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SIN-KUL-BKK On Malaysia Airlines F/J Class  
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Posted (13 years 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7925 times:

As promised, here is a trip report I took over the weekend. Starting with the 22 Mar (Fri).
SIN-KUL, MH 606, Seat 3F, First Class, 737-400 9M-MMU
KUL-BKK, MH 784, Seat 9A, Golden Club Class, 777-200 9M-MRF
I dragged myself out of bed at 0445H Sleepyto make it to the airport by 0600H. Scheduled departure for MH606 was at 0745H. Pulling up at Changi Airport Terminal 2, where MH flies out from, I noticed that it was teeming with activity despite the early hour. Check in at Row 12 for First Class was pleasant because for once, I had a friendly MH check in agent!  SmileMariam was all smiles as she wished me a good morning and proceeded with the check in formalities.

My luggage was tagged all the way to BKK and was given a Golden Lounge invitation as well. I managed to get a window seat for both sectors and Mariam pointed out that the SIN-KUL sector has a full First Class, with all 16 seats filled up. Hmm... I hope this does not mean watered down service!

The Golden Lounge in Singapore is about 1 size smaller than SQ's First Class Silver Kris Lounge. It is decorated tastefully but it is not as lush as SQ's. However, the simple decor is pleasing to the eye with bright yet cosy lighting, thick carpeting intersected by with marble tiles, large and comfortable sofas with wooden panels creating privacy corners. There is a view of the departure hall below but there isn't a view of the tarmac outside.  SadThis must be a curse for all airline lounges in Singapore because the public observation deck obstructs the view. However, I remember UA's Red Carpet Lounge in Terminal 1 having a view of the tarmac. There were only 2 pax in the lounge so it was rather empty. Since it was so early, sandwiches and an assortment of cereal was laid out with the normal array of drinks from the bar.

After filling up my tummy with all I needed, I headed for the main departure level for some spotting. Many SQ flts arrive at this time of the morning from Europe and India, so there were quite a lot of transitting pax. There were also numerous SQ and Silk Air flts departing as well so there was plenty of human movement in the terminal. 3 MH flts were departing within 2 hours (KUL, PEN, KUC). I walked out into the open smoking area so I could spot planes without the tinted glass in the terminal. The humid and warm morning hit me in the face and together with the heavy cigarette smoke all around it was sure a wake up call!  Laugh out loud

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Tam Hip Wai

I had an unobstructed view of both the E and F concourses. A B734 9M-MMU operated MH606 which was parked less than 400m away from me at gate F30, it would have looked something like that attached picture above. A SQ Learjet was doing circuit training and was doing many rollers on Rwy 02R. A SQ B772 (9V-SRJ) was parked next to the MH B734 at F31. I observed another SQ B772 (9V-SRA) parked at the opposite concourse at gate E4, which was the latest addition to SQ's variation of B777. This model being the -200ER. The rest of the gates were filled with mostly SQ B744s and B772s. Despite the busy tarmac, there was hardly any movement on the runway other than the Learjet doing rollers. Hmm... Where were the SQ A310s this morning?

I proceeded to F30 at 0730H and found the holding area empty. Wow!Yikes! Boarding commenced already! Running into the air-bridge, it was jammed within as pax moved slowly to board the a/c. I finally made it to Door 1L of the 734 and Leading Stewardess Jen Woo cheerfully greeted me at the there. Settling down in seat 3F, it was almost impossible for the cabin crew to start the First Class service because pax were still filing in by droves, clogging up the aisle.

Finally, after the aisle was cleared, another stewardess, Kelly Woon, came around and offered me a pre-takeoff drink and a hot towel. Meanwhile, Jen started with the announcements in both English and Bahasa Melayu. 0745H came and went but we were still parked at the gate. Doors were closed at 0752H and oushback occurred at 0756H. All this time, I was prespiring bacause the cabin was a little stuffy  Sad! I also notice that only 11 out of the 16 seats in First Class was filled, makes me wonder what happened to the rest? Thought it was a full flt?

We taxied behind a Silk Air A319 for Rwy 02R. 9M-MMU seems old but it was well maintained within.

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Photo © Andrew Hunt

We powered off towards the north over Pulau Tekong and banked left for Johor Bahru. Croissant and apricot danish were offered but I declined, saving my appetite for the Golden Lounge in KUL and the food on my later sector to BKK. After the meal trays were cleared, I took the opportunity to chat with Kelly and Jen in the impossibly calustrophobic confines of the forward galley. The two ladies were all smiley and cheerful, they even allowed me to take a pic of them  Laugh out loud! This was the first int'l flt for Kelly, who has been only flying domestically for a year, and today would determine if she would get her promotion to regional / int'l sectors. Good luck, girl! You have done well so far!

