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4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 30526 times:

4 Stars or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA on Malaysia Airlines 777s


Intro
Malaysia Airlines' Economy Class long-haul product is in the focus of this report about my recent FRA-KUL-FRA flights on MH's 777s. I have also included a selection of pictures from Kuala Lumpur. In order to provide for more thematic clarity I will write a separate report on what was just in between the FRA-KUL-FRA sectors - flights on Air Asia A320s and a weeklong visit to the beautiful island of Langkawi.


Background
Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam - my girlfriend and I had checked numerous options for our summer holiday this year. In the end we chose Malaysia, or to be precise, a combination of Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia Airlines offered attractive fares on the FRA-KUL route and we found a special offer by Casa Del Mar - a hotel constantly ranking on first and second place among more than 50 Langkawi hotels on TripAdvisor. All we needed was a connection between KUL and LGK.
MH's long-haul special wasn't valid for an extension to LGK and return fares on that short route were rather high. So we chose Air Asia which offered much cheaper flights. We picked a KUL-LGK departure scheduled some four hours after the planned arrival at KUL - which would be enough to deal with the transfer to the Low Cost Terminal and even with a possible delay. And even in case - it wouldn't have been a disaster to purchase a new Air Asia flight if necessary. Of course it's a different story when you need to catch a MH long-haul flight. So we decided to fly LGK-KUL one day before finally returning home. One night at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur would also give us the chance to see some famous parts of the city. Our choice was the LeMeridien conveniently located at KL Sentral Station.



Saturday, 14 June 2008
Frankfurt (FRA) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Malaysia Airlines, MH005
12:30-06:25 (12:29-06:17)
Flying time: 11:19 (hrs)

Boeing 777-2H6ER
9M-MRB (s/n 075), delivered in 05/1997
Economy Seat 36A



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Photo © Jonathan Rankin
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Photo © Jonas Bodell




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Photo © Jonathan Rankin
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Photo © Neville Murphy-Aviation Images Australia




Check-in
We arrived at FRA's Terminal 2 some 3,5 hours prior to departure and had to wait less than 10 minutes in line. The friendly female agent quickly handed out the boarding passes with the reserved seats in row 36. Immediately after booking on Expedia in January I had called MH's reservations office and a friendly agent reserved the requested rows.

Boarding
It was neither possible to see the plane's registration from the McDonald's at T2, nor from the boarding gate, so I had to wait for boarding until I could spot "RB" on the gear door. 9M-MRB is Malaysia's second oldest 777, delivered in May 1997.




Cabin Comfort & Seating
Friendly FAs in nice green uniforms (male) and so-called Sarong Kebayas (female) welcomed us at the door and in the aisle while we headed to row 36. The seats (with adjustable headrests) in different colors aren't just an optical delight - they are actually very comfortable. Unlike on other long-haul flights before, my back didn't hurt in the end, not even after 12 hours on the return flight. The cabin was perfectly clean and everything looked well-maintained - no signs of age on this bird.

Cabin shots from the database:


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Photo © Benjamin Freer
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Photo © Chris Finney



MH has installed a 2-5-2 configuration which is my favorite on the 777. It's perfect when traveling as a pair - and if not, you can only end up next to one stranger. Of course, you have to ensure in due time not to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat...
Seat pitch is also generous (34 inch), I could stretch out and didn't feel uncomfortable even with my hand luggage always around. The footrests could be moved into only one position, so I didn't use them. The IFE box is not as large as on other carriers and not entirely fixed on the floor, so it wasn't a major disturbance.




Hot Towels & Monologue
After boarding was completed FAs offered hot towels - quite a nice touch not common in these days. We left the gate on time at 12:29 and soon started the (rather long) journey to Startbahn West (runway 18). Load factor stood at about 80 percent, with many German tourists in Economy. Just behind us, a German traveler gave his new seatmate a high-end-nonstop-briefing with his insider knowledge about Malaysia - actually we learned so much by (involuntarily) overhearing that monologue so that we considered leaving behind our travel guide in the seat pocket... Oh, I was really looking forward to the upcoming 777 cabin noise in flight...

At 12:53 it was finally our turn...



...and the two RR Trents accelerated the heavy twin-jet for a powerful takeoff roll. Left turn shortly after liftoff:




Juice & Peanuts
Service was started soon and FAs offered peanuts as well as cups filled with water, orange juice and (I guess) guava juice. I chose the latter which wasn't bad:




Lunch
About an hour after takeoff the FAs commenced lunch service. No menu cards were distributed - instead the choice of main courses was displayed in "cabin announcement letters" on the video screen. Never seen that before. I decided to try the beef with potato mash, while my girlfriend opted for the chicken with rice and vegetables.

