odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:55 pm

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is probably Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) main competitor and vice versa. I had the opportunity to experience these two rivals recently and I would like to share my opinions regarding these two airlines here. These are my just my opinions and it may differ accordingly to each individual (no offence intended to either SIA or MAS fan).

Cabin Crew Service:

MAS: There was no doubt that MAS deserved to win the Best Cabin Crew Award for the third consecutive year. The flight attendants were very warm and hospitable to the passengers ensuring that their long-flight was as pleasant as possible. The flight attendants often offer passengers drinks between meals to keep them hydrated in an atmosphere where the relative humidity is around 20%. Occasionally, on some flights, the flight attendants will chat up with me when they are free and if they do, they will address me by my last name when they serve me again later in the flight.

SIA: The flight attendants whom I had experienced with SIA can be split into two. There were some who were very friendly and there were some who were just plain snobbish. Luckily for me, the flight attendant serving my part of the cabin was the friendly one and she served me with a warm smile. The one serving the cabin in front of me was unapologetic. She accidentally hit my chair a couple of times while she was making her way up to the front part of the cabin and the worst thing was she didn’t even apologize to me and head straight up the aisle! The tap in one of the washrooms at the back of the aircraft was not functioning properly and when I told her the situation, her reply was, “So how? I can’t bring a pail for you to wash your hands!” I was like “what the f*ck!” I was just telling you that there was no water in the washroom and I am not even asking you for a pail!

Verdict: Definitely Malaysia Airlines. (Probably I was just unlucky to meet this cabin crew!)

Catering:

MAS: Once again, MAS had fair pretty well in this aspect. In Economy, they offer passengers a choice of 3 entrées, of which one is normally a Malaysian dish; one is a local destination/origin dish and another vegetarian dish. The catering department at KUL had done remarkably well in providing passengers one of the best meals in the air. However, on long-haul flights, their in-between meals snacks were a bit short of decent. They only offer sandwiches, cookies, cheese and crackers. I also noticed that the flight attendants tend to bring a lot of beer to the passengers!

SIA: They only offer a choice of 2 entrées to the passengers, eliminating the vegetarian dish. I assumed that those passengers who require vegetarian meals would probably need to order it 24 hours in advance. Their choice for in-between meals snacks was fairly similar to MAS, but they offer Pot Noodles to the passengers as well. Their ice-cream is nothing less than superb!

Verdict: Malaysia Airlines

In-flight amenities:

MAS: They offer passengers an elegant menu to choose for their meal service, which is printed in a nice little booklet. Each flight will have a different menu. Also, they offer passengers comfy feather pillows in Economy, which makes a great souvenir!  Big grin However, their blankets are getting old and worn out. They used to provide toothbrush/toothpaste and a pair of socks in a toiletries bag, but now that their financial situation ain’t that great, they had scrapped the socks. Toothbrushes/toothpastes can be found in the drawers in the washroom.

SIA: They offer passengers menu as well, but not as elegant as those found in MAS. Their cover page is printed on a glossy paper! (Personally, I would prefer MAS’ recycled paper rather than glossy paper!) Also, they print two flight sectors in one menu, the outbound and the inbound flight in the same menu. They provide passengers with a little toiletries bag consist of a toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste and a pair of socks, which is useful if you want to walk around the plane in your socks without dirtying your own pair of socks.

Verdict: Malaysia Airlines. The only thing lacking from MAS was the pair of socks. MAS’ feather pillows are way superior to SIA’s polyester pillows. The menu in MAS was of better quality as well.

In-flight Entertainment:

MAS: There are 12 channels of entertainment, consisting of 8 movies, 3 short features and 1 airshow channel on your personal TVs. Movies are pretty up-to-date. Different movies and short features are shown on both the inbound and outbound sectors. MAS also offer passengers seat to seat phone call, Nintendo and PC Games.

SIA: Fortunately for me, I was flying on the aircraft equipped with Audio-Video-on-Demand (AVOD) in the Economy Class. There were a lot of movies, short features and games available for selection. As far as I know, there were only 2 aircraft is equipped with AVOD in Economy, i.e. 9V-SPQ and 9V-SMM, which I flew on the latter aircraft. The entertainment controller/in-flight phone was very sensitive, so much so that my movie was always interrupted because my thighs accidentally touched the controller placed in the arm-rest. On 9V-SMM, the movies and short features were the same for both inbound and outbound flights.

Verdict: Singapore Airlines. The AVOD is definitely a plus!

Safety Procedures:

MAS: They had done a good job in this aspect. When they were informing the passengers regarding the safety features of the aircraft, there were subtitles in French, Spanish and German, if I am not mistaken, thus catering to many passengers around the world. The safety procedures were announced in Malay before English was announced.

