Having spent a few days doing not a lot in Singapore, it was time to head up to new territory in Kuala Lumpur. I got on the MRT and headed out to Changi Airport terminal one to get my Jetstar Asia flight to KUL.
08 Nov 08
After changing terminals on the sky train, I walked to the far end to find the counters. In the eight years since I was last in terminal one, it doesn’t appear to have changed very much at all. Later on I would discover sections of it had been boarded off for renovation. There was no line at check in so I went up to the counter and did all the check in stuff. The agent asked me if I was going on to another destination at some point. I wasn’t too sure what she was going on about, but I wasn’t flying again that day and not for a few more days afterwards. I headed off through immigration and loitered around the terminal for a while buying a book, getting something to eat and surfing the internet before heading down to the gate.
I went through security, had my boarding pass checked a waited for boarding to begin. Soon after, boarding began and was done fairly quickly. I took my seat, a window seat. I can’t remember which one as I can’t find my boarding pass. This is the view from the seat at least.
We pushed back and taixed out to 20R past all the freight terminals etc. The captain came on during taxi and briefed us about the flight. The crew performed the safety demo and took their seats for take off.
Once in the air you could see the miliary bases covered by trees yet attached to the airport.
Once the seatbelt sign had be switched off the crew started giving out immigration cards. As soon as that was done they hurriedly attempted to sell drinks. Before that could be done, we’d begun our decent into KUL. I barely had enough time to complete my immigration card before I had to stow my tray table for landing.
When we landed it was a reasonably short taxi to the main terminal building. From here it was a fair distance to walk to the immigration counters and after waiting about 10 minutes I had my passport stamped. By this point my bag hadn’t even turned up on the belt from claiming yet. After I had collected my bag I headed down to the KLIA Ekspress and headed in into KL Sentral.
Overall a good flight and would consider 3K again.
10 Nov 08
My time in KL had come to an end. In hindsight I should have given myself more than just one full day here to see the city. I got the monorail to KL Sentral where I caught the Air Asia Skybus to the LCCT terminal. On the way passing the Sepang Race Track.
The terminal looked like it was in chaos, building going on and people everywhere. I headed over to the self service check in machine and checked in but realised there was a problem when it didn’t give me a bag tag. I attempted to locate the check in desk for my flight and wandered around aimlessly looking for where to go. Air Asia were not off to a good start. Eventually I found it. The agent told me that the self service machines cannot be used for trips with luggage for checking in.
I headed off to the airside section and waited around for the flight
Air Asia get their aircraft turned around quick.
It was time to board. The lines were split into two, normal boarding and those who had paid extra for express boarding, which was me. We were walked out to the aircraft by one of the FAs
I walked up the stairs and went with seat 2A. I don’t think I’ve ever sat this far forward on an aircraft before.
Once the remainder of the passengers had boarded, we taxied out to the runway and took off heading out to the north. Once we were in the air the crew came around with snacks etc for sale.
Cashews and Green tea. The flight wasn’t very full which meant the service was done fairly quickly which was just as well as by the time they were done we had begun our decent into Penang and the crew needed to collect the rubbish. We landed shortly after and taxied to the gate, stopping short of the bridge and using stairs to disembark. Why? I don’t get this. When I left a few days later other AK flights were using the bridge. I know AK are all about low cost but stopping on a stand with a bridge and not using I seems kind of stupid.
Anway once I got back into the terminal I headed to baggage claim to find my bag already waiting. Overall AK are good. The LCC terminal in KUL is a bit of a shemozzle but the in-flight service made up for that. I was in a taxi heading for my hotel within 10 minutes of leaving the plane.
Penang is a pretty uninteresting place, the hotels tour operator was a bit of a joke so I didn’t do any tours and spent one day wandering around town. The place looks nice, but there just seems to be something lacking, Perhaps the beach areas are a bit nices. Anyway, I decided to leave a day early so while I was in town I went to the Malaysian Airlines office and brought my flight forward by 24 hours. No problem, no charges all done quick.
