This is my trip report #9 in Airliners.Net
and it is a Malaysia Airlines
After spending 4 days with my family during the Chinese New Year break, it was time again to return to work in Pontianak.
Since I decided to return to Pontianak via Kuching, I have to take the earliest flight of the day so that I won’t miss the connecting flight to PNK. Coincidentally, since it was the Chinese New Year ‘peak’ season, MH
has scheduled a few extra flights to KCH
, including the flight that I am going to take, which was scheduled at 04:30 hours. On normal operation, the first flight to KCH
departs at 08:00 hours.
I decided not to burden my family (to send me over to KUL
70 km away in the wee hours) so I took the last KLIA Express train from KL
Sentral to KUL
at midnight. Then, while waiting for the check in counter to open, I planned to surf the Internet at KUL
, since the airport provides complimentary WiFi connections.
As planned, I arrived at KL
Sentral at around 23:45 hours on 19 February 2007, just in time for the last KLIA Express train to KUL
A mock up unit of KLIA Express train being displayed at KL Sentral.
I paid MYR
35 for a one-way ticket to KUL
and by midnight, I was on the train, on my way to the airport. The load on the train was very light. I counted less than 10 people onboard.
USD 1 = MYR
KLIA Express train’s waiting area.
The train arriving in fast speed.
View over the KLIA Express cabin. A very light load on the last train at midnight.
At around 00:30 hours, I arrived at KUL
. I disembarked the train and went straight to the 4th floor, the Departure level, just to have a look at what was happening there. KUL
was indeed very deserted at that time.
KUL at midnight with the lanterns for Chinese New Year decorations.
While browsing inside the terminal, I saw someone is manning one of the counters in Check In Row D.
Information over Check In Row D.
Row D is a group of dedicated check in counters for premium passengers traveling with MH
. The décor of the check in counters alone significantly distinguished itself from the remaining check in rows at KUL
View over Check In Row D.
I went to her and asked whether I can check in at that moment. The female agent asked for my name and flight particulars before she said, “Yes”, to my joy. I checked in my luggage and in return, she handed over my boarding pass and the invitation card to the Golden Lounge at the Main Terminal Building. I asked her at what time does the lounge open to which she replied “02:30 hours”.
My boarding pass, the lounge’s invitation card and the e-ticket.
Since I have about 2 hours to go before I can enter the airside area, I decided to spend the time surfing the Internet (and A.Net of course) at the Burger King restaurant in the Arrival level, one floor below the Departure level. They have comfortable tables for notebook computer and generous power points. While on my way, I stumbled upon this uber beauty, a grand prize for the shopping campaign KUL
is currently offering to the passengers traveling through the airport. I wish I owned it.
My Brabus. What a beauty!
MALAYSIA AIRLINES’ GOLDEN LOUNGE AT KUL MAIN TERMINAL BUILDING
At around 02:30 hours, I left the Burger King restaurant and headed straight to security screening. Afterwards, I proceed to the MH
’s Golden Lounge at the Main Terminal Building. The lounge is situated along the walkway to A Gates, to the right side of the terminal. MH
has 2 Golden Lounges at KUL
. The other one, which is also the superior and premier is located at KUL
Satellite Terminal, which caters for international flights.
Exterior of the MH’s Golden Lounge at Main Terminal Building.
Entrance to the MH’s Golden Lounge at Main Terminal Building.
Surprisingly, I was the only guest at the lounge at that time, a first feat for me. I was greeted by a male receptionist, to whom I handed over my boarding pass for administration and soon after harbored in one of the comfy dark blue sofa in the lounge.
This lounge is HUGE and it consists of several sections. The main sitting area is full of sofas. The sofas were arranged next to the windows, which promise fantastic views over the apron. Too bad it was dark outside.
The main hall/sitting area.
Telephone booths are also located nearby.
Next, there is the dining area, which separates the main sitting area with the second sitting area at the furthest section inside the lounge. The dining area is of course, located next to buffet area.
The dining area.
The buffet area.
The second sitting area.
This second sitting area is equipped with Osim’s massage chairs. I sat on one of those for quite sometimes.
Osim’s massage chairs.
Back to the buffet area, to the left side of the area there is yet another sitting area, the third sitting area.
The third sitting area.
Behind the third sitting area, there is a room dedicated to little travelers, the Steadler’s Creative Kids Corner. The room is like a kindergarten, where kids can play with crayons, singing along to Old McDonalds and such.
Interior of the Steadler’s Creative Kids Corner.
Another view inside the Steadler’s Creative Kids Corner.
The writing on the wall, “Age 1: As a baby, you just begun to crawl.” Isn’t it cute?
Travelers with infants can also change the diapers inside the room.
Opposite the Steadler’s Creative Kids Corner, there are the washrooms and the Muslim prayer rooms.
Male and Female Muslim prayer rooms.
The pleasantly decorated washroom is very spacious, comfortable and comes complete with shower rooms.
Interior of the Men’s washroom.
Another view inside the Men’s washroom.
One of the shower room.
Like most lounges, there is also a business center equipped with a fax machine, a scanner, a photocopier, a Bursa Malaysia Index kiosk, computer terminals and workstations. The business center is located next to the walkway in front of the receptionist area.
Interior of the business center.
Another view inside the business center.
While waiting for my flight, I sampled some of the hot, fresh from the oven dishes being offered at the buffet area. The buffet spread was quite impressive. There were…
Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s favourite breakfast dish with a selection of chicken rendang and sambal ikan bilis (anchovy paste).
