Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Battle Of The Kebayas: Malaysia Vs. Singapore  
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 955 posts, RR: 26
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 25081 times:



malaysian hospitality vs. singapore girl

A common heritage they may have had, and mere rival siblings – Siamese twins separated at 25 – they may be, but I should have known better than to tempt fate with this trip. Of course, the trip itself is far from risky, but writing this report is. Die-hard fans on both sides root for their teams with a blood-thirsty fervor seen only at a Saturday afternoon football match: flag waving, logic-defying drunk and fully certifiably mad. But I may be maddest of all to step onto the pitch with them.

To the kiasu fanatics in the south, their saronged girls who maneuver suggestively in a perpetual haze can do no wrong. The haloed Singapore-know-all arrogance, perfected at the Lee Kuan Yew School of brain washing, will ensure that you’ll be bored out of your bloody mind hearing why it’s always better on SQ. Never mind Changi had its ass kicked by Dubai, it still wins the airport-that-smells-most-like-a-hospital-canteen award. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is simply the best of the bestest in a world of plastic smiles, and it’s heresy to suggest otherwise. So, don’t pray pray okay... these guys are taught how to kill.

Their opponents are a sad bunch: they cling onto Skytrax awards like they were the last lifeboats on the Titanic. Always playing catch up, always almost but not quite there, experts at playing second fiddle, they pretend their airline is global but no global alliance wants them. They excuse the old planes by saying it’s really inflight service, nay malaysian hospitality, passengers are after. And they like to relive past glories even when there are no past glories to relive. Caught between an ultra-efficient south and richly-cultured north, the best antidote they can administer is some lame, meaningless slogan for their airline code.

I can feel them already: eyes piercing ready for the kill, foaming at the mouth yobbos (oops, did I say yobbos, I mean… fans) waiting to tear me to bits at the first wrong word I type. And well, I fear that’s pretty much every word so far…  tombstone 


malaysian hospitality

Kuala Lumpur – Perth
Malaysia Airlines flight MH 125
Business Class
Dep. 0950 Arr. 1502 (arrives on time)
B777-200ER 9M-MRN
30 April 2008



8.05 a.m. Check In
Morning before 9 a.m. at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) must be a favorite time for MH supporters who like to play pretend. It’s the only period of day when the airport gives you the illusion that it’s a busy hub rather than the white elephant it actually is.



Premium check-in for First and Business Class on Malaysia Airlines is a decent cordoned-off area. Among the better airlines in the region (a club MH feels it is a member), it is unexceptional. Check-in staff are friendly these days and waiting time is short.



Malaysia Airlines’ new tagline is everywhere, and even appears on its boarding passes. I like the new boarding pass designs but the slogan is just advertising hogwash. Surely “Malaysian Hospitality” is not anything to be proud of. Just ask any of the foreign workers we mistreat every day for the real meaning of Malaysian hospitality…. but oops, I best leave that discussion for another forum.



8.27 a.m. New Golden Lounge
Malaysia Airlines makes a long awaited investment in premium class comfort at KLIA. The new Golden Lounge, located at the international contact pier (the other is at the satellite), is easy to find and is arguably the easier option (i.e. less walking) for those passengers departing KLIA. Although called “Regional”, it’s open for all international MH flights, irrespective of destination.



Unlike the satellite Golden Lounge, this one has no separate sections for First and Business Classes. I am sure all those displays at the glassy entrance must convey something artistically profound but a philistine sees only an interesting distraction.





It’s tough for a skeptic to utter something nice but I must say this is promising. Spacious, comfortable and chic, this naturally-lit lounge has the fresh feel of a modern luxury hotel. I hate to admit it – but I rather like this place.





The regal seating area on the raised platform is strangely empty. Perhaps the glass floor got some passengers spooked or maybe it’s subtly reserved for Datuks, Tan Sris and minor royalty?





Whether or not you are a Tengku, this Golden Lounge provides an army of waiters to serve you – a very nice touch for Business Class. Never mind they sometimes get your order mixed up, it’s the thought that counts.



The sit-down dining/café area is sizable and offers a buffet spread and noodle bar. At this time of the morning, hot breakfast is on offer.





Here is the ultimate plane spotting grandstand seemingly designed with A.net members in mind. Alas, if only there were planes to spot!





9.14 a.m. Boarding at gate C15
As with all other MH flights to Australia and New Zealand, Perth-bound MH 125 is code-shared with KLM and, on the days with connections from Rome, also with ailing Alitalia. MH’s antipodean links will make it a useful addition to Skyteam; too bad the alliance’s French godfather doesn’t think so. It’s a sad reality at KLIA that every flight (bar one) on this departure board is on MH metal, even if it doesn’t look it.





When I reach the gate, passengers are still queuing for security, so I go next door to snap a colorful Air India Express B738 bound for Chennai. No special reasons for this pic except for some good light, a window with a view and a little time on my hands.





I am one of the last to board 9M-MRN, among the later additions to the MH B772ER fleet. Inflight Executive Ooi standing just outside door 1L welcomes me aboard like an old friend, and then tells me he has re-seated me. What? I am now at row one, a much better seat says Mr. Ooi. I still have my aisle seat, only it’s now two doors, two toilets, a galley and four seat rows ahead of my originally allocated 5G. I don’t complain – Row 5 on the MH B772s is a strange single-row overhang from the main Business Class cabin and is today apparently accommodating MH staff.



