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EWR-DXB + Return On Malaysia Airlines  
User currently offlineDeltaflot From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 63 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10583 times:

Date: 03 Jan 2003
Flight: MH91 EWR-DXB (Newark-Dubai)
Schedule Departure: 11:15 AM
Actual Departure: 12:11 PM – Pushback
Wheels-up: 12:19 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 08:55 AM +1
Actual Arrival: 08:41 AM
Time at Gate: 08:52 AM
Scheduled Flight Time: 12h40min
Estimated Flight Time: 11h25min
Actual Flight Time: 11h22min

Aircraft: Boeing 777-2H6/ER
Registration: 9M-MRK
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CHECK-IN

Check-in at Newark was very efficient. Line moved rather quickly and was handled by about six agents for economy and two for business/first. Lots of late arrivals for the flight considering that the previous night featured a really bad ice storm. The ride from Pennsylvania where I live to Newark usually takes 1h30min but I decided to leave the night before and stay at the Hilton. The ride turned out to be a four-hour ordeal. Once at the check-in counter the less than friendly agent handed me a boarding card stating my seat assignment as 40K (last row on starboard side), a paper that discussed the new security and baggage searches and that all baggage should be unlocked. I didn’t mind this but a couple of passengers voiced their opinion. My view is, “Better safe than sorry.” After check-in I went to the food court next to Terminal B to do some spotting. Saw CO733/735/737NG’s including the new 739 (well its new to me), CO772/764/752/753, Lots of CO Express ERJ’s including about six with winglets (surprised they had this many with winglets already), Mexicana A319, AA762, Kitty Hawk 727, FedEx A310’s, DL752’s, Air Jamaica A320, VS A343 (G-VSKY), Planet Airways 727 (N1910).

BOARDING

Boarding was done in the typical fashion where first and business class passengers are called and every economy class passenger immediately gets up and stands in line only to get turned around by the gate agent. When boarding for economy was finally called, I got in line since I was to be seated in the last row and they board by rows of ten. The flight inbound from Dubai was late because of the weather and also because of a late departure due to the new security screening for inbound flights to the US. Thus, we boarded late at 11:30AM.

FLIGHT

Prior to departure I had a look around since this was my first ride in a B777. The cabin was very refreshing, nice bright seat colors and the FA’s must’ve sprayed some perfume or something cause it smelled quite nice. Before departure, the FA taking care of my section (Jolanda) handed out hot towels, then headsets, and next really nice printed menus for our flight. She also interacted with all the children, bending down and talking to each one that had an aisle seat. Later in the flight while everyone was sleeping I saw her sitting in the aisle talking to a young girl about her toy teddy bear that she got for Christmas. While I was sitting there waiting for departure I realized why I was so comfortable…nobody next to me! And the seat pitch was 34 inches with 125° recline, there was a footrest, and also there were winged headrests (lots of passengers apparently don’t even know about these since I was the only one using it). About the recline…when the passenger in front of me reclined her seat, I felt really cramped. Lets just say the saying; “In your face!” came to mind.

We were deiced at 12 noon and pushed back at 12:11PM. We had a welcome announcement from the purser who briefed us on the flight time as well as what services would occur and when they would commence. This was a nice touch I thought…this way people could plan when they wanted to sleep/watch movies/play games/eat. While taxiing we bypassed a UA752 (N548UA) and entered runway 04L and started our 40-second takeoff roll. As we were rolling I saw Privatair’s 737BBJ (HB-IIQ) which seems to always do the DUS-EWR run. As takeoff thrust was applied, green deice fluid seemed to gush out over the wing.

After takeoff, in-flight entertainment was activated. This featured 18 radio channels, 11 video channels, 36 Nintendo games, 3 multiplayer pc games (i.e. playing trivia against other passengers on the flight), 4 single player pc games, plus the coveted airshow which happened to be a 3-D version that I hadn’t seen before. And of course, “Where is Mecca” was shown approximately every ten minutes with an arrow pointing in the direction of Mecca. Also, the in-flight magazine Going Places advertised that a prayer area was located in the Golden Club Class cabin and prayer mats were available from FA’s. The in-flight entertainment was great. I’d rate it better than VS but not quite as good as the new QF PTV’s I experienced back in June.

During the climb we experienced really rough turbulence that I can only equate to one other flight I had which was on a VS 742 crossing the North Atlantic. However, I suppose sitting all the way in the back sort of exaggerates the turbulence. I didn’t mind it though, other passengers looked pretty scared. FA’s were seated for about 25 minutes. We were at FL300 and between Hartford and New Haven when we experienced the turbulence.

ROUTE OF FLIGHT

The route took us up the Northeast seaboard of the US and Canada flying south of Gander and St. John’s, followed by a typical North Atlantic crossing (FL380) making landfall over Porto, Portugal then flying south of Madrid, over Valencia and Ibiza, over the Mediterranean flying between Corsica and Sardinia, over mainland Italy staying south of Naples, out over the Ionian Sea toward Greece, remaining south of Athens, over Mikonos (FL390), south of Rhodes, continuing south of Turkey, directly over Larnaca, Cyprus (climbed to FL410), then over Tripoli, north of Beirut (921 miles from Mecca), then things got interesting. We made a hard right over Syria, flew over Jordan and paralleled the Iraqi border, then a hard left to continuing paralleling the southwest border of Iraq while flying over Saudi Arabia (sunrise). We flew about 100 miles from the border of Iraq paralleling it at all times while remaining north of Riyadh, south of Kuwait, then over Bahrain, overflying the Persian Gulf and finally continuing southeast on the homestretch toward Dubai. At 08:31 spoilers were up and we started a good rate of decent before overflying Deira Dubai with a beautiful view of the Dubai Creek and in the distance a hazy view of the Burj Al Arab. We landed on Runway 12R and had two Emirates A332’s holding short for our arrival. And it sure was a smooth landing by our MAS crew (there were four pilots on our flight).

