then having to watch over them for several hours.
- Travel with a friend, and bring some cards or other games to pass the time. If you don’t know your travel partner well, being stuck together for five hours will instantly bond, or estrange, the both of you.
- Bring a jacket for the cold airport night. Even though you’re travelling to the tropics, the airports are always cold.
So in short…
There really isn’t something for nothing. The cheap flights to Cambodia through AirAsia have a price of inconvenience. I suppose it’s up to each of us to decide whether the price of that inconvenience is too high or not.
Enjoy hunting for cheap flights to Cambodia. Hopefully your journey to Siem Reap will be easier than mine. My only consolation to the whole arrangement was that on the return flight from Siem Reap to Jakarta, the schedule worked out nicely.
With only less than two hours in transit at LCCT, the time should fly by like nothing at all.
Where would you like to go now?
List of Flights to Cambodia – Either to Siem Reap or toPhnom Penh
Want to know which airlines have flights to Cambodia? Here’s a list of all flights to Cambodia, broken down by airlines and cities.