9.50 a.m. Pushback
Although I’m not a fan of bulkhead rows, my new seat 1G is not bad, especially in a cabin that’s only one third full. Legroom on MH’s B772 Business Class is especially generous. Originally fitted with five rows of seven seats across in the first cabin, a whole row of seats was removed when it was discovered to be too cramped. Now, the space available beats most airlines offering the angled flat bed-seat option.



“Malaysian Hospitality” swings into action: three crew members dispense hot towels, juices, champagne, headsets (still not noise-canceling), and menus before take off, and take meal orders after. Service is friendly without being overly personalized, but it’s perfectly adequate.



Amenity kits become a casualty of cost cutting. And so apparently has the concept of choice in the menu. Even as the fourth passenger to be asked, my choice for main course – nasi lemak – is no longer available. “Sorry, we only loaded two servings and they’re both taken,” is the apologetic reply. That’s a very poor showing.



The menu covers haven’t changed since MH launched its new Business Class some two years back. And still called Golden Club Class?



10.53 a.m. Brunch is served
I didn’t eat anything at the Golden Lounge, saving my appetite for the flight – but that, I discover, is a mistake.

Appetizer: You can’t do much with fruit but these few pieces look particularly sad.


Morning coffee is served early into mugs that look like the ones I get at my teh tarik stall. Nice coffee, too bad it’s lukewarm.


The main course of hunan chicken on noodles is in culinary terms rather questionable but it is edible, especially if one is hungry. I think enough said.


Dessert and coffee are served promptly and the entire brunch service is over before we get overhead Jakarta. Although the meal on MH seems fine, it lacks imagination. Even as an infrequent flyer, I already know what to expect from MH catering and it doesn’t excite me.




12.06 p.m. Snooze lighting
Fly most Asian airlines and they are always keen to get you fed quickly and then into bed with the shades down. MH is no exception: it may be midday but the lighting is already set for snooze mood. The turquoise hue is soothing enough to give me nearly an hour’s worth of shut eye.



Apologies for the poor pic quality, but this is the best I could do with my seat in angled flat mode. It’s not everyone’s favorite way to sleep, which is why such seats have been a relatively short-lived idea. Progressive airlines have been quick to give them up for fully-flat beds in Business Class.



1.55p.m. Almost there
We make landfall in Western Australia, and land in Perth about an hour later, on schedule.



The MH experience is a pleasant one: its supporters will say the airline is greatly underrated. And perhaps it is. But how to turn the airline around is that 64,000 ringgit question no one has been able to answer so far. Some blame the Malaysian government for the airline’s woes; others think MH wouldn’t be around without their continued financial support.
Whatever it is, the airline will have to find its – so far elusive – niche. It can’t say it’s a five-star value carrier (whatever that means) and continue pretending it is some global airline. It can’t continue flying unprofitable routes half way around the world without first being a credible competitor in its own backyard. It’s an airline that could have had enormous potential if someone like its current CEO Idris Jala did 20 years ago what he is trying to do now. But could it be a case of too little, too late? Who knows.
The extensive map from the MH inflight magazine Going Places that combines the routes of over three dozen disparate airlines from Iran Air to Bangladesh Biman to United Airlines to TAM is especially telling – and laughable, in a sad sort of way. It seems like the route map of a fantasy airline which is in alliance with everybody; but isn’t that really saying no one wants you in their club?





singapore girl

Perth – Singapore
Singapore Airlines flight SQ 216
Business Class
Dep. 0105 Arr. 0623 (arrives on time)
B777-200ER 9V-SRQ
3 May 2008



11.25 p.m. Check In
It is quiet this time of night at Perth’s International Terminal with flights few and far between. I am attended to immediately at the Business Class counter, but can’t help eavesdropping on the people next door. They are traveling to Seoul-Incheon and have to pay extra for carrying 8 kilos of excess baggage – 32 Aussie dollars per kilo, making it a hefty charge of A$256. I tell my check-in agent that A$32/kg is very expensive, and she responds by checking her “extras” list and remarking that at least it’s not Europe: that’ll cost A$65 per kg! And airlines enforce them strictly these days. Sad





As with most SQ flights to and from Australia/New Zealand, this one is also code-shared with Lufthansa.



There’s a major redevelopment due for Perth Airport. In the meantime, the 5-gate international terminal just about copes with the primarily Asia-bound traffic – as long as they are reasonably spaced out. The area around the SQ gate is already crowded when I get there at midnight. Notice how the airline has cleverly arranged two rows of seats to form a boarding “channel” to the plane.



The revenue generating duty free shop has increased in size since my last visit a year ago. With no expansion of the terminal, this means a sacrifice in passenger seating and waiting areas. Sorry the gate areas are so crappy, but hey look there’s plenty of room here to spend your money.



12.02 a.m. Silver Kris Lounge
I wonder if the potted plants are intentionally positioned to obscure the lounge entrance from unsuspecting premium passengers. If that is indeed the reason, they have failed.



