Last week I had the opportunity to fly to Bali with Strategic Airlines, a new airline on the travel scene operating from Australia to Bali and Phuket. I was keen to explore what Strategic Airlines could offer to a route that is crammed full of budget airlines. To start off with Strategic Airlines offers an all-inclusive package and I know what you’re thinking – all-inclusive means higher fare prices right? Well with National carriers that may be the case, however a recent study indicated that once you add in all your taxes and all your incidentals on budget carriers (not including Sale fares) your actually paying more than an all inclusive fare and not to mention the stress of booking your extra add-ons, so perhaps we should be looking for inclusive fares? In fact, when I compared a flight between Strategic Airlines and Air Asia on the 13th of March from Perth to Bali, Strategic Airlines was cheaper with everything included!*
I think the biggest selling point for Strategic Airlines is that they are putting comfort and relaxation back into flying whilst maintaining an affordable price. More and more often I’m sitting on a crowded flight with my legs up around my neck prodding something that resembles food that had been slopped down in front me and questioning why I didn’t pay a few extra dollars and enjoyed my flight instead of opting for the cheapest price I could find?
With all of this in mind, my experience of personally flying with all the carriers servicing Bali, as well my past experience working for an airline flying to Bali, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Strategic Airlines is one of the best airlines I’ve ever flown with from Perth to Bali! Their on-time performance was great, arriving thirty minutes early on both flights. The food was enjoyable and when was the last time you said that sentence in relation to airline food? The Australian cabin crew were friendly and professional, a certain other Australian airline could take note of this and the spacious seats didn’t make you feel like a tiger crammed into a sardine tin. And best of all is that everything is included and I didn’t need to worry about purchasing my seat and the chaotic push to get onto the plane to find a seat. I didn’t have to worry about purchasing the right to bring luggage and if I had purchased enough kilos. I didn’t have to worry about having money on me to buy drinks on board and I didn’t have to worry about how I would keep myself entertained on the flight – thank you Mega-Mind. I just didn’t need to worry and isn’t that what going on holiday is all about?Update 16/11/2011: Strategic Airlines have re-branded and are now known as Air Australia. They have also changed their service structure and are no longer providing inclusive options.