Iflypal From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 69 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 13040 times:
Original Routing: Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur-Sydney
Flown: London Heathrow-Langkawi-Kuala Lumpur-Sydney
Date of Flights: Nov 16, 2004 (LHR-KUL-SYD)
Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur, MH
Checked in at KL/MH transfer desk at Amsterdam Schiphol after having arrived from Chicago on KL611. Though able to check baggage all the way through Sydney, KLM partner Northwest was not able to check me, the passenger, all the way, requiring me to get my boarding passes beyond AMS at the transfer desk at Schiphol. Check-in was non-eventful, just enough pleasantries to process me through but not at all warm (typical KLM efficiency) compared to the Asian carriers. Was handed boarding pass to KLM Crown Room on the 2nd level. Not awe inspiring as the some of the lounges in the Far East (CX/HKG, SQ/SIN, MH/KUL) but comfortable nonetheless. Plenty of drinks, snacks, pastries and amenities, but ironically, the only thing that got me excited was the entire collection of delft ceramic houses that they give in World Business Class displayed. Talk about a loser eh? About an hour prior to departure, I made my way down to the gate area, where the beaut 747-400 Alor Setar was waiting for me. Initially there were only a handful of passengers at the gate area. Before you knew it, it seemed like the whole airport was in F9. I checked in with the gate kiosk to ensure my transit accomodations at Kuala Lumpur was intact. That is where my first experience (exposure) with true MH staff took shape.
Thirty minutes prior to departure was when the ominous 'possible' delay was announced. Something about a warning light that although was minor could not be overlooked. The MH ground staff was pretty open about what was going on. There were announcements every 15 minutes or so regarding the status of the warning light. At about 30 minutes past the original departure time, a delay of at least an hour was broadcast. Then something unprecedented, at least for this US-based guy, happened. Malaysia Airlines informed us to stay in the gate area as they have ordered snacks and drinks to pass the time away. Great way to pacify a crowd. About 90 minutes past the departure hour, it seemed evident that it was going to be a while yet. That is when the purse strings opened even further and food vouchers were distributed-- 8euro for Y, 15euro for J, and 21euro for F. Again, what could have been a potentially ugly situation was pre-empted by periodic announcements, quick thinking with the snacks and drinks, and finally the food vouchers.
Three hours past departure hour and it was obvious this plane wasnt leaving. The cancellation notice was given and most passengers were given overnight accommodations at a nearby hotel. Premium passengers, those in F or J where given an option to be re-routed via London on British Midland. Considering I only had eleven days to do Australia and New Zealand with only 1/4 of my plane ride completed, I opted to be rerouted. Again, MH ground staff showed outright professionalism in handling the situation. The eight of us that were rerouted were put on a London bound BMI flight Business Class to connect to MH7 departing for Kuala Lumpur.
But here is where Malaysia staff impressed me. Having had originated my trip from Chicago fourteen hours prior, the boy was starting to feel well, un-fresh. I figured adding London to the mix was going to add another three hours to the twelve hours it was going to take to get me to Kuala Lumpur. I wasnt about to wait that long to take a shower. With seven words, 'Know Of A Place I Can Take A Shower?, a Malaysia Airlines staff member personally escorted me to a transit hotel within Schiphol and arranged for my shower (read: pay for my shower, that's all). Having about an hour to kill, you can bet I took my sweet little time. It did not dawn on me that Maureen would be waiting. Twenty minutes later, there she was smiling. For all the accolades the Malaysia Cabin staff have been awarded, I wanted to yell out a big 'dont forget the ground staff!' referring to the exemplary courtesies accorded to my by the MH ground staff in AMS.
Okay, now for the real trip report. MH7 to Kuala Lumpur via Langkawi. The ship was a 747-400, named Penang. The first thing that struck me was the colours in the cabin. Must have been the lighting cause at 9:00pm, the First Class Cabin looked almost too calming. Then, there are the uniforms..Nice on the female attendants but a bit too much for the guys. I was greeted by the Flight Purser and was shown immediately to my seat. Having had introduced himself and taken my coat, the three flight attendants assigned to the FC cabin were summoned, each with their own intros. Common were the subtle bow of the head, a natural smile, and of course, eye contact. Yes, Ill go out with you, you and you. Once I got situated, it was a choice of Dom Perignon or an endless number of juices. Shortly thereafter, instructions on how to use the IFE, and the seat controls were presented. That, for all my travels, was a first. I was given two set of blankets without solicitation, the typical wool blanket and a duvet on 'test' basis available only on flights ex LHR. Choice of newspapers and magazines, and a relatively generous gender-specific amenity bag were also distributed.
