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Malaysian Hospitality: MH J From AMS To DPS  
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14222 times:

.

burn baby burn


No, this is not the story of an aircraft disaster but of me burning my Flying Blue miles. I decided to leave the programme after they decreased the miles you earned on economy trips and several other devaluations. I switched to BA in 2008 and have never looked back. Several 'soft landings' mean I still have status but the time that my miles will expire is drawing closer. I ended my recent RTW in Kenya so I bought a NBO-AMS-KUL-DPS r/t in J for 160.000 miles. You get one stopover which I took in NL and continued 4 months later.

About a week before I actually left I had arranged to visit Timor-Leste (see A Little Unusual: Timor-Leste On Merpati From DPS (by henkybaby Oct 9 2010 in Trip Reports)) so I needed to change the flights around a bit. I quickly inquired if it was a problem if I did not fly the last leg of the ticket (AMS-NBO) and they friendly agent told me 'no problem, you may even get a lot of taxes back'. I had feared all kinds of retribution, flocking and whatever else the evil FB programme had in store for me but instead they reissued the ticket and reimbursed about €170 in tax. Well done KLM!

Although you do not earn miles on MH, you can burn them. I had not been impressed with my latest KLM flights so I decided to go AMS-KUL-DPS on MH. MH also keeps the exit seats blocked until check-in, unless you provide them with a copy of your passport that states you are over 2 meters tall. Lucky me! Seat 9A secured on both flights between AMS and KUL.


AMS-KUL
MH 17
11/09/2010
Dep: 12:00
Seat 9A
Flight Time: 11hrs and a bit


I don't like 12:00 departure times for Asia with an 06:00 arrival. I am never tired enough to fall asleep on the plane until like 10 minutes before landing. I knew it was going to be tough. Since my switch to BA I have also gotten very used to full flatbeds instead of these angled seats. I hate them. Ah, well. Still better than Y.

At AMS I took a quick look in the Menzies lounge that MH uses and immediately walked back to the BA lounge. As a BAEC Gold I can use their lounges even when I am not traveling on BA or even OneWorld. I spend about one hour in the lounge before heading to the gates. BA had recently redone the lounge, but it was merely a touch up. Couple of new chairs, new upholstery here and there, that's it.


.


It is not so much a lounge as it is a waiting area. Still much better than the Menzies hellhole though.

Boarding was the normal AMS process. You can get to the front of the line as a J pax and get through the security check, but you will have to wait at the gate till boarding starts. You need to time it carefully. I guess I didn't because we were kept waiting till 11:55 or so before boarding started. I did not mind the delay since I had a long wait ahead of me in KUL.

Big bird waiting for us


Seat 9A is on the upper deck, a place I find much more agreeable than the downstairs. Quieter, more intimate. Unfortunately so does everyone else so it was full. 6 times out of 10 the exit seat next to you stays empty since they do not preassign it. Not this time. My seatmate was a very nice Dutch Shell procurement manager. Shell makes up for a lot of revenue on this route.

The upper deck


Loads of space in the exit row


Soon after takeoff they started serving their famous satay. Being Dutch I did not mind at all and had about 3 very generous helpings. They keep serving it until they run out I believe.



Although I was by no means hungry anymore I decided to order lunch (or dinner, whatever you prefer) anyway. For starters they had Donald Duck.



Followed by a particulary nice beef rendang



Unfotunately there was no more room for desert. I ordered a glass of wine and tried to get comfortable. I brought my iPad since I prefer to be in control of my own on board entertainment. The apple cover is very handy for draping it over the avod screen.



After about 4 hours I decided I had to try and get some sleep. Unfortunately my carry-on was blocked by someone elses luggage in the overhead bin. This was annoying because there actually is a trick to making the sloped seat into a flat bed. You simply put your carry-on under the seat extension and force it into an almost flat position. Not all crews like you doing this but most won't mind. Maybe I caught 2 hours of sleep but no more before we arrived in KUL. I had not been this tired after a long flight in quite a while. It was a sturdy reminder why I fled to BA.

Since I could not sleep anyway I partook of breakfast. Again, catering is very good on MH. Much better than BA or KL.


.


We landed on time, even with the delay in departure.

KUL is a nice little airport. It is very quick to get around and like AMS you don't have to clear security to get from arrivals to departures. Straight of the lounge in the satelite building it was. Bit of a mistake, since it turned out that the lounge in the other terminal is much, much nicer.


.

.

.

.

.

.