The small lounge feels uncomfortably crowded and has no spare seats available when I arrive. The food selections are rather poor too. As such there’s nothing more for me to do than walk around the room – twice – and look for a good angle to position my camera. I take two shots and then guiltily leave the room like I shouldn’t be there at all.





Far away from the Silver Kris Lounge and SQ gate, I find a much roomier place to stretch my legs. Maybe it’s just that I am far happier in utilitarian surroundings. Here’s the area just outside the Qantas and Emirates lounges. (Despite being a small international airport, Perth supports premium lounges from four airlines: SQ, QF, EK and MH.)



It’s also here that I spot 9V-SRQ is at the gate and being readied for flight to Singapore after its scheduled 75 minute turnaround.



12.37 a.m. Boarding at gate 4
Despite a long queue of Economy Class passengers that extends well beyond the two rows of chairs, boarding is a relatively orderly affair. Business Class is given priority. But if you think the plane’s right there outside the gate, think again… Perth Airport uniquely presents a flight of stairs for you to negotiate first!



Service on short red-eye flights is especially tricky. To many people, a good overnight flight means uninterrupted sleep and minimal disturbance, and yet not without the keen eye and prompt response of an unobtrusive crew when service is needed. Enthusiastic and overly friendly cabin attendants are not necessarily welcome at 1 a.m. – and yet expectations naturally run high in Business Class, especially for an airline that sells itself on its inflight experience. With an almost full cabin, it’s a difficult balancing act for the crew of SQ216 tonight. (So is photography in a darkened cabin – apologies for this, among other, blurry pics.)



But SQ service does much better than my photography. Green-kebaya clad Brenda, who leads the team up front on this five-hour haul to Singapore, does an admirable job. Even this hardened skeptic was taken by her genuinely warm welcome and a hushed tone of voice that could easily soothe the airwaves of any late night radio station. You know what I mean… some voices are so soft-spokenly smooth and mellow they just make you melt and do anything they say… well, Brenda just had it.  angel 
For a more than a few moments, I was on the receiving end of a soft-lit SQ advert: sarong kebayas seemingly gliding in a darkened cabin serving “Tropical Fizz” the welcome drink of the month, distributing steaming hot towels, and generally pouring out all the goodies that Singapore girls do. I detect nothing mechanical or robotic about them – if one sat back with a glass of champagne in the half light of a hazy cabin, you could almost believe they were angels.



1.41 a.m. Breakfast anybody?
I am sure you want to sleep, Brenda guesses correctly. How about something later? I am given the option of dining now (which nobody in the cabin takes) or some two hours before landing, which gives me a little over 2 hours’ sleep. My personal choice would have been to pass on the meal service altogether – aaah, but for the sake of the trip report, I select the “please wake me up at an ungodly hour to eat” option.



The SQ menu uses silly terms like The Main Event to describe the main course and A Connoisseur’s Choice for coffee for goodness sake. More than a tad pretentious, I think, but then this is SQ, the airline of the corny taglines.

Noise canceling headphones are passed out, but like on MH, amenity kits are not. Although I would have preferred a flat bed (who wouldn’t?), the seat was comfortable enough. Even so, many will consider the seat on this regionally configured SQ B772 to be inferior to the MH B772 on this sector – but it seems it’s SQ which gets the loads. With arguably the best hard product among Far East airlines from Perth, MH should be the market leader among them. But is it?



A champagne nightcap before “bed”.



4.33 a.m. Breakfast
It’s a single tray service and done with speed, although no less gracefully. I choose the Lor mai kai which is surprisingly tasty.



I know what you’re thinking – yes, it does look like a large serving of hot steaming turd on banana leaf.



After breakfast, we’re already over Jakarta but there’s still another hour of rest left, if you can get back to sleep.


transit at changi



We land at Terminal 3, Changi’s newest. It’s generally still quiet except for passengers from some early arrivals like us, and early morning departures on UA, which is one of the few airlines to share this terminal with SQ.



6.40 a.m. New Silver Kris Lounge at Terminal 3
This is a much anticipated lounge for SQ. Its other lounge at Changi in Terminal 2 pre-dated the new (and much nicer) offerings by regional rivals like CX and MH when their new hubs opened a decade ago. More recently, TG’s luxurious lounges in Bangkok too take some beating. The opening of Terminal 3 this year was a chance for SQ to redress the balance, but does it?



The best thing to be said about the lounge is that it’s big. It’s the sort of place you could get lost in. The décor is well, brown. The fittings are decent of course – lots of leather sofas and marble like tops with all the necessary bells and whistles but it is a very predictable SQ offering. It’s less a new lounge than a bigger, updated one. SQ must concede that compared to its regional rivals, it scores just a B+ for lounge ambience.





The spacious dining and buffet area is one of the more interesting parts. The breakfast offering with a selection of Asian and Western choices is particularly good. Too bad I need sleep more than food at this moment.





One of the weaknesses of the lounge is the lack of natural light. It was a complaint of the Silver Kris Lounge in Terminal 2 and remains an irritant at Terminal 3. I sit at the closest thing to a window here with a view of now bustling departures area below.



7.15 a.m. Heading to Terminal 2
My connecting flight to KLIA leaves from Terminal 2, which means catching one of the frequent “Skytrain” people movers around the airport car park.