First of all I was a bit surprised by the relatively small portion and the lacking presentation - not as generous and well-decorated as on EK, EY or SQ. There were only a few pieces of beef which didn't taste bad, though. The sauce and the potato mash weren't a culinary delight and the spinach tasted a bit stale. However, both the salad (zucchini, cucumber, paprika) and the red berry cake tasted good, even though there was just one piece of ewe's cheese in the salad bowl.



There weren't much more pieces of chicken in my girlfriend's meal, but her sauce, the rice and the vegetables tasted good - definitely the better choice.




Drinks
Wine and beer were available - which is a standard feature - but I missed the offering of aperitifs like e.g. on SriLankan Airlines. I also noticed that the orange juice served on MH is quite a thin concentrate - that's not what you would expect on a prestigious carrier. A list of drinks wasn't available in the inflight magazine, so I tried my luck and ordered a ginger ale - one of my favorites. Indeed I got it - but the FA had to order it from a colleague in the galley. Finally it was served in a cup, without the rest of the can.


IFE
After lunch it was time to explore MH's Matsuhita 3000i AVOD entertainment system, called "Select". Main menu:



It's not the latest system used by AI, EK or SQ, but it offers a huge choice of options, actually over 300 hours of entertainment. Here's an overview:


  • - 55 Movies on-demand (a mix of Hollywood & international films, possible to stop and rewind; several movies available in German)
  • - 19 Channels with more than 90 different TV features on-demand (e.g. comedy, drama, sports, travel, science, kids, religion etc.)
  • - 70 Video games (leisure, puzzle, board, arcade, kids)
  • - E-Learning: worldwide travel guide, 23 different language courses, business practises (local culture, history, etiquette), summaries of business books
  • - 200 Audio CDs on-demand plus 12 radio channels
  • - Airshow with advanced mode for details


The handset worked well, again no signs of age. However, when stored in the armrest you often touch a button involuntarily and the channel may switch. It may also be difficult to return the handset along with its cable back to the armrest - you need to press a button inside the storage bin in order to do so which is not always easy to find. Anyway, with such a great choice of options, I wouldn't have a problem to keep entertained on several MH long-haul flights in a row.

Overtaking a 767
One hour after lunch another plane showed up close to us and even by using my small binoculars this time I could identify it as an Uzbekistan Airways 767-300ER heading to its home base at Tashkent.



Most likely it was VP-BUZ which departed from FRA some time ahead of us. No problem for our 777 to overtake the slower 767 inflight!


Crossing Afghanistan
Some hours later I switched to the airshow again and checked the flight data.





Interesting routing: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India...






Snackpack
FAs constantly passed through the cabin with water and juice and after some time cruising in the darkness we got a snackpack, consisting of quite good crackers, a tasty fruit cake, pieces of dried guava and a bitter sweet chocolate. Just right at night.




Turbulence
Over northerneastern India we would enter shaky skies for the next 1,5 hours. It started slightly and became more serious over the Bay of Bengal. First of all there were announcements that people should remain seated, later we heard the captain speaking: "Flight attendants, please be seated." I didn't mind at all and continued playing some games. After some heavy "impacts" a guy seated next to our row at the aisle seemed to have enough and his girlfriend advised him to "breathe in and out slowly". The rollercoaster-like ride continued for a while and the guy finally disappeared in the back of the cabin...well, I can't deny that I felt a certain relief that "it" didn't happen at his seat...

Breakfast
About 1,5 hours prior to landing breakfast service was started. When the F/As had distributed a number of meals, the captain asked them to be seated again due to further turbulence fields ahead. There was an apology that service had to be stopped, but it would be resumed soon. This time I chose the omelette with beef sausage, roast potatoes and beans. In addition there was a fruit salad (pieces of apple, melon, pineapple), a blueberry yogurt, a croissant, jam and orange juice. Everything tasted fine and this time the portion was absolutely sufficient.



My girlfriend had opted for Nasi Lemak, a common dish in Malaysia. It was beef stewed in coconut milk and spices, accompanied by rice, a hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables and a hot spicy sauce. She liked it and indeed, it didn't taste bad, but I was quite satisfied with my choice.




Customer Survey
After breakfast, FAs handed out sheets of paper to certain passengers - I thought it would be time to fill an immigration form, but it was a customer survey. While I got one, my girlfriend didn't - the same happened in other rows. I have no idea about the logic of that selection process.



Anyway, I completed the form, mentioned all the positive, but also the negative aspects. I praised the seating and the IFE, but criticized the catering. They also asked for the top three international carriers based on personal experience and I referred to SQ, EY and EK. The survey is a good idea in order to improve service - hopefully MH will draw the right conclusions.

Arrival
The remaining time passed quickly and after an approach from the south and a total of 11:19 hours in the air we touched down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). It was still dark so I couldn't see much, spotting any registrations was impossible.