SIA: The safety procedures announcer had a weird accent. It’s not Singaporean; neither it’s American nor British. Also, they used the term “hand phone”, which was mostly restricted to Asian passengers only.

Verdict: Tie. (I had not experience any emergency with these two airlines, hence, I was not able to judge. If you only take the safety announcements into considerations, then MAS will have the upper hand since they have a better accent  Big grin, plus subtitles in other languages)

Seats:

MAS: They offer passengers a very generous seat pitch of 34”, probably one of the largest in the air! Their seat is equipped with wing headrest and lumbar support, which was useful if you want to change the way you seat, especially while you are sleeping! Their orange fabric colors are dull, but their green, blue and purple are pleasing to the eyes. The leg space was more than enough for me (I am a 6-footer) and the seats are comfortably wide. Also, the seats in MAS tend to recline more than most major airlines I had been into.

SIA: They offer passengers an industry-standard 32” seat pitch. Their leg space was just adequate since my knees were about 1” from the seat in front of me. They offer wing headrest, but they lack the lumbar support found in MAS. Their fabric colors of green and blue were nice.

Verdict: Malaysia Airlines. No one will complain for more leg room or seat pitch!

Conclusion:

MAS are definitely under-rated in the airline world. If you can’t decide which one to choose, either personal TV’s in economy or seat pitch, then MAS have both to offer to passengers. With a pretty decent in-flight entertainment, albeit not as great as SIA’s, but their seat pitch are superior to that found in SIA. Their award winning cabin crew will ensure that you will enjoy flying by providing you warm service straight from their hearts.

SIA on the other hand provide great entertainment in the sky. It will be great if you are small in size and don’t mind the 2” short in leg space. SIA is probably the airline to go if IFE is all that matters to you (this is extremely true if you are small in size and flying for more than 10 hours!) SIA had done so much publicity about being the world’s best airline, so much so that the passengers expected it to be a flying palace; but in fact, they do not differ a lot compared to their 2 main competitors, i.e. Cathay Pacific and MAS.

Finally, I find these two airlines are probably one of the best in the world, along with Cathay Pacific, Scandinavian and Japan Airlines. Every airline has its pros and cons and neither one of them is perfect in any way. In my humble opinion, I will choose MAS anytime over SIA. Probably, I am just pro MAS.

Regards.
 
United777
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:14 pm

Both the best airlines in Asia!

truly know how to take care of you in the air and both of there home airports are the newest and finest. There fleet is the best too.

Personally I don't think you could compare the two. I have flown on SIA many times and MAS about two times.

I wonder if they will be replacing there 737-400's soon and with what aircraft?
Also MAS has a much larger route network than SIA but SIA flies to more North American destinations than MAS but MAS also flies to South America too.

I think Malaysia Airlines is a really underrated airline!



 
Triple Seven
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2000 10:04 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:37 pm

Excellent comparison.
 
United777
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 8:04 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:38 pm

 Smile The best comparison topic so far!
 
krisworldB777
Posts: 556
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2000 10:28 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:44 pm

Wow you really do have a lot of time on your hands!!

I couldn’t agree more with you in relation to Malaysia Airlines being underrated. Unfortunately, however, the situation it finds itself in is purely self-inflicted in that it is the result of consecutive poor management, corruption, lack of vision and foresight. This has led the airline into a position whereby it “survives” and does little else.

If MAS were, for example, able to refine their schedules to allow more convenient connections, the impact would, as demonstrated by Singapore Airlines’ success, be radical and perhaps return the airline to a stronger position. Instead, MAS has concentrated too much in Asia itself and caters for travellers in and out of Malaysia – a relatively small market in the scale of things instead of looking to make Kuala Lumpur a hub for long-haul connecting passengers. Even some sustained marketing would help MAS to let people know that in fact they are one of the most enjoyable carriers to fly with. Unfortunately, the financial position prevents this from occurring.

I find it quite amazing that MAS cabin crew are able to sustain such high morale given the company’s status and they really are what is holding together the airline. Internationally, the service is, in my opinion also, markedly superior to Singapore Airlines. I like to liken MH’s service to SQ’s 5-10 years ago with that grace and charm which seems so lacking in the last few years. The products MH have on the 777s and 747-400s are generally to a very high standard. Why aren’t they marketing their 34” pitch in an era of DVT paranoia? Why aren’t they marketing their AVOD in First and Golden Club Class on 777s and 747s? Money.

