G-KIRAN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2000, 736 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6016 times:
Facing a very long wait between the end of our GCE A levels and the coming of the results, my friend and I decided to take little holiday. My friend who like most of the people I know, wants to get out of Singapore. He has relatives in Perth and his parents are rather keen on him to migrate there. Initially I managed to pick up a good deal with one of SIAs EZ holidays. It was for 5 days and 4 nights with accomadation at the Perth Sheraton and flights on SIA all for S$1050, however the only condition was that both passengers had to fly in and out of Perth on the same flight. All very good until, my friends father wanted him to stay longer in Perth. I however, did not want to so we had to abandon our plans and instead I had to do all the flight and hotel bookings myself. MAS was by far the cheapest, it was some S$200 cheaper than either SIA or QANTAS. For my accomodation I booked an apartment in Mount Street, a stones throw away from Kings Park.
Date:Mon 23rd Feb 2004
To:Kuala Lumpur KLIA-KUL
Getting to the airport
I set the alarm for 0400 and planned to go to bed at 2100 the night before. However I only made it to bed just after 0200 in the morning. My friend opted to stay up all night and not sleep at all. I got up at 0400 bang on as the alarm went. I straight away called my friend, who within two rings picked up the phone and informed me that he had kept awake by downloading pornography and by chatting on a ICQ gay and lesbian chat room.
I quickly had my shower and went and had a final check of my bags and travel documents before ordering a taxi at around 0445. The taxi came some 5 minutes later and made staight for Tampines where my friend stays. I made it to his place and found him waiting under his HDB block with a suit case and a big plastic bag with something poking out of it. It turned out that he had somethings to carry to Perth for his reletives. The list included dried shitake mushrooms, dried fish and a mop.
The entrance concourse of terminal two was deserted as it should be at 0545 in the morning with only a few armed guards present. The check in queue was short and I went straight to one of the counters. Unfortunatly there where no window seats left on the KUL-PER flight which was full, but I managed to get 22F and my friend 22E on the SIN-KUL sector. We were checked in all the way through to Perth with our boarding passes on that sector being presented in a envelope giving transfer information at KLIA.
From there I went through immigration of which there was no real queue. Straight away I went to the money changer to get some Australian dollars. The rates at Changi are better that downtown Singapore in this case. After that I had a look around the duty free shops and purchased a litre bottle of Baileys, before my friend decided he need a smoke to keep himself awake. So we headed straight to the open air smoking gallery which was packed full with smokers. He had a quick puff and headed straight to F30, the usual MAS 737 gate to board our flight.
I cant quite remember what time we made it to the boarding gate, but most of the passengers were already boarding. We were greeted by a cheerful steward and made our way through the first class section which was empty. The economy class section, however was full. The cabin crew came around with their cold cloths with what seems like washing up liquid on it. Some were smiling, while others were not. Generally the men where more cheerful then the females.
Take-off and climb to cruise level
We pushed back from F30 and made our way to 02L via taxiwasy B3, EP, SC, WC8, W8. We held at WC8 to allow a UA 747-400 on WP to taxi into position at 02L. It immediatly took off and we held short again this time at W8 to allow a SIA 777-300 to land. Soon it was our turn to leave, we rotated early and climbed into the rather misty air. Down below there was plenty of aricraft such as a UA 777 among others. Passing the west cargo apron I noticed a USAF B-1 bomber, no doubt there for the Asian Aerospace Airshow. Our departure routing was the normal northly route to KUL, the VJR 3A departure. This involves flying runway heading and turning left to intercept the 297 radial for the VJR VOR which is next to Senai Airport in Johor.
Our cruise level was 24000 feet and the cabin crew quickly came around with drinks after the seat belt sign went off. The seats on this 737 seemed new, but the legroom was slightly cramped along with the width of the seat itself. The interior looked rather old and worn with the side panels having a rather yellow-brown hue. The cabin crew it seemed rather dull and hardly looked like they were the best in the world for the past three years running according to Skytrax.
Descent and landing
The captain came on the air to inform us about the weather condions at KLIA, which was rather cloudy and bumpy. Our STAR this time around seemed to be the Malacca TR for a landing on 32L. A blast of reverse thrust followed as we made our exit from 32L and taxied to gate C33 on the satelitte. KLIA was its usual, nothing but MAS planes everywhere.
Check-in:3.5/5-Rather cold, I noticed that MAS ground staff are not as friendly as their counterparts in the air or SATS staff.
Seat and interior:3/5
Cabin Crew:3.5/5-Maybe it was an early morning departure
Date: Mon 23rd Feb 2004
From: Kuala Lumpur KLIA-KUL
Duration:5hr 20 mins
KLIA was quite busy at this time in the morning. My friend who had not had dinner either wanted to eat something so I took him to Burger King on the upper level. We found a table by the very big windows and I odered the usual Whoopers and fries to fill ourselves with. We had some 2 hours to burn, so we took our time munching away.Now my friend needed another cigerette so he went down to the smoking lounge, while I read Macbeth and gobbed down more fries.