KLIA - Kuala Lumpur International Airport
After leaving the aircraft we walked for about five minutes through the state-of-the-art satellite terminal building and entered the Aerotrain to the main terminal. The planners have done a good job with the combination of design elements, the extensive use of glass and the lighting. Just like everything else, the floors were clean - or better spotless. Since its opening in June 1998, the airport has won numerous awards - several times even rated "best airport in the world" in its category.


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Photo © Alexander Kueh
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Photo © M Radzi Desa



Warm Welcome
The train ride took less than two minutes and we headed to the immigration counters. Queues weren't long and we soon got our passport stamps by a friendly officer. Actually the passport is all you need - entering Malaysia doesn't require to fill long forms, answer questions and leave fingerprints or anything similar as it is common in certain countries today. We truly felt welcome in Malaysia!
Only a few minutes later we could grab our luggage from the carousel and we walked to the arrivals area. Now we would have almost four hours to transfer to the Low Cost Terminal and check-in for the flight to Langkawi on Air Asia. Everything worked as planned and we spent a great vacation on this beautiful island. Watch out for the separate report, following soon!



Kuala Lumpur
After returning from Langkawi we took the Air Asia SkyBus from the Low Cost Terminal to KL Sentral Station (one hour-journey), the city's most important rail transportation hub. We checked in at the LeMeridien Hotel just across the street from the station. While it's a nice hotel, we missed the sincere and personal service we had just experienced at Casa Del Mar Langkawi. Though it's a quite new (and rather pricey) hotel, we found several items malfunctioning in the LeMeridien room. And not to forget, some staff seemed to be a bit confused with the advance payment of the room plus extra charge for late check-out...




Views from our room: the giant KL Sentral Station...



...and some modern buildings to the right:



First of all, we walked to the Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens located at one corner of Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana), with thousands of species of exotic orchids and hibiscus flowers.












The National Museum located on the fringe of Lake Gardens.




Menara Kuala Lumpur - with a height of 421 meters it is the fourth tallest telecommunication tower in the world.



Stunning views from the towers's observation deck at a height of 276 meters above ground level - and there are the famous Petronas Twin Towers:








The Lake Gardens (straight ahead) at Jalan Perdana is the city's most popular park area and includes a bird park, a butterfly park, a deer park and the mentioned flower gardens. KL Sentral and our hotel are on the very left.




On the way to the Petronas Twin Towers, with a height of 451,9 meters the tallest twin buildings in the world.



The skybridge located between the two towers on the 41st and the 42nd floors is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It's 170 meters above the ground and 58 meters long.



We had to wait in queue for about 1,5 hours to get two of the (free) tickets for the skybridge walk. Those who don't want to wait can still go shopping in the giant and exclusive Suria Mall located below the Twin Towers. Views from the bridge:






Last but not least - the KL Monorail, one of several excellent rail-based transit systems in the city.



There's so much to see in KL and we will visit the other attractions once we come back...



Sunday, 22 June 2008
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Frankfurt (FRA)
Malaysia Airlines, MH006
23:50-06:30 (00:45-07:10)
Flying time: 12:04 (hrs)

Boeing 777-2H6ER
9M-MRQ (s/n 498), delivered in 12/2004
Economy Seat 36J



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Photo © Sascha Foerster
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Photo © Jonathan Derden - Spot This!




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Photo © Snorre - VAP
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Photo © JKSC




Check-in - but not at the Airport
After our late check-out at the LeMeridien and the evening visit to the Petronas Twin Towers' skybridge we checked in for our flight home - well, not at the airport, but directly at KL Sentral Station. MH and a few other airlines offer check-in here which is very convenient, as you can leave your luggage, just enter the KLIA Express train and go straight to the gate. Friendly staff handed out the boarding passes quickly. Then we took the KLIA Express and arrived at the airport just 28 minutes later. We entered the main terminal departure hall for the first time and again I enjoyed the building's great design.


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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt




Then we went straight through security and took the train to the satellite terminal. The central area:



Our way to the gate:




MH006 delayed
A quick look at the departures screen showed that our flight would depart at 00:30, 40 minutes behind schedule. At that time it was about 21:00, so I assumed our plane would arrive late from another destination. However, a plane was already parked at C14 - it was 9M-MRQ, the latest 777 in the fleet, delivered in December 2004.




ATC Requirements
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and killed the remaining time by reading - spotting was absolutely impossible at night. I got exactly one registration - the very 9M-MRQ. Boarding was started earlier than expected and we were welcomed by friendly FAs. Again, load factor stood at about 80 percent in Economy. We sat down at 36J and 36K at about 00:15 and were surprised by the captain's announcement. He said we wouldn't be able to leave the ground earlier than 01:00 due to ATC requirements. Who knows what exactly that meant - at least they knew about the delay already hours in advance. Again FAs offered hot towels - as well as orange juice and water due to the delay. 9M-MRQ was finally pushed back at 00:45 and we lifted off from runway 32R 12 minutes later.

