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Malaysia Airlines Business Class To BKK (part 5/6)  
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Posted (2 years 12 months ago) and read 14504 times:

Preliminaries
This is the fifth trip report on a journey I made at the end of July. The first part covers the flight from Zurich to Heathrow in Business Class with SWISS. Here’s the link to that report:
Swiss Business Class To Heathrow (part 1/6) (by knightsofmalta Jul 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

The second part covers the flight from Heathrow to Athens in Business Class with Aegean Airlines. Here’s a link to that report:
Aegean Airlines C Class To Athens (part 2/6) (by knightsofmalta Jul 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

The third part covers the flights from Athens to Zurich in Business Class and then on to Bangkok in First Class with SWISS:
Swiss First Class To Bangkok Via Zurich (part 3/6) (by knightsofmalta Jul 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

The fourth part covers the flights from Bangkok to Langkawi via Kuala Lumpur in Business Class with Malaysia Airlines:
Malaysia Airlines Pulls The Stops Out (part 4/6) (by knightsofmalta Jul 31 2011 in Trip Reports)

Seventh leg
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Date: 29 July 2011
From: LGK
To: KUL
Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Class: Business
Seat: 1D
Aircraft: Boeing B. 737-800

Langkawi is a really beautiful place and the Datai is everything you could expect from a tropical hideaway. The staff were all genuinely friendly and polite. But alas, after five blissful days of doing whatever I pleased and without having to reply to pesky e-mails and phone calls it was time to head back home. For the return to Switzerland I had decided to fly from Langkawi back to Bangkok via Kuala Lumpur in one stretch and then spend one day in Bangkok before heading back to Zurich.

My driver picked me up at 13h30 to take me to the airport. On our way there I caught a last glimpse of the beautifully lush vegetation on the island. I even spotted a few monkeys and monitor lizards on the way.

Upon arrival at the airport you first have to put your checked luggage through an x-ray machine for security. This whole process seemed rather odd to me as I only had hand luggage anyway which needed to be screened again before going airside. In any case, my suitcase passed the test, and equipped with a sticker on it I was now cleared to check-in for the flight.
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When I arrived the Business Class desk was empty, there were two check-in agents sitting at the Economy Class counters with nothing much to do. As soon as they saw me they both jumped up and came over to the counter to check me in. Like everybody else I had encountered on Langkawi they were really nice. There is a sign on the check-in counter informing passengers that the Malaysia Airlines Business Class lounge at the airport had been closed and that there was no longer any such facility. So I headed off to Starbuck’s until it was time for me to head airside to the gate.

I saw this rather interesting advert at the gate. It's interesting to see with which perks the airline is trying to attract customers. Besides, what's wrong with having to walk across the apron to board your plane?
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From what I could tell there is one international gate plus two for domestic flights. The airport does not see too much traffic I don’t think. On this particular afternoon there was only an Air Asia flight, also to KL, which should have left at 15h00 but was delayed and eventually left at the same time we did at 15h45.

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My aircraft for this short hop would be a B. 737-800. Much to my surprise, when I entered the cabin I found it had a completely different layout to the two previous flights I’d taken. All in all I had four flights with Malaysia Airlines on this trip with three different cabin layouts.
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Hairy legs again...
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Although the cabin generally looked as though it were the most modern and newest of the three types I sampled on this trip, it was also the dirtiest. The armrest was grimy with a greasy film over it.

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The service had been the same as on the inbound flight: cold towels before departure, hot towels before landing, guava juice welcome drink and two open canapé sandwiches with a pudding and Cadbury’s chocolate.
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The sandwiches were tastier on this leg: one was salmon with capers, onions and chive while the other was Camembert with strawberries and dates.
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When I visited the loo I was surprised to find that the basin surface area had been covered in leaves and orchids. I assume this was to give passengers a touch of something exotic to get them in the mood for their holiday in Langkawi. In any case it was a nice touch.
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On this flight I had an Arab woman sitting behind be with her son. Arab women seem to like these very heavy, very spicy perfumes and this one was no exception. The moment she boarded the plane in Langkawi she stank out the whole place. The smell itself was actually rather nice and smelled expensive. The problem was that she’d just put too much of the stuff on. By the time we reached KUL I was seriously starting to feel nauseous with a headache starting from the stench of her perfume. Adding insult to injury, upon touch down the first thing she did was take out the bottle again and give herself a refresh! I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and get some fresh air!