Unfortunately, MAS can’t get out of the roundabout until they are more profitable. They can’t become more profitable unless they do some sustained marketing and get the business travellers flying and flying regularly. If businessmen love SIA’s Singapore Girl service, there is no reason why they wouldn’t become loyal passengers of MH. It’s a shame and they shouldn’t be in the position they face. So much potential which is wasted and we should be commending the cabin crew who are so valiantly holding the airline together. We must just wonder how long they can sustain it.
 
mhz
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 3:08 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:00 pm

I agree to Odie and KrisworldB777 on their analysis but what makes MAS better than SIA are those little "humane" touches from their MAS cabin crew make you feel appreciated and wanted to fly with them again.
 
9v-svc
Posts: 1703
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:03 pm

Great comparison . I cannot say much about both airlines because the last time i flew on both airlines were years ago before the installation of PTVs .

Airliners is the wings of my life.
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 9:28 pm

Interesting comparison,and definitely well thought out and articulated.

“So how? I can’t bring a pail for you to wash your hands!”

I found that hilarious, you can fault her for that quick typically Singaporean come back, but I did think her reply was quite funny. Guess depends on how she said it!  Big grin I have come across bitchy MH crew myself, but the tone and manner in which she retorted to the pax made all the difference. Well, I think it was highly unappropriate for the SQ crew to say that, and I would have given her an equally "bitchy" reply.

I fully agree with Krisworld777 on his remarks and frankly, I am amazed and curious how MH's crew are able to keep their morale and inflight service at such a high level despite the current situation surrounding their company. Definitely good employees to have. In contrast, SQ's crew nowadays appear very affected by the problems the company is going through. I don't blame them as it has impacted them greatly. SQ has consciously implemented cost cutting measures in all fronts, and that includes crew complement on many flights. While a 744 used to be staffed by over 18 crew on long haul flights in the good ol'days, it is now seen as a luxury. Flights usually depart with almost the minimum number of crew (even on full flights) and that affects service in all aspects. I have seen aisles being served by just 1 junior crew, dishing out meals, offering drinks etc...service becomes slow, and the crew gets highly stressed out...hence bitchy. Senior crew often have to rush to help out in Y after serving P/J, leaving P/J manned by just 1 crew...that's not good. To make things worse, despite cutting back on manpower onboard, SQ has introduced new service features which puts added stress on crew. The demands on SQ crew nowadays are great, but I guess that from a pax point of view, that's no excuse for rude service.

I have met many crew who bitch about current working conditions, and having been in operations myself, I can emphatise with them.

In contrast, MH seems pretty generous when it comes to inflight service despite it being in the dire financial situation that we have come to acknowledge. 3 choices in Y is one good example. Perhaps MH has been treating their crew well despite the problems the company is facing, so that could explain the wonderful attitude they have.

Different Y menus for each sector? (not too sure about that because I have an MH J class menu for KUL-BKK-KUL - thanks Ryanair!!!) I think it depends on the route flown and the number of meals served. Because of the way menus are binded, there are usually a minimum of 4 pages in it. It would be quite wasteful not to make full use of every page. I also have a Y menu for SQ36, which does not have the return sector menu included because there are just too many meals for the 2 sectors (a total of 4 meals in English and Dutch).

I fully agree with Odie that recent menu designs on SQ have been aesthetically horrendous. If anyone of you has a copy of an SQ menu that was printed a few years back, you will realise how classy they looked. Things went downhill when they started outsourcing menu cover designs to students from the art schools in Singapore (cost cutting again).

Pillows - yes, MH has feather filled pillows...very comfy I must say. Have 2 (compliments of Ryanair!!! again) on my bed...really nice. thumbs up for MH's pillows.  Big thumbs up

Lumbar support... very few airlines have adjustable lumbar support in Y. SQ has them on their newer 777 aircrafts... some aircrafts have them, some don't...depends on your luck. Similarly, not all MH aircrafts have lumbar support in Y. But I tend to agree with Odie that lumbar support would be great if pax can have them on all long haul flights.

Safety procedures...just like to point out that there are subtitles on SQ's safety video. Usually Chinese and sometimes Japanese depending on the route. As for SQ crew's weird accent...well, that has been overly debated, so I shan't comment too much here.

I would like to try out MH's long haul service soon, just so that I can experience the inflight service that other a.net members talk about...
There's always a better way to fly...
 
Airbus Lover
Posts: 3163
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2000 10:29 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:28 pm

Very good comparison... at first i thought it would be like an A v. B war hehe

but quite well it ended up to be a good discussion... both are good airlines but I have to say that I prefer MAS... for the reasons already stated above.

Keep it up MH!!!
 
airsnaps
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2000 10:44 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:37 pm

Hi!

Fantastic comparison! Really enjoyed reading it...

Likewise, I would give thumbs up to MAS over SIA on nearly all occasions.