Late Night Dinner
Dinner service (chicken or fish curry) was started less than an hour in the air. And while cruising over the Bay of Bengal FAs had to sit down again due to turbulence. When the service was resumed, the meals had already cooled down a bit. Anyway, what we got was very tasty - and the portion was bigger than on MH005. But it makes no sense to serve a bigger portion in the middle of the night when people tend to eat less than during lunchtime. The pieces of chicken breast, the potato wedges and the slightly spicy sauce were really good, but I didn't like the vegetables. The green salad with crabs wasn't a culinary delight either, but I loved the caramel cream cake. Again, the orange juice served was the thin concentrate.




After dinner I reclined the seat and surprisingly managed to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up we had already passed Afghanistan and I decided to use the IFE again. Just like on 9M-MRB, the system worked well, so no reason to complain. Entertainment outside - a beautiful sunrise:




Snacks
While most people were sleeping FAs didn't serve a snack during the night. However, snackpacks (similar contents as on MH005) and peanuts were available in the galley. I had a short chat with the friendly female supervisor and she spontaneously offered me a small bag of good candy, apparently from her personal stock. Later when she passed our row and served drinks she asked me and my girlfriend whether I had shared the candy...

Breakfast
Two hours prior to our arrival at FRA a hot breakfast was served. We chose the omelette with chicken sausage, hash brown, mushrooms and green beans over Nasi Lemak. Again, it was a good and filling meal together with the fresh fruit and the croissant, even though the banana smoothie wasn't to my taste. Not to forget - I cannot recommend MH's coffee with its strange aftertaste.




After breakfast we were already cruising in full daylight and I used the chance to make a cabin-shot:




Approach
The 12 hours in the air had passed relatively fast and shortly before 07:00 we were on final approach to Frankfurt Airport's runway 25R.










Pass Control Confusion
We stopped at the gate at 07:11 and said goodbye to 9M-MRQ. Some of the FAs in the front part of the cabin didn't look very friendly when we passed them, but well, that can even happen on MH. Only two counters were open for passport control - and numerous people including us were confused by the signs. There was one large illuminated "non-EU" sign in the middle between the two counters - while rather small "non-EU" and "EU" signs were placed on the respective counters. Many people couldn't see the tiny signs from behind and therefore lined up in the wrong queue. And as usual when I travel from FRA, the arrival area was a construction site...anyway, our luggage arrived soon, so we could head homewards.



Conclusion
Flying Malaysia Airlines was a pleasure, we can honestly say we were satisfied with our choice. Seating, IFE and facilities at KUL were excellent, cabins were clean and in good shape, service in the air and on the ground was really good. The vast majority of FAs and ground staff was very friendly. However, the overall experience wasn't much better than on other Asian, Arabian and even some European carriers.

Based on a Skytrax rating, Malaysia belongs to a small number of 5-Star-Airlines. Apart from the fact that these ratings should be taken with a grain of salt anyway, the detailed listing on Skytrax shows that MH has 5 stars in total - but only 4 for long-haul Economy class. And I think that the 4-star-rating is absolutely satisfied. First of all, in order to deserve the 5-star-rating in Economy, the main meal service should be improved - bigger portions at the right time (e.g. during lunchtime) and an improved meal presentation would be appropriate. The selection of drinks could also be improved. MH also lacks a few details which are part of other (mostly Asian and Arabian) airlines' long-haul products. Examples are amenity kits with socks, eye patch and earplugs, menu cards, aperitifs, ice cream or a self-service bar with a variety of snacks.

However, as I said, these are details - even without those I would certainly fly MH again and I can truly recommend the airline to anyone. As for Kuala Lumpur: It's a great modern city with many attractions, definitely worth a visit.

Next report: KUL-LGK-KUL on Air Asia, including a selection of pics from Langkawi


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2008-06-25 09:48:50]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 30404 times:

Hi PH,

nice report on MH. This is definitely a great carrier.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Over northerneastern India we would enter shaky skies for the next 1,5 hours. It started slightly and became more serious over the Bay of Bengal.

Same experience by me, on MH, and on NG, both times above Bay of Bengal. I saw large thunderstorms below us. Pretty gusty area around there.

Pics are good, views on K.L. reminds me on my own visit. The buildings are great, shopping is nice too, perfect for a short stay in the city!

Thanks,
Eric  wave 



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineINNflight From Switzerland, joined Apr 2004, 3767 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 30280 times:

Congrats on the nice TR, a pleasure to read and goodie pics, as usual!

Funny thing that in your monorail shot, there's an advert for the UEFA Euro2008....now wait....wrong part of the world heh?  Smile

Thx for writing!



Jet Visuals
User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2728 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 29971 times:

Very good TR! Doesn't MH have installed mood lighting on its 777s?


אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 29742 times:

Great TR! Thanks for posting!