We had to do a few holdings patterns at high altitude en route as apparently there was quite a bit of congestion in KUL. As a result we arrived with a bit of a delay and I had no time to visit the lounge but headed straight to my departure gate for the flight to Bangkok.

Eighth leg
Date: 29 July 2011
From: LGK
To: BKK
Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Class: Business
Seat: 1F
Aircraft: Boeing B. 737-400

The flight to Bangkok was delayed as well due to the late arrival of our aircraft. The crew on this flight probably was the worst one of all the four flights I took with MH. Unlike their colleagues on the other flights they were unfriendly, obviously not in the mood for work and couldn’t really be bothered to do anything much. Thus, no apologies were made for the delay. This set the tone for the rest of the flight.

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This is a blurred shot of the new terminal under construction in KUL. According to the local newspaper, 40% of the work is now complete.
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The menu for this flight had a very clearly Middle Eastern flavour to it:

Appetizer
Hummus and Dolmas,
Tabouleh salad with mashed chickpeas and stuffed grape leaf


Bakery Selection
with garlic bread

Main Course
Chicken Kebab,
Grilled chicken pieces with basmati rice and roasted tomato Morrocan style
or
Grilled Beef Tenderloin,
with potato slices, seasonal vegetables and onion sauce
or
Lamb Shank Mandi Style,
slow braised lamb shank Arabic style with basmati rice and vegetable pickles


Dessert
Umi Ali,
Arabic dessert cooked with milk, sugar, rose water, topped with apricot ad pistachio

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As a Maltese national I need a visa to enter Thailand. So upon arrival I made my way to the Visa on Arrival counter. This was brilliant, first of all because there were less people queuing here than at the immigration line for passengers not requiring a visa, and secondly because Malaysia Airlines provide priority passes for their Business Class passengers. So the entire process of getting my visa and paying the THB1000.- fee took less than 10 minutes to complete.

The whole process is very well organised. The list of countries eligible for a visa on arrival is available on the local Thai embassy websites. In order to apply for a visa, applicants need to have two passport photos with them. There is a photo booth right next to immigration, just in case you haven’t got any photos on you. There is also an ATM and a Bureau de Change where you can get the required THB1000. You have to complete a visa application form before you reach immigration. Forms can be obtained from a small counter opposite the immigration hall for visas on arrival.

So much for that. The next report will be the last in this series and covers my journey back to Switzerland with SWISS in First Class.

I hope you've enjoyed it so far. Comment are of course always welcome and much appreciated.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1162 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13979 times:

Did you like LGK?

Is it worth a visit? Thanks.


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13958 times:

Hi Lychemsa

I definitely liked it, but a lot of that had to do with the Datai, which really is great. Apart from that, I think it helps to lower one's expectations before going. There does not appear to be any tourist infrastructure apart from the big hotels and the Malaysians have this nasty habit of just chucking their waste in the street. As a result the inhabited areas of the island look rather shabby. But if you can get away from that it's fantastic. It might help if you like amphibians, reptiles and insects.


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1658 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 13886 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello W,

Thanks for nr 5! I'm really into a tropical mood now, having travelled with you from Switzerland all the way to Malaysia and now back.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But alas, after five blissful days of doing whatever I pleased and without having to reply to pesky e-mails and phone calls it was time to head back home.

I understand. A holiday can be a very blissful experience. So did you travel all this long way only to spend 5 days on Langkawi on you did not go exploring the Malaysian peninsula? There's so much to see!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Hairy legs again...

Don't bother, it's a holiday after all (and in the tropics for God's sake  )

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The armrest was grimy with a greasy film over it.

Yuck, looks dirty.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Unlike their colleagues on the other flights they were unfriendly, obviously not in the mood for work and couldn’t really be bothered to do anything much.

I'm sorry to hear that...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So the entire process of getting my visa and paying the THB1000.- fee took less than 10 minutes to complete.

That's really a fast procedure.

   Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 13876 times:

Hi William,

and another enjoyable report!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Much to my surprise, when I entered the cabin I found it had a completely different layout to the two previous flights I’d taken. All in all I had four flights with Malaysia Airlines on this trip with three different cabin layouts.

Yes, MH has a few used 738s and even choose different interiors for the factory fresh machines (depending on the missions).

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Although the cabin generally looked as though it were the most modern and newest of the three types I sampled on this trip, it was also the dirtiest. The armrest was grimy with a greasy film over it.

