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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Mon Nov 05, 2001 7:19 pm

Hi all and greetings from the Premium Plaza lounge at Hong Kong, CLK, a very pleasant place to spend a few hours if you're not flying F or J class; it's like a Business Class lounge, but you pay in.

Anyway, to the subject. My original flight to HKG was cancelled by CX due to the downturn, so I was put on the later flight, which would get in at about ten. I didn't fancy flying at night, so I contacted CX (with much difficulty) and managed to persuade them to put me on an earlier flight, CX 1724, a 777. It was, however, operated by Malaysia. Now, that would be interesting. I got to the check in desk at 8.00 for a 12.30 flight (okay, so tell me you don't do this, sometimes!) I got my bags sent through to LHR only (my final destination is JER, but they couldn't put the bags all the way through. However, my excess baggage (Good Lord, is it that heavy? I rehearsed, just in case!) was overlooked and I had a window seat on a 777.

I did a bit of spotting upstairs and got some photos; most of the earlier MH flights came in, as well as 2 SQ flights and a CX 330. IC had an A320, but it used a taxiway much further away.

The satellite for international flights is, appropriately, star shaped. There are two levels. There are good, big windows in a few places (particularly upstairs), from which fine shots can be got. Now, to the plane:

Seat 31K, just behind the wing - very good.

The boarding was efficient, cabin crew pleasant and most importantly, seats equipped with PTVs. Load was not completely full and I had a free seat beside me. Lovely weather, a little cloudy, but nice. Pushed back 5 minutes early (like the other two flights on my trip). I was able to get a good shot of a Malaysia 744 just behind us (MPF), which was getting a good going over from maintenance - flaps down, all doors and cowlings open; an A check?

Airborne from 32R well ahead of time. The cabin crew were excellent and a fine menu was offered; the Boeing climbed across Malaysia, towards Kuantan, to 290, but later reached 410. The route took us just to the right of Ho Chi Minh City. The inflight entertainment choice was excellent: Bridget Jones, Moulin Rouge, a few other movies and an excellent comedy channel. We approached HK from the east, landing on 25R - not a good landing (hey buddy, look after that landing gear - you'll need it to get back to KL!)

All in all, a lovely trip with a fine, underrated airline. I read Business Traveler magazine at a lounge in KL (one similar to this) and they had the results of a readers poll. SIA won an obscene number of awards - Best Overall, Best Asian, Best F,J and Y and best airport for Changi!

(Incidentally, as I write, there are a few crewmembers from the Emirates flight here at other machines, emailing. They go back to BKK on a later flight; the aircraft was a 777-300, 'EMP).
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RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Tue Nov 06, 2001 1:19 am

cool trip report and very intersting to read. Glad that you know how ewcellent Malaysian Airlines is. I flow with them in June 2000 from ZRH to KUL and then from KUL to AMS in Eco-Class (then with KLM to ZRH). Anyway, this was my best flight ever, as well as the Malaysian first class domnestic flight. Malaysian Airlines is my world's favourite airline. They have a super service and very friendly crew. To sad that they will stop flying to Zürich.
Greetings from Switzerland
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Tue Nov 06, 2001 9:25 am

Hello Kaitak,

Good trip report.

Should the topic be "Malaysia Airlines, KUL-HKG" and not "Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR"?

Never flown Malaysia Airlines, but heard that they have a Religious Version of the Airshow, with an arrow pointing towards Mecca. Notice it?


Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
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Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2000 6:30 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:59 pm

Teahan nearly all airlines from the muslim world have that feature.....but its hardly something that would make the airshow look like a "religious version"...all it is is one arrow showing where Mecca is in relation to the plane.
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Tue Nov 06, 2001 7:36 pm

Well spotted JT! Actually, I was flying on to LHR with CX and in my haste, I went too far! Well, I'm now in LGW and soon to fly back to JER on a BA Cityflyer RJ100 (ouch!)

Anyway, just to answer your question, yes I did notice that feature and indeed on the ceiling of my hotel room in KL (Pan Pacific Hotel, KL), there was an arrow pointing towards Mecca - very tastefully done, I have to say. Also, in the drawer, there was a copy of the Koran. Couldn't help wondering if Gideons were getting broadminded.

Back to HK anyway. I boarded CX 255 at about midnight. The details are as follows:

Aircraft: B747-467
Reg: B-HOS
Seat 67A

The load was thankfully not too high and once the doors were closed, we were able to move forward and I occupied a row of 3 seats. CX service was up to the usual very high standard and cabin crew were superb. Departure was about a minute late, but given that the other two CX flights were early, the average is still well ahead!

One funny incident; as we approached the holding point of 07R, the captain made an announcement obviously intended for ATC: "Tower, Cathay 255, approaching holding point 7 Right"!

Anyway, we were also told that although we were expected to get to LHR ahead of time, we would have to hold as there was a curfew; no landings before 6. We took off and headed up towards Mongolia, well away from troubled areas. A fine meal was served and during the night, there was a snack tray laid out just beside door 4R, for passengers to take nibbles during the night; nice, eh?

There were a few bumps here and there,but being able to lie out straight on a 13 hour flight was a terrific plus and I got a good 5-6 hours sleep - most unusual for me.

Finally, we began our descent about 35-40 minutes out and as we circled, we had a fine view of the lights of London before landing on 27 L at about 6.05, very nicely, no reverse (noise regs). Parked at Gate 27 at about 6.15; beside us was an SQ 744, with the earlier CX 251 next up.

A great trip with a great airline!
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Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2000 6:30 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Tue Nov 06, 2001 8:01 pm

Interesting you mentioned no reverse thrusters were used ......im sure the plane took longer to stop. Im wondering then whats the real purpose of the thrusters then....i know they provide reverse thrust which work as brakes consequently producing rapid decelaration........but apparantly planes can land and stop safely without them as well.....so why is it that sometimes they are used and some times they arent........which scenario is more economical for airlines?
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: Malaysia Airlines, KUL-LHR

Wed Nov 07, 2001 7:38 am

They do allow planes to stop more quickly, but they also increase noise considerably, which is the main motivation against them. On a 12,000' runway such as 27L at LHR, the autobrakes and spoilers, particularly on a dry morning, provide more than enough deceleration and do remember that, since the acft has to use T3, they don't want to slow down too quickly; being able to decelerate just in time to taxi off opposite T3 is good enough!

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