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 29724 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The seats (with adjustable headrests) in different colors aren't just an optical delight - they are actually very comfortable. Unlike on other long-haul flights before, my back didn't hurt in the end, not even after 12 hours on the return flight.

Seat comfort is the best thing about their economy class. As for the seats being an 'optical delight'... I find I prefer the cabin with the lights out.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
MH has installed a 2-5-2 configuration which is my favorite on the 777. It's perfect when traveling as a pair - and if not, you can only end up next to one stranger. Of course, you have to ensure in due time not to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat...

It is also excellent when the load factor is low. Five seats make a long, flat bed in economy. A number of lucky passengers enjoyed that benefit on a recent MH90 flight, more so on the ARN-EWR sector than on the KUL-ARN.

Quoting LY777 (Reply 3):
Doesn't MH have installed mood lighting on its 777s?

Business Class only. It's funny to see how the mood lighting ends right above the partition.


User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 29548 times:

After flying KE I'd like try MH or CX in my next trip to Asia. Malaysia's Coach cabin looks way better and specially more up-dated than the Korean one. I wonder when MH will be a SkyTeam member. They deserve it, no doubt.

Very nice trip report, PH. Thanks for posting! It's logical you consider "design old" the Korean Air seats after flying with the nice, colorful MH seats  cloudnine 



Time flies! Enjoy life!
User currently offlineTriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 760 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 29492 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice TR especially with the pics of KUL, a city I have yet to visit. I see MH 777's at NRT, but have never flown on them before.


Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 29193 times:

Thanks for all comments!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 1):
Same experience by me, on MH, and on NG, both times above Bay of Bengal. I saw large thunderstorms below us. Pretty gusty area around there.

Definitely not the right area to start any food or drink service on board!

Quoting INNflight (Reply 2):
Funny thing that in your monorail shot, there's an advert for the UEFA Euro2008....now wait....wrong part of the world heh?

I was surprised how popular European football is in Malaysia. Some people expressed their congratulations for the victory against Portugal after they heard I'm from Germany.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 5):
Seat comfort is the best thing about their economy class. As for the seats being an 'optical delight'... I find I prefer the cabin with the lights out.

Considering how boring some cabins look in these days with dark blue or grey seats, MH makes a nice difference.

Quoting SKY1 (Reply 6):
I wonder when MH will be a SkyTeam member. They deserve it, no doubt.

It's about time to join. Hopefully it will happen soon, it would be a win for both MH and SkyTeam. KUL is also fantastic for transfers.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 29055 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
First of all I was a bit surprised by the relatively small portion and the lacking presentation - not as generous and well-decorated as on EK, EY or SQ.

It looks like the recent cut backs have materialised.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My girlfriend had opted for Nasi Lemak, a common dish in Malaysia. It was beef stewed in coconut milk and spices, accompanied by rice, a hard boiled egg, pickled vegetables and a hot spicy sauce. She liked it and indeed, it didn't taste bad, but I was quite satisfied with my choice.

Nasi Lemak is ALWAYS a very popular choice on MAS flights. It is always running out so your gf is lucky to have hers.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After breakfast, FAs handed out sheets of paper to certain passengers - I thought it would be time to fill an immigration form, but it was a customer survey. While I got one, my girlfriend didn't - the same happened in other rows. I have no idea about the logic of that selection process.

It is given out at random (cabin crew's discretion). Now it would be a good time to gauge passenger's feedback because the company is going through some rather tough times after suffering so much losses (amounting to billions) before climbing back into the black for the last financial year. A lot of cuts have been made for them to climb back and the recovery was not easy, having to tarnish the brand as a consequence. So if you liked your MAS experience now, imagine what it was like before!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We checked in at the LeMeridien Hotel just across the street from the station.

Hey, I have stayed next door at Hilton before. Awesome hotel, just not too sure about the location though. However, if I am flying, it is convenient because KL Sentral is next door.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant and killed the remaining time by reading - spotting was absolutely impossible at night. I got exactly one registration - the very 9M-MRQ

Hmm.. Chilli's?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The green salad with crabs wasn't a culinary delight either,

Crabs? Sigh... I do not understand how can they pass off this fake crab as crab? It is really fish with flour and a dose of colouring to make it look like crab.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had a short chat with the friendly female supervisor and she spontaneously offered me a small bag of good candy, apparently from her personal stock. Later when she passed our row and served drinks she asked me and my girlfriend whether I had shared the candy...

This is what the airline's PR is trying to spin, the awesome cabin crew. They have old planes, they are not as slick as SQ/EK/QF, they might not have the best cabin amenities.... But they have the world's best cabin crew. And they are indeed one of the best I have seen.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two hours prior to our arrival at FRA a hot breakfast was served. We chose the omelette with chicken sausage, hash brown, mushrooms and green beans over Nasi Lemak.

