ThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16 Posted (5 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Reason for trip
Well it’s a long holiday season in Indonesia where all offices are going to be closed for 10 days…so it will be a great time for me to head back home to Perth, but I decided to drop by to Sydney for 3 nights first. My route will be CGK-KUL (and back) with KLM in J, KUL-SYD with MH in F, SYD-PER with QF in J, and PER-SYD with MH in J.
25 Sep 2008
Jakarta (CGK) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Aircraft: B747-400 Combi
Aircraft 1st Flight: 11 Oct 2000
Registration: PH-BFW “Shanghai”
Flight Time: 1hr 40min
Cruise: 38,500 Feet
Seat: 2A (World Business Class)
Managed to finish some last minute stuff in the office before heading home to pick up my bags and also the wife. We left home at around 1615, cutting it close especially with the horrible traffic we faced on the road to the airport. But at least we made it to the airport 45mins before departure plus I also did an online check in the day before so that kept our formalities at the airport to a bare minimum. We still managed to spend 15mins in the very crowded lounge. Being the holiday season, all flights going just about anywhere from Jakarta are packed to the brim.
Slightly renovated departure area
Common use airport lounge, packed to the brim!!
Was surprised to see that the new J seats were already installed on this aircraft. We were greeted upon entering the aircraft by the lead male steward and the crew are pretty cheery too.
And to no surprise, this flight is also full to the maximum capacity. KLM serves juices and even champagne as welcome drinks. Inflight catering was also surprisingly pretty good.
But I was a bit disappointed they did not hand out those little porcelain houses anymore. There was also an Ozjet B732 in CGK. The flight itself was uneventful although the last 30mins of the flight was particularly bumpy. Overall a nice flight by KLM and if my schedule permits, I do not mind taking them on my frequent runs to KUL.
View from the Westin KL
After another nice overnight stay at the Westin, we met up with friends, had dinner, even had a short time to shop before one of my friends dropped us off at the airport. We also ran out of fuel near the airport and luckily a gas station was in sight, ‘phew’ thought for the first time in my life I was going to miss a flight. At the curb, we were met by a porter who took us to the check in counter.
KLIA at night
But sadly that’s where the ground service for F stops for MH, definitely TG is way up there in terms of F ground service. Even the F lounge was not much better than the normal J lounge. Being in F, we were also one of the last few to be called for boarding.
Scenes from the Golden Lounge
SQ B772 ready for her usual turnaround to Singapore
9M-MPD waiting for us
MH has the same seats as TG in F, but of course in a different colour scheme, plus a much bigger monitor for AVOD. Of course the greeting we got from the crew was top notch, and this is what really sets MH apart from all the other airlines.
My preferred choice of welcome drink, Perrier
Whats for supper and breakfast?
Current monthly mag and in flight entertainment magazines
B744 safety card
And now, the obligatory visit to the bathroom
Mood lighting in action
MH also spent more on refurbishing their B744 and B777 than TG, as they even put in the mood lighting. However, the headsets were not noise cancelling and were the same cheap ones as given out in J. But not a problem as I have my Bose headsets with me all the time.
Good quality wood on dining table
Automatic window shades
After the nice meal we tried to sleep, but it was pretty difficult as initially the cabin was to warm and then later in the flight we also had some major turbulence.
Watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on AVOD
Getting ready for bed time
Wife just got off her seat to wash up before landing
Top of descent and scenes upon descent
Overall I can’t fault MH service wise on board in F, even products in flight are better than TG, but I will still fly TG more often in F mainly due to the great ground handling services provided at BKK.
Etihad A345 and SQ Whalejet
Selected scenes of Sydney
Room at Hilton Sydney where we stayed
That’s the end of part 1. Part 2 will consist of me flying QF in J back to Perth and then MH in J Perth to Kula Lumpur and then KL in J from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta.
I am not sure on their long haul as I only usually fly them CGK-KUL and vice versa, and I guess to the short distance, everything is served at once. Even MH who usually serves J meals on course by course, they serve it all at once for the short haul sectors.