With the opening of Terminal 3, Terminal 2 now handles primarily SQ regional flights as well as that of subsidiary SilkAir. A handful of airlines like MH also operate out of this terminal – most other foreign airlines use Terminal 1 at Changi.



Singapore – Kuala Lumpur
Singapore Airlines flight SQ 106
Business Class
Dep. 0838 Arr. 0930 (arrives on time)
B777-200ER 9V-SRA
3 May 2008

The first SQ flight of the morning to Kuala Lumpur is full in Business Class. Until a few months ago when SQ and MH operated a duopoly on the route under the guise of a “Shuttle” service, the Business Class cabin was called First Class. Now, low cost carriers compete alongside the full service airlines.

The seats and fabrics on this older brother of SRQ are slightly different, although legroom is similar.





8.45 a.m. Lining up
No queues at this time of the morning, a short taxi to 20C and we’re off.





9.03 a.m. Another breakfast
I really didn’t want another breakfast but a photo had to be taken. There’s a choice of tuna croissant or muffin.



9.30 a.m. Arrival
We’re at SQ’s favorite KLIA gate C2 right on schedule. As I enter the terminal, I hear the last boarding call for MH 125 to Perth – that was the flight which caused the evacuation and closure of Perth Airport for almost 12 hours that night. We park adjacent to another colorful Air India Express B738 that just demands to be photographed.





final words

Writing most of this report while on another trip (to the USA), I feel slightly guilty at having been so harsh on both MH and SQ. After experiencing flying in the world’s richest country where passengers are subtly warned not to expect too much of their cabin attendants “they are primarily here for your safety” and planes break down with amazing regularity, I am thankful I live and work in a region where standards are still remarkably high. So high in fact that I struggle to find faults: my complaints here are nothing more than trivial weaknesses – icing on the cake, as it were. I dare not even attempt to compare these airlines with the ones I recently flew: they are really in a completely different league believe you me.

It’s totally understandable to me now why MH and SQ have such loyal fans. May your fanaticism drive standards even higher.  Smile

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 24952 times:

Now you've gone and done it!

*whispering*
Look... I don't really know you, but you seem like a good guy and I'd hate to see bad things happen to you. Take my advice... leave the region and don't come back until it blows over. Or at least get yourself a bodyguard... will ya?

lol

Seriously... thanks for being the intrepid reporter. I especially appreciated the photos of the new lounges. As for the commentary... I'll just say that you were quite effective in your skewering of fanaticism.


User currently offlineAznMadSci From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 3699 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 24877 times:

Hey!

You trip reports are a riot!  rotfl  Your comical details are awesome! I am envious you get an easier chance to take flights on airlines I have always wanted to try, esp SQ and MH, as well as your previous NH and TG report. When and where is your next trip report?

Colin  wave 



The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.
User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 806 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 24726 times:

I rarely comment on trip reports, but must say this was one of the best-written TRs I have read. Welcome to my Respected Users list!

Matt


User currently offlineDocPepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 24564 times:

Excellent trip report, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think it's a bit sneaky for SQ to downgrade the F service on the KUL hops to J and continue charging F fares. The plastic wrapped muffins look pretty cheap to me too. I know it's only a flight time of 25 minutes but still, unacceptable!


User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 24341 times:

An excellent trip report. Congratulations.

You don't see many reports to and from KLIA, but I must say that your observations about the terminal and the lack of flights are spot on. I'll be flying through there tomorrow on my way to MCT. Never knew MH had such a nice lounge there. Too bad I am flying with EK.

Again, congratulations on an excellent report.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 24211 times:

You were doing fine flaming one of the best carriers in the world and erm...of course MH too... until you decided to drag those "don't ask me to provide service, I only underwent safety training" FAs from the other side of the world  Wink I hope you have your fire-retardant jacket on the next time you come to Singapore, Malaysia and US.

Jokes aside, I enjoyed your tongue-in-cheek report about SQ's inflight product, and your oh-so-spot-on comments about the other carrier (just kidding... they're after all a Skytrax award winning airline!).

I have a question on this picture taken of passengers sleeping on your PER-SIN flight. Was the cabin really that bright or does it look bright because you edited the brightness of the photo?



All in all, an excellent report once again and my my... YOU MUST HAVE BALLS OF STEEL!  Smile



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineQantasclub From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 757 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 23479 times:

This is an excellent, EXCELLENT trip report and I enjoyed reading it tremendously. Your comments about both MH and SQ were spot on and balanced with a good dose of healthy skepticism.
Well done.



Long Haul is the only way to go
User currently offlineAg92 From India, joined Jul 2006, 1317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 23397 times:



Quoting DocPepz (Reply 4):
The plastic wrapped muffins look pretty cheap to me too. I know it's only a flight time of 25 minutes but still, unacceptable!

Exactly because in India we get served a three course meal or thats what it seems like in anet trip reports

Anyways an enjoyable read


User currently offlineN751PR From Japan, joined May 2002, 1249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 23255 times:

As always, your reports are a hoot to read! Defying the odds and slamming both sides of the peninsula battle definitely takes cajones and I admire you for that!  Wink I definitely am looking forward to more TRs from your end!  bigthumbsup 


"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 23169 times:

Quoting Ag92 (Reply 8):
Quoting DocPepz (Reply 4):
The plastic wrapped muffins look pretty cheap to me too. I know it's only a flight time of 25 minutes but still, unacceptable!

