Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aeroline Bus to Singapore

Over the Labour Day weekend, we took a short trip to Singapore. This time instead of flying we took the Aeroline Bus.

The husband had taken Aeroline once before and raved about it. Tickets were RM95 per person per destination. Our journey started from Sunway Pyramid on the earliest bus at 9:30am. We were there quite early the mall is kept open so you can walk through it to catch breakfast at McDonald's near the ice rink.

The seats on the bus are very comfortable with ample legroom. This was my favorite as they are even better than seats in a plane. For entertainment there is a lounge area on the lower deck, and 2 LCD screens on the upper deck that will screen a selection of English movies, 2 movies per trip. These movies were uncensored with cuss words and such things, so if you have children do take note.

The attendants and drivers were amazing. Even at the end of the 7-hour bus ride on the way back they were still cheerful! The driving is very safe and comfortable, the engines are very quiet and you just get lulled into sleep most of the time. Very impressive service by Aeroline staff.

(image from "bus and coach photos")

The bus ride is estimated at about 5 hours. It is technically 4 hours of being on the road and 1 hour to pass immigration. Halfway through the trip, there is a quick 10 minute stop at a rest stop. Surprisingly they had the cleanest restrooms ever, uh .. for a rest stop. On the other hand the restroom on the bus is disgusting with a cracked seat and water everywhere .. avoid if possible!

Immigration to enter the country either heading into Singapore and Malaysia, is usually where you hit the long queues. The one coming back into Malaysia was especially bad as there were tons of buses ferrying tourists and the lines were disorganized. Shouting fights broke out, it felt ... pretty unsafe with all those people cramped into a small area, not to mention that there was a creepy old man rubbing up on me, until he got the elbow treatment. For Malaysians it was pretty quick with the automatic passport validation, but everyone still needed to wait until the other passengers were done. All your luggage needs to be brought along during these sections for scanning, although they were pretty strict going into Singapore but not on the Malaysia side on the way back. [Should've 'smuggled' a Kinect in!]

Once in Singapore the drop off point will be at Harbourfront Centre, which is connected to the huge Vivocity mall. Taxis are easy to catch from a taxi stand at the mall itself and will cost about SGD$5 to get to your hotel in the city centre.

My verdict? It was a good service but I much prefer to fly. The 2+ hour extra time on the bus ride home really sealed it for me. Sure that was unavoidable as it was thanks to heavy traffic, the weather and the long weekend but with a flight, you'll only be stuck on the plane itself for the duration of that flight of about 45 minutes. The price for tickets (AirAsia) and total time including transit and wait times in the airport end up to be about the same.

Aeroline Pros
  • convenient, can jump on bus from accessible locations such as Sunway Pyramid, 1 Utama and others instead of going to LCCT/KLIA/Subang airports
  • no long wait time at airport
  • food (Subway, rice and hot drinks) are included with the ticket price
  • comfortable seats with ample leg room
  • safe, quiet, comfortable driving
Aeroline Cons
  • delays in journey because of traffic by 1-2 hours, unpredictable
  • having to get down & off the bus twice each way, including once with all your luggage
  • long unorganized lines at immigration
  • nasty toilet on bus even with 'light' use
For more information visit Aeroline website, bookings can be made online.


hevn said...

Ehh I missed so many post of yours??!
/kicks blogspot

Very helpful review! Love it and thank you. I was actually wondering about taking a bus down to Singapore since the air tickets is over RM320 cheapest but seeing the 7 hour bus ride sort of turned me majorly off. If we even have aeroline, it'll probably be a 10-12 hour ride from Penang

/sobs pitifully

The last time I took a bus down to KL, I was so bloody lucky! I sat next to the sound system and they were showing The Highlander with lots of swashbuckling sound effect that made me cry. Movie ended and they started another one. All 4 1/2 hours of it.

shuaddict said...

Actually if you go during weekdays or non-public holidays should be fine. I would suggest to take the earliest bus both ways. Going out we took 9:30am but on way back we took 2:30pm - thought to maximise time in Singapore, but thanks to that by the time we hit M'sia near Melaka + Seremban all the major jam parts it was like 5-7pm.

But from Penang ouch double the travel time! Maybe if you have one day stopover in KL then continue that would be better.

I wouldn't call that lucky :) More like torture lol. Poor you ...

hevn said...

Hmm, I like that idea, a stopover in KL! Why didn't I think of that :D

I'll suggest that to JH then, heeee~

LOL! My advise, never never sit next to the god damned stereo. I should have kicked a fuss and changed seats. Stupid me. I couldn't sleep through out the journey. I swear I was half deaf by the time I got down from the bus XD

shuaddict said...

You should try it out! Let me know how it goes. Btw no problems with loud cheesy music & movies on Aeroline as each seat has individual headphones like on the plane.

Anonymous said...

Your post is helpful considering that I've read so many negative reviews about KL bus companies (from SG to KL route) since we're planning to take the bus. Mostly the bad review involves rude and unhelpful bus drivers :( so your post is something new :)

Anonymous said...

Hi...i am travelling with a frisky 2 year old from KL to SIN on a sunday. What time do you suggest I leave? How long does it actually take to reach SIN? Thankyou.

shuaddict said...

@anonymous13thJan - I would suggest traveling earlier in the morning up to noon. Traveling to Singapore takes about 5 hours, but with traffic especially on holidays it may take a little longer. Have fun!

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