SERVICE

One word: IMPECCABLE!
Seriously, the service on MAS was the best I have ever experienced. It cannot be compared to any US based carrier (obviously) and was definitely miles ahead of international carriers I have flown with in the past (BA, VS, QF, KE, SR, and EI). The female crewmembers were dressed beautifully and quite attractive I might add. The male FA’s wear strange uniforms with bowties that you couldn’t pay me enough to wear. They need some uniforms that are a little more masculine looking. The male purser on the return flight had a decent looking uniform however.

Every request was attended to promptly and with a smile. The whole crew seemed really cheerful and worked extremely hard throughout the flight.

The first service was 40 minutes after departure and featured peanuts and orange juice. Five minutes later the drink cart followed with a choice of beer, soft drink, and spirits. I requested a diet coke (one of two on the entire airplane as I was told…I got both of them).

The next round of service was our first meal. The menu for the flight was as follows:

LUNCH

Appetizer
Paprika Chicken Breast with Potato Salad

Main courses
Stir-fried Cod Fish in Hoisin Sauce
Served with Steamed Rice and Pak Choy

OR

Stir-fried Chicken
With Tomato and Olive Sauce complemented with Parisienne Potatoes, Broccoli and Carrots

OR

Dhall Curry with Cilantro
Tomato Rice and Mixed Vegetables Masala

Accompaniments
Cheese and Crackers
Chocolate Fudge
Soft Country Breadstick
Ice Cream


The meal service commenced from the back of the cabin and moved forward. The breakfast service was reversed which I thought was a fair way of handling the service. So, I was the first to be served. I chose the cod, which was baked and not stir-fried. The pak choy was done perfectly as was the rice (can be viewed at airlinemeals.net). Honestly the freshest and healthiest meal I was given on an airplane. I was shown the chicken entree also but the cod looked more appetizing. On all the flights they never offered me the vegetarian option as I believe they were saving them for other passengers (majority were vegetarians). The breadstick with the meal was nice and warm. The Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream was handed out later but was rock solid. Had a few spoonfuls once it melted a tad but by that time it was time to collect the trays so I handed back my ice cream. Wasn’t really hungry for it after the filling meal.

During the flight, snacks were available in the galley. I decided to have a look. I came back to my seat with a little roll sandwich like those you’d receive in a bistro bag on AA or on CO. However, this one contained a large piece of chicken and a slice of tomato. I also picked up another one that had slice of cucumber and a piece of lettuce on it. Didn’t like that one too much as I’m not really a veggie fan. Also, in the galley were little white plastic trays with plastic wrap over the top. They were for our taking and contained a piece of laughing cow cheese, a Twix bar, and Pepperidge farm wheat crackers.

Drinks were offered about every 1h30min. They went through the cabin with water and orange juice already in cups.

The next service occurred 2h15mins prior to arrival in Dubai. This was breakfast (a bit early to flip on the lights I thought). Hot towels were handed out before the meal service. Here was the menu:

BREAKFAST

Chilled Orange Juice

Seasonal Fresh Fruits

Yoghurt

Western Omelet
Served with Hash-Brown Potato, Tomato and Green Peas

OR

Chicken Oriental
Complemented with Egg Fried Rice, Carrots and Green Beans

OR

Indian Vegetarian Breakfast Selection
Vermicelli Upma Complemented with Coconut Chutney

Croissant
Jam and Butter

For this meal service I was offered, “Omelet or chicken?” No mention about the vegetarian selection. I chose the omelet, which was a mistake. The hash brown was so greasy that the entire meal just sat in grease. Thus, the peas were also soggy. The omelet was tasteless (no cheese), just basically a folded piece of eggs that had one or two specks of green and red peppers in it. The croissant was served warm. I ended up eating the yogurt (peach I think) and there was also a carton of orange juice on the tray that I drank. The fruit selection was quite tasty but not that plentiful (Note to self…choose Asian selection when traveling on an Asian airline)! The chicken oriental looked great, just wasn’t my idea of breakfast so I passed. However, it seemed to be quite a popular choice considering there were lots of omelets left and very few chicken meals. I should’ve put two and two together.

Trays were cleared promptly as the sun started to rise. The cabin attendants then came around with duty free, which is very organized on MAS. They have little stickers that you fill out and put on your seat back. During the flight while you are sleeping the FA’s collect these and pre-bag your order. Then, when everyone is awake they come to give you your duty free and collect payment. Great idea MAS! After duty free, Haryani came around with a bottle of hand lotion and offered it to anyone that wanted to smell like flowers. I passed.

Afterwards, the cabin was tidied and I stopped one of the FA’s (Haryani). I asked to speak to the cabin supervisor. She looked scared and said that she was the cabin supervisor and asked what was wrong. I commented to her that out of all the flights I have ever taken that the service (not necessarily the breakfast) on this flight was way about my expectation and that I appreciated her effort and that of the entire cabin crew throughout the long flight. She blushed and brought back a form and asked if I wouldn’t mind filling it out. It was a comment form that went to the headquarters in KL. I detailed all about the great flight and was thanked numerous times by Haryani who kept saying, “Thank you Mr. Chris.” Nice that an FA calls an economy passenger by name…WOW!