A rather hard landing dented the otherwise smooth flight. In fact, the landing was so hard it woke my neighbour, a Caucasian guy in 3A, from his slumber and he let out an audible gasp!  Laugh out loudI found that pretty amusing. While we were approaching Rwy 32R, I saw a broken Saudi Arabian Airlines 747-300 sitting in the hangar, nose all bent out of shape.

Disembarking at Gate C23, leaving the perpetually smiling pair behind, I made my way to the Golden Lounge within the satellite terminal. With the lounge looking as exquisite as ever, I ambled into the First Class Lounge and sat down at the restaurant for a meal of seafood ragout and sauteed mushrooms - yummy! Admiring the gigantic confines of the largest airline lounge in the world, I could clearly see the tarmac outside and the main terminal in a distance, where all the gates were filled with MH 734s. Several MH 744s, 772s and A330 were parked at the satellite gates for their departures. A Lion Air Yak42 was being towed to a departure gate for its flight to JKT. Two A310s belonging to SQ and Air India were parked side by side.

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Charles Falk

My 2 hr transit came to an end too quickly and I was soon at Gate C34, queuing up for security checks. Operated by a 777-200 (9M-MRF), MH 784 was a code share flight with Thai Int'l thus the flt #TG 4702 was designated as well. The jet gleamed in the bright sunshine and paint looked factory fresh. The security line was very long as it snaked across the width of the corridor and down the opposite end. MH 740, an A330 to Yangon was boarding next to us at C32 as well. After my turn at the security, there was no waiting in the holding area because boarding commenced already.

First and Club Class pax boarded through air-bridge 'A' and that led me to Door 1L. A First Class stewardess welcomed me on boeard and asked me if I knew where my seat was. I nodded and was promptly left on my own to look for my seat. Walking past Door 2L, I found my seat 9A in the Golden Club Class cabin. Stewardess Pauline Chin showed me my seat but her smile was absent (she looks a little like a Chinese version of Laura Linney). Her hair was tightly bunned up and her immaculately made up face made her look like a doll  Laugh out loud She would gradually warm up as the flight progressed and turn out to be pretty pleasant  Smile!

My neighbour today in 9B was a Caucasian guy, who slumped down next to me and slept throughout the flight YawnHe was so fatigued he didn't even recline his seat to sleep! He also made it clear to Pauline he didn't want to be disturbed and all he wanted was a blanket. He then dozed off with his mouth open for the duration of the flight. A pre-takeoff drink and hot towel were given out out before pushback - which happened on time at 1000H after the doors closed at 0958H.

A safety video was screened and once again, like my previous flight on a MH B772 (earlier trip rep posted by SQ772: SIN-KUL-BKK on MH), the volume was turned on too low for anyone to hear. I curiously saw many small little black patches on the engine cowling that looked like footprints!

Taxiing towards Rwy 32R, we lined up behind the colourful Lion Air Yak42 while another MH B772 (9M-MRL) crept us behind us as MH 125 to Perth. Flaps were noisily deployed as we taxied for departure. Several knocking sounds were heard from the engine as we thundered down the runway. The "tok-tok" sound continued even after we got airborne and I thought we had some engine trouble. The sound ceased as we climbed to higher altitude Confusedbut i thought the engines sounded rougher than usual.

Cruising at 39,000ft, our route today took us over Penang, Hat Yai, Songkhla and the Gulf of Thailand. Pauline passed out headsets in the cabin after she drew the curtains behind that separated us from the Economy Class. After I returned from the toilet, I found the menu, opened up to show today's selection laid out on my armrest - nice touch Smile! Pauline, together with another stewardess, Kan Mai, served my aisle. This were the choices...

Fresh Fruit Juice
Seasonal Fresh Fruits
Grilled Beef Steak: served with Chinese pepper sauce, fried egg noodles and sauteed oyster mushroom


Breaded Chicken Breast: served with coriander butter, sauteed potatoes with chives, sugar snap peas and carrots


Green Prawn Curry: accompanied by egg vege fried rice, sauteed oyster mushroom and carrots
Blueberry Cheese Cake

Bakery Selection: jam, marmalade or honey

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy

"So Mr Soh, have you made your choice for this morning?" smiled Kan Mai.

I chose the beef and as Kan Mai laid out the linen, I asked if a visit to the flight deck would be possible today. She replied that they have stopped that for a while now and she pointed to my plastic knives, that as long as the knives remained plastic, flight deck visits were a no-no CryingShe gave me a "I-am-sorry" look and asked if I would like a model of the B772 from duty free, which I declined. Pauline came around later with the breadbasket, smiling more than before which I thought she looked pretty when she smiled. I took a walk in the Economy cabin and noticed that they had some breakfast-kind of meal because I saw many empty cups of strawberry yoghurt.