Eight minutes past departure time, Penang was towed away from the gate. The First Class cabin on this 747-400 was showing its age. Again, lots of blue, green with smidgeons of purple. The seats were old-fashioned, not the flatbed that you see with SQ/BA/CX. When given a choice, I would have preferred them anyway. The pitch was a generous 80 in. (I tried touching my feet to the seat in front of me in a stretch position with no luck) Seat width was more the adequate. Recline was not 180 but close enough. The personal TV screen was huge. Kinda bulky and tricky to stow but for watching, it cant be beat. No AVOD on this flight but the IFE was still impressive. 50 full CDs, a dozen movie channels, create your own jukebox, cmon, can it get any better. I heard MH is introducing a new FC cabin. I must say as unimpressive this cabin may be to today's standard, comfort will be hard to beat.
About the food, the glorious food. Isnt this what FC is about. Here is the supper menu
Malaysia Satay (Signature Dish everyone knows about)- Lives up to its reputation. Had the chicken and the beef. Good stuff. Jasmine offered refills-- Joel took a pass.
Hor d'oeuvres were a combination of Lobster Spinach, Italian Roasted Vegetable and Roast Duck. That would be a yes, a yes, and another yes.
Next was the trolley with the Sevruga Malossol Caviar with the traditional garnishes. As there were only three of us in FC, servings were rather generous. With the pinkie slightly up, the caviar was savored. Will miss that for sure.
Next course was the soup, again served off the trolley. Choice of Carrot and Ginger Cream Soup or Consomme Royal. Not deciding fast enough, Jasmine recommended the former. She knows her soup. That was good.
Then we get to the serious stuff.
Roast Rack of Lamb, Prawn Kurma, Spring Chicken with Garlic, and Gnocchetti Sardi Pasta. Yum-E. All of them. (Yes, if you flash the magic smile, they automatically assemble a portion of each on the plate. The beauty of FC is they feed you, and feed you, and then just when you think you've had enough, they feed you some more). Then, there was fruit and there was dessert! Ahhhgh!
So how about the service you say? Top notch. Everything was anticipated, from the water glass needing refills, to the adjusting of the pillow, to when my head was going to hit the adjusted pillow, to when I start snoring. Every interaction with the staff was humbling. When they talk to you, they crouch down so theyre eye level is at yours, one hand always has to be touching the armrest, and the subtle flirting (oh wait, was that just my imagination)
Midway through the flight, the SkySnack buffet was set up between First Class and the Golden Class cabins. Never physically saw it as it was described to me in detail by Jasmine. Sounded intriguing, but having just finished a grand meal an hour before, there was no thinking of even yet more food. An hour later, threw that whole thought out of the window and requested a hot snack. Better than any of the entrees I had earlier was the specially prepared Ramen noodle snack, served on a porcelain bowl that would would make even the Ramen noodle itself slurp in disbelief. Never thinking that I would revert back to my college days, the presentation was amazing. This wasnt Cup A Noodle mind you. This thing was a meal. Thanks again to Jasmine. Never had ramen noodles like that before, doubt if Ill have ramen noodles like that again.
Between the food, the IFE, the chats about being a MH flight attendant and why neither one of us was married, (its that flirting thing again), what was technically a 14 hour flight felt like a 4 hour flight. Never thought I would say that. Great food, great amenities, great service, great flight.
There was the short stopover in Langkawi, a very picturesque, not yet commercialized island frequented by the Brits. Transit passengers deplaned via stairway to the tarmac, surrounded by what seemed to be paradise. There is a small transit lounge for international or connecting passengers and a Golden Club Lounge. Nice selection of snacks there. 60 minutes later, we boarded for the forty five minute flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Basic service, even in First Class for the flight to Kuala Lumpur. Snack sized sandwiches and drinks were offered. Before you knew it, we landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Great start to a great trip. To all who have not tried Malaysia Airlines, take them out on a spin. Granted my trip was in FC, but judging from my experience in AMS with the ground crew and the flight attendants on both sectors, the airline is top notch.