For the last hour of the flight the vacant seat next to me was occupied by a Long Islander that asked if he could sit there since the woman next to him didn’t say a word to him all flight. He asked about my travels and I asked him where he was traveling. Surprisingly he was a transit passenger who was visiting his family in Afghanistan that he left fifteen years ago and hasn’t seen since. He was going to wait eight hours for an Ariana flight to Kabul. At least he chose a good airport to have a layover at. We talked about world politics and he had some great insight into the political strife in Afghanistan and just how bad it was and how grateful he and his family were for what the US did to help them (didn’t we bomb them?) Oh well, apparently it helped and he was very grateful. About ten minutes before landing, he moved back to his seat. We landed three minutes earlier then estimated and then taxied, taking the long route, since some taxiways were closed. We docked two minutes earlier then our scheduled arrival time and an announcement was made that all passengers continuing onto Kuala Lumpur were to get plastic transit cards and be back at the airplane for re-boarding within one hour. I was off to explore Dubai. The walk to baggage took forever. I was walking behind some Emirates crew. Wow, they really have cool uniforms…very appropriate for a Dubai based carrier. Immigration was quick but the woman didn’t say a word to me. Just stamped my passport with two stamps (one was a visa).
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About Dubai…I really like the city and the airport. My first time seeing ‘real’ Russian airliners as opposed to just viewing the photos on airliners.net. Very cool I must say. Love the looks and sound of the Russian birds. I saw lots of carriers that you don’t see everyday…at least not in Pennsylvania. Also, I did some job hunting and visited Emirates headquarters inside the DNATA building. There was nobody there to talk to though. I wouldn’t mind working for Emirates. Doing something in the flight operations department would be great. Anyone have connections? I have an aviation degree and would like to live in Dubai.
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Date: 12 Jan 2003
Flight: MH90 DXB-EWR (Dubai-Newark)
Schedule Departure: 03:40 AM
Actual Departure: 03:47 AM – Pushback; Taxi: 03:53 AM
Wheels-up: 04:05 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 09:35 AM
Actual Arrival: 09:05 AM
Time at Gate: 09:11 AM
Scheduled Flight Time: 14h55min
Estimated Flight Time: 14h00min
Actual Flight Time: 14h00min

Aircraft: Boeing 777-2H6/ER
Registration: 9M-MRN

CHECK-IN

The only part that I disliked about MAS was the fact that this flight left at such a strange time…but this is when Dubai Airport comes alive (rush hour). I had checked out of my hotel at noon time so I had almost 16 hours till my flight left. Now I know what it feels like to be homeless (not very fun). So I explored Dubai some more. Walked from Al Mina road to the City Centre mall and back taking lots of different streets trying to pass the time (exhausting). At 09:30 PM my ride to the airport arrived. I passed through one baggage-screening checkpoint to get to the check-in counters. MAS starts check-in four hours prior to flight time so at 11:45 PM the DNATA agents came to the counters. Since this is the only flight to the US, security is a big production. Everyone’s baggage was torn through. No random searches here. Finally I was assigned seat 40A (last passenger row). I then proceeded through passport control and security and then onto the famous Dubai Duty Free shopping.

It was quite good shopping but had the same selection of goods you’d find in any store in town. Prices were good I suppose but I wasn’t really in the mood to shop for sweets, alcohol, computer equipment, or any more souvenirs, especially at that time of night. I went to the food court area and watched a SWISS A330 (HB-IQC) be pushed back and then observed a Shaheen Air flight crew try to order at McDonald’s. Don’t know what type of aircraft they flew in on but there were six pilots. Possibly from two different flights but I don’t think so. Then I went to the departure gate, which wasn’t open yet (surrounded in glass) since the flight from KL hadn’t arrived. So I sat on the floor next to Gate 13. I was exhausted. I was reading a book and heard some commotion. I looked up and it was Al Gore transiting through the airport with two secret service agents. He looked really grumpy and wanted nothing to do with talking to people or having pictures taken from what I observed. Finally the flight from KL arrived and passengers disembarked and joined the line to get into the gate area. All passengers were required to exit and re-board. At that time the gate area opened and we went through another security checkpoint where everybody who had any type of electronic equipment was scrutinized. About thirty minutes later boarding was announced in the typical fashion and I boarded.

A selection of newspapers was on offer in the jetway. I took a USA Today and found my seat.

FLIGHT

I sat in seat 40A. There was one row in back of me that had a bright orange harness over the seats with a big sign saying,” CREW SEATS ONLY.” I couldn’t tell you how many passengers sat in these seats once we were airborne. The crew would constantly tell the passengers that it was a regulation that these seats remained vacant and were to be used only by the cabin crew. Everyone complained and didn’t seem to care. During about the seventh hour of the flight the crew gave up and passengers utilized the seats for the rest of the flight.

Anyway, menu’s were handed out for our flight and passengers continued to board. Just as I thought the door was being closed I thought I was extremely lucky that nobody was next to me. Ahhhh, but one more passenger walked down the aisle eyeing seat 40B (darn). This flight was completely full in economy. The crew seemed really determined and rushed to have the cabin secure in order to pushback at the scheduled time. We pushed slightly late. I thought the crew did a fantastic job at getting all the passengers in their places as quick as they did. We taxied behind a Biman A310 and Emirates A330. A KLM Cargo 747 followed us to runway 12R. Once we were cleared onto the runway at 04:04AM we started our 55-second takeoff roll. We flew towards the southeast a bit and then a left hand turn towards the Gulf. Those on the left side of the aircraft got a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab all lit up at night. Really cool sight.

