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Malaysia Airlines To Scandinavia? (In Economy)  
User currently offlineCaio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15102 times:

This is my first trip report/post ever…please be nice!

Preface

To be quite frank, I never thought there were people like me—let alone a whole website devoted to this group. All of my friends think I am so strange for talking about commercial aviation and planes. So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a large community of enthusiasts with their amazing photos and write-ups.

Contrary to a majority of trip reporters here, there are only three times in my life my broke-ass has turned left at the end of the gangway. One of those times, on a school trip to Chicago, went something like this:

Male FA: Sir, would you like to go to First Class?
Me: (Puzzled look, sarcastic tone) Why…?
Male FA: (laughs) That’s the first time anyone has responded that way. Ever.

(by the way, in case you were wondering, I left my cattle class classmates scratching their heads wondering who I would threaten to sleep with to go to the front of the plane)

Report

Malaysia Airlines MH091, May 10th, 2007
Newark Liberty International (EWR) to Stockholm Arlanda International (ARN)
Gate 55
Seat 12G, Class Y (Economy)
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 22.00/22.54
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 11.40/13.08

Travel and style guru Tyler Brûlé noted in his fun Financial Times column that airports reflect a general indication of the city that they are supposed to service. Moving the argument further, I would like to apply the same sort of analysis to commercial aviation. More often than not, a country’s flag carrier gives a good, albeit somewhat stereotypical, indication of the society or culture that it is intended to represent. I have found antipodean carriers like Air New Zealand and QANTAS to be informal yet professional. Asian carriers, such as Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Cathay Pacific are modern and polite. Despite taking the award-winning Malaysia Airlines (MAS) on a trans-Atlantic journey to Stockholm and back, I felt that it did an excellent job of reflecting and representing the country and its culture, as I hope to indicate throughout the course of the trip report.

About a month before the trip, in planning for another trip for August to Malaysia, I saw an advertisement for a $199.00 (USD) fare round-trip to Stockholm from New York (Newark). Although the fare did not include taxes and other related fees, it was a bargain not to be missed, and I jumped without hesitation at the opportunity to visit Sweden.

On the day of the flight, I arrived around 7:45 pm to Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal B in order to make the 10:00 flight. Terminal B was slightly chaotic, there were long lines for TAP Air Portugal bound for Lisbon blocking the line for MAS, and I noticed that some people bound for Stockholm (think stereotypes: tall, blonde people speaking Swedish) got on the wrong queue. Once the said ticketing and security were sorted out, I made an assumption that in the 1980’s, given the glaringly devoid nature of Terminal B, very little shopping, eating or entertainment was found at airports.

According to the beautifully designed bilingual ticket with a tropical-floral motif, a passenger needed to arrive well in advance to avoid being left behind. Unfortunately, the staff did not have the same sense of urgency. The scheduled 9:15 pm boarding time passed without concern or announcement on the part of the ground staff (many of whom were chatting to each other or going to the gate and turning around). At around 10:20 pm boarding started without any mention of why it was delayed. Walking past the obligatory torturous walk through an unattainable business class zone (I don’t believe MAS flies a three-class configuration to Newark and Arlanda), I sat down at my seat, which was located at 12G, the middle row of a 2-5-2 configuration. Fortunately enough, the flight was about 65% full, so many passengers in the row decided to spread out. A lot of the passengers were Scandinavian and Malaysian or Indonesian, with a handful of Americans (judging from the color of the passports they carried). The welcoming remarks and service announcements were made in Bahasa Melayu (Malay) and English.

MAS excels in the little details that economy-class trash—such as myself—relish in. Upon takeoff, a wonderfully scented pseudo-cloth towel was distributed. I found the chair to be quite comfortable with a 34” pitch and a wonderful down pillow to match. The airline manages to represent its cultures through the sarong kebaya design and the seat upholstery. The bilingual IFE system, Select 3000i, was incredible; it had several hundred different choices of contemporary and classic movies, television shows, albums and games. Another element of Malay culture was the fact that the flightpath map had a feature on the map that points to Mecca, which was interesting to say the least. It also had a generous amount of choices in Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Hindi and Arabic. In the event you were interested, I managed to watch (ashamedly) “Epic Movie” before I caught a couple hours sleep.