Oh god... soggy hash. You should have gone for the Nasi Lemak because it was catered out of KUL which means it would have tasted more authentic than the one you got out of FRA.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Based on a Skytrax rating, Malaysia belongs to a small number of 5-Star-Airlines. Apart from the fact that these ratings should be taken with a grain of salt anyway, the detailed listing on Skytrax shows that MH has 5 stars in total - but only 4 for long-haul Economy class.

After the cuts, MAS isn't that 5 star anymore. Sometimes, I don't think they ever were 5 star so I wonder how did they get this award in the first place? However, they still cling on to this award like some lifesaver that will take them out of the doldrums.

It brings back a lot of memories reading your report as I used to be a VERY frequent flyer of MAS. I have flown them in all 3 classes and suffice to say, what they lacked in hardware, they made it up a lot thru their software, their cabin crew. They were always fantastic and I would always have a soft spot for them because they really didn't have a lot to work with.

Great report!

Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 29004 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I praised the seating and the IFE, but criticized the catering

Darn... I'm sure MH will interprete that comment as your preference for their famous 'take home to share with family and pets' and beautifully designed snackboxes, instead of proper hot meals!!

[Edited 2008-06-26 01:24:58]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 28843 times:

Nice report PH!

I think I read somewhere that meals on the return flights to KUL (i.e. your FRA-KUL) have frozen main courses heated up in the galley instead of freshly prepared at the caterers at outstations. Not 100% sure though.

Lufthansa747



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 28608 times:

Thanks for your further feedback!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
A lot of cuts have been made for them to climb back and the recovery was not easy, having to tarnish the brand as a consequence.

Hopefully they can indeed recover, but with Air Asia now also expanding on medium and long-haul routes it won't become easier...

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
Hey, I have stayed next door at Hilton before. Awesome hotel, just not too sure about the location though. However, if I am flying, it is convenient because KL Sentral is next door.

I found the location convenient - direct access from the airport and a good starting point for rides throughout the city. I would stay there again.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
Hmm.. Chilli's?

Sbarro...

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
They have old planes, they are not as slick as SQ/EK/QF, they might not have the best cabin amenities.... But they have the world's best cabin crew. And they are indeed one of the best I have seen.

Indeed, I liked all those who served in Economy.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
Oh god... soggy hash. You should have gone for the Nasi Lemak because it was catered out of KUL which means it would have tasted more authentic than the one you got out of FRA.

Too bad, I didn't think about that.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
Sometimes, I don't think they ever were 5 star so I wonder how did they get this award in the first place?

You never know with Skytrax...

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 9):
However, they still cling on to this award like some lifesaver that will take them out of the doldrums.

Yes, just recently expressed by MH's CEO.

http://www.forimmediaterelease.net/pm/1408.html

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 10):
Darn... I'm sure MH will interprete that comment as your preference for their famous 'take home to share with family and pets' and beautifully designed snackboxes, instead of proper hot meals!!

Hopefully not...

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 11):
I think I read somewhere that meals on the return flights to KUL (i.e. your FRA-KUL) have frozen main courses heated up in the galley instead of freshly prepared at the caterers at outstations. Not 100% sure though.

Interesting - that would explain the significant difference of quality between lunch on MH005 and dinner on MH006.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 28223 times:

Hi there!

Thanks for the great half-time entertainemnt. Reading the report and watching the pics was definitely more entertaining than watching the first half of tonight's game.  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat pitch is also generous (34 inch),

A seat pitch of 34" is absolutely great for Economy Class.  thumbsup 

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
guava juice.

Sounds tasty, finally an airline which is offering another juice than just the boring choice of apple and orange juices.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Wine and beer were available

What kind of beer did they serve? An international brand (like Beck's, Heineken, Stella, etc.) or a local brand from Malaysia?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We entered the main terminal departure hall for the first time and again I enjoyed the building's great design.

I have to agree, the design of the building is great!

Thanks for the report, it was ultra-detailed as always! I am looking forward to read from your Air Asia experience.

Patrick


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5177 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27560 times:

Hi, PH,

I´am looking forward to this story and as expected a great read with stunning
views into KL and also your experience with MH.

Oh, well, it seems I need to go once again to Asia, if it´s ever possible.

So, looking again forward to your Langkawi story.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineGCDEG From Greece, joined Jan 2006, 352 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27436 times:

Hey PlaneHunter.
Have been looking forward to this report! One word - Fantastic!! Brought back a lot of memories when I was in Malaysia for 3 months not too long ago. All your pics are great and very similar to the ones I took!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
it wouldn't have been a disaster to purchase a new Air Asia flight if necessary

It's amazing how you can just turn up on the day and the tickets are still so cheap. This is what I did on occasions and was surprised at how cheap they were.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Just behind us, a German traveler gave his new seatmate a high-end-nonstop-briefing with his insider knowledge about Malaysia - actually we learned so much by (involuntarily)

Another know it all!!  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It's not the latest system used by AI, EK or SQ, but it offers a huge choice of options, actually over 300 hours of entertainment.