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 30345 times:
Hi Mr. Kwee,
Nice to see you globetrotting as usual. I have a few comments and questions to share/ask:
Since EK abandoned their KUL-CGK-KUL tag on, I think KL is in the advantage for being the only reputable foreign airlines plying the route (those Middle Eastern airlines - SV, Yemenia, Kuwait Airways fly the route as well but I don't think they are worth mentioning). I agree with you that KL's schedule for the flights was not that convenient, it's too late in the afternoon for departure from KUL but I am longing to fly with them to CGK.
I think, as a premium Enrich member, you should write to MH about the lack of ground handling services to F passengers, since you mentioned all aspects of MH's F product are better than that of TG's, with the exception of the ground handling services.
Trip report on MH's F product is very rare, probably a reflection of how unpopular it was as compared to maybe TG's F or SQ's R. I always curious to know how is the F side area (everything to the left) of the Satellite Golden Lounge in KUL looks like. I can tell that it is almost deserted at all time. What's so special inside there that differ from the J side area to the right? Flying with MH on F has been a dream of mine for years, but I don't know whether I will ever have the resources to realise it.
You flew on MPD - the former Hibiscus 2. Too bad she is now wearing the normal uniform just because MH wanted to save on fuel cost.
How was the load on F on that flight? How many seats out of 16 (or was it 12?) being occupied? I like those meals pictures and the apparatus that accompanying it, I never see the wooden tray anywhere before.
ThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 30152 times:
Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 12): you should write to MH about the lack of ground handling services to F passengers, since you mentioned all aspects of MH's F product are better than that of TG's, with the exception of the ground handling services.
Ahhh so nice to hear from you again Azizul. I intend to do so once I get back to Jakarta, I am currently in PER but heading back tomorrow.
Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 12): What's so special inside there that differ from the J side area to the right?
Actually everything is identical, only sofas are in better condition (not much ppl in there) and the smoking room is pretty nice, and they do serve Haagan Daaz Ice Cream, besides that everything is just a copy of the J lounge. I give TG 10/10 for their Lounge in BKK, SQ 8/10 for their T3 F lounge but sadly can only give MH 2/10 for the F lounge. Staff are also not to be seen anywhere. Actually the new Golden Lounge at the H gates is still better than even the F lounge in C.
Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 12): How was the load on F on that flight? How many seats out of 16 (or was it 12?) being occupied?
It was a 12 seater and load was pretty good, 8 seats taken.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 29517 times:
Interestingly, I used to fly MH123 very often between 1997-2001. AND to make things more interesting, the Golden Club Class tickets were very affordable for pax ex-SIN. SGD2100.00 versus SQ/QF which were SGD4600.00!!! Needless to say I saw the upper deck of the MAS 747 very often during those times! There was a period the JCL tickets on MH went on offer for SGD1800.00 to SYD via KUL!!!!! But I missed out on that promotion.
That being said, Golden Lounge is the best as far as I am concerned. I only had "official" access to the First Class side on my way back to SIN because my onward flight was PCL. However, I didnt care as I still went over to the First Class Lounge on my way to SYD because the lounge is never crowded and there are is no one guarding anything. PLUS the accessway behind the reception where the shared business center is is hidden so I used that as my way into the other side. But the catering is the same, perhaps with the absence of the bistro as the only major difference.
While flying at the nose of the plane offers some interesting perspective to flight (I did the KLM 747 once), I still much prefer the upper deck for that "business jet" feel to it. It is also quieter because presumably you are further away from the engines??
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
ThaiA345 From Indonesia, joined Oct 2006, 877 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 27615 times:
Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 18): The overhead bins on the upper deck might be small but how big is your bag to not be able to fit in there?? Wink
Its the standard Tumi 48hr bag. I usually travel with spare clothes in my handcarry for any emergencies, mainly, if my main baggage decides to go on its own holiday ahahhahaah.....learnt it the hardway, and how, it always pays to play it safe