Wow, that looks bad!

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The sandwiches were tastier on this leg: one was salmon with capers, onions and chive while the other was Camembert with strawberries and dates.

The food looks delicious, very impressive. How was the dessert? Too much gelatine on MH, too?  



PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13110 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It's interesting to see with which perks the airline is trying to attract customers. Besides, what's wrong with having to walk across the apron to board your plane?

Walking across the apron is awesome...when the weather is good...but when it is hot or rainy...it is not as much fun!

Also I think a lot of us associate the lack of an aerobridge/jetway with lack of development or infrastructure... The few times I've been in European airports and had to take a bus out to the plane it just feels a little tacky...

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Adding insult to injury, upon touch down the first thing she did was take out the bottle again and give herself a refresh! I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and get some fresh air!

Wow...someone should have a chat with her.... Are there no hand baggage liquid restrictions, or did she just have a small bottle of the stuff on her?


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12365 times:

Nice report, thanks for sharing it. Like how MH takes attention of almost any detail (comparing to the US and most European carriers). Food pics look appetizing as well.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12253 times:

Hi Sultanils

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 3):
I'm really into a tropical mood now, having travelled with you from Switzerland all the way to Malaysia and now back.

Good! That's what I like about reading other people's trip reports. They get you in the mood for travel and adventure.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 3):
So did you travel all this long way only to spend 5 days on Langkawi on you did not go exploring the Malaysian peninsula? There's so much to see!

Yes, it really was more or less just the five days. But I agree, there is so much to explore in Malaysia. Guess I'll have to go back again some day!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 3):
Yuck, looks dirty.

It was rather revolting. Most of all, it was not just dirt but looked like grease from too many people placing their hands and arms on the armrest. During the flight I placed the blanket over the arm rest and put my arm on that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
How was the dessert? Too much gelatine on MH, too?

The desserts were interesting and tasted mainly of custard.

Hi Burj

Quoting Burj (Reply 5):
Are there no hand baggage liquid restrictions, or did she just have a small bottle of the stuff on her?

It must have been less than the maximum permitted 100ml. Judging by the smell I would say she was probably wearing Amouage, which is, as far as I know, one of the most expensive perfumes in the world. It comes in a small flacon of crystal. Although you wouldn't have thought so by they way she was liberally applying it.

Hi MSS658

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 6):
Nice report, thanks for sharing it.

Thanks. My pleasure!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 6):
Like how MH takes attention of almost any detail

The crew on the flight from BKK to KUL was really brilliant in that respect. I was watching the FA doing the serving. Before bringing out the tray with the food she would look at it to make sure everything was neatly arranged. Amazing.


User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2107 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 12099 times:

Hi again,

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Besides, what's wrong with having to walk across the apron to board your plane?

This seems to be one of the main selling point for MH and its sister LCC, Firefly, to win over customers from (the much successful) AirAsia in home ground. AK has a no aerobridge policy for its Malaysian operation.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
My aircraft for this short hop would be a B. 737-800. Much to my surprise, when I entered the cabin I found it had a completely different layout to the two previous flights I’d taken. All in all I had four flights with Malaysia Airlines on this trip with three different cabin layouts.

If I am not mistaken, this aircraft is 9M-MLD. The purple J cabin in this aircraft is inherited from its former operator, a Chinese carrier if I am not mistaken.

Quoting Burj (Reply 5):
Are there no hand baggage liquid restrictions, or did she just have a small bottle of the stuff on her?

I am quite sure LAG restriction is not enforced for domestic flights within Malaysia.

Too bad you didn't get to experience the international Golden Lounges in KUL. For flights to BKK, you should be assigned with the wonderful Regional Golden Lounge at the Main Terminal Building (which is better than the Golden Lounge at the Satellite Terminal).

[Edited 2011-08-03 18:55:20]

User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1750 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11821 times:

Hi 9MMAR

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 8):
I am quite sure LAG restriction is not enforced for domestic flights within Malaysia.

That would make sense beccause I had to go through security again to catch the international connection to BKK.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 8):
Too bad you didn't get to experience the international Golden Lounges in KUL. For flights to BKK, you should be assigned with the wonderful Regional Golden Lounge at the Main Terminal Building (which is better than the Golden Lounge at the Satellite Terminal).

That's right, go on, make me feel even worse for not having been able to try it. I mean, it's not just that I didn't have the time and went straight to the gate but that then the flight was delayed!


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