Next report: Kuala Lumpur to Sydney MH123 747-400. Maybe tomorrow.
777MAS From Malaysia, joined Sep 2003, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12853 times:
Malaysia Airlines informed us to stay in the gate area as they have ordered snacks and drinks to pass the time away. Great way to pacify a crowd. About 90 minutes past the departure hour, it seemed evident that it was going to be a while yet. That is when the purse strings opened even further and food vouchers were distributed-- 8euro for Y, 15euro for J, and 21euro for F. Again, what could have been a potentially ugly situation was pre-empted by periodic announcements, quick thinking with the snacks and drinks, and finally the food vouchers.
There was once, in 1997, when I checked in about 1.5 hours before departure for one of their short (40 mins., 223 km) domestic flights - upon checking in, I was advised the flight would be delayed by about 2 hours. They gave me a coupon for a meal and drink at one of the restaurants at the airport. Hmmm, for such a short flight......
By the way, what can one get for 8, 15 or 21 Euros at AMS?
Another time, in 1991, we had all boarded the B747-200 for our KUL-MEL flight. For some reason, it was delayed (for 1.5 hours). So the FAs served drinks while we waited. I don't remember them making reqular or detailed announcements on what's going on.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 12820 times:
I am very impressed with your description on their ground service. I have, more often that not, experienced crappy service with their ground staff. Never had a complaint about their cabin crew though! I totally agree with the in-flight service, absolutely out of this world.
I just completed 2 flights with them in First Class (albeit on short haul). I will be flying with their partner, KLM, in 2 weeks time to JKT. I wonder how that will turn out??
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
SR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 38
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12754 times:
Excellent trip report. This just made me want to fly Malaysian even more! I guess when the time comes, I'll spend a huge amount of my Northwest miles to get on a Malaysian flight. Good to know Malaysian has not lost its touch like a few of its Asian counterparts.
You are so so right, the KLM Crown Room is not that impressive at all when compared to the CX, SQ, and EK lounges at their home base. I always find this one of KLM's largest weaknesses. How was the KLM flight for you by the way?
MAS A330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12659 times:
Great report. I myself was on an MH flight in F, and the service was excellent. And you are right about the flight feeling shorter. I wasn't satisfied and felt rather sad having to leave the comfortable F cabin i love so much.
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12707 times:
The most impressive thing about MAS is the fact that I have yet to travel in F with them but their service in Golden Club and ECONOMY is still top-notch. Off to KL once again next week - with a sidetrip to Singapore thrown in for free.
MAS ground staff tend to be awful in KL but outside KL (even in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Bahru or Penang) - I have always found them to be pretty friendly. I was delayed at BKI a couple of years ago due to the late arrival of the aircraft from TPE and we were all offered dinner at BKI airport whilst waiting. There was a further dinner offered on board as well!
Staff at LHR are usually pretty good and quite efficient at boarding since I have yet to travel on a flight that's NOT full out of LHR.
Iflypal From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 69 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 12597 times:
With 21euros, I was able to order a bowl of lobster bisque, a chicken caesar salad and two glasses of wine in a sit down place at Schiphol. I believe there was even more left over. All in all, I thought that was rather generous. The other people I ate with, some with Y vouchers, and some with J vouchers (the great thing during these delays is you get to befriend people going through the experience as you), had enough to get at least an appetizer and a glass of wine as their meals. Keep in mind that 60 minutes prior to this meal, they served drinks and chocolate bars at the gate. If the same delay occured on United or Northwest, it would have been $5.00 or so amenity coupon (just enough to buy you a McD value meal), and only if you beg and pleaded or given to you with scowl faces if the delay was ridiculously unreasonable.
I was not sure what sort of overnight accommodations or per diems were afforded to those who elected to stay overnight in AMS. All I know is that those who were re-routed to London 90 minutes later, all premium passengers, were again issued food vouchers for the same amount. I think most elected to forfeit and not use their second round of vouchers as the timing of the previous meal was too close and there was the first class food on Malaysian to look forward to three hours later.