ROUTE OF FLIGHT

I was pretty tired but managed to wake up from time to time to keep track of our routing. This flight chose a more northern route than the flight to Dubai. We flew over the Persian Gulf heading northwest flying north of Qatar and Bahrain, over Saudi Arabia, staying south of Kuwait and paralleling the border of Iraq (came quite close this time). We then continued northwest seeing Tel Aviv off to the left of us looking so peaceful lit up at night. We then flew over Lebanon, Cyprus, and then a more northerly course over Istanbul, Budapest, Austria, Germany, Belgium, English Channel, over Cambridge in the UK (beautiful view of pre-dawn London from here). After the UK we crossed the Irish Sea, over Belfast and then the typical transatlantic crossing remaining south of Iceland and Greenland (FL380), over Newfoundland, Quebec (Sept-Iles)-FL390, down over Vermont and directly over Albany. We then continued down the Hudson River valley where we started a steep decent profile (clear nose down feeling) for an arrival on runway 22L at Newark.

SERVICE
Once again superb service! The crew in the economy section was young and fun to fly with. The one FA on my side was extremely friendly. I asked for playing cards and he got me three packs. I asked for stationary and he gave me three postcards (2 of an MAS 777 and 1 with an A330) plus stated that postage anywhere in the world was for free. Later back in the galley I asked him for eyes shades. He couldn’t find any but later brought me an amenity kit from First Class that had a nice pair in it. It was made in the UK by Woods of Windsor and had a toothbrush/toothpaste, comb, socks, hairbrush, cologne, hand lotion, facial spray, and the eyeshades all in a nice blue bag with a MAS logo on the zipper. This was way above the call of duty and I thanked him numerous times. He worked the entire fourteen hours keeping the same fun personality for the whole flight. He and the other FA’s were talking about the night ahead in Manhattan. They were going dancing and I had a good laugh watching them practice in the back galley. What a cool crew.

Back to the beginning of the flight…after the seatbelt sign was turned off, the crew delivered headsets at 04:16 AM and the purser gave us a greeting and an overview of what was to be offered during the flight and at what times the services would occur. The first service came 21 minutes after departure. This consisted of a hot towel service followed by a round of orange juice/water. Supper was offered 55 minutes after departure. Never thought I’d be eating supper at 05:00 AM. The service started in the front of the cabin and proceeded to the rear so I was served last. Here was the menu for the flight:

SUPPER

Appetizer
Chicken and Pasta Salad

Main courses
Chicken Kadai
Steamed Rice and Spicy Mixed Vegetable

OR

Lamb Navarin
Tagliatelle, Carrots, Celery and Kenya Beans

OR

Palak Panir
Steamed Rice and Jaipuri Dhall

Accompaniments
Orange Torte Cake
Bread Roll

When the cart came to my row I was offered Chicken or Lamb. I took the chicken. Talk about a spicy meal. Yikes! My mouth burned but I was hungry so at it all. The rice and vegetables toned down the spiciness a little but it was still overwhelming for my western taste buds. The orange torte cake was wonderful. It was a vanilla cake with an orange sugary glaze over it (health food…oranges are healthy right?). The bread roll was good and served warm. I asked for two and the female FA said, “No problem!” The service was conducted simultaneously with a beverage service so I chose a Diet Coke (lots on this flight). Trays were cleared quickly and lights dimmed.

During the flight I asked the male FA on our side for a sandwich. He was really cool. He brought me three packages. Each package contained three finger-sized sandwiches (a little more than half of a real sandwich). The one package contained one tomato and cheese sandwich and two tuna sandwiches on wheat bread. The other two packages were Veggie ones. I had no idea what they were but they were great. He also brought me two Diet Cokes despite me asking for only one. After I ate my snack over Europe I slept a little more until the sun decided to rise. The lights came on three hours prior to arrival in Newark. It was time for another meal. Here was the menu:

BREAKFAST

Chilled Orange Juice

Yoghurt

Fresh Fruit Salad

Cheese and Onion Omelet
Hash-Brown Potato, Chicken Sausage, Green Peas and Grilled Tomato

OR

Tomato Fried Rice
With Vegetable and Fried Chicken

OR

Pinde Chole
Spinach and Corn Croquette, Paratha and Potato Tikki

Mini Croissant
Jam and Butter

The service started from the rear of the cabin this time so my row was first to be served. I was offered, “Omelet or Chicken?” I said, “What does the Pinde Chole look like?” The female FA looked at me and said, “Oh, you vegetarian?” I said no. She hesitated and said, “You not like chicken or omelet?” I knew she was trying to save the vegetarian meals so I just gave in and said, “I’ll take the omelet.” She smiled and said thank you. I didn’t learn my lesson about the omelet on the prior flight. What I saw on my tray was another greasy omelet. I must say that it was tasteful though…at least more so than the last one. The chicken sausage was really good. The catering out of Dubai was of a higher standard than that out of Newark. The meal was certainly acceptable. Supper was really high quality and fresh however, just a bit spicy. This meal looked okay but I’m not a fan of grease so I picked around most of the meal eating only the good parts. After the meal service, tea/coffee and other beverages were offered and then the trays cleared. Two hours prior to arrival duty free was brought around. They didn’t use the stickers this time since everybody was awake. After duty free, a cartoon video was shown that amusingly discussed the impact of bringing food into the country and how serious the implications for ignoring this can be. At 08:31 local time we began our descent for Newark and headsets were collected.

We landed early in Newark and it was another beautiful landing by our MAS flight crew. We were at the gate six minutes later and passengers disembarked. Baggage came within 25 minutes and it was time to go through customs. This was not fun…

I proceeded to the desk and handed the inspector my customs declaration form (new ones are much easier to fill in than the old ones) to the inspector who was an older guy who had an attitude from the get go.