In my opinion, Malaysian food is incredible. In my opinion, MAS food is not—possibly I had an off-day? I think one of the weak points in MAS economy was its inflight catering—it doesn’t properly reflect the culinary paradise that is Malaysia. I had some sort of curry chicken dish with rice and bok choy (a sort of Chinese leafy vegetable). I managed to touch about a fourth, despite being famished, the rice and chicken were unpalatably dry. The other choices, a fish dish and a beef dish, did not look much more appetizing than my own dish. Luckily, the attentive cabin attendants were available for generous helpings of drinks (mainly Pepsi-based products) to quench my thirst. The beautiful and genuine smiles and polite service was at no extra cost.

I fared no better during the post-nap breakfast service; it was an incredibly chewy bagel with a perfectly round egg-omelet patty with another round piece of cheese that only a Stepford wife could create.

After the breakfast service was done, the plane was already at the easternmost border between Sweden and Norway. Announcements were made in Malay and English that the plane was about to touch down, and a pre-recorded German message went out to the Swedish passengers. As the plane had departed late, we arrived late. Much to my surprise at the end of the deplaning process, I saw that the plane I traveled on was the MAS “Freedom of Space” 772, a fact that I was unable to see given the darkness of night in Newark (read: no pictures, with apologies).


Malaysia Airlines MH090, May 17th, 2007
Stockholm Arlanda International (ARN) to Newark Liberty International (EWR)
Gate F62
Seat 33F, Class Y (Economy)
Departure (Scheduled/Actual): 16.35/16.53
Arrival (Scheduled/Actual): 19.00/20.21

After an amazing time in Scandinavia (inquire if you’d like to hear more about what I did), I was ready to go home. In general, the flight was about the same as before, with the same great service and beautifully scented hand towel to boot. Again, the food was interesting—the refreshment service of a sandwich on a baguette with mystery meats doused in mayonnaise was served in the first hour after takeoff and a bag of salted peanuts. Afterwards I, along with several hundred passengers, enjoyed the Select 3000i system’s choices. I saw Letters From Iwo Jima, The Pursuit of Happyness and Hula Girls (a Japanese film). By the end of The Pursuit of Happyness (about three hours after takeoff), the inflight “Temptations” duty-free service commenced. I purchased a hand lotion kit and a set of beautiful MAS playing cards based on the hibiscus livery currently adorning a Malaysian Airlines 744. Thenceforth, after taking down my credit card information, the attentive cabin service addressed me by my name until the very last goodbye during the deplaning.
After the duty-free cart had passed, the drink runs, consisting of orange and pineapple juice, water and beer came through the cabin in anticipation of the dinner service. Another scented hand towel was distributed and collected. The dinner choices were beef, chicken and vegetarian curry. I chose the vegetarian curry, which was Indian style. Although significantly more appetizing (although less visually appealing) than what I had coming to Stockholm, I ate the whole thing as it had been several hours since the last bag of salted peanuts was passed out with the refreshment service.
After the dinner service, somewhere over Quebéc, the captain made the announcement that Newark was not ready for our plane. We then proceeded to circle over upstate New York for a good hour, through turbulent skies. Several passengers got sick during the whole ordeal, but the flight attendants were there to pick their sick bags up. Some visibly and audibly drunk passengers clapped during the first few dips, but quickly ceased after one of their comrades lost his dinner.
After the captain apologized, we were able to get a landing slot at Terminal B in Newark. The attendants helped everyone deplane and were all smiles as they bid us goodbye. Overall, the advanced entertainment system, the great subtle service and the use of my name to address me were highlights of the trip. Before each video is played, there is a series of tourism clips, including one of Prime Minister Badawi of Malaysia. In this particular video, he states how this year is a celebratory year for Malaysians. By extension—in my humble opinion—Malaysia Airlines is something for Malaysians to celebrate...it's an impressive carrier with great service and crew.

I must say that I am looking forward to taking the carrier to Malaysia and Hong Kong later on this year.