I flew SIN-KUL-TPE on MH last year and was very impressed both in Business and Economy.

Thanks again for the fulfilling read!

All the best,

Paul.
mail@airsnaps.com

Singapore.
 
Singapore 777
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 3:00 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:46 pm

Malaysia Airlines - Best Cabin Staff 2002 - what more can I say? Been there and experienced that for myself. But I really cannot fault the SQ crew on my flights. They've been excellent as well.
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:07 am

MH and SQ both have their pros and cons.

MH is fantastic, however it can get sloppy on the short-haul routes.
SQ is good too, IFE is great, but i don't really like their crew.

Both have their ups and downs, but based on my experience, i prefer MH.
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:41 am

A friend of mine took MH SIN-KUL-LAX (with a stop in TPE) in May. He said it was great, except that his plane broke down ex SIN, delaying the flight by 2 hours, but the KUL-TPE-LAX plane was delayed as well, since many passengers were connecting to that flight from SIN.

Also, his plane broke down in TPE from LAX to KUL, resulting in a 12 hour delay. Some snacks were offered but it wasn't filling enough for 12 hours, he said. (I flew back to SIN at the same time as him from LAX on SQ. I think the MAS plane departs 5 mins before the SQ plane, just after midnight)

So all in all he said MAS has great service, good food and a satisfactory IFE albeit inferior to SQ's. However he doesn't really wanna travel with them again as the wait in KUL is tiring, and he doesn't want to risk a delay with them due to technical problems. I guess it's just pure bad luck for him.

And for goodness sake, I hope SQ changes its menus! Not that many people actually care about menus but they're just plain ugly. Even if they were outsourced to art school students, my goodness. I'm sure art students could come up with better designs!


 
alpere1
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2000 10:37 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:42 am

Congratulations OdiE for your excellent comparison!
I think SQ has done much better in what concerns to marketing and publicity, MH needs to learn how to market their product, because although both are excellent, I think MH offers a better product, but it is clearly under rated dued to it's poor marketing.
I do agree this two companies, along with Cathay Pacific, are the best in the world, MH and CX first and then SQ.
 
N751PR
Posts: 1210
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 6:06 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 1:06 am

Thats one good comparison OdiE!  Big thumbs up After reading that, I agree MH is a underrated airline. Not that usual for me to hear of a airline with legroom, a generous seat pitch, and PTVs. Big grin
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
 
mandala499
Posts: 6458
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 3:56 am

One hell of a comparison.
As good as SQ gets, I feel that a lot of the cabin crew let the airline down in terms of genuine enthusiasm for their work. I remember the days when they were and they were unbeatable... however, recently, well... need I say?

I'm picky when it comes to cabin crew friendliness... SQ needs to turn around otherwise eventually they'll loose their top spot. The marketing department can't create such utopian image forever... pax will begin to notice the cracks.

In the mean time, it's time I try other airlines again !  Smile Oh yeah, and more balanced reviews like this please!!!!

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:17 am

An increasing number of Singaporeans (and Malaysians too, as our countries progress) get served at home by their maids.

These same people come out to apply for jobs as cabin crew. Hmm....

How do you think these people feel when they have to serve the maids flying on the SIN-Manila and SIN-Colombo sector? I've heard comments that cabin crew are not very nice to them.....
 
BDRules
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2000 6:31 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:48 am

I want to fly Malaysian to Australia from MAN next year. Why cant i book through their website???? I am trying to beat £799 rtn economy restricted. I can afford to fly business class and probably will so i can get my frequent flyer points with Qantas.
 
Guest

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:05 am

I thought I was reading a post of praising MAS!

Back the topic, about the cabin crew service, yes, I did see saw post on the other message boards about SIA's cabin crew.

Half of them I saw was rated "rude, awful".

I think this is because Passengers are being rude at the first place?
 
MAS777
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 9:38 am

BDRules - it depends when you are flying as MAS are doing deals to Oz from £540 rtn from 16th April. Most travel agents are carrying that fare with them.
 
Singapore 777
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat May 29, 1999 3:00 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:21 pm

Bigo747, you should see some of the passengers that fly on Singapore Airlines. From the check-in counters right up to the moment when I leave the plane, I can see people that expect the world even though they're only flying in economy class. The expectation is just not realistic. And this isn't helped by the fact that SIA's marketing department constantly advertises them as the "best in the world."

You're right, bad passengers! I've seen people yell at the cabin crew before. How do you do your job when you're in a confined cabin having to see the same person that just yelled at you for something you can't control for a whole 13 hours? Simply horrendous!
 
odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 12:49 pm

United777: MAS' larger network can be attributed to its domestic operations. I think they have 30+ domestic destinations which SIA don't have. MAS plan to expand further in North America, with Chicago and Boston in the streamline as a list of destinations to be served by MAS. They are also planning to increase the frequnecy to New York from 3 times weekly to 6 times weekly. However, I remained puzzled as to why MAS do not plan to serve San Francisco since they were planning to serve SFO back in 1997.