Dont get me wrong, I would never wish a delay on anyone, especially one on a well-deserved holiday/vacation. Dealt with that card however, I was glad I was on MH. Even if this incident was isolated or only happens in Amsterdam, I'd say Im a fan for life.
Iflypal From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 69 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 12580 times:
KLM service, on its own, is pretty good. I would liken it to Lufthansa or SAS, where its efficient and ample, but that enough to feel special or talk to mom about. I was in World Business Class both directions, outbound in the lower level by the nose (where F typically sits in carriers who offer them) and then in the upper deck inbound back to Chicago. Service is similar regardless where you sit, although you do feel more priviledged if you sit in the nose section. (Angle of the seats, all the service areas on the back, lavatories in aft of the cabin vs in the front of the upper deck, etc). Food is nothing home to write about, again ala LH or SK. Its plentiful and generous, but not 'salivatingly exciting'. MH FC compared to KL WBC, absolutely no comparison. Golden Class to KL WBC, it gets closer but you still miss out on the personal element of the MH cabin crew. It would be interesting to find out how WBC is on the new 777-200 just delivered. Cabin amenities are supposed to be entirely new. I dont get too hung up on latest gadgets, flat beds, etc. I get drawn in on service alone. It would be interesting to compare notes. Let me know what you think of KL.
NWAA330 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 213 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12514 times:
Excellent report. I myself have flown MAS in F and J a few times and have always found them to be simply outstanding. They really are overlooked and underrated. Their cabin staff, entertainment, food, and the overall experience is fantastic and they are certainly one of the best airlines out there. Contrary to my name MH is my personal favorite. Look forward to your future reports.
Odie From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 12485 times:
Awesome trip report. I will write my trip report to Asia on MH, UA and JL once I get back to the states. I used to be a frequent traveler on MH's LHR-KUL flights and their in-flight services are simply amazing. I can't wait till they refurbish their F, C and Y cabins.
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12317 times:
Iflypal - I think your response was to 777MAS and not me - but thanks anyway. My last delay with BA to Madrid was for 3 hours at dinner time and no offer for a voucher or anything - NADA. I was also delayed once flying up to Edinburgh in the middle of the day and they DID offer a voucher for £5 - which was enough for a BK or sandwich and little else. I often don't understand BA policy - and half my friends fly for them (both in the cockpit and galleys)!
Dropped my parents at a chaotic Terminal 3 last night for MH1 and the check-in queue was impressive although they were checking in both MH1 and MH7 (to Langkawi). 8 Economy, 3 Golden Club and 2 First Class counters and we still queued for almost 45 mins. Check-in staff were pleasant and complimented my mother on her broach and they had a brief chat about how mum used to work for MAS almost 40 years ago (god knows how they got on to the subject - I went to return the trolley)!
i was originally to be on MH B744.... from KUL to BKI.... but due to extended hols by the university.... i've changed m,y flight to MH A332..... do u think i'm lucky enough to be on either MKU or MKT????
Iflypal From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 69 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12096 times:
I dont believe any of the passengers who were re-routed (or opted to go) via London and Langkawi were Y class passengers. Because of the full flight, I believe only the premium passengers (P/F or J/C) were offered the option to be re-routed. To your question, I was ticketed F throughout my whole journey (except the KLM segments where F is not available and their premium service is in form of World Business Class)
The First Class cabin was relatively empty, three out of 14 out of London and the two out of 14 out of Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur. Of the eight or so who took the re-route, none were upgraded. (ie. Golden to First). The other two in FC were legit FC pax ex-LHR. Upgrades of that nature Im sure are hard to come by and probably require a friend of a family or superstar status.
Interesting note, (Amsterdam) we were informed of the flight status by pecking order. The gate agent would scan the gate and look for me first, give me the jist, and then call the Golden Club passengers. They were very discreet (it wasnt obvious that we were informed first..I guess it because we congregated around the desk area that we were told of the delays or what was being offered). We knew about the cancellation about 10 minutes before the Y passengers, so that was no big deal. Same with distribution of the meal vouchers. However, everyone was treated fairly and professionally, it wasnt one of those situations where they kissed the *** of the F/C passengers but surley to the Y. In fact when soda and chocolate bars were passed out on the first delay, kids and families were afforded the snacks first. You have to give KLM credit for some of that because except for 2 MH ground staff at the gate, the rest were KLM ground crew.