Kan Mai pushed a nicely decorated silver trolley with flowers and served coffee/tea after the meal trays were cleared. I have always found cabin crew on Malaysia Airlines cheerful and spontaneous when faced with any situation, even in Y Class! This flight underlined that fact further and I couldn't be more satisfied Smile

Descend into a very cloudy Bangkok Int'l Airport (BKK) was smooth. We took a northerly heading past the airport and turned right to head south for the right parallel runway. The suburbs of Bangkok spread out below us into the horizon, emphasising the size of this vibrant metropolis.

Rumbling down the runway with full reverse thrust signalled another end of a wonderful flight with Malaysia Airlines. My neighbour was still asleep with his mouth open, was he dead ConfusedA turn onto the taxiway brought us in a opposite direction from the way we landed, this allowed me a view of the airport terminal filled with several Thai In'l a/c of various kinds. At the southern end of the terminal parked a Philippine Airlines A330 and a Kuwait Airways A340. I also saw a Royal Brunei B763, with the "Visit Brunei Year 2002" sticker. A sombre looking Qatar A300-600 was next to the BI B763. It was a quiet time of the day with many empty air-bridges visible.

I chatted with Pauline, who was guarding the curtain behind me, while we waited for the doors to be opened. This would be a turn-around flt and after returning to KUL as MH 785, the crew would call it a day. However, for 9M-MRF, she would no doubt be cleaned and readied for another flight, regional or long haul, illustrating the versatility of the B777.

Since we were the only flight arriving at that time (1105H), I cleared immigration in record time. Flying Golden Club Class helped too as we had priority disembarkation together with First Class. I was out of the airport in 20min, a first for me in BKK! Amazing... Big thumbs up

But the traffic jam on the highway offset the record by another 1hr30min... Sigh Pissed

p/s: I took a total of 106 photographs on my digital camera on this trip. Shots include cabin, cabin crew, food served, planes, planes and more planes... I will try to post them when I can - my first time, you know? Laugh out loud

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2016 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (13 years 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7733 times:

Perhaps this would ring a bell to the damaged Saudi..

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rayyan ALSamadani

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rayyan ALSamadani

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User currently offlineCarmy From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7716 times:

Ryan: For a Singaporean you sure are in love with MAS! Big grin

Great report though. Nice details and everything.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (13 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7713 times:


for a Singaporean, I am sorely disappointed with SQ. If you look into details the kind of cabin crew they employ nowadays, it's the kind who have no idea what good customer service is - and the kind who would say "nowsaday" rather than "nowadays", hahahahaha... Laugh out loud. Of course not all of them are bad, I have friends in there as cabin crew and they are fantastic! But even they admit that quality has been falling...

I have tried to give SQ second chances and I still do but they do not impress me. Read my trip reports on SQ and you'll know what I mean. In the midst of looking for an alternate way of flying, I discovered MH! And I have not look back since.

Especially after my horrible experience with SQ in 98, I swore off them for a while. Sad that I feel this was about my national carrier, supposedly the #1 airline.


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineKrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 571 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (13 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7709 times:

Never had a problem with SQ but I have to agree that MAS crew do just have that extra little bit of character and that glint in their eyes, not to mention usually a great sense of humour alhough their presentation often leaves much to be desired!

Another excellent trip report, I'm thoroughly enjoying them so keep with it!

User currently offlineCarmy From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7703 times:

I don't think it's just SQ crew who can't speak English properly is it? I'd say that many Singaporeans I know can't speak English to save their lives. And these are people who're in our universities and polytechnics. Blame it on the bilingual policy, where we have a nation of people who can't speak both their mother tongue and English properly.

As for SQ crew being horrid and all that, I don't know but I personally have never had any problems with them. Maybe it's out of patriotism or whatever, but I'd fly SQ anytime. Perhaps I can just pay a coupla hundred more and fly JCL with MH, but well, I think it's just a Singaporean thing to be bloody proud of SQ.

User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1807 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7674 times:

Bravo Carmy...*standing ovation*...yeah I am "Bloody" proud of SQ too... I think SQ is generally an all rounder both on the ground and in the air.

But I still admit that MH's crew are a little notch above SQ's crew in blue (I am excluding the leading crew (green) as I have found them to be consistently good in providing service with class and grace, most speak well and have a great sense of humour too).

Having tried both MH and SQ here are my findings:

Ground Service - SQ very good, MH crap
Inflight Service - SQ depending on class of travel, crew tend to be rather stiff at times especially junior ones.

MH - Frankly, I feel they are a little more spontaneous than our SQ girls.

There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7661 times:

I so totally agree with MH's yucky ground service. That was why I was pleasantly surprised with Mariam, my check in agent.

I also realised that MH ground staff do not react very professionally to queries. Either they are slow to answer, or they do not know half the time. But I am more concerned with in-flt service... esp when I am flying long haul!