Exactly because in India we get served a three course meal or thats what it seems like in anet trip reports

We've seen many a.net TRs on Indian domestic flights serving what seems like full meals on a short 1 hour hop. It's not quite fair to compare the SIN-KUL shuttle with their Indian counterparts. The actual flight time on the shuttle flight is realistically just 25-20 min depending on how soon the crew are given the green-light to start cabin service. While their Indian counterparts operate narrow bodies with a limited number of J seats, SQ's 777s have a minimum of 42 seats in J class (depending on aircraft config) and often just 3-4 crew in the whole cabin. While the plastic wrapped muffin looks cheap, it's already quite impressive that SQ even does a proper tray set-up for this snack service.

I do wonder what they serve on the non-breakfast flights though...

[Edited 2008-05-18 22:13:40]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 942 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 23050 times:

That was really clever. Not only a well-written trip report but a healthy does of humour to boot!


Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 22872 times:



Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The haloed Singapore-know-all arrogance, perfected at the Lee Kuan Yew School of brain washing, will ensure that you’ll be bored out of your bloody mind hearing why it’s always better on SQ. Never mind Changi had its ass kicked by Dubai, it still wins the airport-that-smells-most-like-a-hospital-canteen award. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is simply the best of the bestest in a world of plastic smiles, and it’s heresy to suggest otherwise. So, don’t pray pray okay... these guys are taught how to kill.

SPOT ON! I have to say that I was/am a product of the Spore educational system. I didn't know what the hell was the jokes all about UNTIL I started living overseas. But anyway, your comments are very apt in the description of a typical Singaporean, Singaporean run company or anything Singapore related. Hahahaha...

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Their opponents are a sad bunch: they cling onto Skytrax awards like they were the last lifeboats on the Titanic. Always playing catch up, always almost but not quite there, experts at playing second fiddle, they pretend their airline is global but no global alliance wants them. They excuse the old planes by saying it’s really inflight service, nay malaysian hospitality, passengers are after. And they like to relive past glories even when there are no past glories to relive. Caught between an ultra-efficient south and richly-cultured north, the best antidote they can administer is some lame, meaningless slogan for their airline code.

LOL... Kesian MAS lah! They have been bashed enough already even by their own countrymen on Malaysian Wings!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The new Golden Lounge, located at the international contact pier (the other is at the satellite), is easy to find and is arguably the easier option (i.e. less walking) for those passengers departing KLIA. Although called “Regional”, it’s open for all international MH flights, irrespective of destination.

Why even bother calling it REGIONAL? It just makes it seem so... 2nd tiered!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The regal seating area on the raised platform is strangely empty. Perhaps the glass floor got some passengers spooked or maybe it’s subtly reserved for Datuks, Tan Sris and minor royalty?

Oh no... Do not evoke the ire of Dr M, please! After all, he was the one who stripped the royals of their airport priviledges!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Even as the fourth passenger to be asked, my choice for main course – nasi lemak – is no longer available. “Sorry, we only loaded two servings and they’re both taken,” is the apologetic reply. That’s a very poor showing.

Poor showing indeed. 2 servings of a very POPULAR choice of meal??

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
More than a tad pretentious, I think, but then this is SQ, the airline of the corny taglines.

Well, understatement of the year. I still shudder at BIG TOP and MEGA TOP.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Even so, many will consider the seat on this regionally configured SQ B772 to be inferior to the MH B772 on this sector – but it seems it’s SQ which gets the loads. With arguably the best hard product among Far East airlines from Perth, MH should be the market leader among them. But is it?

MH falters when it comes to this because of their overall very poor marketing efforts outside of Malaysia. Heck, even within Malaysia there is nothing much to be seen!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
A champagne nightcap before “bed”.

GASP! Old logo of the Raffles palm is still there!!!! Marks down!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
It’s less a new lounge than a bigger, updated one. SQ must concede that compared to its regional rivals, it scores just a B+ for lounge ambience.

This I have to agree. MAS might have her flaws but they have a kick-ass lounge at the KLIA satellite terminal . Say something about this virtue would you? Marketing department? Hello.....?

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The first SQ flight of the morning to Kuala Lumpur is full in Business Class.

Hmm... No more First Class??? I see they have even removed the maroon coloured "FC" seat headrest covers.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 22764 times:

Haha .. what a brilliant report! .. very daring, but a lot of fun!

Your storytelling is fantastic!

Although the last time i flew SQ, i was six, i still have more of an attachment towards MH. Maybe because it was the 'first' Asian carrier i flew during the past 10 years. That and also because it involved an Ultra-Long-Haul route when ULH wasn't even a concept yet (DXB-EWR).

However, i do have an urge to fly SQ, but i am resisting now, only in the name of my FFP's  Smile

Thanks a lot for sharing Airpearl!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8578 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 22653 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report and pictures, a very interesting comparison between these 2 carriers.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
the ultimate plane spotting grandstand seemingly designed with A.net members in mind

- Nice, like that!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Alas, if only there were planes to spot!

- Hmm, planes do help!