KrisworldB777: MAS in fact did a lot of advertising in the UK. Almost twice a week, you could see MAS' advertisement in Financial Times and The Times, advertising their award winning cabin crew, their meal service, their chauffeured limousine service to LHR/MAN, helicopter service for their First Class passengers. I think this is where the majority of MAS' premium passengers come from. I don't think they do a lot of advertising in Asia mainly because passengers are more inclined to travel with their national carrier.

SQ772: The flight I took was on SQ 317, LHR-SIN. SQ 322's (SIN-LHR) menu was printed in the same booklet as well. Don't know for MAS' J menu for domestic sectors, but their KUL-Australia/UK flights are different for each sector. I am pretty surprised that MAS even offer passengers menu on a domestic flight! Maybe they need to print the menu in both Malay and English, hence fully utilizing the 4 pages, but I think in the Australia/UK-KUL run, they have 8 pages. Lumbar support can be found in all MAS' B777 and B747. The only aircraft that doesn't have the lumbar support is A330 and the B734, but you normally fly less than 6 hours with these aircrafts.

BDRules: Don't think MAS offer internet booking right now, but if you want to book via the internet, below are some websites with pretty good deals with MAS:
http://www.netflights.com/
http://www.travelbag.co.uk/
The last time I flew with MAS to Australia, Travelbag offered me £520 plus tax with 2 free stopovers in Kuala Lumpur plus 2 free sidetrips to anywhere in Malaysia and Singapore. Pretty neat huh?
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 1:42 pm

Odie,

Wouldn't exactly call KUL-BKK-KUL "domestic", but point taken anyway. Actually prefer to know what the return sector passengers are having for lunch/dinner though...so having 2 sectors in one menu if fine for me. It's a cost cutting, money saving measure that I am pretty comfortable with.

Lumbar support, yes, I see that you agree with my point that it will be much appreciated on longhaul flights. How does the YCL lumbar support on MH work? Similar to how you operate them on SQ's 777ERs?

I was half expecting this topic to develop into a heated and vicious SQ vs MH vs CX thread, and I am glad it has been healthy and civilised so far... hopefully no kid comes in to spoil everything.


There's always a better way to fly...
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 1:53 pm

Well some kids are away on holiday remember! haha.
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:01 pm

Their orange fabric colors are dull, but their green, blue and purple are pleasing to the eyes...

Err... which aircraft is this??

MH is fantastic, however it can get sloppy on the short-haul routes.

I generally feel that MH scores better than SQ in this department because they fly a lot more short haul routes than SQ does. I have seen SQ rushingly fumble more than once on a short sector like SIN-KUL... or even on a SIN - BKK flight. Service tends to get a little tense because of time contraints. However, if you read my trip report to Phuket with MAS, I described in detail the way the crew served on a 1hr flight from KUL - HKT. Then you'll understand why the service standards on MH differs from SQ.

With all said and done, I totally agree with the comparisons that Odie have done between the 2 airlines. While MH's long haul premium product lacks the sophistication of SQ's, let hope that the recent change in marketing strategy helps them aquire some new customers while satisfying the present batch of true- loyalist (me!).

If you have read my long haul trip reps with MH (mainly the ones to Australia), I have always been satisfied with the flight regardless of class. Since I have flown all 3 classes, I did not find watered down service as I went further aft cabin. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with my first Economy experience with them (another trip rep covered ).

For those of you who have flown F / J Class would agree with me that the Golden Lounge in KLIA is one of the best in the world. The expansive and cozy surroundings, bright and airy feel of the entire environment - surely beats SQ's small and windowless lounges in Singapore.

While many Singaporeans still cringe at the thought of flying Malaysia Airlines, all I can say to them is "you do not know what you are missing"... lot of us need to get past the notion of anything Malaysian is "yucky". Political wranglings aside, I fly with MAS without any predjudice.

One axe to grind with the airline though... they need to improve on the ground service. The "Subang attitude" seems to be present still in the staff in KLIA. I just wish they would be more courteous and customer oriented. Free airport transfers for premium pax in Kuala Lumpur would be more than welcomed for a start! But that is only a suggestion...

Cheers
Ryan
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:42 pm

Many Singaporeans I know prefer direct flights, they hate having to transit in KLIA. I think in the end it all boils down to ease of connectivity. The less stops the better.