Here was our conversation:

Customs: “Where are you coming from?”
Me: “Dubai, Sir.”
Customs: “Do you have family or friends there?”
Me: “No, just exploring.”
Customs: “You mean you just decided to pick Dubai out of nowhere…and not a normal destination like Cancun where most of the people your age are going to this time of year?”
Me: “Yep, I’m adventuresome and I’ve never been to the Middle East.”
Customs: “Don’t you think its odd that a 23 year old male is traveling alone in the Middle East?”
Me: “No, not really.”
Customs: “Come with me.”

So I went with him. He asked me where I graduated from, what degree I earned (when I told him a degree as a Professional Pilot he looked at me with a look equating to, “Yeah, sure!”). He then pointed at my bag and said, “That one…open it up.” I got really nervous as I had a Shisha in the bag and didn’t know what he’d think of that. I struggled with my bag and said, “I need help getting it up on your counter.” He said, “Well your Mr. Independent traveler, you can do it yourself.” I rolled my eyes to myself and I finally got it up on his counter after a struggle. Then I had to search for the key to unlock my bag, which was in my carry-on. As I was searching for it he said, “Did you bring food back with you?” I pointed and said, “Just that box of chocolates from Dubai airport.” He said, “That’s it!” I thought, “Oh crap!” He took my card, drew something on it and stuck it in his back pocket and said, “Get out of here.” I said, “So am I in trouble cause I brought chocolates back?” He said, “NO!”…. Next please.

Whoa!

I got my luggage off his counter. Thankfully he didn’t open it. I think it was because I was honest about the chocolate in my carry-on. I was embarrassed that someone like this was a visitor’s first impression of people in the US. Gosh, I was annoyed and trembling at the same time. I went through the doors and saw my family there waving for me. Once I told them my fun customs story the crew of our flight came through the doors and I saw the male FA that got me the amenity kit, playing cards, postcards and sandwiches. I told him to have fun dancing at the clubs that night. He laughed and said he will if he can manage to stay awake. He then talked a little to my parents about MAS since my parents told him how impressed I was with the service, and that they appreciated him taking such good care of me on the flight. He just kept saying, “Oh, thank you.” He almost seemed embarrassed. I think he must’ve thought, “That’s my job.” If only FA’s on US carriers would take that mentality! We walked out the door with him and once again wished him a safe stay in the US. He waited next to the crew van for his co-workers.

This trip was EXCELLENT. The flights were amazing, Dubai was fantastic, and I found out that US customs is terrible! No doubt, the worst part of my adventure occurred back in the US. Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Thanks for reading my report. Hopefully you’re all still awake and I didn’t bore you too much. Please go out and fly with MAS. Keep them in business and I’m sure after your first flight with them that you’ll return time and time again with a smile.

Hey Ryanair!!!…I now have a new favorite airline! Thanks for the great MAS trip reports. I haven’t flown SQ though so I can’t compare the two carriers. Now that I think about it, there isn’t a need to fly SQ. MAS exceeds my expectations so I’ll just fly with them to S.E. Asia or the Middle East from now on.

Happy Flying!

Chris







40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZizou From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 1535 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10237 times:

Great report! I too a keen to fly MAS and enjoy their great service. Good to see that you enjoyed Dubai, its an amazing city. Did Al Gore fly on the same flight as you? If you are still interested in working for Emirates, try this site, it will help...

http://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com

Hope this helps!  Smile


User currently offlineAirbus Lover From Malaysia, joined Apr 2000, 3248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10158 times:

Im glad that you enjoyed your first flight on MAS, there are more better experiences to come with MAS im sure!

Malaysia Airlines - Going beyond expectations...


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 10142 times:

I understand your embarrasment, however due to 9/11 many people arriving from the middle east are going to be asked a lot of questions. Wether they are US citizens or not. Plus the INS announce recently that they are going to be asking US citizens a lot of questions, when they arrive back in the US after traveling abroad to any country, even if you are arriving from Canada. God bless.

Jeff



God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10098 times:

I am honoured that you took my reports so seriously. Travelquality.com kinda got hooked on to them as well! Check out their website for the forums and their take on the MAS reports!

Most of the crew seem to be like what you experienced on both your flights, seemingly without attitude or internal politics brewing among themselves. Talking about internal politics, which seems to be rather dominant when it comes to SQ. there are always horror stories about how the junior crew are being mistreated by the senior ones. Sometimes this angst tends to spill over to the main cabin.

All those negative inuendos we can do without to create a condusive working environment for the benefit of all. Imagine the MAS crew being so cheerful even after such a marathon leap over the Atlantic is no mean feat, or even after working on several "turn arounds" 45 min hops (can get quite tiring). All this while the airline was almost bankrupt, then a radical change in management, downsizing... and finally today (All this happen within the last 4 years). There wasn't a time when the cabin crew let the state of the company show on their faces.

Well, continue to fly MAS. The Singapore govt can track me for all I care for typing this email because as far as I am concerned, SIA sucks and is continuing to go downhill until they employ better flight attendants with a knack for service.

Cheers
Ryan



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10099 times:

Oh... I forgot to add... do try different airlines! if you are not part of a FFP, allow yourself the pleasure of experiencing the different cabin cultures airlines all around the world can offer. That way, your comparison can be more objective. I have flown quite a fair bit in my life so I am now rather content with just sticking to this present airline, and of course, my FFP is with them as well.  Wink/being sarcastic


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineSwiss-airplane From Switzerland, joined May 2000, 591 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10061 times:

Great trip report. Very interesting to read. I also love Malaysian Airliens. I have flown with them from ZRH to KL and the service was the best I ever have seen. So friendly crew. Domnestic service was great as well.
greets
Mike


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10056 times:

Singapore govt can track me for all I care for typing this email because as far as I am concerned, SIA sucks...

