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Baby Flies The A380 Pt 3: MH KUL-KUA 734 (pics)  
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2024 posts, RR: 4
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8963 times:

This report continues on from:
Baby Flies The A380 Pt 2: 3K SIN-KUL A320 (pics)
Baby Flies The A380 Pt 1: QF SYD-SIN A380 (pics)

The next leg of our journey was to Kuantan on Malaysia’s East Coast. I was hoping for a very lazy time at a resort on Teluk Chempedak.

After a couple of truly awful flights back in 2000 between Sydney and KL on MAS that had me wondering if I could ever leave Australia again I had vowed never to fly with them again. However, the only way to fly to Kuantan from KL is on Malaysia Airlines and the distance was short enough not to worry. The prices were pretty cheap for advanced purchases online.

I was feeling rundown from too many late nights and not enough rest. All I wanted to do was sleep when the alarm clock rang at 6am. We struggled to pack our luggage and get down to the station. Fortunately, KL Sentral hosts a Malaysia Airlines check-in counter which can be used if the flight time is more than two hours away. We just made it.

Freed of our luggage, we were now able to take a leisurely ride on the KLIA Ekspres to the airport. The ride begins in suburbia, past a military airfield with views of the Petronas and KL Towers, then past the architecturally fascinating but lifeless Malaysian administrative capital of Putrajaya. Palm plantations make up the last stretch until at last you run alongside the runway and into the terminal.

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The clean and spacious check-in area is shared between international and domestic flights under a ceiling of sail-like canopies. We had already checked in, so were free to wander around at our leisure. Breakfast was very overpriced nasi lemak and noodles at an Asian Kitchen outlet – there aren’t many choices of eating places.

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Eventually, we passed through domestic security, Alex permitted to stay asleep in his stroller, and went airside, through very shiny and very quiet corridors. On the way we stopped at a toy outlet. I really wanted to get Alex a lightsabre and Millenium Falcon but I don’t think it would have fit into the luggage!

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We were actually running a little late and missed the “families with children first” but boarded shortly afterwards, handing over the stroller to the crew in the airbridge itself.

03/SEP/2009
CARRIER: Malaysia Airlines
FLIGHT: MH1268
SECTOR: KUL - KUA
CLASS: Y
ETD: 09:10 (local)
ETA: 09:50 (local)
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 737-400
SEAT: 19D

The 737-400 was adorned with “Visit Malaysia Year”, though the year itself had long gone. Every year must be Visit Malaysia Year!

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The interior of the aircraft was wonderfully colourful, more like a children’s activity room than an traditional aircraft. I thought the interior looked a lot fresher and in better condition than the 734’s that I had been flying between Sydney and Canberra.

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The flight was similarly short. As we taxied out on to the quiet runway, past the unmarked 747 classics, the colourfully dressed and friendly crew gave a safety demonstration, then the captain, a New Zealander by the sound of it, didn’t mention any turbulence. He was quite talkative on the flight, which is always enjoyable.

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We took off past the palm plantations and into a tropically hazy sky. Below us passed plantations, then jungle, rivers, towns and development scars. We were handed small bags of peanuts, then a choice of orange or pink guava juice. My sick throat loved the juice, but B found the guava too sweet.

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I’ve grown to loathe those Sydney Canberra flights for their turbulence and suffocation by being surrounded suits, but this was a really lovely flight through the tropical morning air above the clouds.

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It wasn’t long after reaching maximum altitude that we began descending. The East Coast became visible, as did the kampong villages below. Brown canals turned golden by the morning sun, coconut palms standing tall beside bright green fields.

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As we landed we raced past the military base and fire station, a metal mockup and a Caribou transport visible.

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The terminal at Sultan Ahmed Shah was long and low and we parked on the tarmac in front of it. As I sat waiting for the door to open I saw a MiG-29 from the RMAF roar past. He did a few circuits as we walked down the stairs to the tarmac, where we collected our little red stroller.

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Business class seating

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Two customs checkpoints lay between the luggage belt and the exit. Lots of people were being waved over and told to open their bags, but we were permitted to pass straight through. I can’t understand the need for it considering that this was a domestic flight.

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For all the criticism that MAS has received, I honestly couldn’t fault the flight. It had been a real pleasure to fly with them.

There were quite a few car hire shopfronts in the terminal. We went straight to Hertz, on the basis that a web search had shown them as having a child seat available, and hired a brand new Hyundai Elantra for quite a good rate. However, right next door to them, Hawk Rentals had an even newer Japanese childseat on display, despite their website showing nothing!

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Childseats are not compulsory in Malaysia and I had been forced to hold Alex in my arms. It’s not satisfactory, especially the way the Malaysians drive. We were forced to drive between Kuantan and KL return in a day to finish some business and heard over the radio that, on average, 17 Malaysians died in traffic accidents everyday in 2008. That said, the freeway between the two cities was very good, though how we managed to navigate in KL was nothing short of a miracle.

Teluk Chempedak was very pleasant, though it was a bit of a mistake visiting during Ramadan. Most of the beachside stalls were closed during the fasting season, so we were forced to drive around looking for food. Or we could have eaten at the big 24 hour McDonalds and KFC outlets, but what a waste of valuable stomach space that would be better filled by local flavours.

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En route to Cherating

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Dried squid, anyone?