Photos

MH091

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0157.jpg
Onboard "Freedom of Space;" approaching Stockholm Arlanda

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0158.jpg
Curtain between Business and Economy; interesting seat upholstry patterns

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0159.jpg
Contents of seat pocket: mineral water that came with breakfast service, plastic wrap from blanket, "Going Places," Guide to "Visit Malaysia Year 2007" (yellow brochure), sick bag in various languages, inflight duty-free "Temptations."

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0161.jpg
Examples of bilingualism in Bahasa and English

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0165.jpg
Outstanding "Select" IFE system

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0166.jpg
Final approach; new map system

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0170.jpg
Getting closer to ARN

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0172.jpg
Informative TROEX "Traveller's Exchange" system

MH090

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1050.jpg

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1057.jpg
KLM to Amsterdam

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1055.jpg
SAS to...?

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1058.jpg
SAS in a row

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1059.jpg
Listing of airlines that use Arlanda

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1060.jpg
Plane at gate, note Swedish design and efficiency of a beautiful airport

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1062.jpg
Announcement

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1063.jpg
Crew

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1064.jpg
Captains

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1065.jpg
Economy cabin

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1066.jpg
Another view of the economy cabin

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1069.jpg
Tanjong Rhu screenshot during boarding

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1070.jpg
Penang screenshot during boarding

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1071.jpg
Langkawi screenshot during boarding

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1072.jpg
Flight path

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1073.jpg
Salted peanuts

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1077.jpg
Scented hand towel

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1078.jpg
Vegetarian curry dinner service

I hope you found this interesting...more Scandinavian adventures to come. Comments/questions/concerns greatly appreciated.


After sex and drugs comes rock and roll
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15040 times:

Welcome!

Great trip report on MAS.
Shame about the food, as I have had some of the best cuisine every in Malaysia. I think with airline food, it can be hit or miss, depending on the city of departure flight kitchen. I flew MAS 7 years ago from KUL to BKK, and the food out of KUL was fantastic, not as good as from a hawkers stall, but non the less fantastic for airline food.

[Edited 2007-05-29 22:15:33]


Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14669 times:

Welcome to A.Net and I am so glad that your very first post is a very positive trip report about Malaysia Airlines, the best airline in the world.  fluffy 

It was an interesting read, your writing styles is charming and this is the first time I saw a trip report's composition with the wording first and the photos following in the end.

I am looking forward for your next trip report.


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 14326 times:

Quoting Caio86 (Thread starter):
I had some sort of curry chicken dish with rice and bok choy (a sort of Chinese leafy vegetable). I managed to touch about a fourth, despite being famished, the rice and chicken were unpalatably dry. The other choices, a fish dish and a beef dish, did not look much more appetizing than my own dish.

One note-worthy tip, almost never ever opt for the Asian dish coming out of US. It is almost always a disastrous affair. Americanised Asian food isn't really asian food to begin with, get the idea? Anyway, curry chicken and bak-choy is a wierd combination, WRONG COMBO if you ask me.

On a side note, congrats on getting yourself on board one of the best airlines in the world. Although I am by nationality not Malaysian, I always think of this airline fondly and with a smile most of the time as I have had nothing but awesome flights with them.

Cheers
Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineCaio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 13839 times:

Thank you for the kind words and suggestions on the food. In my defense I figured Asian carrier should equate to good Asian food. Unfortunately I forgot that the meals were created here...


After sex and drugs comes rock and roll
User currently offlineThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 888 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13694 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 3):
Although I am by nationality not Malaysian, I always think of this airline fondly and with a smile most of the time as I have had nothing but awesome flights with them.

Probably you have been brainwashed by 9MMAR ehehehhehe


User currently offlineMAS777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2937 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13618 times:

That has to be one of the funniest (and concise) Trip reports I have read... i agree with the comments about MAS inflight catering... often hit/miss. The same occurs between LHR and KUL - which is my regular route.

For what its worth - I prefer SQ only for its food - although on my last trip last week the food on SQ was simply awful and half the meals (ie - starters and desserts - so trays were empty except for roll, drink and main course (???)) were left behind at Heathrow as we were delayed... (??!). Didn't think SQ was capable of such poor standards.

Inflight service however - MAS (to me) will always win hands down!