Whilst not the best I was never bored using it. Had a great selection of features.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Over northerneastern India we would enter shaky skies for the next 1,5 hours. It started slightly and became more serious over the Bay of Bengal

Funny that. That's exactly where it hit my flights to and from KL.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We truly felt welcome in Malaysia!

You get that vibe from Malaysians don't you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Actually the passport is all you need - entering Malaysia doesn't require to fill long forms, answer questions and leave fingerprints or anything similar as it is common in certain countries today. We truly felt welcome in Malaysia!

Yeah this was only changed recently. You used to have to fill out immigration forms but now they just stamp your passport and away you go.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After returning from Langkawi we took the Air Asia SkyBus from the Low Cost Terminal to KL Sentral Station

The cheapest and easiest way to get around. Great value.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We had to wait in queue for about 1,5 hours to get two of the (free) tickets for the skybridge walk.

I was lucky the day I went. Although we were in the queue we still managed to get tickets for the first walk at 9am!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There's so much to see in KL and we will visit the other attractions once we come back...

You have to. It's a fantastic city and well worth more visits.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
He said we wouldn't be able to leave the ground earlier than 01:00 due to ATC requirements

I wonder what this was all about?? Hmmm....strange

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Not to forget - I cannot recommend MH's coffee with its strange aftertaste.

Is it just the way the photo is taken or is there something purple in your coffee cup?  Wink

Like I say I loved it in Malaysia and would not hesitate to go back in a second. Did you like it as much as I did? Can't wait for your Air Asia/Langkawi report. I spent nearly 2 weeks there (spread out over 2-3 days at a time) and fell in love with the place.

GCDEG



The best thing invented - Winglets!
User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 860 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 27300 times:

Nice report PlaneHunter. I always enjoy your reports.

User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6648 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 26987 times:

Very nice report PlaneHunter! I have had some great flights on MH as well so I'm not surprised about your great experience.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 26756 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 13):
Thanks for the great half-time entertainemnt. Reading the report and watching the pics was definitely more entertaining than watching the first half of tonight's game.

Good to hear, Patrick! Hopefully the game's first half will be more interesting today...

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 13):
What kind of beer did they serve? An international brand (like Beck's, Heineken, Stella, etc.) or a local brand from Malaysia?

I don't know as I didn't order one. But the choice is rather limited in Malaysia in general. You get Tiger from Thailand, Carlsberg, Anchor (local brand) and Guiness. And beer was cheaper on Langkawi than in KL. Probably due to taxes.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 13):
Thanks for the report, it was ultra-detailed as always! I am looking forward to read from your Air Asia experience.



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 14):
So, looking again forward to your Langkawi story.

Thanks, should be online in a few days.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 14):
Oh, well, it seems I need to go once again to Asia, if it´s ever possible.

No matter where I have gone so far, Asia has always been a great choice. As much as I like going to the US, but Asia is what I would always prefer...

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
Have been looking forward to this report! One word - Fantastic!! Brought back a lot of memories when I was in Malaysia for 3 months not too long ago. All your pics are great and very similar to the ones I took!

Thanks a lot!

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):

It's amazing how you can just turn up on the day and the tickets are still so cheap. This is what I did on occasions and was surprised at how cheap they were.

Some days prior to our departure I checked AK's fares again and they weren't much higher than months ago.

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
Yeah this was only changed recently. You used to have to fill out immigration forms but now they just stamp your passport and away you go.

Interesting to know. Good decision to axe the forms.

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
I was lucky the day I went. Although we were in the queue we still managed to get tickets for the first walk at 9am!

That's indeed luck. But I have to admit, we should have been there earlier...

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
Is it just the way the photo is taken or is there something purple in your coffee cup?

Just a reflection (bright sun outside). I was surprised when I noticed that on the computer screen...

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
Like I say I loved it in Malaysia and would not hesitate to go back in a second. Did you like it as much as I did?

Absolutely yes. There are good chances we will return to Malaysia next year.

Quoting GCDEG (Reply 15):
I spent nearly 2 weeks there (spread out over 2-3 days at a time) and fell in love with the place.

The same here, Langkawi is fantastic. I'm glad we didn't go to Penang instead.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 16):
Nice report PlaneHunter. I always enjoy your reports.

Thanks, nice to hear!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
I have had some great flights on MH as well so I'm not surprised about your great experience.

Yes, I think I remember you once told me about your positive MH experience.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 26735 times:

Hola Plane Hunter!

Your TR looks really great!

MH is definitely a great airline to fly. I look forward to flying them when going to Asia.

I like the generous seat pitch and the food looks very nice. Those breakfasts are the same I got on LH C class when flying back from YVR last March.