He was gone some 20 minutes having lightened his load of cigerettes by three. Our gate was C12, outside which there was a long queue mostly full of returning students. Upon entering the lounge, everyone had there passport inspected and where asked questions by what looked like to be members of some special branch.
Passengers were of course boarding by rows, but this time they started boarding from the front. We were greeted at the door by the steward and directed to our seats. the flight was full in economy, while Golden Club Class was empty. I found my seat which is all but three rows from the back. The 2-5-2 seating that MAS employs sure is cramped. I feel sorry for the person stuck in the middle. The seats had changed since my last trip on a MAS 777, SIN-KUL-VIE-KUL-SIN and SIN-KUL-BKK-KUL-SIN. This time around the seats had lumber support and the much needed flexible supports on the headrests. Thankfully the seats do not have that annoying thing on the seat that juts out like those found on the SIA 777s.
Takeoff and climb to cruise level
We pushed back some 20 minutes late, thanks to some passengers that some how did not turn up, so for security reasons they had to remove their baggage. The taxi to runway 32R was very short via B10, A and A11 and since we were rather light wee rotated just past the control tower. Unfortunatly I do not have the SIDs for KUL, so I cant tell what departure path he took. Shortly after takeoff the cabin crew came around with the complimentry hot towels and the usual orange juice, coffee and tea; unfortunatly peanuts were not given out. I dipped into the seat pocket and took out the inlfight magazine, Going Places. I had a quick skip thorugh it, reading articles on Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and Sri Lanka. Thankfully the headphones and menus were now given out. Good to see that menus have made a come back to MAS. it gives the airline a more professional look.
While the pilots were busy climbing to 35000 feet, I was busy making myself comfortable. There was nothing good on the MAS PTVs. The short programs did not interest me and the only movie really worth watching was the latest one by Russell Crowe, Master and Commander. The music selection was good however, I tend to listen to the music programs in planes to find out what the latest songs are. From this flight I have added Shut Up by The Black Eye Peas, Hey Ya by Outkast and My Immortal by Evanescence to my mp3 collection. My friend by now had dozed off with this head hanging in front of his chest. I took the opportunity to program his PTV to the Airshow, while I continued to listen to the music channel.
After about an hour in the air the lunch cart came around and I dipped into my menu to have a look what was cooking.
Kuala Lumpur - Perth
Croissant with Jam and Butter
Seasonal Fresh Fruits
E-Fu Noodles with Ginger, Mushrooms and Pak Choy in Garlic Oil
Beef in Chili Plum Sauce with Buttered Rice and Green Beans
Mocca Berry Cheese Tart
I went for the noodles since I cannot stand buttered rice. My friend by now had woken up and went for the noddles as well. The presentation was the usual. The croissant was warm and since I hate warm bread I did not eat it. However I must give credit to MAS where it is due as most carriers only serve cold buns which I prefer, but most others do not. I started first on the fruit salad , which was the starter. The fruits tasted rather dry and old. The noodles were great, moist but not too moist and the dessert was out of this world! Even my friend who does not have a sweet tooth like me told me to shove off when I tried to take his for a second helping. Overall MAS remains my favourite carrier in the food department. The menu also listed the choices for the return flight, PER-KUL. So for those interested here it is.
Perth - Kuala Lumpur
Fried Egg Noodles with Marinated Chicken
Penang Chicken Curry with Bok Choy and Steamed Rice
Roasted Lamb Loin with Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini and Pumpkins
Ricotta Crumble with Anglaise Sauce
It looks good and to put icing on the cake, the cabin crew came around with sticks of ice cream in addition to more drinks and wine.
With my full stomach I settled down to get some shut eye. I woke up some 2 hours later with the northern part of Australia just passing by. My neck was aching as I normally sleep against the window with a pillow, but instead this time since there was no window to sleep on I slept on some wierd position. Seeing that there was no point going back to sleep again, I decided to play some of the Nintendo games on the PTV. The tried playing Tennis, Go -Karts, Soccer and eventually Street Fighter II before giving up as I am useless at all of them. The only game I play today is FS2004. My friend also tried his hand at Street Fighter II, he found the keypad to be too insensitive although at one point in his life, he was the Tampines (area in singapore) Street Fighter II champion.
Descent and Landing
We started our descent some 120 miles north of Perth. I managed to get a peek out the window and noticed that burnt brown and yellow were the only two colours. The only thing green must have been my face, because I could not get a window seat. The descent was bumpy with plenty of turbulence although there were no clouds. Even near terra firma there was heavy turbulence with lots of ooooohs and aaahhs from the passengers as we went up and down before bumping down on runway 21 bang on time at 1515. With a short blast of reverse thrust we exited the runway and parked next to an SIA 777 at the international terminal. As usual everyone got up and had to wait and my friend was worried that someone would steal his up. Naturally I thought someone might nick my Baileys. In the end after a few minutes we left the aircraft mop and all and made our way into the terminal.