OK
, I'll admit it looks great and it is one of the nicer lounges I have ever been to. However, when I went over on the train to the main building (which isn't really the main building) for my flight to DPS I discovered that it was delayed by at least one hour. This was not improving my mood. I was by now feeling stoned from fatigue. Luckily there was another lounge nearby. This turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.


.

.

.

.


Now isn't that a much nicer lounge?

The view

KUL-DPS
MH 852
11/09/2010
Dep: 12:05 (actual 13:15)
Seat 2A
Flight Time: 3hrs


After about an hour I saw my plane pulling up to the gate. I waited until I saw people on the bridge boarding the plane before I went downstairs.



Turning onto the runway


The particularly nice regional J.


J is almost always three quarters empty on this route. This time was no exception. It was just me and one other guy sitting in J. Maybe I could get 2 hours of sleep on this 3 hour flight. We left almost immediately after I sat down and took off towards my much loved destination. As soon as the fasten seat belts signs where off a woman and 3 kids came into the J cabin and settled in. I was trying to get some much needed sleep and the kids were using the seats as a playground.



I noticed the purser talking to the man who started to argue (with an increasingly louder voice) that he was Silver with AF (which means nothing, not even on AF) and that since the cabin was empty nobody would be bothered if his wife and kids joined him. This argument was now already going on for about 10 minutes and I had enough:

"Sir, your family is bothering someone: me! If you want to be with them you should have bought them J class as well or you can join them in Y. Now please shut up so I can sleep!"

The guy told his wife in French what he thought of me and I replied likewise in the same language. Besides, I can't understand people who put themselves in J and the wife & kids in Y.

Soon after the kids starting making guest appearances in the J cabin and running out laughing again when the purser showed his face. I was now so fed up that I decided to have a quick word with the purser who immediately followed up on my suggestion and downgraded the man. The looks he gave me when he was escorted to the back...

Here is me having peace at last.


Suffice to say I slept no more after this annoying incident. Upon arrival in Bali it was quite a long walk to the VOA and Customs but luckily there was no one there but me. Quickest entry into Bali ever. My hotel was near the airport so I found me a taxi and went to sleep.

On October 5th I returned to AMS from KUL.

I did not take too many pictures on the flights. My flight left Bali about 20 minutes early giving me a little more time in my 90 minute connection (which is more than enough at KUL anyways) so I went to the main building and took a shower.


.


I took my time so I was a little late on board. With my carry on in the overhead there was no more space for my backpack but they purser told me to simply put it in the bin on the side. BA would never allow it sticking out like that but it was secure and that is all that matters.



I had quite a bit to eat at the lounge at DPS and KUL so I declined the food offering (except for the satay!) and went straight to 'bed'.

This time the seat next to me remained empty in an otherwise full cabin. This being the night flight sleeping was not a problem, especially since I did put my carry-on under the seat extension this time. That makes such a difference. Mind you, you can only do this on seats with extra legroom since you have to put your seat into sleeping position, lift the end and shove your case under it. Won't work in regular seats since there is not enough room, although it may work from the side.

Yep, still roomy...


I slept for a solid 9 hours before they woke me up for breakfast. I was too groggy to remember to take a picture but I do remember I found it annoying that they served breakfast at over 2 hours out. After breakfast they dimmed the lights again so we could chill for one more hour.



This time I arrived refreshed in AMS and was even able to pick up my new car (a Mini Convertible) the same day.

I had not flown MH in a while and I must say that I was impressed by their soft product. Food choices and quality was excellent, crews were wonderful and attentive (we had 3 people serving the UD alone with a 4th helping out at meal service) and the lounges were good. Their hard product (although better than KL/AF) is still a bit old fashioned and I prefer flat beds. If you can get exit seats you can make it a lot better though. I think I would certainly fly them again.

Hope you enjoyed the read! Feedback always appreciated.

[Edited 2010-10-14 08:15:26]


Wherever you go, there you are!
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejohruk From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 13997 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
"Sir, your family is bothering someone: me! If you want to be with them you should have bought them J class as well or you can join them in Y. Now please shut up so I can sleep!"

The guy told his wife in French what he thought of me and I replied likewise in the same language. Besides, I can't understand people who put themselves in J and the wife & kids in Y.

Soon after the kids starting making guest appearances in the J cabin and running out laughing again when the purser showed his face. I was now so fed up that I decided to have a quick word with the purser who immediately followed up on my suggestion and downgraded the man. The looks he gave me when he was escorted to the back...