Which is why my mum (since she's paying she makes the decision) made the choice of all of us flying to Shanghai, 3 weeks ago, on China Eastern instead of MAS, even though both were the same price. The transit times just made you waste an entire day flying to and from Shanghai. I told her MAS is good and you get double the takeoffs and landings at the same price and she was like "are you crazy?"

SQ costs $1200 on SIN-Shanghai, while CHina Eastern and MAS cost around $700, the former offering 2 nights free accomadation at a 4 star hotel in the city centre.

Want my CHina Eastern trip report? Anyone interested? I suppose for the price you pay it's ok..... but..... SQ knows it has the monopoly on high end travel passengers to China and India which is why they just about charge what they want! Those evil people!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh anyone has any rumours on the change in top management in SQ?

Lastly, I'm glad all of us have remained civil here. It's great!
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:31 pm

Please post the MU trip report. It is not very often we get reports about Chinese airlines.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
SIA fan
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2000 11:56 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:34 pm

I agree that SQ's menu design had been quite horrendous recently. Older menus were very classy. I also remembered that passengers could rip out the front cover and sent it as postcards, but they eliminated that too didn't they (cost cutting measure, perhaps?) BTW, my friend sent me his menu's front cover as postcard but it never arrived, I wonder why?  Big grin
SQ*G BD*S
 
9V-SVA
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:54 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:40 pm

Docpepz, didn't I tell you to do that when you returned?  Big thumbs up Oh yes and about the "some kids are away on holiday", I fully agree. Vietnam has almost no internet access at all and good riddance for that.

OdiE, sometimes, the passengers might be rude in the first place, yelling their tops off at every slight thing. But also that doesn't warrant a rude reply but I can empathize if the crew are at their wit's end.

Because I have family working for SIA, I get non-rev P/J tix, so I might as well use them. P/J on SQ is great. It's just that Y is a bit lacking.

9V-SVA
9V-SVA | B772ER
 
aduum
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 5:24 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:02 pm

Malaysian have been doing a fair bit of advertising on Kabelvision ( in Indonesia ) while I was just away, especially to do with the helicopter pick up in Paris and London for first.

I have listened to you all about SQ in the past, and have just returned from a holiday (report coming one day) flying them in Raffles and thought it was pretty overated. I experienced on both flights the rude stuck up crew, and found the older ones to be nicer.

I will write that report soon though, but havent flown Malaysian so can't comment on them.
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:52 pm

I am pretty surprised that MAS even offer passengers menu on a domestic flight!

I don't think they offer menus on domestic flights because their catering is pretty much the same (hot savouries and more savouries for F Class and OJ for Y Class). However, the meal service for flights between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia differs, depending on whether your flight is continuing on to another international destination from Kuching or Kota Kinabalu.

Eg.

MH 2646 KUL-BKI might have smaller meal trays than... say MH MH68 that continues on to Taipei after flying from KUL - BKI. Also the former aircraft is a 734 whereas the latter is an A333.

Ah... cannot wait to fly them again!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
airtropolis
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:01 pm

Unlike the rest of you guys, i really don't seem to be very lucky in getting satisfactory service from this airline. I have been delayed twice and had my luggage mis-directed twice. As for having the best cabin crew in the air, i'll never forget an incident on a flight to Hong Kong, where the FA simply plonked a rice meal on the tray table of my neighbour, a Chinese national, and when she tried to ask for another choice, replied (almost to the point of yelling at her) "it is rice!". I had the same plonked on my tray, which says a lot about the choice of meals they provide - I wasn't even asked for my choice. The only thing I would agree with the previous comments to this post, is that the seats are rather comfortable, with good seat pitch. I still do think that SIA is a much better carrier, despite comments about their cabin staff.
 
ROP
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2001 3:46 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:14 pm

one thing to remind you guys that eventhough MAS offers more route networks, but you have to see on frequency. There are many routes they operate once, twice or tripple flights weely compared to SIA and Thai which fly to the same destination daily.
and another, Airport hub is the main reason for the unsuccess of MAS, KLIA is far behind Bangkok and Changi in terms of trans continental transit point.
********MAS is a good airline, but just unlucky..that's all*************


ROP ^__^
 
keesje
Posts: 8599
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:29 pm

good report indeed.

I can only agree on MH economy class.

One of the few flights I slept in cattle... Great recline, legroom and adjustable lumbar support.

However the Business Class can use some improvements. Crew was great there too as is the food (delicious Sautee's !!). However legroom & sleeping comfort are less then SQ, KLM, JAL or BA ... PTV screens too heavy & big also.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
airways1
Posts: 536
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 1999 3:05 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:30 pm

How about Malaysia Singapore Airlines?


