Dear New Zealand, you're doing your press conferences wrong

AirAsia's attention-grabbing, bright red planes have been flying in and out of New Zealand since 2001.

Their low-cost, long-haul flight options hope to make the luxury of seeing the world possible for people who may not have been able to previously afford it.

"We want to encourage people flying at the lowest price. So we want to make sure that the medium to lower income (people) have the affordability to fly" says AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

On March 18, Dr Panut Oprasertsawat's regular business trip between Bangkok and Phuket made him AirAsia's 500 millionth passenger, earning him an appearance on stage in Bangkok and a prize that would make his future travel a lot cheaper. 

The celebratory press conference in the centre court of a Bangkok mall was an education in how press conferences should be done.

It kicked off at 6pm when a multinational group of flight attendants-turned-dancers performed a semi-choreographed dance routine, the likes of which I hadn't seen since school assembly. 

They waved their hands, aggressively shook their hips and whipped their hair, Beyonce style, all to the tune of Demi Lovato's 'Instruction' - a high tempo EDM anthem with lyrics like "Bitch I don't need introduction, follow my simple instruction".

That's a sentiment shared by flight attendants the globe over, I'm sure.

I couldn't help but think of the bland, dry and boring press conferences I had seen in New Zealand. A lectern, a politician, an endless drone of "ums", "ahs" and "okay, looks". 

Yes, we have a lot to learn.

After the dancers had finished their routine, AirAsia's bombastic CEO, Tony Fernandes, emerged with great fanfare from behind the stage on a revolving pedestal. Cannons on either side of him loudly shot white steam into the air, briefly drowning out the screams of the crowd. 

Fernandes is a consummate showman. He worked the crowd, cracked jokes and appeared to make an extraordinary, impromptu decision when the time came to award AirAsia's 500 millionth customer his prize. Not only did Dr Oprasertsawat win 3 million air points and 30,000 Thai Baht in travel money, Fernandes also decided to award he and his wife free travel on AirAsia for life.

Surely, the airline's half-a-billionth customer will be its most loyal yet.

The whole affair was a noisy, exciting hot mess - the sort of thing I wish happened here in New Zealand more often.

Newshub.

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