Have a good trip to Malaysia!


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 13329 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report, many thanks.

I tend to forget MH fly this route, thanks for the reminder.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineB-HXB From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13061 times:

One word... BRILLIANT.

User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3516 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13048 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice report.Thank you
What type of plane did you fly?
And of course i would love to read about your time in Stockholm.
Well done.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17122 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12867 times:

Thank you for this brilliant TR. It was very good and nice to see that you liked Stockholm and MHs service.

What type of plane did you fly?

MH flies the 772ER on the route ARN-EWR/EWR-ARN. MH use ARN as a stop over for their flights KUL-ARN-EWR

Looking forward for more TR's from Sweden.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineCaio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12755 times:

To answer your question about the type of aircraft, I flew on a 772 (on the EWR-ARN route it was the "Freedom of Space" livery), reiterating B747forever.

I plan on (*work load permitting) posting something on my experiences in Sweden sometime this week (*sorry, only the stuff I'd be okay with showing my grandmother)



After sex and drugs comes rock and roll
User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3516 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (7 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12573 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Caio86 (Reply 11):
(*sorry, only the stuff I'd be okay with showing my grandmother)

 Sad  Embarrassment



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlineCaio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 11843 times:

For those who asked, here are some of the things I did while in Stockholm

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1039.jpg
Swedes, help me out...what is this building? I asked a couple of taxi drivers, who gave answers of a dubious origin.

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1035.jpg
Gamla Stan, the old quarter.

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_1005.jpg
I saw a real live bunny in the park (the black dot)

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0976.jpg
NK, a department store with great food

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0459.jpg
Östermalm, home to some good restaurants (Wedholms Fisk, KB...) and fun bars and clubs with the beautiful people of Sweden

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0450.jpg
Södermalm--Stockholm's "Brooklyn," more down-to-earth and just as fun--the Erik's Gondela (the black crane-like structure jutting from the building is a restaurant)

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0424.jpg
...so there was a legitimate, fullblown Viking ship

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0256.jpg
The inside of Saluhall in Östermalm, great place for food of all kinds, seafood, meats and other Scandinavian foodstuffs

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0239.jpg
Swedes, be so kind as to help me out again, what Birgit is this referring to?

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0229.jpg
The Vasamuseum...one of the most impressive and comprehensive museums that I've been to

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0225.jpg
Ferry to Djurgården!

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0221.jpg
Royal drama theatre

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0203.jpg
Nobelmuseum and more Gamla Stan

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0197.jpg
Gamla Stan, continued

http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z114/caio86/IMG_0180.jpg
And, last but not least, the reason why Stockholm is where it is and how it came to be, the Royal Palace.

Question, comments, concerns greatly appreciated. Thank you.



After sex and drugs comes rock and roll
User currently offlineAndersNilsson From Sweden, joined May 2004, 417 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10857 times:

caio86, great trip report. The mystery building is the Royal Opera house. Next time try to visit the Royal palace in Drottningholm west of Stockholm were the Royal family live.

Anders

[Edited 2007-08-03 19:00:28]


Airliner photography is not a crime.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10780 times:

Thanks for the report, nice pics!

Quoting Caio86 (Thread starter):

Announcements were made in Malay and English that the plane was about to touch down, and a pre-recorded German message went out to the Swedish passengers.

Pre-recorded message in German, to the Swedish passengers?? That wasn't much help I am afraid  Wink


User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10704 times:

Birgit Nilsson was a Swedish soprano who died last year, and was regarded to have one of the most phenomenal and powerful voices the last century.

User currently offlineCaio86 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10335 times:

Thanks for the information guys...

...by the way, one question I had going to both Sweden and Denmark was regarding the amount of money you guys make to afford everything...? Or is that too intrusive and off-topic?



After sex and drugs comes rock and roll
User currently offlineJoffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 814 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 10329 times:

Very nice

I did that exact flight not too long ago. Does not get high loads with only 170 pax on the 772.


User currently offlineSukhoi From Sweden, joined May 2006, 373 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9984 times:

I have been travelling three times with MH from ARN twice to KUL and once to EWR its a great airline to fly!

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