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mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:04 am

I was kind of refering to the short haul domestic routes, the service is not up to par with that of the longer routes. For example, some of the cabin crew can't speak proper English, they are not very helpful, etc.

Don,t get me wrong, the service is good, just that some of the short haul flights are bound to have some of the crew as i stated above.
 
shankly
Posts: 1194
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:23 am

Excellent post.

I've had the pleasure of both these carriers on the long-haul to and from LHR and locally, mostly between KUL and SIN.

MAS's 744's always look a little beat up...whereas the SIA 744's always appear resplendent. Oddly enough, on the long haul, I always though there was consistency on service depending on the direction of travel...SIA are better out of LHR and MAS are better going to LHR. I dont know why, but it may be down to crew moral and freshness. I flew MAS KUL-LHR on 7th Oct last year...the eve of the Afghan war. Because of our extended southerly route and poor weather in London (gusting 40kt X winds!!), the flight time was a mind blowing 15 hours. However, the MAS crew were a credit to their country and profession and we received perhaps the best cabin service I have ever enjoyed, including one fantastic purser who brought jugs of G&T around the cabin (this is economy) at regular intervals throughout the whole flight (it was the 11am full day flight). I swear he was still pouring as we past over Brentford on an 8 mile final on 27L!

Locally, well the flights are so short, its normally the a/c that make the difference. Most of my flights have been on SIA's beat up A310's or MAS's beat up 734's. However last year I was lucky enough to bag an upgrade and ride on a new MAS 772...pure magic powering through a huge tropical storm all the way! and also a MAS 744 between KUL and PEN...25 minutes on an empty 744...the t/o was awesome.

I therefore agree. MAS is perhaps the best kept Asian secret and would tend to be my 1st choice when flying to and from and within Asia.



L1011 - P F M
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:49 pm

I was kind of refering to the short haul domestic routes, the service is not up to par with that of the longer routes. For example, some of the cabin crew can't speak proper English, they are not very helpful, etc.

I can explain. MAS tends to put new graduates from their training academy on domestic flights first for about a year before upgrading them to international sectors. They would be supervised by one or two senior supervisors. This is why you get the occassional sotong, blur queen and uh-duh... cabin crew on these flights.

Before their progression to international flights, they would serve the domestic F Class cabin under the watchful eye of a check crew, who also doubles up as an in-flight supervisor.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:38 pm

I can explain. MAS tends to put new graduates from their training academy on domestic flights first for about a year before upgrading them to international sectors. They would be supervised by one or two senior supervisors. This is why you get the occassional sotong, blur queen and uh-duh... cabin crew on these flights.

Ah, Ryanair!!! always has the explanation for everything Big grin
Yes, this is the case, that is why i said what i said. I think the English bit is probably due to the LOW standards of English being taught in schools...
 
kaitak
Posts: 8934
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:38 pm

I have to say that while I have heard bad comments about SQ service, my personal experience (with both airlines, in fact) has been excellent.

I flew SIA from LHR to PER via SIN, and back, in May 01 and they were very good indeed. Food, service, entertainment, the lot. Would certainly fly with them again. Flew MH only once, KUL-HKG, on 9M-MRJ, a 777. Perfect flight. Excellent inflight entertainment, lovely aircraft, great crews. KUL's a wonderful airport; it's difficult to choose between them and I'd be perfectly happy to find myself on either anytime.

 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:50 pm

Ah, Ryanair!!! always has the explanation for everything

Only for MAS! lol!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:15 pm

SQ772: Sorry my bad. Misread BKK (Bangkok) as BKI (Kota Kinabalu). Somehow I manage to read BKI and said that I was surprised to see MAS providing menu to passengers on domestic flights!

Ryanair!!!: The orange, blue, green and purple color fabrics are found on all MAS' B744 and B772 aircraft in the Economy section. Read a couple of your trip reports and most of them were in First/Business. Probably missed out those poor soul stuck in cattle class?

Flew on SIA' SIN-KUL v.v. run and the flight attendants were racing against time! Before the flight attendants even got halfway through the cabin, the pilot asked the flight attendants to prepare the aircraft for landing! It amazes me how Air France and British Airways crew manage to serve a croissant and drinks in their LHR-CDG v.v. route! Yup, on SIA you get a choice of 5 drinks! Orange juice, apple juice, coffee, tea and water! And serving drinks to passengers seem to take forever!

ROP: MAS is now begining to streamline their operation by operating more frequently to regional destinations. They are hoping to operate at least daily to cities within Asia and up to 4 times daily in certain key cities. Their frequency to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh is going to be served daily soon (some were already daily w.e.f. October 27, 2002). In the pipeline is to increase frequencies to Yangon, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xiamen, Perth.