Ryanair!!!, the Singapore government doesn't micro manage to that extent, so rest assured that they will not hunt you down for thinking that way about SQ  Big grin I can also tell you that even civil servants who fly SQ all the time (we are allowed to fly other carriers too btw) do not think that SQ's inflight service is consistently impeccable...and we are pretty open about it.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 10046 times:

And anyway civil servants are not required to travel SQ. My dad, who's a civil servant, recently travelled to London by Thai airways and Copenhagen on SAS. Even the Singapore army rarely uses SQ to transport their troops overseas! My friends in National service went to Taiwan on EVA Air, Rockhampton on Qantas, New Zealand on Royal Brunei..... No one I know has taken SQ yet, courtesy of the Singapore Armed Forces.

I would like to try MAS long haul (or at least longer than the SIN-KUL shuttle.... which is the only time I've taken MAS) but I would never ever fly them to the USA, since US immigration and customs will be suspicious of anyone flying in on a Muslim airline from a Muslim country.... And it doesn't help that the EWR flight stops in the Middle East as well.

When I flew into SFO last May, the INS people just waved me past and customs didn't even glance at me. However another Singaporean friend who flew to LAX a day after me on MH got extra scrutiny.


User currently offlineAIRTROPOLIS From Singapore, joined Apr 2000, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9974 times:

In response to Ryanair's post, fact is Malaysia Airlines has its bad days as well, and I have unfortunately experienced the worse side of them whenever I have had the opportunity to fly with them (which is quite a few times). I shan't recount my experiences with them as I have previously posted them, besides, some of the more partisan supportors of MH might be offended, nontheless, I wasn't very pleased with them. Based on these experiences I have decided to avoid them as much as possible. I now fly Thai if I want a cheap flight, service on TG is good even if they do not have PTVs in economy. You maight think that as a Singaporean, I am biased, yes, I think I am and unapolegetically so, I happen to think that SQ is a very good airline by any measure. Yes I have met FAs on SQ who are snoots, but somehow at the end of most flights, something else seems to make up for it. Sometimes flying SQ seems to be like going Macdonalds, you can expect the same consistent service wherever you go - though it gets a bit boring at times.Amidst all this, I have met FAs on SQ who have really shone, who really do enjoy their work and it shows, none of these people speak with faux english accents as some people have complained, and they are not robotic. At the end of the day I feel I have made my choice of airlines based on my past experiences and I stand by my choice.

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9953 times:

It all depends which INS/Customs employee you get. I had a bunch of Dubai stamps in my passport and they kept asking me why I had traveled to SAUDI ARABIA. I kept insisting that DXB wasn't in Saudi, but they replied "Its all the same". Gotta love it!  Smile

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9957 times:

Ryanair!!!, the Singapore government doesn't micro manage to that extent, so rest assured that they will not hunt you down for thinking that way about SQ

Eh... I was being sacarstic lah!

Sorry, I felt that my first post was rather tensed and I thought that I should point out that SQ is still an excellent airline despite having a group of bitchy-till-the-point-of-no-return FAs. At the end of it all, SQ delivers what it promises mostly. Krisworld, hot towels, lovely meals, immaculate looking ladies in tight fitting kebayas, service levels subjective to individuals... hmm, pretty much the same as MAS I suppose?

As Airtropolis mentioned, even an excellent airline has its bad days, just so that SQ's bad days came a few times in a row for me, just like him with MAS. So, we, together, avoid our respective airlines so to all the SQ fans out there - DON'T GET MAD! It is just the scarred-becos-of-SQ me rambling...

Just to skew off the topic further here...

Military charters are not always taken solely by Singapore Airlines because that airline does not have an obligation to the government for such jobs. It is on an availability basis.

Penerbangan Malaysia... Going Beyond Expectations



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineTKMCE From India, joined May 2002, 841 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (11 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 9954 times:

Malaysian service is great and one which I have always enjoyed.
By the way, the reluctance for the crew to give out vegetarian meal is mainly becuase there are a lot of Indian passengers on the EWR flight who connect at KUL and who are vegetarian.
Since MH massively discounts the tickets on the route from India, you have quite a few passengers especially from the south of India who are willing to take the roundabout routing via KUL.
Cheers!


User currently offlineDc10@dfw From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9894 times:

Fantastic report!!!
I am taking the same flights on February 9th! Oh, my mouth is watering with anticipation of this experience. I am going on to KUL, SIN and HKG, so I will really get the saturated with the Malaysia Airlines experience!



User currently offlineChepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6214 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9867 times:

Great trip report.
From what I read on your trip report it sounds like Mas provides an amazing service (Ive also heard this from a couple of sources). It must be a refreshing experience to get this type of service on an airline when you are used to flying on U.S. carriers.
Chepos



Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlineDeltaflot From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 63 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9876 times:

Thank you everyone for reading my report. I appreciate your feedback and responses.

Zizou – Thanks for the link to the Emirates Group. It’s amazing how many entities they are responsible for (Arabian Adventures, etc.) Some of the benefits offered by Emirates seem too good to be true. I’ll submit a CV/resume and see what happens. Can’t hurt to try. Cheers.

Ryanair!!! – Thanks for informing me about travelquality.com. Lots of great postings over there. Many of them seem as though they are premium cabin experiences. I only have one of them. I’m still one of those budget travelers. Regarding FFP’s…that was another reason as to why I wanted to fly MAS. I got miles for this flight on my NW Worldperks account.

