Hello again and welcome to my 5th TR.
A simple search through the internet for cheap fares to BKK and the least that I would expect was that MAI (Myanmar Airways International) came up on the list at S$260 return (all taxes included). Oh well...the departure time might be not so interesting as they leave SIN at around 4.15pm, only to arrive and get stuck in massive traffic jam in BKK at 5pm+. But for that price...hmmm, I dont think anyone can really complain esp if you're on holiday.
I googled and found practically nothing on the service review of this airline. Even Skytrax did not rate them according to the stars. So, what can we expect? Let's start the journey
Leg1: SIN - BKK
Date: 16 Dec 2010
Flight: 8M 336
MAI departs from T1 in Changi
As I had to leave office right around noon time, I didn't have time to have lunch...so, lunch at T1 for me...not bad...this is from foodcourt on 2nd level after immigration. The view is quite good too
I kinda like the whole renovated T1 feel...somehow feels nicer than T2
OK, at 3.20pm, the plane arrived. Yay, it should be on time then
As I walked down to my gate, I spotted this banner!
Apparently the celebration gate was just next to ours...preparation underway for the launching event
Next, boarding commenced!
A very unfamiliar sight greeted me upon boarding the plane. I looked and looked again...yes, she's indeed a caucasian crew! In fact I saw 4 out of 6 crew to be of western origin in that flight. Who would ever think that MAI hires western crew huh?
The very "straight" looking seats of MAI
The seat is actually not that bad...I've been on worse. But legroom is a bit of a disappointment...very tight.
Service so far has been quite standard...however that's about to change for the (worse?? better?? worse?? better??).........BETTER!! A trolley with at least 4 types of newspaper choice ran down through the alley and this was followed by.....Refreshment Towel Service. Wow
There were French words everywhere...even the crew communicated in French among themselves
Inflight reading materials of MAI's. Rather unappetising Duty Free selection...but I was pleasantly surprised that they even offered Duty Free shopping. Sorry, no offence here...but I really expected MAI to be somewhat LCC'ish
MEAL TIME!! Again, I was just expecting some cold sandwich or boxed meal to be offered in this flight and I was wrong again! MAI seems to surprise me more and more.
This stewardess struggled big time to ask this Chinese passenger to sit down and wait for her water bottle to be filled up with hot water after the meal service... Despite the communication breakdown among them, I noticed that the crew handled the matter very professionally and at no point she was rude to the demanding and unreasonable passenger. Another plus point for MAI.
Who would ever think that a full tray meal was offered on this SIN-BKK sector? A selection of water, coke, OJ, red/white wine was offered as beverage. And please note that you get to choose Chicken or Fish too! I chose the fish and it turned out great, especially the fluffy fried rice
We landed safely in BKK 5 minutes ahead of the schedule and I cruised to the city using the Airport Rail. I must say the Airport Rail is quite impressive esp the city liner that cost me only Baht15!!! Yes...Baht15....I almost thought I saw the price wrongly when I bought the ticket thru the vending machine. It was a smooth 25 minutes ride to Phaya Thai Station, and connected with BTS to my hotel in Chit Lom area.
After 4 days of happy massage and spicy food, it's time to make a return trip to SIN.
Impressed by the relatively efficient Airport Rail and cheap fare, I decided to use the facility again.
Leg2: BKK - SIN
Date: 19 Dec 2010
Flight: 8M 335
Long check-in + immigration + hand baggage screening left me no time to explore the terminal but straight to the boarding gate
Full set of French cabin crew waiting to board the plane too at the gate.
The usual service sequence; newspaper and refreshing towel. Then comes Meal Time again...my most favourite part of the flight...
This time, the choices were either chicken with rice or seafood noodle + coleslaw as appetizer and baked cheese cake as dessert. The taste wasn't bad at all except for the colesaw which I never like
I honestly didn't know what to expect before flying with MAI. Limited reviews (or virtually no information available) can be found on the internet about their service. However, I must say that after completing the return trip I was pleasantly surprised by the service offered by MAI. It's definitely not LCC alike, although I cant say for the same if I were to fly on their own planes with local crew onboard instead of wet leased planes. I'd rate them as 8/10. Definitely worth trying and highly recommended for an unusual experience.