There was a long queue at passport control for the international passports, while those for Australians were empty. As such they opened up the aussie counters for us. Since my friend had mentioned that he had some foodstuffs and medicine in his bag we were held up abit before making our way down to bagage reclaim and another long queue in the red channel of customs. As usual for all arrivals in Australia we got the full baggage check by a very nice customs officer. My friend had his dried mushrooms and other food stuffs which were not confiscated for some reason. I had a fruit cake and dried bananas confiscated on my last trip to Sydney. By the time we got out it was already past 1630 in the afternoon and the whether was plesent as we got a taxi to our apartment near Kings Park.
Seat and interior:4/5-Could recline more, also some of the seats were a bit worn.
Cabin Crew:4.5/5-A league ahead of the stuck up SIA barbie dolls.
IFE:3.5/5-Let down by the not so good choice of programs, but good music selection though.
A great flight on MAS and all this at a price that is some S$200 cheaper than SIA! No doubt MAS still remains my prefered carrier out of SIN. I will write up the return which is PER-KCH-KUL-SIN on the A330-300s within the next few days.
777MAS From Malaysia, joined Sep 2003, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5644 times:
What? They flew you in a B734 to KUL? I thought those were phased out from this route. Unlucky.......
Lumbar support on the 777 - now, the last time I flew on their 777 was in August 2003 - didn't notice there was lumbar support then. Must have been very very recent.
Shortly after takeoff the cabin crew came around with the complimentry hot towels and the usual orange juice, coffee and tea; unfortunatly peanuts were not given out
I'd have to say MH has dropped their standard in this regard (yeah, we've heard those 2 words "cost cutting" so very often these days) - before the mid-90s they used to have a full drink service, with a wide range for you to choose from. Now, you've got to specifically request for you preferred drink; otherwise, it's OJ, OJ and more OJ!!!
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5542 times:
I think the drinks service is fine since you can always ask for other drinks if you prefer and the OJ, water routine actually means that everyone gets served this first drink quickly after takeoff instead of waiting. MAS does also often come round with trays of soft-drinks and beers after their OJ/water round - guess this is all very much up to the cabin services director of the day... On past flights - there has also been a full bar service - again depending on the timing of the flights/meals and at the discretion of the staff...
G-KIRAN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2000, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5263 times:
What? They flew you in a B734 to KUL? I thought those were phased out from this route. Unlucky.......
All but one of the MAS flights to and from SIN are operated by the A330s. The first flight out from SIN and the last flight out from KUL are operated by the 737s.
I am flying to LAX from CMB in april on MH first, I heard thay still have the OLD first seats. My other options are SQ, OZ or CX. Let me know what you think!
If money was really not a problem for me, I know for a fact that I would not be seen dead in MH first-well I would not be seen dead in any first class cabin-its a total waste of money. Apparently according to their inflight magazine, Going Places, the first class seats cannot be turned into beds ie 180 degree recline. Pricewise however, they are quite cheap. For example I know that MAS first class out of SIN to LHR via KUL is still cheaper than Club World on BA. If I were you I would dump MAS and take SIA or CX. The first class on the A330s of MAS are not really what people imagine first class to be, or so I have heard.
I have actually flown SIN-CMB-SIN with SIA(trip report on this forum) before and I can definatly say that the service is great even in economy. I got AVOD on my flight out, although for the return flight is was just the normal PTV on the 777s. MAS uses their A330-300s on the KUL-CMB route so those in economy get the big screen, however since your in first there should be no problem. Additionally, the MAS flight goes via Male on one of the legs and the CX flight from HKG goes via BKK.
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4785 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5160 times:
Thankfully the seats do not have that annoying thing on the seat that juts out like those found on the SIA 777s.
What are those things that "juts" out of the SIA seats on the 777? I am just fresh off 2 wonderful flights (never tot i'd say that abt SQ) on 9V-SYD and 9V-SKQ (just got home from the airport actually ). I found their cabin to be very comfy especially the seats on the latter a/c. So many functions on a Y Class seat! I am utterly impressed!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Superflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4990 times:
Thanks Kiran! I really appreciate your input, It really helped me in choosing the right airline for my next trip.I think you are absalutely right, CX or SQ would be a much better option. I had flown on MH to Australia on business and I didn't really like it that much compared to CX or SQ business class. Thanks again for helping me make the right decision.
MAS A330 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4924 times:
MH may not have the latest seats and features, but their service never dissappoints. I have flown on MH C and F the past year, and although the seats are not the best, the service impressed . You can check out my trip report if you like, the link is in my profile.