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10 Days in Malaysia Part 2 of 3: KUL to PEN with Malindo Air in C + photos

Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:40 am

Part 1 here:
As before, all comments and feedback are appreciated.

Check-out, Airport and Check-in:

On my final morning in KL, I enjoyed the fantastic buffet breakfast at the lemon garden, the main restaurant at the Shangri-La. There were any different buffet stations to choose from and hotel breakfasts are basically my favourite things about staying in hotels. I decided to have a mix of Chinese breakfast of fish congee with all the condiments and some fresh fruit and Nasi Lemak, the national dish of Malaysia.

Delicious fish congee with condiments

lobby fountain at the Shangri-La KL

With a full belly I meandered back to my room to do some final checks and drag my bags down to checkout. Once this was done, I relaxed for a few minutes in the gorgeous lobby before ordering a grab car to KUL. The grab arrived promptly and we were off to the airport.

leaving KLCC

Without traffic the ride KUL from central KL takes about an hour. When the traffic is bad this can sometimes double. I was lucky both times with the fact that the rides to and from the airport were relatively painless and straightforward though KUL is still so far from the city it's a bit of a drag. Soon enough I sighted the vaulted roofline of the main terminal, designed to evoke the leaves of the oil palm, one of the main sources of income for Malaysia.

KUL terminal roof

Passenger drop off area

Check in desks

The airy check-in area for Malindo Air is located right next to it's main competitors first and business class check in desks. I had already done online check in but forgot to print my boarding pass so the helpful desk staff did that for me and checked in my bags with priority tags. She also handed over a pass for a meal at one of the airport restaurants (Malindo Air don't have a domestic business class lounge). I wasn't hungry so decided to just find somewhere to sit after security.

Actual boarding pass rather than flimsy receipt paper which seems to be so common now


Security was painless and not busy for a Sunday, there was no fast track lane but it wasn't needed because it took all of about 3 minutes to get through.


The main terminal at KUL is generally used for domestic departures as it is relatively small compared to the Satellite terminal (with a large portion of the terminal space taken up by the check-in desks for both domestic and international flights). There is the standard duty free walk-through post-security and quite a few luxury shops for the well-heeled domestic traveller.

Duty free, post-security

I headed down the 'A' pier for my flight which was scheduled to depart from gate A4. Just a note, once you're out of the central duty free/restaurant area there's not much else available, especially down the end of the piers (save for some vending machines). KUL, like many asian airports, operate closed gate areas meaning views of the tarmac are a bit restricted as there is a whole gate area between yourself and the views. I was able to find some seats with partial views but I turned my attention to some downloaded shows to watch while I waited.

A gates pier

pretty empty airport

my chariot

Boarding and Departure:

Sunday 11 November, 2018
Flight No: OD 2104
Route: KUL-PEN
Aircraft: B737-800, 9M-LNT, SN 39866 (LN: 5513), 3.3yo, leased from GECAS
STD: 14:10
ATD: 14:47
STA: 15:10
ATA: 15:22

The gate was opened at 13:10 and our boarding passes were checked and the stub torn and returned to us. I set myself up near the windows so I could get some views of the activity. It was quiet, again probably owing to it being a Sunday afternoon. I occasionally checked the activity outside but there wasn't much happening other than a Silk Air shuttle from SIN and a few MH domestic movements.

The boarding time came and went without announcement but I wasn't particularly worried. The flight is usually very quick (in the range of 30-40 mins) and I didn't have any pressing engagements at the other end. At 14:05 boarding was called and I headed down the jetbridge to the waiting aircraft.


The business class cabin on Malindo Air is similar to many regional Asian and North American carriers, set up in a 2-2 fashion with wide recliner seats and great legroom. The reason why I went for business class on such a short flight was twofold. One, it was dirt cheap, two, it was probably my only chance to try a regional business class like this because living in Europe it's mostly the crappy economy seat with a seat free between two which I'd loathe to pay for. I settled down and had the awkward experience of watching the entire plane load of people file past.

My seat, 1A

The cabin is 2x2 with three rows giving a total of 12 seats.

Legroom is pretty good

Just for reference, I'm 6'2" (187cm)

Seat controls


Gate neighbour

And dominant full service carrier

Pushback came not too long after and I was served a pre-departure beverage – soft drinks only. I was a bit boring and went for water because I was quite thirsty and was pleasantly surprised that it was served in an actual glass.


More MH metal

The famous abandoned 747s at KUL

It was collected as soon as I was finished and we taxied to runway 32R and queued for takeoff. It wasn't very busy but there were a couple of domestic departures for MH and one China Airlines departure to TPE (a nice B77W).

CI 77W to TPE

Queues for takeoff

Lining up for takeoff

Soon enough we were lined up for takeoff and after a short, powerful fun we were up in the air.


We started dodging some afternoon thunderclouds and flew through the tail end of one large cluster. As soon as we passed into the cloud we hit some bumps which disappeared as soon as we exited it.

Afternoon clouds gathering

Just about to fly through

And out the other end

The rest of the flight went pretty uneventfully. The FA in my section served a hot mushroom, cheese, and chicken panini with an almond cake and I ordered a pepsi to go with it.

Snack set up with table cloth

Batik Air branding, the Loin group was going to brand Malindo Air as "Batik Air Malaysia" but stopped halfway for some reason so the cabin had some schizophrenic branding with Batik Air tablecloths and pillows (though the pillow next to me was a Lion Air branded one) and some Malindo Air stationery.

Chicken, mushsoom, and cheese panini with almond cake, served with pepsi (which was consistently refilled) and water.

I didn't use the IFE on this short hop as I had a couple episodes of Killing Eve downloaded (BBC show, highly recommended) but only watched about 15 minutes of the first episode before we began our descent towards Penang.

Starting our descend towards Penang


Some outlying islands

Nearly there...

Touchdown and PEN airport terminal

QR, TG(WS), and MI make up the international flights today while AK and MH make up the domestic side.

Descent was fast and before I knew it we were touching down on the single runway at PEN and taxing to the gate.

Pulling into the gate

About to connect

The FA pulled the curtain so business class pax could deplane first and I headed through the small terminal and over to baggage claim before getting a grab to my parents condo.

Small terminal - domestic side

Driving through Penang

View from Parents condo, located just over in Batu Ferringhi in the north of the island and looking over the residential area of Tanjong Bungah which is about 15 minutes from central Georgetown.

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