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Even as the fourth passenger to be asked, my choice for main course – nasi lemak – is no longer available. “Sorry, we only loaded two servings and they’re both taken,” is the apologetic reply. That’s a very poor showing.

- Agreed, pretty poor that only 2 were loaded.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
One of the weaknesses of the lounge is the lack of natural light. It was a complaint of the Silver Kris Lounge in Terminal 2 and remains an irritant at Terminal 3. I sit at the closest thing to a window here with a view of now bustling departures area below.

- Shame, I do like lounges to have a nice view of the tarmac and planes, perhaps it is because we are all stuck in a metal tube for a number of ours.

I must say I prefered the interior of the MH machine over the 2 SQ birds you flew.

Service wise, both seem ok from your flights, I can see why both have their own loyal followers.

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 offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 22550 times:



Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
It’s tough for a skeptic to utter something nice but I must say this is promising. Spacious, comfortable and chic, this naturally-lit lounge has the fresh feel of a modern luxury hotel. I hate to admit it – but I rather like this place.

I like natural lighting and views, but there are pitfalls. This MH lounge features examples of what not to do.
The use of natural lighting requires more thought than simply flooding the space with light coming through a large expanse of glass. These two photos you took suggest that there is going to be an uncomfortable amount of glare in the mid-morning on a clear day. The gentleman using his laptop is probably straining his eyes; almost no one in that area (which looks like a significant portion of the lounge) is going to be able to read or use a laptop comfortably. Also, look at the mess of shadows coming from the various grids/pillars and artwork. And I wonder how soon before the furniture becomes faded with that much direct exposure?





The lighting in the SKL T3, while not natural, is more calming and permits a host of different activities that the occupants might want to pursue. A big deal was made about the special roof of T3 with all those special panels; I wonder why the SKL did not take advantage of that?

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The regal seating area on the raised platform is strangely empty. Perhaps the glass floor got some passengers spooked or maybe it’s subtly reserved for Datuks, Tan Sris and minor royalty?

Why is it empty? Because it looks more like the living room showcase of a designer-wannabe datin. That layout works well for a host interacting with guests, but that is not what an airline lounge is. Many business travelers travel alone. For a single traveler, that space is awkward. The raised platform gives it an added showcase quality and it draws attention. I doubt many travelers like to have other people's eyes on them; they would much rather find private corners. There is a reason why many lounges employ various types of cubicle layouts to create separated spaces and have that special 'airline lounge' look that is different from that of a hotel lobby. To me, this is another example of how MH just doesn't 'get it.'

SQ, for all the cheese factor, usually gets the basics right.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
those displays at the glassy entrance must convey something artistically profound but a philistine sees only an interesting distraction.

It's called the Rimba lounge, so I guess the design - falling gold leaves, stylized tropical jungle creeper motifs on frosted glass - is a visual expression of the jungle theme. A distraction indeed. Profound... umm not really.

Well, the SKL T3 design isn't outstanding, I agree. But it is a whole lot less distracting, except for the toffee-stained marble (a new SKL signature?) that was slightly gag-inducing; it could evoke creme caramel or the floor of a leaky public toilet... ok I'll stop.



User currently offlineBrightCedars From Belgium, joined Nov 2004, 1289 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 22391 times:

Very nice report and writing style!

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 10):
We've seen many a.net TRs on Indian domestic flights serving what seems like full meals on a short 1 hour hop. It's not quite fair to compare the SIN-KUL shuttle with their Indian counterparts. The actual flight time on the shuttle flight is realistically just 25-20 min depending on how soon the crew are given the green-light to start cabin service. While their Indian counterparts operate narrow bodies with a limited number of J seats, SQ's 777s have a minimum of 42 seats in J class (depending on aircraft config) and often just 3-4 crew in the whole cabin. While the plastic wrapped muffin looks cheap, it's already quite impressive that SQ even does a proper tray set-up for this snack service.

Yet SQ managed to serve my mother and I (and everybody else on board) a warm breakfast on a similar 30 minute hop between CDG and BRU continuing from SIN, and that was in economy. Some things have changed at SQ since 2000.



I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
User currently offlineSIN7 From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 171 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 22244 times:



Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
All in all, an excellent report once again and my my... YOU MUST HAVE BALLS OF STEEL!

I second that!

Credit and criticism were rightly made for the both airlines.
I agree with what’s been said about the Singapore attitude and some of SQ’s silliness.

Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
The SQ menu uses silly terms like The Main Event to describe the main course and A Connoisseur’s Choice for coffee for goodness sake. More than a tad pretentious, I think, but then this is SQ, the airline of the corny taglines.

Believe me, many can’t stand that too.
Some ‘bright’ scholar at SQ’s Inflight F&B Department idea.
You're right, it's SQ. No, no it's Singapore, we live in many many corny taglines!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Even as the fourth passenger to be asked, my choice for main course – nasi lemak – is no longer available. “Sorry, we only loaded two servings and they’re both taken,” is the apologetic reply. That’s a very poor showing.
Poor showing indeed. 2 servings of a very POPULAR choice of meal??

I think in the EY cabin, I'm sure crew would find some of the nasi lemak.
It seems nasi lemak is on every morning flight with a breakfast service ex KUL and almost anywhere else that can supply MH with it.