I’ve only traveled with about six international airlines but I’ll try to expand that in the future. I have been accruing most of my miles on NW. I believe I read a NW report of yours and you commented on the wonderful service (sarcasm) that is common on NW. So now you know why service on MAS was “Beyond my expectations.” NW is a laugh compared to MAS or any international carrier for that matter (Aeroflot service is most likely better).

Thanks again for reading my report and I promise I’ll give SQ a try one of these times. Wouldn’t mind traveling on their LAS-HKG flight since I haven’t been to HKG in two years. All in all though, for what I paid for my EWR-DXB roundtrip ($650USD…and they have a monopoly on the route) I was extremely pleased with what I got. Gosh, especially that amenity kit from first class. No other airline that I have flown would’ve done something like that. Little things like that mean A LOT when it comes time for making future travel arrangements.

Docpepz – really wish you could give MAS a try to the US but you are right about the extra scrutiny. A bit unfair I feel. I think that may be the reason why the flight arrives Newark before the afternoon rush of flights from Europe. That way it allows INS to have a lot of fun with those arriving from MH90. I’m sure its passengers face the most scrutiny out of all the flights arriving at EWR. I’m sure the INS guys look forward to those three days of the week when MAS operates to EWR.

B747-437B – its amazing how sheltered some INS inspectors and Americans are when it comes to Dubai. Immediately everyone thinks Middle East…shock horror! I’d rather live there than in most places over here. Much warmer, EXTREMELY safe, and the people are friendly…not to mention it has all the amenities of home and then some. Bet 9 in 10 Americans couldn’t find the U.A.E. on a map nor be able to tell you if Dubai was a city or a country. It’s too bad really. Since there are a lot of Europeans visiting Dubai, I wonder if customs in their countries give them such a hard time when returning home? Guess it’s considered an “off the beaten track” vacation destination for Americans. Didn’t gain popularity…yet!

TKMCE – now that I think about it, the majority of the passengers were from India. Lots of teenagers who were on their way to visit family in the US. I talked to a few of them back by the galley and they made the connection at KL. Whew…and I thought the 14 hour flight was long. Guess I shouldn’t complain. It may have been long but was certainly bearable. More so then my 13.5 hour LAX-SYD journey on Qantas. Bet when Emirates starts service to the US (2003 sometime), they’ll offer some cheap fares to try to attract the Indian population.

Dc10@dfw - really cool that you’ll be taking the same flight. You’ll have a great time. Plan on eating lots. Don’t eat anything on the day before your flight, as you’ll need to save room for sampling the MAS cuisine. Its great! Make sure to try the sandwiches they have for snack. They are very good. Can’t wait to read your report. Sounds as though you’ll be living on MAS for a few days considering the long flights you’ll be on. Good luck and enjoy. Make sure to talk to the crew. They’re really friendly and will get you anything you need (definitely ask for stationary…the postcards I got are great). Believe it or not…the Sunday flight usually departs with a lighter load than the Tuesday and Friday flights so you may have an empty seat next to you. That was according to the FA I spoke to.

Chepos – refreshing for sure! I would say that CO staff would be the US equivalent of MAS staff and CO staff still does not come close to comparing to MAS staff. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges or more appropriately, comparing a watermelon with a grape.
________________________________________________________________________

Btw everyone…the crew said that a the KL-Dubai-New York run is typically a 9 day event for them with two stops in Dubai and a two night stay in New York. I believe that in Dubai they work on a different aircraft (A330) back to KL so that they don’t have to wait for the next B777 to arrive from Newark two days later. Not sure about this though.

Also, I forgot to mention that despite the popularity of this route, I was told that MAS would pull out of Dubai as soon as the US starts something with Iraq. This happened after 9-11 also. When I made my booking back in August they advised me that if there was hostility in the region that they would refund my money or book me on another carrier via London. Hopefully Dubai’s tourism industry won’t be hurt too badly if the US starts a war with Iraq (not a good idea in my book).

Thanks again everyone! Next report is to LHR on VS in March. Heard their service has dropped like a rock. Hope it’s not true…still has to be better than NW or any US major for that matter.

Chris


User currently offlineDeltaflot From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 63 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9859 times:

Zizou...forgot to add about Al Gore. I think Al Gore may have been on our flight since everyone's luggage was torn apart and hand searched in Dubai both at check-in and then researched at the gate. I didn't see him board but if he was on our flight he probably boarded directly from a premium lounge/jetway. Since no US airlines serve Dubai I suppose there is not restriction on him flying on a non-US carrier unless he wanted to hop a ride on UPS. I should've asked the FA. I was too impressed with the service and Al Gore slipped my mind. I even forgot to tell my family about seeing him until I remembered two days after I got back.

Take care,
Chris


User currently offlineOdiE From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 9857 times:

Deltaflot: You from ABE as well? Sweet. I am from there as well, or specifically, the B of the ABE. Superb trip report and I had flown with MAS on numerous occasion and I enjoy flying it as much as you do! (Call me bias, but I do think MAS is one of the best carriers in the world, beside the fact that it's also my national carrier!)  Big grin The only bad thing about MAS was their FFP. Enrich isn't the best FFP in the world, but at least they have NWA, which I am a member. I always wished that flying with MAS will qualify points towards elite status ar NWA as I am pretty sure I will be at least a Silver elite by now.