Again, Im sure my ground experience at AMS is the same regardless of class of service. Yes we got our info first, but five minutes doesnt make too much of a difference.
Iflypal From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 69 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 11881 times:
MH123- Kuala Lumpur-Sydney
Date of Travel: November 16, 2003
Class of Travel: First Class, Seat 2H
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400, Penang
Second Leg: Kuala Lumpur-Sydney (itinerary: LHR-KL), Malaysia">LGK-KUL-SYD)
With MH having cancelled my original flight ex-AMS, and having been rerouted via LHR and KL), Malaysia">LGK to Kuala Lumpur, I found myself in Kuala Lumpur ten or so hours later than planned. The original itinerary had me transiting KLIA, with a layover of fourteen hours arriving 7:00am then departing for SYD around 9:00pm. With the delay and the re-route, the flight arrived KUL around 7:45pm. Fortunately, I was still able to catch my original flight to SYD. All I missed out on were the free accommodations at the Pan Pacific KLIA for premium passengers who had extended connecting times. The inconvenience was minimized greatly by MH treatment of me and fellow passengers in AMS, then in LHR, the flight and then of course at KLIA.
After an initial confusion of whether or not we were international passengers that needed to go through immigration (it seems they haven't quite figure out how to handle the folks originating in Langkawi), we were ushered to the gate area of MH123. KLIA is a stunning airport, very modern, and visually appealing, to the likes of Changi and Chep Lap Kok. The domestic concourse (where we arrived) was relatively quiet compared to the enormous and bustling activity of the satellite building. Looking around the gate area, it was apparent that this flight was going to be full. The majority of the passengers were Rugby World Cup bound, judging by the sea of England and Australia jerseys. Although there were a lot of MH personnel-uniformed and non-uniformed checking boarding passes, passports, processing of pax didnt go as seamlessly as one would have thought in their homebase. We were warned in LHR about the probability of our luggage not making the connection in LHR and to expect the bags to come in the following morning. We were however, instructed to check upon our arrival in Kuala Lumpur. So we did. We approached the gate personnel and inquired about our bags. She took our boarding passes, showed it to another group of personnel and what seemed to be an attempt to earnestly find info regarding our bags started. About ten minutes later, we were approached by an MH staff member who assured us our bags did make it to KUL for transfer to the SYD flight. More on that later.
Boarding went smoothly. To my delight, I was ushered into a cabin that looked remarkedly similar to the one boarded at LHR. (As it should). Again, lots of blues and lots of greens. There were fresh flower arrangements in the media rack of the 747-400 which I thought was a nice touch. The front cabin was slightly full, 8 out of 12 seats were occupied. A full complement of Malaysia cabin crew greeted us at the door. The head purser led each of the eight of us to our seats. One by one, the attendants for the cabin came by and introduced themselves to us, with Kelvin and Aurora, identifying themselves as the two leads in First. We were asked for our choice of drink, and like a lemming in heat, I decided to join the bandwagon and did what everyone else did, the Dom.
Upon delivery of the drinks, were offered newspapers and magazines. Blankets, headphones and amenity kits were personally handed out, followed by a query regarding seat familiarization. 'Do you want me to show you how to operate.....'. As in the earlier flight, every sentence started with 'Im sorry to bother you Mr Pacis but would you..' When they talked to you, they bent (sat) down so that they were conversing with you at eye level, and always with one hand on the armrest. Prior to takeoff, the head Flight Purser again took a minute or two with each passenger to welcome him as well as to encourage us to call Kelvin or Aurora should we needed something.
About thirty minutes after take off, we were served dinner, which consisted of the following:
The signature dish, Malaysian Satay, with choice of Grilled Chicken and Beef Skewer. Portions were generous, with Kelvin and Aurora offering seconds and even thirds (there was one individual who really liked them!)
Hor d'oeuvres consisted of Baltic Salmon with Black Pepper, King Prawns with cocktail sauce in a tomato crown, and Chicken Percik skewered in Lemon Grass. Each were once again generously served in a small platter.
Hor d'oeuvres were followed by Sevruga Malossol Caviar, served in an ice sockle and complete with garnishes. (Yum!)