A selection of sandwiches.
I recalled having tuna, egg and sardine sandwiches.
A selection of breads, together with flavoury muffins .
As for the drinks, there were the normal selections; coffee, tea, Nescafe, mineral water, juices, milk and canned drinks.
Overall, having the lounge all to myself was a special experience.
At around 15 minutes before 04:30 hours, the receptionist came to me and alerted that boarding has commenced. I pack up my belongings and rushed to Gate A11, the further most gate.
While having my boarding pass being checked by the ground staff, I was told that the flight on that day is very light. Only 3 people onboard, to my shocked!
In keeping with the tradition, traveling in MH
’s Golden Club Class, I was the last of the 3 persons to get onboard. I could not locate the other 2 passengers in YCL while boarding.
Date/Day: 20 February 2007/Tuesday
Flight Number: MH 2546
Carrier: Malaysia Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 737-400
Aircraft Registration No: 9M-MMW
Route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Kuching (KCH)
Departure Time: 04:30 hours Malaysian time (GMT +8)
Arrival Time: 06:15 hours Malaysian time (GMT +8)
Seat Number: 2A (Window Seat)
Journey: 1 hour 45 minutes
Distance: 603 miles
Class of Travel: Golden Club
Fare Category: C (Full Business)
I got onboard and was greeted by a female flight attendant at the entrance.
I proceed to my seat, which is just nearby and placed my hand luggage on seat 2B. Again, just like the outbound trip, I had the whole business class cabin all to myself. Is it becoming a trend or it is just me?!
My seat, 2A.
I stretched a bit and freezing the moment. Today the cabin is mine again.
MY business class cabin.
As usual, as I settled down on my seat, the flight attendant came over and offered me a welcome, pre take off drink to which I choose the pink guava juice. I was addressed by name.
My welcome drink, a pink guava juice.
Then, the flight attendant came over and explained to me about the emergency procedures in person and moments after she finished, the aircraft was being pushed back.
Then there were the welcome addresses and safety demonstration procedures in Bahasa Melayu followed by in English. After a long taxi, the aircraft then rolled and rotated smoothly in the dark.
The flight attendant came to me and asked on what I would like to have for breakfast. She had 3 dishes on offer and I opted for ‘roti canai’, another Malaysia’s favourite. Several minutes later, after preparing my table, she served the breakfast, which came in nice chinas.
This was the first time I savored ‘roti canai’ onboard an aircraft. The ‘roti canai’ they served onboard was smaller and thicker, compared to the normal on-the-ground ‘roti canai’. Since it was relatively smaller, 2 pieces of ‘roti canai’ were given instead of 1. It was served with the traditional ‘dhal’ with anchovy paste.
The meals also came with a selection of bread (bun and croissant), which were offered with butter and jam, mixed tropical fruits and a yogurt. As for the drink, I choose again the pink guava juice and another glass of plain water. The breakfast was very filling and satisfying.
Once finished, the flight attendant came and cleared my table. I spent the rest of the flight reading the newspapers and took a nap.
Just some standard facts, the seat pitch on MH
’s Golden Club Class is generous, at 36 inches. As for the inseat publications, there were MH
’s inflight magazine Going Places
, the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 brochure and the safety card. The load on business class, well… was 6.25%, a percentage that I made up. Overall, given only 3 people onboard the 144 seaters aircraft, the load was amazingly low at 2.08%. I could never be that specific!!!
Soon, the flight began descending. The captain made some announcements about the weather condition and the expecting landing time in KCH
. The weather throughout the journey was fine but it was still dark.
The aircraft landed smoothly and began taxiing to a gate. The whole journey was uneventful. I bid goodbye to the flight attendant and proceed to the immigration clearance area.
The flight was the first one to arrive in KCH
on that day and the airport was completely deserted. Only a few cleaning workers can be seen.
KCH in wee hours.
Sarawak is a bit unique, as all non inter Sarawak flights’ passengers need to clear immigration. I cleared immigration in seconds. Then I proceed to the baggage collection area. The baggage came out quickly, since there were only 3 bags to be unloaded from the aircraft.
Baggage collection area.
In minutes, at around 06:30 hours, I was already at the landside area with no one in sight. So, the journey was full of experience of being (almost) alone in the KLIA Express, alone in the Golden Lounge, alone in the Golden Class Club cabin and alone at the KCH
airport. Where have everybody gone?
Me alone at the airport.
My journey back to Pontianak continues.
’Kucing’ in Kuching. Literally, in Bahasa Melayu, Kuching means cat. So, Kuching should be the capital of all feline in the world.
Feel free to read my other trip reports:
Istanbul Winter 2006 With MH (Photos) Part 1 (by 9MMAR Dec 19 2006 in Trip Reports)
Istanbul Winter 2006 With MH (Photos) Part 2 (by 9MMAR Dec 19 2006 in Trip Reports)
Intra Asean Jakarta In Business With MH (by 9MMAR Jan 1 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Indonesia Pontianak With Batavia (Photos) (by 9MMAR Feb 13 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Indonesia Jakarta With Sriwijaya (Photos) (by 9MMAR Feb 24 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Asean Kuala Lumpur With MH (Photos) (by 9MMAR Feb 27 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Asean Jakarta With MH (Photos) (by 9MMAR Mar 6 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Asean Kuching With Batavia (Photos) (by 9MMAR Mar 14 2007 in Trip Reports)
Intra Malaysia Kuala Lumpur In Golden Club With MH (by 9MMAR Mar 22 2007 in Trip Reports)