12 Nov 08
I decided to splurge on a J seat for this flight as it wasn’t that much more then the Y fare. I got to the airport and had my ticket reissued as the person at the MH office wasn’t able to do it the day before. Once I got that, I headed over to the Golden Club Class check in counter. There was no line, so my bag was checked through to SIN within a few minutes and boarding passes issued. I went through security and immigration then headed up to the MH lounge. One thing I noticed about PEN is that international flights and domestic flights seem to use the same passenger area with no separation like other airports.
I got to the lounge and ordered a latte, got some food a newspaper and watched some of the happenings outside on the ramp. The lounge was maybe 25% full when I arrived. There were quite a few flights heading to KUL before mine.
About 20 minutes prior to boarding I headed down to the gate as I’d been in the lounge for about 2 hours already.
Boarding was called and I headed down to my seat. The FA offered me a pre flight drink. Cold towels came out soon after. After the safety demo was given then crew came around and took orders for lunch. The choice was chicken and something else.
Once the seatbelt sign was off, the crew began preparing the cabin for lunch by putting down table cloths on the trays. Lunch was served a few minutes after
The food tasted good and was followed up by a round of coffee afterward. When the trays had been collected, hot towels were given out. The cabin was cleared up and we began our decent into SIN. After coming over the ships moored off SIN we landed on 02R and it was a short taxi to the gate. After the door was opened, it was about 10 until I was walking up the bridge after an enjoyable MH flight.
Immigration was slow and my bag was sitting on the floor by the time I got through. Unusually my bag was xrayed as I was exiting. Normally the red and green channels at SIN are unmanned. Possibly to do with the flight that had just arrived from Yangon.
Overall, three pleasant flights on three new carriers..
Wow... all that from a 20 minute cruise? They must have REALLY impressed you huh? LOL...
Quoting Bill142 (Thread starter): I headed over to the self service check in machine and checked in but realised there was a problem when it didn’t give me a bag tag. I attempted to locate the check in desk for my flight and wandered around aimlessly looking for where to go. Air Asia were not off to a good start. Eventually I found it. The agent told me that the self service machines cannot be used for trips with luggage for checking in.
Organisation is not a term for the LCCT in KUL. Common complaints are the lack of proper signages, insufficient seats, no proper directions to designated check in... Seems like a 3rd world airport more than a modern KLIA. Signs that the LCCT is unable to cope with Air Asia's stratosperic growth is pretty obvious to everyone. There have been lots of lobbying for AK to resume operations in Subang. So far the answer has been a firm "no" from the authorities. I myself will fly through there in a few months time on a non-connecting international flight LCC-style. Sigh... I am bracing for the worst but on a plus side, there will be lots of "interesting" trip report material to gather no doubt!
Quoting Bill142 (Thread starter): We landed shortly after and taxied to the gate, stopping short of the bridge and using stairs to disembark. Why?
Why? Because AK wants to cut down operating costs and they do this as it is a cheaper way. There is no need to pay man-hours for an aero-bridge operator. This is also done in JHB, KCH and BKI from what I have seen, and several other secondary M'sian domestic destinations as well.
Quoting Bill142 (Thread starter): The place looks nice, but there just seems to be something lacking, Perhaps the beach areas are a bit nices.
Ahh... Penang. Georgetown can be a little lifeless but I have come to take it for what it is and not expect too much. I normally spend my time lounging in the beach resorts of Batu Ferringhi and just laze my time away. I only go down town at night for dinner or the bars in Pulau Tikus.
Quoting Bill142 (Thread starter): One thing I noticed about PEN is that international flights and domestic flights seem to use the same passenger area with no separation like other airports.
Indeed. The only difference is at the entry into airside. International Departures go through one door, and Domestic Departures another but you all end up together again on the other end. Not a very secured way of segregation as I am very sure some people have walk through the wrong door before. More trouble for those international pax who walk through the domestic one.
Quoting Bill142 (Thread starter): Once the seatbelt sign was off, the crew began preparing the cabin for lunch by putting down table cloths on the trays. Lunch was served a few minutes after
The spoils of a hot meal on a short international flight. Glad to see that MH is still holding on to this virtue on a one hour hop from Penang. But I observe some inconsistencies though. The napkin used (under the meal tray) is from the "new" service ware while the plates and utensils are of the old variety.
Notice the difference? It is very subtle...
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