Quoting Airpearl (Thread starter):
Lor mai kai which is surprisingly tasty.

It doesn't look much. But it's really delicious for anyone who likes Asian food 'unadulterated'
It's a hot item even on SIN-LHR


User currently offlineStargold From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 22138 times:

Airpearl: Did you happen to catch the surname of Brenda, the Leading Stewardess on your PER-SIN flight? I'm just trying to see whether it was the same wonderful Brenda who was one of the key reasons my flight SIN-ICN in the 77W F was one of the best flights of my life! Does it begin with "K"?

User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 21970 times:

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 16):
Yet SQ managed to serve my mother and I (and everybody else on board) a warm breakfast on a similar 30 minute hop between CDG and BRU continuing from SIN, and that was in economy. Some things have changed at SQ since 2000.

A warm muffin?  Wink
The airline industry has changed since 2000...

[Edited 2008-05-20 22:59:20]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 955 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 21787 times:

Hey guys

Contrary to what some of you might think - and what Econojetter advised - I'd not gone into hiding. Just been out of email range in a jungly part of Thailand - oh sh*t, I exposed the place  Wink

Thank you for your comments; as always you are kind, and your responses really tickled me.

I enjoyed writing this report and the words flowed rather easily, because when these are the airlines you grew up with, it's quite easy to spot where they go wrong. I'm just shocked some of you agree with me hahaha

Quoting AznMadSci (Reply 2):
When and where is your next trip report?

Hi AznMadSci, I am in two minds on whether I should write one about my recent domestic US experience - I fear I may not be able to survive the onslaught!



Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 3):
Welcome to my Respected Users list!

Thanks Matt! Glad you liked the report.

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 4):
I think it's a bit sneaky for SQ to downgrade the F service on the KUL hops to J and continue charging F fares.

To be fair, you should also include MH in there too. And they fly those nasty cramped B734 cabins.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 5):
You don't see many reports to and from KLIA, but I must say that your observations about the terminal and the lack of flights are spot on. I'll be flying through there tomorrow on my way to MCT. Never knew MH had such a nice lounge there. Too bad I am flying with EK.

Someone transiting in KUL and not flying MH: you're a novelty Globetraveller! Where are you flying from to connect to EK? And how is the EK lounge?

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
the other carrier (just kidding... they're after all a Skytrax award winning airline!).

Hey, hey, if I was skeptical, you're just plain bitchy hahaha... And leave my balls alone will ya?  Wink

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
Was the cabin really that bright or does it look bright because you edited the brightness of the photo?

It wasn't as bright as the pic, but it wasn't very dark either. It was early on in the flight, some lights still on, and I had a pretty long exposure. Didn't alter this pic very much at all - it came out on my camera pretty much as you see it.



Quoting Qantasclub (Reply 7):
I enjoyed reading it tremendously

Thanks for your praises, glad you enjoyed it Qantasclub.

Quoting Ag92 (Reply 8):
Exactly because in India we get served a three course meal

Absolutely, nothing compares to the food you get served on domestic Indian flights. Passengers wouldn't stand for anything less. Unfortunately the rest of the world is something else...

Quoting N751PR (Reply 9):
Defying the odds and slamming both sides of the peninsula battle definitely takes cajones and I admire you for that!

Thanks! Of course, it's also the fastest way to simultaneously lose friends and make enemies on both sides of the straits  Wink

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 10):
SQ's 777s have a minimum of 42 seats in J class (depending on aircraft config) and often just 3-4 crew in the whole cabin. While the plastic wrapped muffin looks cheap, it's already quite impressive that SQ even does a proper tray set-up for this snack service.

My pet peeve with SQ on their previous "First Class" KL-SIN shuttle was how gracefully (read slowly) everything was served. They'd always just about get it done, rushing to store everything at the end. I much prefer the J class service now which is much faster, almost economy-style in the tray distribution but at least we're not left wondering if the meal will get to us before we land.

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 11):
That was really clever.

I think the jury is still out on that one haha

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
But anyway, your comments are very apt in the description of a typical Singaporean, Singaporean run company or anything Singapore related

Yeah, THAT comment of mine... I think it could be a little below the belt for some Singaporeans. Glad you took it in good spirit though Ryan. And thanks for your many comments too.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 12):
Why even bother calling it REGIONAL? It just makes it seem so... 2nd tiered!

And it's not even "Regional"! Could have been a lot more imaginative, I agree.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 13):
However, i do have an urge to fly SQ, but i am resisting now, only in the name of my FFP's

Hey Roni, thanks for your comments my friend. Don't resist... let it go, let it go, FFP s are not worth it... let it go!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
I must say I prefered the interior of the MH machine over the 2 SQ birds you flew.

Thanks Mark for the nice words. Seat-wise MH definitely have the edge on the Perth run - it's better than TG and CX from Perth too. Too bad they don't know how to exploit this advantage.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 15):
I like natural lighting and views, but there are pitfalls. This MH lounge features examples of what not to do...These two photos you took suggest that there is going to be an uncomfortable amount of glare in the mid-morning on a clear day...And I wonder how soon before the furniture becomes faded with that much direct exposure?