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 7664 times:

Hey RyanAir,
Another great trip report. Just wondering, if i may know, what do you do for a job? You seem to travel ALOT!! And it must be very fun!!

And in actual Fact SQ are not the number one airline any more...it now goes...

1. Emirates
2. Cathay Pacific
3. Singapore Airlines

So maybe RyanAir, your description is right. I think SQ, better do something fast in order to get back to the top spot. As people say here in New Zealand, 'it is easy getting to the top, but staying there is the toughest challenge of all!!'


User currently offlineKrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 571 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 7657 times:

How the hell Emirates got the top spot remains a mystery to me......I think this is a war between SQ and CX. When MH update their products well watch out guys...

User currently offlineCarmy From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7653 times:

Who said that Emirates is the top airline? I remember reading on this very forum sometime back that this particular writer had received sub-standard service onboard Emirates.

User currently offlineGoldenMAS From France, joined Mar 2002, 57 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7650 times:

Carmy..... Please visit www.airlinequality.com and have a look. All the results are there.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 days ago) and read 7645 times:

Hi Air NZ,

I am an air traffic controller in the air force. In tough economic times like these, it's best to have a job with the govt.

The reason I seem to travel so much is because I have recently moved on to a desk bound job which leaves me with a more predictable schedule. Which means more time to travel! If you noticed, some of my trips were from the past.

Anyway, I have never been a fan of SQ. I agree it's one of the best airlines in the world but I wouldn't change my itinerary just to fly with them. I need no crap from the attendants. Of course compared to UA, NW, Biman, Air India, comparison is not even an issue. But still, looking at my trip reports, you should know what is my current favourite.  Laugh out loud


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (13 years 4 days ago) and read 7646 times:


That writer probably had a bad flight on EK. Even though SQ is yucky in my books, I have seen a few good attendants in my time! When I flew back from KL in Jan in F Class on SQ, Hidayanti was excellent! But she wasn't Singaporean (Indonesian). The LS Patsy was "smiless", and the other indian steward was plain rude.

Well, that's SQ for you! Successful marketing would ensure, no doubt, that SQ remains in the top few sopts for years to come.

You see, I even had a good flight on NW when I was travelling domestically in US last year in Jul! But only one good sector and the rest were crappy. So it's really up to your luck... # 1 airline but one yucky flight, or yucky airline but one good flight?


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineAirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7632 times:

WOW, it must of been real cool being an Air Traffic controller!! What are the skills needed to become one?? I always thought it would be a very stressful job, but from what i read of your trips, you donot seem stressed one bit!!


User currently offlineAirNewZealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2546 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (13 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7631 times:

Also, I think MH already have the same technology as SQ and CX, its just there marketing that is a shame. They need to promote themselves more, let them be see!! That is when i think MH will be huge.

Here in New Zealand, we always have adds about SQ and the Singapore Girl, but there is none for MH!!

MH, pull up your socks, and get better Marketers!! That way you can really compete!


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7618 times:

One of the main skills to be an ATC-er is to be able to speak. What you have in your head you have to put into words in less than a second, meanwhile formulating a plan on where do you want to steer which aircraft first to where. At the same time, trying not to direct two aircraft towards each other. Deconflicting by height and distance has to be ensured while bearing in mind there are a thousand and one "don'ts" because of restrictive airspace, danger airspace, airspace under your control and not busting the limits, height restrictions, NOTAMs for the day, ATC rules... I haven't mentioned what happens when an aircraft has an emergency yet. Now you know why I need a holiday ever so often?

Want to be an air traffic controller?  Laugh out loud

Yes, u are right by saying that MH has the same technology as SQ and CX, only in Economy Class! In F and J, MH lags behind most competition. It's underdstandable because they are in some serious shit now. However, like TG, they make up for the lack of cabin hardware with excellent in-flt service. MHhas recently launched a new advert but it has more or less died off. Nevertheless, I thought the ad was tastefully done. I am waiting for the day when MH upgrades its cabins and that is when the competition starts! So watch out SQ... let's see if you can still retain your #1 spot! HAHHAHAHA...*evil*


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineBhtchuo From Malaysia, joined Nov 2001, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7578 times:

nice repeort ryan... don\'t forget to post on the pics.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7581 times:


check out the pics in Yahoo Groups under "sg-spotters".

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4771 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7558 times:

Here is a shot of the wing during my flight to Bangkok... yes, one photo out of the 40-something I sent to a.net got approved.

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Ryan Soh


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineCathay Pacific From Australia, joined May 2000, 1864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (12 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7554 times:


EXCELLENT Big thumbs up
I really enjoy reading your reports!!!They are always in such high standard!!!!

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzyCathay Pacific Airways....Now you are really flying Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy

cathay pacific, now you're really flying
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