Brilliant! I hate it when people assume, jsut because there are seats available, they can self upgrade! And well done in actually doing someothing about it, rather than grumble to yourself, like most people would!

Great report!
Joseph


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1238 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 13838 times:

I find the BA fuel charges on Award tickets a rip off. If using Y awards not really worth it unless C or F.

I have a lot of miles on their program and will have to use the miles on Partner airlines. Thanks for the interesting report. The guy had a nerve.


User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 13673 times:

Quoting johruk (Reply 1):
actually doing someothing about it, rather than grumble to yourself

Hear, hear! Life is too short to keep it all inside 
.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 2):
I find the BA fuel charges on Award tickets a rip off

I believe KL/AF are about the same. Only US operators are cheap. AA is fantastic. I buy all my RTWs from them.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 13095 times:

Hi henkybaby,

I am particularly interested with this incident on one of the leg of your journey.

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
As soon as the fasten seat belts signs where off a woman and 3 kids came into the J cabin and settled in. I was trying to get some much needed sleep and the kids were using the seats as a playground.

I noticed the purser talking to the man who started to argue (with an increasingly louder voice) that he was Silver with AF (which means nothing, not even on AF) and that since the cabin was empty nobody would be bothered if his wife and kids joined him. This argument was now already going on for about 10 minutes and I had enough:

"Sir, your family is bothering someone: me! If you want to be with them you should have bought them J class as well or you can join them in Y. Now please shut up so I can sleep!"

The guy told his wife in French what he thought of me and I replied likewise in the same language. Besides, I can't understand people who put themselves in J and the wife & kids in Y.

Soon after the kids starting making guest appearances in the J cabin and running out laughing again when the purser showed his face. I was now so fed up that I decided to have a quick word with the purser who immediately followed up on my suggestion and downgraded the man. The looks he gave me when he was escorted to the back...

I had so far flew MH on 124 flights in F, J and Y and not on a single occasion a self upgrade case like this is being tolerated. I was once on an MH flight with only 3 passengers onboard with me being the only one in J and the other 2 guys in Y. One of the guy tried to self upgrade himself (since there were only 3 passengers anyway) but was told a firm NO by the cabin crew in charged of the J cabin on that flight. I think the purser should have been a bit firmer with the French guy about this policy but anyway I am glad it was being uphold.

A nice read, glad you enjoyed MH and the Golden Lounges in KUL. And yes, the Regional 'Rimba' Golden Lounge at the Main Terminal Building is so much nicer than the flagship Golden Lounge at the Satellite Terminal.


User currently offlinePVGAMS From China, joined Apr 2009, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 12253 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
Although you do not earn miles on MH, you can burn them.

I thought FB miles can be earned on MH flights... I sure hope so as i have a few flights booked on MH

[Edited 2010-10-14 20:07:38]

User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11878 times:

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 4):
I think the purser should have been a bit firmer with the French guy

He was quite firm but tried to be polite. The fact that he downgraded the passenger speaks volumes about how serious MH is about this. Very good.

Quoting PVGAMS (Reply 5):
I thought FB miles can be earned on MH flights...

You're right. Just not status miles. My bad.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineRTWflyer From American Samoa, joined Oct 2010, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11810 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
KUL is a nice little airport

Hi henkybaby,
I am just wondering what you would consider a "little" airport? I think KUL is quite a large airport- maybe a bit underused but not really "small"  
Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
t is not so much a lounge as it is a waiting area. Still much better than the Menzies hellhole though

I am not 100% sure where this lounge is, but is this the one that is close to the SQ lounge? I thought it was horrible also, when I used it recently   
The offering was less than one could imagine and the lounge staff watched that you do not take too much  
It just felt weird.

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
I noticed the purser talking to the man who started to argue (with an increasingly louder voice) that he was Silver with AF (which means nothing, not even on AF) and that since the cabin was empty nobody would be bothered if his wife and kids joined him. This argument was now already going on for about 10 minutes and I had enough:

I just love how you dealt with this. Some people are just unbelieveable

"Sir, your family is bothering someone: me! If you want to be with them you should have bought them J class as well or you can join them in Y. Now please shut up so I can sleep!"

The guy told his wife in French what he thought of me and I replied likewise in the same language. Besides, I can't understand people who put themselves in J and the wife & kids in Y.

Soon after the kids starting making guest appearances in the J cabin and running out laughing again when the purser showed his face. I was now so fed up that I decided to have a quick word with the purser who immediately followed up on my suggestion and downgraded the man. The looks he gave me when he was escorted to the back...