Aiya, give the airline a breaklah. And I thought I was critical! You're right of course, but you sometimes have to squint a little, wear shades or something, and rejoice at the little rays of sunshine. MH doesn't get to bask in them very often, so I think we shouldn't deny them that, even if we ourselves have to live slightly in denial (you know how to right, you're Malaysian...)

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 15):
Why is it empty? Because it looks more like the living room showcase of a designer-wannabe datin.

Spot on.. hahaha

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 15):
Well, the SKL T3 design isn't outstanding, I agree. But it is a whole lot less distracting, except for the toffee-stained marble (a new SKL signature?) that was slightly gag-inducing; it could evoke creme caramel or the floor of a leaky public toilet...

Hey, Econojetter, you're obviously very keen to join me in exile too.

Quoting BrightCedars (Reply 16):
Very nice report and writing style!

Thanks!

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 17):
It doesn't look much. But it's really delicious for anyone who likes Asian food 'unadulterated'
It's a hot item even on SIN-LHR

Thanks for your comments, and glad you didn't find the S'pore references too offensive (you just never know!)
The Lor Mai Kai was fantastic, it would have been even better sometime other than at 4.30 am

Quoting Stargold (Reply 18):
Airpearl: Did you happen to catch the surname of Brenda, the Leading Stewardess on your PER-SIN flight? I'm just trying to see whether it was the same wonderful Brenda who was one of the key reasons my flight SIN-ICN in the 77W F was one of the best flights of my life! Does it begin with "K"?

Sorry I didn't catch Brenda's surname Stargold: she introduced herself to me. But I remember her as being quite tall and she made all the inflight announcements, her English was superb. And so was she!


User currently offlineLeonJunior From New Zealand, joined Aug 2007, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 21066 times:

I did enjoy your writing style very much,
Thanks for writing us such a wonderful trip report.

MH new regional lounge looks great by the way.


User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2193 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 21044 times:

Great trip report! Had to laugh at your intro, especially as there's a Singapore vs Malaysia war going on right now at my in-laws. When I mentioned that you related lor mai kai to a turd she ignored the comment and demanded that I look up the recipe immediately!


Applying insanity to normality
User currently offline'Longreach' From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 20237 times:

So the shuttle is no longer considered F Class?  Sad What a shame; finding this out hours after booking!

I have an 8 hour transit in Singapore before catching the shuttle, can I check in straight away and just wait in the lounge?

Great trip report!


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Battle Of The Kebayas: Malaysia Vs. Singapore
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
SIN-SYD-SIN Of The Inaugural (A380) W/many Pics posted Fri Feb 22 2008 03:39:13 by Ag92
Review Of The New BusElite On 757 posted Mon Feb 11 2008 08:40:51 by UpstateDave
In Search of the Jafa: BHX-EDI-BHX/BE (Pics/Vids) posted Mon Nov 6 2006 10:29:24 by Noelg
ZRH A.net Meet 2006, Pics Of The Meet And Flights posted Mon Jul 31 2006 12:28:40 by LH492
Home On The Other Side Of The World: MEX-CDG-BKK posted Wed Feb 15 2006 20:14:41 by ThaiboynMexico
Out Of The Cold, Into The Desert. SYR To PHX posted Thu Jan 5 2006 02:56:30 by DesertJets
United (mostly) Tour Of The US (SYD/NYC/LAS/PHX) posted Wed Dec 14 2005 07:02:43 by HZ747300
WN/HP:MSY-HOU-OAK-LAS-MSY (Pics Of The SFO Area) posted Sun Jun 12 2005 04:17:45 by MSYtristar
NZ2, The Way Of The Weird. posted Wed May 11 2005 11:31:36 by Jafa39
Wrath Of The Flour Brick:DUS-PMI-DUS W/DE (30 Pix) posted Fri Mar 25 2005 18:40:08 by TriStar500
Home On The Other Side Of The World: MEX-CDG-BKK posted Wed Feb 15 2006 20:14:41 by ThaiboynMexico
Out Of The Cold, Into The Desert. SYR To PHX posted Thu Jan 5 2006 02:56:30 by DesertJets
United (mostly) Tour Of The US (SYD/NYC/LAS/PHX) posted Wed Dec 14 2005 07:02:43 by HZ747300
WN/HP:MSY-HOU-OAK-LAS-MSY (Pics Of The SFO Area) posted Sun Jun 12 2005 04:17:45 by MSYtristar
NZ2, The Way Of The Weird. posted Wed May 11 2005 11:31:36 by Jafa39
ZRH A.net Meet 2006, Pics Of The Meet And Flights posted Mon Jul 31 2006 12:28:40 by LH492
Home On The Other Side Of The World: MEX-CDG-BKK posted Wed Feb 15 2006 20:14:41 by ThaiboynMexico
Out Of The Cold, Into The Desert. SYR To PHX posted Thu Jan 5 2006 02:56:30 by DesertJets
United (mostly) Tour Of The US (SYD/NYC/LAS/PHX) posted Wed Dec 14 2005 07:02:43 by HZ747300
WN/HP:MSY-HOU-OAK-LAS-MSY (Pics Of The SFO Area) posted Sun Jun 12 2005 04:17:45 by MSYtristar
NZ2, The Way Of The Weird. posted Wed May 11 2005 11:31:36 by Jafa39

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format