Regards.
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:30 pm

Odie on MAS to KUL from SIN you get a choice of 5 drinks as well. It's easier serving drinks and a croissant (I doubt the serving the croissant takes up more time) on a small plane than 5 drinks on a 777.

Oh anyway you guys absolutely MUST read the speculative report of Singapore_Air's trip on LHR-SIN-SGN under the trip report section. it was ABSOLUTELY hilarious.
 
Guest

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 7:54 pm

Guys,

As a well seasoned Asian traveller (for both work and pleasure) I would have to rate MH well after both SQ & TG unless they have picked up their game of recent.

And example was 98' when on a holiday / work do coming back from KLIA to SYD our flight was delayed for *no reason* - we were kept in the waiting lounge for 2 packed miserable hours with no explanation whatsoever. Apparently towards the end we were waiting for a Virgin Atlantic flight who's customers were treated to boarding first and having their choice of seats. What happened next was obscene - we were called for boarding and re-allocated seats - my partner and I were in biz and were demoted to economy. No explanation except they were combining flights - I had to stomp my feet a bit to get *just an upgrage voucher*.

The crew were vile the food was awful and the aircraft shabby. I vowed never to fly MH again. However, I made the fatal mistake after having them recommended to me by an asian friend that they had upped the ante'. So I used them again to KL and another monumental cockup occurred. No car, my preferred seating was changed to suit someone else and my *non-seafood* request was ignored. Aircraft was late, no explanation and we were kept on the ground forever without even an iota of an explanation.

The return trip was a little better but still way below SQ's standard of service but with a level of arrogance even I couldn't comprehend. I have experienced some arrogance on SQ flights, never on TG though. I rate TG's biz product above that of MH - even if it is not as modern - the food is better and the FA's a darn sight nicer and friendly to boot.

I love Malaysia, but MH sucks.

mb

*Poco Brand Beverage*

clowns=lice
 
9V-SVE
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:51 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:43 pm

I'm still here gundu...just lurkin'  Big thumbs up
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Wed Dec 18, 2002 1:53 am

I have experienced some arrogance on SQ flights, never on TG though

Oh yeah? when i pushed the button to call the f/a, that bitch just switched it off and walked off. I pressed it again and that bitch came back, switched it off, looked me in the eye and said: "stop playing!!"

To hell with TG  Pissed
 
Triple Seven
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2000 10:04 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:19 am

TG can get nasty at times. My nasty experiance with them came whem I flew with them on a short sector from Phuket to Penang on their 734. The FA squatted down to pull out the food from the cart and litteraly threw it on us while she remained at a squat. She didn't even smile or made eye contact.

I had a memorable flight with MH from LAX-KUL. It was a positioning flight thus it operated as MH095D. It was a great flight as there were only 50 or less pax. onboard 744 9M-MPC. The FAs addressed everyone with their last name and even sat with pax to chat with them to help kill time. This was economy class. I had a good time chatting with a few FAs. I went around taking photos (unfortunately they got rejected by airliners.net when I uploaded it).
 
Guest

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:19 am

There is this article of "Flight Log" on Business Traveller USA (Jan 2003 edition).

One of the flight log is a biz traveller's review on SIA's LHR->SIN.

In the opening, he states that SIA check-in agent in London is pretty unfriendly. The agent didn't give any smile, and he(or she) didn't help the passenger to pick up stuff that fell to the floor.

He gives this rating 3 out of 5.
 
mas a330
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:28 pm

The FAs addressed everyone with their last name and even sat with pax to chat with them to help kill time.

Yes, this is something i like about MH. On a flight from KUL-JNB-CPT, i couldn't fall asleep, so one of the FAs came to talk to me. She even arranged for me to see the flight deck. Amazing.
 
carmy
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:00 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines Vs. Singapore Airlines

Wed Dec 18, 2002 9:02 pm

I think the great number of different responses from the different members stands to prove that in aviation, just like in anything else on earth, there are no absolutes. You've got these posts by members like Odie who're praising MAS to the core and you've got posts like that by Mx5_boy who doesn't think too highly of the airline. The fact of life in this business, just like in any other business I suspect, is that no matter how absolutely gorgeous or magnificent the airline is, there're bound to be occasions when the airline will fail to deliver up to expectations.

It'd be unfair to immediately dump Singapore Airlines' product as being inferior to that of MH's, and vice versa. If a lousy airline was black and a great airline white, most airlines would be grey. You'd be hard pressed to find an airline that is absolutely black or white. The colour would also probably change over time because of the different economic forces inflicting their influences.

But anyway, the moral of the story is just that whilst MH may be a great airline, there're bound to be lapses in it service, just as is the case with SQ, TG, QF or what have you not.