Immediately following the caviar (course #4) was a choice of soup, this time, Tomato Herbed Cream Soup garnished with fried carrots and leek OR Oriental Salmon Soup with Spinach leaves. I chose the latter.
For the main entree, we were given a choice of Beef Tenderloin, Lobster Thermidor, Prawn Sambla or Cheese Filled Ravioli, all of which looked and tasted rather exquisitely. All dishes were served from the trolley. As in the flight ex-London, all you had to do was give the cabin crew the magic smile and you get a generous sampling of everything in your plate.
Dessert on this meal included Seasonal Fresh Fruits. Featured from the trolley however was a dreamy Cappucino Cream Torte with Mango Sauce.
Drinks were plentiful. Each passenger took advantage of the pre-meal Dom Perignon, and again during what seemed to be each course. By the end of the meal, I know this particular passenger was a bit bubbly. Thank goodness you only get a taste of this a few times in your life. If you had to pay for it, you'd be broke for sure. There was a separate Beverage menu that was distributed with the meal. Here, you are told about availability of the 'basics' such as sparkling or still mineral water, the chilled juices - Apple, Mango, Orange and Tomato; soft drinks, and the extras such as Iced Coffee and Iced Teh Tarik. Tea selections included Cameronian Gold Blend, Pure Ceylon, Earl Grey, Jasmine, Wuyi Oolong, and Japanese Green Tea. Coffees included a Cappucino/Espresso blend of Cosi, Roma or Decaffeinato in addition to the usual Nescafe line of coffee. Then there were the alcoholic drinks....
The seats on this 747-400 again were the old fashioned 'almost lie-flat' seats. They were big and bulky and great! The personal screens were again one of the biggest Ive ever seen. This flight, AVOD was available so I was able to sample a pretty impressive IFE lineup. I was tempted to use the game feature that allowed you to play (compete) with someone else in the cabin. Unfortunately, I was too hung up of 'sucking' at video games, therefore taking the higher road of not embarassing myself.
The cabin crew as typically stellar in their efforts. They were rather 'chatty' as a matter of fact, wanting to know if I was on holiday, what I planned to do in Australia and New Zealand, and how I managed to leave KLIA without buying any duty free items. (I thought that was rather odd as well). We also exchanged travel stories, particularly flight attendant truths and myths about flying into select cities. We talked about the famous hotel in Taipei that more than one flight attendant indicated was haunted. We all got a big laugh.
Ninety minutes before arrival, we were served our second meal. This meal was rather light, more a continental breakfast than full breakfast fare. The menu indicated among other things, 'health' drink, fruit juices, seasonal fresh fruits, yoghurt and fresh items from the bakery. Nothing memorable, but itself very satisfying.
Arrived SYD on time around 7:00am. Cleared customs and immigration rather quickly. I made a mental bet that my luggage was not going to be there despite the reassurance of the KL ground staff. As I predicted, baggage did not make the connection in London. As I approached the Qantas baggage office and identified myself as a MH pax, they anticipated my arrival and identified me by name even before I could identified myself. Apparently, they were waiting for me. Me and a fellow passenger were told to go to the Malaysia office upstairs in the departure level were we were 'compensated' for missing baggage. The allowance was generous, albeit enough to buy emergency supplies for one night as our luggage was going to arrive first thing the following morning. Again, kudos to MH for keeping tabs.
Sorry for the long posting. You guys wanted specifics didnt you?
Next up (probably in two weeks...the return journey...)
A330Fan1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 856 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 11772 times:
Great flight reports! These are very good, and very insightful - Malaysia Airlines looks great, they got good advertisement! Glad that you enjoyed your experience, maybe I'll fly MH! (in coach, of course, FC = $$$ )
GuyBetsy1 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11332 times:
Now if only MH would officially announce to neighbourning competitors that they are joining the xxxx alliance, then maybe we'd see traffic pick up a bit more.
MH has always decided against joining any major alliance for reasons unknown.."they want to colonize us" is the excuse.
But they were once offered to join Oneworld to compete with the likes of SQ and TG who are both in the Star Alliance. But their demands that BA/QF switch their hub base from Singapore to KUL were totally unreasonable, and thus that deal died at the table.
