Thursday, August 17, 2017

AirAsia RedQ: One of the Coolest Workspaces in the World

For nine years now, I've considered classrooms as my work area; a relatively small space where dreams are envisioned. Two weeks ago, I have been given a chance to visit a workplace where passionate people converge to connect people and cultures; I was enlivened. The moment I entered the new corporate hub of AirAsia, the RedQuarters (or RedQ), I felt a silent roar of fulfilled wishes and realized dreams.

I was invited for a tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to check out the new corporate base of the world's best low-cost airline for nine straight years (2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards). KL has been my second home in Asia as it became a hub for affordable flights in Southeast Asian Region. My dreams of exploring Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos and more were realized as AirAsia provided the best deals on airfares. So together with eight media people, we embarked on a trip that let us experience the essence of having a professional yet friendly working environment.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, NAIA Terminal 3 was seemingly quiet. I then realized that it's the middle of a workweek hence, the almost empty terminal. Our AirAsia flight Z2940 left Manila at around sundown that commenced our four-day jaunt.

I tried working on my writing backlog whilst on the plane but got engrossed on the featured travel stories of Travel3Sixty inflight magazine. It was not until the aroma of served meals which started to fill the plane that I started to put down the magazine; it signaled dinnertime.

I then grabbed the Hot Meals menu and scanned the newest selection of inflight meals. Santan, AirAsia's award-winning inflight menu, features eight delicious meals across its networks which highlights the unique and distinct flavor of the region. A wide array of choices for small eaters and belly busters were available complete with nutrition information, perfect for calorie-conscious folks.

AirAsia Inflight Meal
Trying out the newest inflght menu of AirAsia
I had Chicken Lasagne with Philippine-made Lemongrass Pandan brewed tea plus some chips to complete the meal. The tomato and cream sauce complemented the oozing melted cheese on top. The crunchy steamed broccoli and carrots also added a layer of texture into it. My local brewed tea was also great and I wanted to get another meal but restrained myself to do so.

It will save you a few bucks if you've purchased the meal while booking your flight online Also, there are more options for pre-booked meals.

I effortlessly snoozed afterwards. 

Arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 at ten in the evening, the group swiftly passed through the efficient immigration counter and went to Gateway@KLIA2 Mall for the routine travel errands; they exchanged some money (I have a stash of Malaysian Ringgit with me) while I bought a sim card for MYR20 (US$ 4.65) to attend to my social media needs while on the road.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Tune Hotel KLIA2
We had dinner somewhere at the mall and were ready to call it a day (or night). Good thing was that our home for three nights is just a mere eight-minute walk from the airport. It was just good to finally rest after our four-hour flight.

TuneHotels.Com has a limited service hotel concept operated by Tune Hotels. Their famous “5-star sleeping experience at a 1-star price” accommodation provides lowers hotel costs by eliminating costly extras that you don’t sometimes use. Adapting the same concept of its sister company, AirAsia, you actually have the freedom to choose add-ons that are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis including toiletries, AC, breakfast, internet access and so on.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Instagrammable chill spot
Tune Hotel KLIA2’s location is perfect for layovers as it offers a premium accommodation right across the entrance gate of KLIA2. Going to Kuala Lumpur from the airport would be too much effort for transit passengers as the one-hour ride is very time-consuming; might as well use that time to book at Tune Hotels for proper rest. 

AirAsia’s famous red and black color theme was utilized on the reception area. The funky dome-shaped light fixtures against the high ceiling adorned the whole space.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Funky lounge area
The room was basic yet hip; there’s an open clothes rack, two single beds with cool bedsteads, fluffy pillow and warm duvet, ceiling fan, individually-powered AC, flat screen TV with satellite channels, work table with lamp and chair, drinking water, and a full-length mirror.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Our home for four days
The room was also furnished with a private toilet and bath with hot and cold shower, toiletries, hair dryer and bath towels.  The room is simple yet functional and tastefully designed.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Modern retro feel
My roommate and I chatted a bit and then easily fell into a coma at around midnight. I thought that having our accommodation right across the airport would bother us because of the noise coming from the airrafts. But no, great technology of soundproofing provided us a lovely sleep that felt like we're at the comforts of our own room.

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Classic AirAsia red and black color theme
Breakfast doesn't always come with the room rate but at MYR28 (US$6.52) per person, it’s definitely a better option for guests rather than looking for something to eat at the airport at the wee hours of the morning (breakfast is served daily from 4:00 am to 10:00 am).

Tune Hotel KLIA2
All-day casual dining restaurant
The buffet spread is a mix of continental and Malaysian breakfast dishes. I enjoyed the fried noodles section and the nasi lemak. I just wished they would pump up the choices more and have a different spread each day so as to have a diverse breakfast. Nonetheless, our meals were very filling.

Honestly, after having been to Kuala Lumpur countless of times, the exclusive AirAsia RedQuarters tour made me sign up for this trip. I was too excited to finally see firsthand the soul of my all-time favorite airline.

AirAsia RedQ
One of AirAsia's Mantra
RedQ, short for RedQuarters, is AirAsia’s new corporate hub which covers an area of 18,000 sq.m. and houses 2,000 Allstars (AirAsia staff). The cool name of the new headquarters was conceived by an AirAsia X cabin crew member, January Ann Baysa from the Philippines through a contest. Since then, RedQ became synonymous to an ideal workspace where dreams are fulfilled.

AirAsia RedQ
Bosses' workspace
It took us around five minutes on foot from Tune Hotels to finally reach the highlight of the trip that day.

We entered the secured receiving area and went inside a huge playground, well, for adults. 

AirAsia RedQ
Open-plan office space layout
The atrium layout provided a relaxed environment. People donned in their most casual outfit (some in their gym attire 'coz they have an in-house gym) roamed around the open space.
RedQ also employs an open plan in its very essence. No enclosed space as workspace is provided except for themed meeting rooms that are still encased on glass. You could literally see and feel each work area for its dynamic flow without removing each cubicle its own individual style. You’d truly feel at home with this kind of environment.

AirAsia RedQ
Cantilevered themed meeting rooms
Notable features were also highlighted such as; transparent glass elevators, a bamboo bicycle (that can actually be used inside), pastel-colored bean bags scattered on faux grass, indoor steel bridges and more. AirAsia’s Allstars in its RedQ home really know how to work hard and play harder.

AirAsia RedQ
Where the coolest minds meet
I've been constantly traveling for seven years now and AirAsia truly helped me fulfill my dreams of seeing the world with my meager means to support this passion. And as I go back to the classroom after the trip to accomplish my desire to change the world as a public school teacher, it dawned on me that having a fun spirit and cool environment could definitely enhance the learning environment for my students. And just like AirAsia’s RedQ, I know that my tiny space with my students and I could foster an atmosphere where Everyone Can Fly.

AirAsia RedQ
Food choices at AirAsia's RedQ
AirAsia has daily flights to Kuala Lumpur from Manila, Cebu and Davao.

Philippines AirAsia

Tune Hotel KLIA2
Lot Pt. 13, Jalan KLIA 2/2,
64000 KLIA, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Contact Number: (+60) 3.8787.1720 |(+60) 3.8787.1728

Jalan Pekeliling 5,
Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA2),
64000 KLIA, Selangor, Malaysia

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