Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My First Flight with Firefly

I have my experience with a propeller-driven plane on July 25, 2009, when I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore on Firefly.

Firefly, the “community airline”, is based at Subang Airport. Here is a view of the departure hall in this small airport…

It was 6.30am. Most of the shops were still closed. Starbucks was the only food outlet opened then. But what the heck, budget airlines and Starbucks don’t click!

Given that Subang was the main airport for KL before the new one at Sepang opened, I was pretty disappointed by it. Since passengers were not allowed to bring water on board, I searched for ‘water cooler machines’, but couldn’t locate one.

Here you go, Firefly’s ATR 72-500 propeller-driven aircraft…

Inside the cabin… There were 4 seats per row. The lady at the bottom right corner only put on mask when she arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which was quite pointless. I had my mask on throughout the journey…

Firefly suffered from the same delay problem as AirAsia, the other Malaysia-based budget airline. My flight was scheduled to take off at 7.50am, but boarding did not start until 7.45am. Fortunately, the boarding process was completed in just 10 minutes, and by 8 o’clock, the plane started to taxi.

The stewardess demonstrating the use of life jacket…

Firefly even served light refreshment free of charge!

The propeller…

Finally, at about 9.15am, we touched down at Changi Airport’s Budget Terminal.

Coming up soon: Firefly vs. AirAsia. Stay tuned.


  1. never fly with firefly...
    it looks like mas wing's baby plane haha

  2. I hate budget airlines because of bad experience where the flight is cancelled after very early reservation.

  3. I have never been on a plane before... =( It is a propeller plane huh! :D are allowed to snap photos in the plane?

  4. How much did it cost you to fly to S'pore? I have yet to fly Firefly.

    I am quite impressed with the view of the departure hall.

  5. last time my friend told me his experience with firefly and kind of freaked me out. =/ maybe they have improved?

  6. annant
    Firefly is a subsidiary of MAS too.

    I also don't exactly like budget airlines, but can't afford full service airlines lah >.<

    We are not allowed to snap photos of the plane.
    But it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission...

    Mei Ting
    It cost me less than RM200, all inclusive. But it depends on how early you book the flights.

    What do you mean by "freaked me out"?

  7. hey, yeah. Firefly is a subsidary of MAS. I tried them and they are fairly good. what do you mean by 'freaked me out'?

  8. Thanks for the info. That's a really good deal. I pay about RM160 or so for a bus ride on Aeroline to S'pore. I might as well fly to save time and the cost difference isn't much.

  9. so how's the overall experience with FireFly?? as compared to other budget airlines??

  10. who says budget airlines and Starbucks don’t click?!

    maybe there are ppl who saves on the flight tickets and spend it on good coffee instead ? ^O^

  11. Would AirAsia be cheaper?

    Mei Teng, I think the whole journey by air is really the same as overland because you have to factor in the early arrival, the queue at check-in counter, the waiting for take-off, the taxiing upon arrival, the luggage claim (if you've checked in luggage). It's only the flight time that is shorter by air than on land.

    The plus on using Firefly is probably it takes off from Subang instead of from Sepang - nearer to home. The plane looks kinda small though.

    Thanks for sharing, KS.

  12. themixchannel
    I didn't say 'freaked me out'. The other blogger, Xin, said that.

    Mei Ting
    You may want to consider the environmental cost too.

    I think I will leave your question to a separate post.

    Not me!

    I don't know if AirAsia is cheaper. But I definitely save on taxi fare ;)

  13. I experienced propeller plane before... I think it's called Fokker plane or something like that, between Kuching and Sibu. It was terrible, the cabin was so narrow and stuffy. Better fly with AirAsia, at least their planes are larger (do they have propeller planes?).

  14. keeyit
    I did!

    One characteristics of budget airlines is that their fleets consist of one single type of planes. For AirAsia it's Airbus A330. For Firefly it's ATR 72-500.

    I believe ATR 72-500 is larger than the Fokker you mentioned.

  15. A bit cramped, but not bad!

    I like budget airlines, as long as they are "safe". I'm a bit more picky for long haul travel (10+ hours).

  16. Zhu
    I wouldn't say I like budget airlines. But I can't afford the full service ones...