MH took a long time to switch their KUL-SIN service from ageing 737s to A332 aircraft. But that was not the real reason why people would rather wait to take SQ than MH. I believe the word status loyalty miles are amongst the words "Star Alliance".
Hopefully, MH should wake up and realise that KUL isn't going to be the airport and hub that it wants it to be. It better start an alliance soon, or else MH may just very well end up being the single sole large operator there.
Ariegel From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11343 times:
I'd love to see MH join Skyteam along with CO/NW & DL.. Then NW could add an additional flight NRT-KUL using their brand new A332 to connect with many of the MH "early morning" flights to Austraila and other South East Asian destinations.. They are already FF partners with NW & VS (who is partners with CO) respectively..
How is this for a "new" Skyteam:
almost mighty enough from a coverage perspective to compete with Star...
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (10 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11337 times:
I don't think MAS would ever join 'xxxx alliance' since the disputes between TG and SQ are already evident that their hubs are already too close.
MAS has made the right decision (in my opinion) not to join any alliance for the moment for the following reasons...
1. Financially, it is still undergoing major restructuring as a company.
2. MAS still has the national and local state governments (incl. the Brunei Investment Agency) as major stakeholders - they will be making sure that MAS continues to SERVE them.
3. As a result, MAS continues to be burdened with local route networks which rarely see any profit and continues to uplift domestic passengers under a price ceiling levied on the carrier.
4. As an 'airline', MAS is different from most others because of this setup (mentioned above) and CANNOT operate as a 'commercial' entity like other airlines. It is a form of 'public' transport and holds a unique role sociologically and politically in Malaysia.
On Oneworld - MAS in fact was a forerunner in its conception as negotiations were held in the early 90s on the then 'new' island of Langkawi. Lord King, James Strong and Tajuddin Ramli tried to formulate an alliance of the Europe-Southeast Asia-Oz routes - but failed to agree as the UK and Australian authorities failed to approve MAS additional traffic rights (BA and QF already holding extensive 'historical' rights into/out of Malaysia). MAS used a trump card and began code-sharing with Virgin instead and used VS' traffic rights on the Kangaroo route eventually.
Back to Oneworld today - you are correct that an invitation was offered to MAS but again - the investment by MAS into Oneworld would have seen MAS suffer. Its entry into Oneworld would see BA and QF obtaining hubbing rights at KUL - but not using them (hence MAS' insistance for the hub transfer from SIN to KUL) - which would have had a profound effect on MAS - since Oneworld would continue to hub at Changi and NOT transfer passengers through KUL. The agreement would see BA and QF securing an overflow facility at KUL but see MAS shrinking as it passed passengers via SIN. A continuing contentious issue was also not resolved - MAS would not gain similar hub access at LHR nor SYD - but I think the Australians offered MAS Townsville as a sweetener - Thanks but no thanks!!!
I just flew on the KL-SIN shuttle with MAS and to all those who whinged about the 737 should be ashamed of yourselves. 5 daily flights between the 2 cities is hardly a 'Shuttle Service' and although the A333s are jam-packed now - the equipment hardly offers more to the passenger on a 40-minute flight. It takes longer to board, offers the same personal space as the 737 on board, takes longer to disembark - but now makes the KL-SIN route even less attractive with the reduction in flight frequencies.
Loyalty miles btw with NW/KLM (MAS' partner) are far better than STAR's expiring mileage.
KL airport continues to grow with over 40 airlines operating there now - so although some big guns like BA and QF continue to shun operations there, MAS has succesfully monopolised their routes with their withdrawal. As an ex-BA frequent flyer - I have to admit - my switch to fly MAS from London has actually been a pleasant change and have stopped flying BA worldwide whenever I can since I realised that their service really is much poorer than the likes of MAS.
Lufthansa's return being brought forward to early March, the arrival of Air China, and rumours of Northwest's return all add to the fact that KL will continue to grow - something many people still can't seem to accept. KL's airport is getting busy and last trips there certainly proved that point.
Try not to compare KL and Singapore - the airports are quite different. SIN's main role is a transfer hub. KL however has a rather more mixed scene and although is trying to grow into a transfer hub - will continue to grow as long as KL and Malaysia grows anyhow. KL is a gateway to a whole country whereas Singapore is a gateway to an island city hub.
Ariegel - VS would probably not join Skyteam since it is now under SQ.