Kuala Lumpur (KUL
) – Singapore (SIN
Duration 55 min
FFP: Enrich – Malaysia Airlines
10 October 2004
The stay in KL
was awesome. Other than catching that mentioned play (very touching and thought provoking, complete with the token jab at Singaporeans), clubbing was the call of the day. Zouk, Velvet Underground, Liquid, Frangipani… you name it! That being said, KL
has some of the best and nippy clubs you can ever find in the world!
This trip was kinda rushed. I had to fly back to Singapore to attend another friend’s baby shower in the afternoon. So I had a morning call at 0800H by the automated Hilton Hotel operator, plus 2 alarm clocks to wake me up. Not easy as I only slept at 0500H after boogeying the night away at Liquid!
DAY OF DEPARTURE
With our eyes half closed, my mate and I dragged our bags and ourselves downstairs to the KL
Sentral Station and boarded the KLIA Express Train. The lovely scenery was of no use to keep us awake.
Arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and we were greeted with the hustle and bustle of the departure area this morning. I had wanted to get to the Golden Lounge early enough to have breakfast so as to save me some extra cash… I know, el cheapo.
MAS has common check in counters for International First Class and it is handled at Island D. I was welcomed at Counter D2 by Ismail who handled the process rather cheerfully.
Soon enough, boarding passes (new design!!!), lounge invitation and Premier Lane card was all bundled together and off we went to immigration. This is one of the few times in KL
that the Premier Lane was of use to me. There were long lines formed at the 2 measly immigration counters opened this morning. For those who have been to KLIA, you know that the immigration area is HUGE! So why did they have only 2 counters open for this morning’s departing traffic was beyond me…
The usual sour faced immigration personnel served me. I wonder why do they still bother to wear the “service with a smile” badge? Somehow, Alanis Morrisette’s song “Ironic” keeps ringing in my head. She should be here screaming her head off at these people.
Today, our flight was assigned to gate C1 at the Satellite Terminal. So a train ride across the airport was necessary.
Here we are heading towards the Satellite Terminal, looking back at the Main Terminal.
Next destination: MAS GOLDEN LOUNGE – The largest airline lounge in the WORLD!!!!! Yippee…
You guys on the forum have no idea how I have been looking forward to this day. I think I need help; I suffer from “Golden Lounge Withdrawal Syndrome” whenever I stay away from this place for too long. I have been here for…. I dunno… numerous times and it is still always the highlight of my trips.
The reception area.
Golden Lounge – First Class
My mate was wide-eyed as it was his first time stepping into a lounge of this magnitude. If Malaysia as a country is “Truly Asia”, then this lounge is truly the “airline lounge of airline lounges”. Their closest competitor’s lounge doesn’t EVEN come close.
A buffet was already laid out at the bistro and we had a choice of the following:
- baked beans
- beef bacon strips
- grilled tomatoes
- scrambled eggs
- beef and chicken sausages
- coconut rice (nasi lemak)
- chicken rendang (spicy)
- sambal prawns (even more spicy!)
There was a bread basket, hot savories and cereals in the vicinity of the buffet as well. Waiters were on site and u could order your morning tea, coffee, expresso and blah blah blah…
Damn… what a spread. Needless to say, I went amok raiding the nasi lemak, devouring the sambal prawns and chicken rendang. I really have to agree that the MAS catering’s (Sky Chef, isn’t it?) nasi lemak is one of the better ones out there.
Of course, the view outside the lounge is fantastic…
After chilling about in the First Class Lounge, we decided to walk over to the Golden Club (Business Class) side. It is very much bigger and hence less cozy than the one we were in.
With nothing left to do, we proceeded to Gate C1.
Ah, my favorite aircraft – Airbus A330, was our ride this afternoon and 9M-MKS was designated today to do the KUL
1135H: Boarding call for passengers in need of assistance and families with small children. As soon as that was done, the general boarding call came in Malay and English. First Class passengers were invited to board through Door A, while the rest through Door B. A couple stood at Door A and was refused entry as they were traveling on Economy Class. But they somehow never got the idea as we walked pass them and they were still arguing with the gate agent as to why couldn’t they enter the plane though that door.
Door 1L, Azura, a leading stewardess, greets us at the door and points us to our seats at 2 H/K. Voila! Now that the A330s are officially 2-class, MAS has decided to change the seats! Finally! Now it comes complete with the winged head-rest, lumbar support and multi-sectioned footrest. The pitch seemed a tad wider as well compared to the old cabin. Unfortunately, PTVs are still absent so we have the pleasure of ONE large main TV
and one that folds down from the mid-cabin’s ceiling.