Keep them coming!

BTW, my guess for tonight's game: Germany 1- Spain 3. The best of luck! Big grin

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6903 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26339 times:



Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 19):
Your TR looks really great!

Hola Roger & Muchas Gracias!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 19):
I like the generous seat pitch and the food looks very nice. Those breakfasts are the same I got on LH C class when flying back from YVR last March.

Interesting to know. What else did they offer for breakfast?

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 19):
BTW, my guess for tonight's game: Germany 1- Spain 3. The best of luck!

Well, almost 0:3.  Wink The Spanish team was clearly better and deserved to win.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOHLHD From Finland, joined Dec 2004, 3962 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26327 times:

Hi Planehunter!


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

Great report! I can´t wait for the Langkawi report! Make sure to include much pictures from there!!!  

Are the seats on the 777 comfortable. Do you think I would fit easily with my 191cm?

[Edited 2008-06-30 10:38:07]

User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 26291 times:

Hi PH,

again a typical "PlaneHunter-report" with lots of details and a great selection of pictures. Thanks for sharing your experiences! Even if Malaysia Airlines might not be a 5-star-airline in Economy, their product still looks very good.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The seats (with adjustable headrests) in different colors aren't just an optical delight - they are actually very comfortable.

The seats do look good indeed, and the different colours make the cabin appear less monotone.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
No menu cards were distributed - instead the choice of main courses was displayed in "cabin announcement letters" on the video screen. Never seen that before.

A very good idea indeed. They don't have to print menu cards (which is expensive), but the flight attendants don't have to ask "chicken or beef" 200 times either.

Kuala Lumpur seems to be an interesting place to visit.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 26266 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
But the choice is rather limited in Malaysia in general. You get Tiger from Thailand, Carlsberg, Anchor (local brand) and Guiness.

Ah, Anchor is their local brand called, interesting, didn't know that. I drunk one beer during my day-trip to Malaysia and that was a can of Tiger (which is from Singapore btw.).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
The Spanish team was clearly better and deserved to win.

I can't agree more! What a pathetic appearance by the German team last night.  grumpy  But the party was great, though!  Wink

Patrick


User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 26115 times:

Hola PH!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
What else did they offer for breakfast?

As you can see....

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p71/rogerbcn/DSC01069.jpg

it is better not to write any comment.

Grüsse,

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
25 Post contains links SIN7 : Enjoyed your TR, Thanks Man! Brings back memories of my Dec vacation to FRA last Dec on the same MH flights. My experiece last year was worst, my dela
26 BA319-131 : Hi PH, Real great TR, good to see MH are pretty consistent on flights. Cabin looks clean and airy, nice travelling enviroment. Foods look ok, nothing
27 MAS777 : says it all really doesn't it - this IS what makes MAS Cabin Crew so superb - pretty much all of the time. On subject of the orange juice - that's pr
28 PlaneHunter : Thanks for all new comments! Yes, I have already earmarked quite a few for the report! The seats are very comfortable and the pitch is better than on
29 StefanPAD : Hi PH! A nice detailed TR with great pics. It was a pleasure to read it. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Stefan
30 PlaneHunter : Thanks, Stefan. Part two to follow soon. PH
31 Post contains images akhmad : Hi PH, Another marvelous report of yours on board of MH long-haul flight from Europe. I wonder why I did not notice it earlier. Your experience remind
32 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Suryo, thanks so much for your nice feedback! Great to hear you liked it. Who knows, at least I didn't hear him any longer. No, unfortunately. But
33 Post contains images akhmad : Thanks! I did not want to miss out those stunning views!
34 Avianca : great report, I would love to use the Malaysias service out of EZE one day..... but they are general too expensive.... gooood old Mörfelden, I love t
35 SXDFC : Wonderful TR, The presentation as well as the clarity of it, made it enjoyable to read!
36 767747 : Hey, PH, Great report! Interesting to read about your experience with Malaysian Airlines .. You don't hear too much about this airline on here! Great
37 PlaneHunter : Thanks! Hi Avianca, good to hear you liked it. Thanks a lot, Bobby! Hi Matthew, thanks a lot for your feedback, always appreciated! PH
38 MSS658 : Nice trip report! Glad to see a nice insight report from MH. I prefer the 2-5-2 configuration above the 3-3-3/3-4-3 configuration anytime in the 777 a
39 Post contains images vivekman2006 : Nice TR on MH, PlaneHunter! Brought back memories of my trip on MH 777s back in 2006. Nothing seems to have changed since then. It is ALWAYS turbulent
40 wexfordflyer : Don't know about Malaysian but alot of airlines will only hand out one comment card per group (which I think isn't great, people have different opini
41 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks for your feedback! Too bad that 2-5-2 has become quite rare. Many thanks, Vivek! Thanks a lot, good to hear you liked it! PH
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