Almost 3 months of non-flying and the itch has started again. Surfing the web, I chanced upon very good deals to Kuala Lumpur on various budget airlines. Since Firefly started flying from Singapore, I had always wanted to try their flights on a propeller aircraft. With a bit of mix-n-match, I got to book a 2-day trip to KL
, going up by Firefly and returning by Air Asia. The Firefly flight costs RM77 all inclusive while the return on Air Asia was an unbelievable RM25 all inclusive!! Cheaper than me taking a taxi to the city from my home!!
26 October 2009
Singapore (SIN) - Kuala Lumpur Subang(SZB)
Firefly operates from Changi's budget terminal as by operating the ATR72s, they do not need aerobridges and the budget terminal offers the fastest turnaround for their aircraft. Firefly was handled by ground handling agent CIAS. All their flights were also code-shared with Malaysia Airlines. Firefly markets themselves as a community airline and not a budget airline. Free 20kg luggage check-in (have to when the overhead bins of the ATR72s are pathetically small) and free refreshments onboard were offered.
2 check-in counters were opened for our flight and there were no queues, despite us checking in less than 1.5hrs before departure. Boarding passes were printed onto "supermarket receipts" ala low cost style and luggage were tagged with a hand-written luggage tag. Seats were also allocated.
Smooth clearance through immigration and after a coffee at a cafe in the terminal, we proceeded to gate 8 for our flight. Firefly only has a 25min turnaround time in Singapore and our plane was already at the gate being prepared for the flight.
Gate 8. Note the MH
9M-FYD being prepared for the flight.
Teeny weeny Firefly vs the mighty Tiger
Cebu Pacific A320 arrived from Manila
Soon after, boarding was called. Boarding was done orderly, starting from the front rows as there is only a rear entrance on the ATR72. Walked across the tarmac to our small plane.
Tiger A319 pushing back for Penang
Was welcomed aboard by a very cheery Val, one of the 2 cabin crew serving us today. The other was Amanda. The cabin height of the ATR72 was really low for my height. My head could almost touch the ceiling of the cabin (well, I am 1.8m). Seating configuration was 2-2 and seats were upholstered in leather, similar to Jetstar and Air Asia. Seat pitch was slightly better than Jetstar's awful pitch.
At the gate
Seat pitch was average, but ok for such a short flight.
Seatbelts with the signature Firefly logo
Boarding was completed rapidly as there would only be a maximum of 72 passengers. Surprisingly, the load was very healthy, with the flight about 80% full. Doors closed and Amanda demonstrated the flight safety features manually. Flight time would be about 50min. We had a long taxi to the runway and had to hold short for a few departure and arrival aircrafts.
A380 to HKG
B772 ahead of us
Takeoff!! We departed towards the south and made a left turn back towards Malaysia peninsular. The takeoff roll was really short!
Ascending through the clouds
Seatbelt signs were switched off shortly after takeoff and Val announced that a light refreshment would be served shortly. Weather enroute was good with barely a bump encountered by our small plane. Our cruising altitude was announced to be 20000ft.
Cruising above the clouds
Another cruising pic
A view of our small but very new and clean ATR cabin.
Stuff in the seatback pocket. Safety card, MH
airsick bag and a promotional pamphlet.
Amanda first came down with a basket full of muffins and offered each pax one. 2 flavours were available, coffee or original. After muffins were distributed, both Amanda and Val came down again with trays of drinks. Very professionally carried indeed! Orange or grape juice were offered on trays while coffee/tea were also available upon request after the initial drinks service. Well done, Firefly! Even the premium carriers ala SQ
do not serve any food, but only the obligatory coffee, tea or juice in economy on the SIN
Amanda serving muffins
Muffin and grape juice. Muffin was a bit dry, but better than nothing at all.
Service was very efficient and was completed within 15min. Val and Amanda then came down with trays again to collect the used cups and trash.
Another cabin view. The ATR cabin did not looked very small from this angle.
Aircraft door cum steps
Soon after, we started our descend. The female first officer also came on and gave the weather and also our estimated arrival time. We would be arriving on schedule.
We flew over KL
city and approached from the north towards Subang Sultan Abdul Aziz airport.
Landed on schedule and had a quick taxi to the new Skypark terminal. Disembarked by stairs again. Being a small terminal, we had a short walk to the arrivals area.
One final look at our plane.
As we were the only arrival then, immigration took less than 5 minutes. However there was a slight wait for baggage as apparently the baggage handlers could not keep up with us. The new Subang Skypark terminal was brand new and offered many facilities, but the main attraction was the proximity to the city center. It was only a short 15-20 minutes taxi ride to the city, compared to from KLIA which could take up to an hour and more than double the taxi fare.