I chance upon another stewardess, Fion Wong, who served me on a flight from BKK
some years ago! And she was sure delighted when I pointed it out. If you read my trip report from BKK
on MAS Golden Club Class, she was actually mentioned in there.
“You sure it was me or not?” she smiled. She then proceeded to serve us drink from a tray of orange and guava juices. We both chose the latter.
Other than Azura and Fion, the other crew members in my cabin today were Stewardess Johaniza and Steward Rosli (who like most of the other stewards, was confined to the front galley).
1151H: Door 1L closes since all First Class pax have boarded the plane. I counted no less than 15 people in a cabin meant for 44.
1153H: Captain Clement comes on air to welcome all on board and introduces the IFS for today’s sector, Abdul Aziz. He goes to inform us that the cruising altitude today would be at FL
300! Rather higher than the norm. We are normally only confined to FL200-220.
1154H: Johaniza comes round with cold towels and collects them soon. IFS Aziz comes on the air to welcome all on board and urges all to pay attention to the safety video.
1159H: Pushback as the video plays.
1204H: Taxi commences towards runway 14R. Other planes at the satellite terminal that have creeped in since I entered the plane included a TG
MD11 and a QR
A300-600. Another MAS 747-400 taxied in front of us bound for God-knows-where.
1213H: The A330 lines up and cabin crew is asked to be seated.
A minute later, we began to roll and I hardly heard the engine spool! The privilege of being so far front shielded me from the noise I guess. 35 secs later, we are airborne as we head south for the coastline.
Note: This was the best view I could get of the winglets from where I was seating.
1216H: The seat belt sign pings off as Fion appears from behind with linens draped on her arm, asking if we would like to eat. OF
The meal cart soon appears from the front manned by Azura and Johaniza who distributes the trays that comes with a bowl of fruits and an empty plate. Johaniza, who is in charge of drinks, filled up cups of coffee and tea on request.
Fion followed by walking around the cabin and dishing out hot savories from a tray.
Note: These footrests above are also a great change from the previous ones. The old ones were only a “one piece affair” that supported your lower legs if you were short, and your calves if you were tall. These new ones, you are able to adjust the length and there is a metal fixture that folds open to hold your feet.
Fion saunters over and gently removes our trays together with the linens beneath them while Johaniza busies herself by distributing another round of towels for the passengers, smoking hot ones this time!
Approach for Singapore’s Changi airport was undertaken from the northeastern part of the state of Johor. Hence, we flew past the islands of Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin before coasting in past the convention center for runway 20R.
1244H: Cabin crew, be seated for landing please. The gears are extended a minute after that and finally touchdown on terra firma at 1246H.
I was back on home turn. We finally inched into gate F55 amongst the SQ
… I decided to use the check in services in KLIA instead of the one at KI
Sentral. There was hardly anyone in line so it was pretty quick.
KLIA, in my eyes, is an amazing airport, let down by extremely unfriendly immigration personnel. It was a crowded morning with only 2 counters open and the lines snaked on forever! Thank God for Premier Lane!
… What can I say? This airport is truly an amazing one to arrive and depart from! Many call it a white elephant, but to me the airport has truly settled into it’s place now. With the KLIA Express now operational, no one can complain now that it takes forever to reach that airport! Golden Club completed the excellent experience.
… Boarding for Economy Class was by row numbers. It is a good set up for premium passengers to board the plane from a completely different door at the boarding lounge.
In-flight service: 6/10
… Hmm, you might not believe this but the service on this flight was just ok. Other than Fion, who kinda warmed up to me as I remembered her from a previous flight, the rest of the team basically did their obligatory and never went beyond. So yes, the smiles were there, but their service felt pretty much like SQ
’s – no warmth. This is definitely not the norm I know of MAS, especially in a premium cabin. I was never referred to by my name, once again a new experience for me in First Class.
While this flight might have been rated “excellent” on US mainland on an American carrier, it was definitely close to mediocre with regards to MAS!
… You can never fault Singapore Changi Airport’s immigration and baggage reclaim. I was in a cab in less than 15 mins!
... This is definitely NOT one of my best flights out there. I was slightly disappointed with the way the service was carried out. Maybe they have implemented some cutbacks? I am not sure. However, there was no attempt to make the passengers feel welcomed. Somehow, the service seemed “rushed”. But for only 15 First Class passengers, and less than half of them were eating, I didn’t see why they should have been rushing to finish the service. Pull your socks up guys! You just won the “Best Cabin Staff” award for how many years in a row now? I have lost count.
Here am I on the right. This is probably my last trip report for the next few years as I will enter the flying academy next week to begin my training to be a Silk Air pilot. Until then, au revoir everyone and a bientot!