After nearly three months without heavy-duty travel, I'm off again, this time to Bangkok first for the Thailand Travel and Dive Expo, and then over to Sabah, Malaysia. Packing is such a hassle already under normal circumstances, but it's an even bigger headache than usual given my upcoming itinerary.
I need to fly on Asia Asia from Bangkok to Sabah. According to the Bangkok office of Air Asia, I'm only allowed 15kg total check-in and have to pay about US$5/ kg for excess. Air Asia HQ in Malaysia, however, allows an extra 15kg on top of the normal 15kg as a sports equipment allowance, for a small fee.
Air Asia Thailand refuses to give this sports equipment allowance, despite the fact that Air Asia HQ specifically said Air Asia Thailand should. I'm still trying to work out who's actually calling the shots at Air Asia. Apparently they are too.
You know what? I hate budget airlines.
It's not so much that the airline's Thailand office wants to charge excess that bothers me. I understand that. It's the fact that my baggage allowance is either 15kg or 30kg, depending on the mood of the person taking the booking, and the fact that Air Asia in Thailand appears to be making up the rules as it goes along instead of following corporate policy.
Given the apparent lack of management coordination at Air Asia, I'm going bare bones with my equipment. No scuba gear (all borrowed on site), and about 25kg of camera gear (which translates into being able to take only one camera underwater and having to travel with no back-up gear, something I haven't done in years).
Note to self: Avoid Air Asia.