MAS indeed suspended their services for a while after 9/11. However, they resumed their service in May 2002. Their Newark service is very popular, especially with south Asian passengers. It's filled to the brim during summer. MAS is planning to increase their frequencies to New York from the current 3 to 6 within the next couple of years, maybe daily. They are planning to fly via a European city instead of Dubai given the political situation right now. Among the cities are Copenhagen, Stockholm and Berlin. (I was hoping Amsterdam, since it's one of their hubs in Europe)

Docpepz: I don't think the INS or custom officials will know which flight you came from. In LAX, both MAS and SIA uses the Tom Bradley International Terminal and arrives at the same time via Taipei. So they probably can't differentiate passengers between the two airlines. In Newark, all international flights arrive at Terminal B for immigration and customs clearance. Perhaps, the INS knows that MAS is one of the earlier flights into Newark and starts some profiling. (most European flights arrive after noon)

Dc10@Dfw: You are sure going to fly a long way to Asia! It's longer when you come back as well due to headwinds. Have a great flight!

Take care.


User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 18, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9833 times:

Great Report. Really informative.

I fly to Kuwait a lot and have thought about MAS from EWR as I am a elite NW member. I always end up flying KLM. I really want to try Malaysian out. I like KLM but I miss the Asian warmth that I get from airlines like CX/SQ etc... Maybe in the future since I still hold a KL/NW return ticket.(My trip report is further down the page) Sigh! I can only dream of the Asian beauties serving me as I sit in my NW seat with a tray being slapped in front of me.

As you can imagine I have had my share of problems with Immigration over here. Doesn't help that I go to Embry Riddle either! Keep in mind that I am Indian and many of them think India is a Middle Eastern country supporting terrorism, no matter how much I try to explain the facts to them.

SR 103


User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9800 times:

Odie,

Of course the INS people know which flight you're on. You write it down on your immigration card!

Also, I would love to try EK to the US when they commence flights next year but I'm SURE the INS wil give those flights hell. I'll wait for this whole muslim thing to die down before I'll try any of those airlines! Pity!


User currently offlineAndrew From Singapore, joined Dec 1999, 369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9770 times:

Ryanair:

Just for the record, I took an SQ A310-300 (9V-STV) to and from Rockhampton back in 1997, courtesy of the SAF.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9761 times:

As Ryanair!! said, it's subject to aircraft availability. Sometimes you get SQ sometimes you don't. it's cheaper to charter foreign carriers. Depending on the aircraft type, SQ charges a minimum of $136,000 for a single trip on an A310 (if I recall correctly, it includes tech and cabin crew).


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9757 times:

Just for the record, I took an SQ A310-300 (9V-STV) to and from Rockhampton back in 1997, courtesy of the SAF

Like I said, it is subjected to availibity. Remember my trip report to Rockhampton on SIA?? Dig it out from the profile and read it if u have not, and see if it brings back memories for you!  Smile

I might be heading back to Rockhampton in July for a holiday, by the way.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 23, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9765 times:

Geez... Something just struck me. Just look at the average replies for every Malaysia Airlines report posted on this net... woah!


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9740 times:

Keep in mind that I am Indian and many of them think India is a Middle Eastern country supporting terrorism, no matter how much I try to explain the facts to them.

Glad to know I wasn't the only person who had that problem with the INS idiots. I spent 17 hours with them explaining how India is not a Muslim country, but they preferred not to listen and violate my civil rights instead. Thugs is the only word that comes to mind, and the reason why I am now happily up in Canada away from their clutches.


25 Lfutia : Nice Trip report. Very detailed. my cousin's parents live in DXB and she travels on MH to DXB to see her family. I'm Indian too. Sean - did you try an
26 SR 103 : Hey Sean, Can I ask which airport did that happen at? I mean if that is true, I really do not want to travel through there! The only problem I have ev
27 B747-437B : Anosh - My hassles were at YYZ T3 PFI in Toronto. Thankfully I was still on Canadian soil and the Canadians denied their request to ship me off to Gua
28 USAFHummer : Superb report, I absolutely can't wait for more... Just a note: HB-IIQ is the only PrivatAir BBJ on DUS-EWR-DUS, you wont see any others on the route.
29 Rai : Nice report, but I sort of want to clarify something: My hassles were at YYZ T3 PFI in Toronto. Thankfully I was still on Canadian soil and the Canadi
30 B747-437B : Rai - Gitmo is a designated facility for designated "alien combatants" apprehended before being territorially admitted to the United States, which inc
31 Ryu2 : Had a rude customs experience at LAX as well -- I flew back from TPE on SQ 30, in business class on 1/1/2002. Immigration was smooth, but the customs
32 Rai : Gitmo is a designated facility for designated "alien combatants" apprehended before being territorially admitted to the United States, which includes
33 OdiE : Docpepz: The immigration card thing totally slipped off my mind. Sorry my bad! Yeah, we kinda need to fill out the I-94 form thing, but guess you Sing
34 Rupertvander82 : Nice report. Would love to try MH's 777. Maybe when I fly to AMS next time. But is there a need to start comparing SQ and MH all over again? I mean, w
35 9V-SVC : Hello This is a great report . Glad you enjoyed the trip . You should try Emirates , their services are great ,you are treated like a king . Anyway ,
36 Post contains images Mas a330 : But is there a need to start comparing SQ and MH all over again? I mean, what does it got to have to do with this trip report? I know MH is a good air
37 Kaitak : The problem about the ignoramuses at US Customs/INS is that if they think all middle/near Eastern countries are the same, it must cause terrible confu
38 Docpepz : You're right Kaitak. Which is why as much as I would like to try MAS to the USA, and even EK when they commence flights, I won't cos of the profiling
39 Ryanair!!! : Racial profiling, and all these cultural stereotyping of people is causing a bit of an unsettling ruffle throughout the world. However, until the peop
40 Mas777 : Since BA withdrew their service to KUL, I have had little choice but to fly MAS between LHR and KUL. Being their premier long-haul flight, I have neve
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