  

Thanks for a great report on MH. I agree on the points you made about their product being outdated, however they are generally quite underrated,with SQ and TG so close by.



Longest light ever: TG 795 LAX-BKK A340-541 (HS-TLC "Phitsanulok", MSN 698) Nov. 2007, takeoff to landing 18hrs 25 min
User currently offlinechrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1071 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11579 times:

Great Trip report, nice to see my favourite airline still has decent catering in J class, in fact it looks much better than my recent trip in J on SQ to the USA


Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1960 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11262 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks for the great report!

Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
Soon after takeoff they started serving their famous satay. Being Dutch I did not mind at all and had about 3 very generous helpings. They keep serving it until they run out I believe.

Yum! This looks so good!!  
Quoting henkybaby (Thread starter):
I noticed the purser talking to the man who started to argue (with an increasingly louder voice) that he was Silver with AF (which means nothing, not even on AF) and that since the cabin was empty nobody would be bothered if his wife and kids joined him. This argument was now already going on for about 10 minutes and I had enough:

"Sir, your family is bothering someone: me! If you want to be with them you should have bought them J class as well or you can join them in Y. Now please shut up so I can sleep!"

The guy told his wife in French what he thought of me and I replied likewise in the same language. Besides, I can't understand people who put themselves in J and the wife & kids in Y.

I cannot believe this! People can be so ridiculous sometimes ..

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10903 times:

Nice report.

I agree with your attitude about self upgrading (and previous J/F reports), but why lose some sleep about it? I would have laughed about it with a nice glass of chilled champagne and moved on.  

Actually I would probably have told his family to enjoy the disgusting meal box behind the curtain that is worth about $1 worth more than the Air Asia nasi lemak.

Regards,

LH747



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10858 times:

Quoting RTWflyer (Reply 7):
am just wondering what you would consider a "little" airport? I think KUL is quite a large airport- maybe a bit underused but not really "small"

No, not really. Compared to my normal transit airports in Asia like SIN and HKG it is though. I like it.

Quoting RTWflyer (Reply 7):
I am not 100% sure where this lounge is,

It is at AMS. It is the BA lounge.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 10):
but why lose some sleep about it?

I don't. I intervened because not only did they 'self upgrade' but their annoying pesky brats kept using the cabin as a personal playground. That and the tone the guy used against the cabin crew annoyed me. I am not one to shut up or be annoyed in silence. Better get it of my chest.  



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10451 times:

Nice trip report.


The upper deck on the 744 is indeed very calm. Looks like the seats on the 737 were comfortable as well ! The food on the AMS-KUL leg looks very apetiteful  .


Can anyone tell me if MH still flies ARN-EWR please ?



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 10386 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 12):
Can anyone tell me if MH still flies ARN-EWR please ?

The last MH's KUL-ARN-EWR vv flight was on 1 October 2009. EWR and ARN were terminated due to unprofitability.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10380 times:

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 13):

Thank you for the information. Sorry to hear that both stations were terminated.



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineRTWflyer From American Samoa, joined Oct 2010, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10173 times:

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 11):
It is at AMS. It is the BA lounge.

Hi again   ,

I know that you talked about the BA lounge. But you also mentioned the Menzies lounge. I just wasn't sure if this was the one I used recently (and found very bad   aswell.I don't remember the name, thus I was asking where it was.

Quoting henkybaby (Reply 11):
am just wondering what you would consider a "little" airport? I think KUL is quite a large airport- maybe a bit underused but not really "small"

No, not really. Compared to my normal transit airports in Asia like SIN and HKG it is though. I like it.

   That is what I meant.KUL is no SIN or HKG in terms of connections and airlines serving it, but I like it too.  

Thanks again



Longest light ever: TG 795 LAX-BKK A340-541 (HS-TLC "Phitsanulok", MSN 698) Nov. 2007, takeoff to landing 18hrs 25 min
User currently offlineGenius12 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 197 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8802 times:

Great report as usual! I have, in my mind, a very good image of MH, despite never having flown with them!

MH's J seats look a bit like the QF Skybed (Version 1) on the 747s and A330s - very comfortable, but not the best for sleeping.

Love the tale of the man being downgraded on the DPS sector!

Meal service on the longhaul flights looks great - how were the crew?


User currently offlinehenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8748 times:

Quoting Genius12 (Reply 16):
how were the crew?

They are now my second favourite crew, after KLM.  



Wherever you go, there you are!
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