View of the terminal
Flying on the ATR72 was definitely a different experience from the jet planes. The flight was also very smooth, probably due to the good weather. Would not know how the plane would fare in bad weather. I would gladly fly on another of their ATRs again. Also kudos to Firefly for a job well done in providing such a good standard of service on the SIN
-KL route as compared to other major league airlines. Hope the Firefly would soar higher in the future and launch even more routes out of Singapore.
After a short 1 night stay in KL
, going around having "makan" and more "makan" (makan = eating in Malay language), we would be flying back to SIN
via Air Asia. As KLIA Transit had just launched a train+shuttle bus service to LCCT and had offered free rides, I was lucky enough to book their free passes online. The KLIA transit started from KL
Sentral terminal and the ride took us to Salat Tinggi station where we would then transfer onto another shuttle bus to KLIA LCCT. The entire journey from KL
Sentral to LCCT took almost 1 hr.
27 October 2009
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Singapore (SIN)
Had arrived at LCCT 3 hrs before our flight as I had wanted to visit the Plaza Premium Lounge in LCCT. My Priority Pass card enabled me free visit to the lounge. Check-in could be done up to more than 3hrs before flight. We had to go through immigration to enter the lounge.
The Plaza Premium Lounge in LCCT was basic, with a small buffet selection, internet terminals, massage chairs, showers etc. Standard lounge offerings.
Buffet area in LCCT Plaza Premium Lounge
Cakes, malay kueys, sandwiches, porridge and drinks
Salad bar. The salad bar looked unappetizing. Hot food of curry chicken, mixed vegetables, steamed rice, pasta and a soup were also offered behind the salad bar. The curry chicken was good!
Lets have a look at the LCCT departure hall. It looked more like a bus terminal than an airport terminal!
Shops in the departure hall
Our flight was slightly delayed for 15min due to late arrival of the aircraft from Tawau. Throughout the wait, loud announcements were made for pax to board, flight delays, last calls, calling of final passengers etc... Quite fustrating. Luckily we had the serenity of the lounge.
Boarding was called at 2120hrs when our scheduled departure was 2125hrs. We had a long walk along the remote stands to the aircraft. Not that I minded as it was photo galore moment.
Air Asia X A330
Is this out aircraft?
Yep, it is. 9M-AHB.
Umbrellas for pax use in case it rains.
Entering the aircraft
Entered the aircraft and was greeted by friendly crew. Proceeded to our seats and was surprised that the check-in agent had allocated us exit rows! And we did not even pay extra for it!
Boarding in progress
Emex row magnificent seat pitch!
A look at the wonderful seat pitch again
Boarding was completed very quickly and doors closed. Safety demo was shown manually and a male crew also advised us on the ise of the emergency exits at our seats. Funny guy he is, repeating "Only in an emergency" a few times to us in an amusing manner when teaching us how to open the exits. Flight time was announced to be a short 30min.
We had a short taxi for a northernly take off. No videos as the windows were all fogged up.
Takeoff and making a left turn.
Shortly after, seatbelts signs were switched off the the crew started their service. We had pre-booked meals when booking our tickets online and I was really interested to see how the crew could serve a meal on such a short sector. We had booked a Nasi Lemak Meal and a Asian Fried Rice with Satay Meal for RM8 each. Quite cheap for a hot meal onboard. Firstly, one crew came down with aisle with the pre-paid meals and asked pax who had ordered. The meals were then tallied with the boarding passes and then distributed. I saw about 20 meals being handed out.
Asian Fried Rice with Satay Combo Meal
Nasi Lemak Combo Meal
The meals were actually quite tasty! After pre-paid meals were served, the crew came down with snacks/merchandise for purchase. A number of sales were done.
Crew conducting sales service.
After sales service, trash were collected and we had already begun our descend. Service was very efficient.
Cabin view. Cabin was new and clean.
We approached from the south, offering a nice view of the Singapore night skyline.
Approach into Singapore.
Landing on Rwy 02L
Arrived 15min late and parked at the gate.
Air Asia offered a very no frills service. Their amazingly low fares from KUL
are also unbeatable! Also, the option of a reasonably priced hot meal on the KL
route must also be very welcomed by many travellers, especially those who just wanted a quick dinner bite. The only downside is the very long travel distance from KL
city to the LCCT, which is double the flight time.
Hope you have enjoyed the report. Comments are very welcomed!!
Feel free to read my previous reports too!
1. Invasion Of The LCCs (Penang On Tiger And Jetstar) (by Ycp81 Aug 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
2. 10 Flights On 6 Airlines In 11 Days! (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
3. Cathay Way To Taipei (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
4. SIN-DPS-SIN On Lionair And SQ (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
5. Missing Swiss In SIN (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
6. SIN-SYD-MEL-SYD-SIN On SQ & QF (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
7. SIN-SGN-SIN On SQ In 2008 (by Ycp81 Aug 25 2009 in Trip Reports)
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81