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The view from our balcony at the Hyatt

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Laksa at Hoi Yin

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Looking back along Teluk Chempedak

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Al fresco dining at Pak Su

Full details of this trip can be seen on my travel blog and photo album

The next leg is Kuantan to Singapore with FireFly.


Applying insanity to normality
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4753 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8693 times:



Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
Breakfast was very overpriced nasi lemak and noodles at an Asian Kitchen outlet – there aren’t many choices of eating places.

LOL... I myself have been a victim of the expensive nasi lemak at Asian Kitchen (out of desperation, not by choice) and it had to be one of the worst I have ever eaten! The other terrible nasi lemak is not far behind in Kota Kinabalu International Airport. They really should stop bastardising what is delicious standard hawker fare at airports.

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
The 737-400 was adorned with “Visit Malaysia Year”, though the year itself had long gone. Every year must be Visit Malaysia Year!

I am surprised some of the decals are still on when u were there. They are in the process of being removed and it is about time too! A lot of the decals are already browning and it really gives the aircraft fuselage a very rotten look.

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
I thought the interior looked a lot fresher and in better condition than the 734’s that I had been flying between Sydney and Canberra.

The fashion police jury unanimously gave MH the guilty verdict for committing fashion faux pas with the recent upholstering of the cabin seats. So your positive comments is somewhat a refreshing turn of events.  Smile

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
We were forced to drive between Kuantan and KL return in a day to finish some business and heard over the radio that, on average, 17 Malaysians died in traffic accidents everyday in 2008.

Interestingly, out of those people killed on Western Australia's (WA) desolate highways, a high percentage of them are Singaporeans - since WA is really considered to be our backyard. Coming from a small country = not used to driving long distances. The instinct to turn the steering wheel abruptly towards the highway after the drivers drifts off to sleep while the car goes off the road is the most common cause of deaths. The occupants are normally probably dead by the time their car stops flipping.

While the drivers in Malaysia are considered insane, I actually find them to be rather polite especially in KL. I myself never had any problems navigating the jammed streets of that city during peak hour (actually is there anytime the streets are not jammed??). It is the Singapore drivers who are the impatient ones and will not hesitate to cut you off without signalling and not to yield to anyone if need be. This reputation they bring with them, unfortunately, when they cross the Causeway into "Boleh"-land. It is said that the further south you go in Malaysia, the ruder the drivers become. And thus, Johorians get the distinction of being ruder than their northern counterparts due to their influence from... *ahem*... Singaporeans.

SQ772... you listening?  duck 



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2024 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8657 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
While the drivers in Malaysia are considered insane, I actually find them to be rather polite especially in KL. I myself never had any problems navigating the jammed streets of that city during peak hour (actually is there anytime the streets are not jammed??).

The contrast between the busy streets of KL and the empty tollways is astounding. In Sydney both are usually packed. Actually, it was easier being lost in KL than it would have been in Sydney. Here there is no mercy shown to those who do not know where they are going and much less tolerance of bad driving other than speed. As a consequence of generally following the road rules (other than speeding) the traffic generally flows better in Sydney than in KL.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2024 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 8313 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 1):
The fashion police jury unanimously gave MH the guilty verdict for committing fashion faux pas with the recent upholstering of the cabin seats. So your positive comments is somewhat a refreshing turn of events.

Contrast:

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_tTveYWZ5z8I/SOYX3WmQMlI/AAAAAAAAfoQ/zDvVSS24uNE/s800/P1080247.JPG

With:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_tTveYWZ5z8I/SqJwsHtQxjI/AAAAAAABUmM/xfHA7qc_6ts/s800/P1150201.JPG

Boring conservatism against tropical fun! Not only that, the MH 734 cabin seemed a bit newer (less scuffed and yellowed plastic) than the Qantas 734's.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4753 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8141 times:



Quoting Allrite (Reply 3):
Boring conservatism against tropical fun! Not only that, the MH 734 cabin seemed a bit newer (less scuffed and yellowed plastic) than the Qantas 734's.

Sorry but my eyes went crossed from the momentary splash of bright colours. You should really include a warning to inform people who are prone to fits what to expect should they scroll down the page.  Smile



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAllrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2024 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8123 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 4):
Sorry but my eyes went crossed from the momentary splash of bright colours. You should really include a warning to inform people who are prone to fits what to expect should they scroll down the page.

MH = Many Hues? there we go, a new slogan for them. I doubt if the staid black suited public servants and contractors flying to Canberra could cope with those colours either if on a Qantas 734. I like the kuih lapis effect.  Smile



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6747 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7057 times:

Hi Allrite,

part 3 was also a good read.

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
Business class seating

Legroom seems to be very limited.

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
Not only that, the MH 734 cabin seemed a bit newer (less scuffed and yellowed plastic) than the Qantas 734's.

I guess MH has not only added new seats, but also refurbished the rest of the cabins. QF probably doesn't refurbish the 734s any more before retirement.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8524 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 6880 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice installment, enjoyed the read and pictures.

Quoting Allrite (Thread starter):
Two customs checkpoints lay between the luggage belt and the exit. Lots of people were being waved over and told to open their bags, but we were permitted to pass straight through. I can’t understand the need for it considering that this was a domestic flight.

- Hmm, seems pretty pointless.

Regards

Mark



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