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Malindo and Malaysia Business Class: KUL-PEN-KUL

Malindo and Malaysia Business Class: KUL-PEN-KUL

Old Jul 7, 16, 5:19 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 43
Malindo & Malaysia Domestic Business Class: KUL-PEN-KUL



I visited Penang with several friends during the past weekend. It is just a short 200 miles hop away from Kuala Lumpur. As a result, the flights are usually unremarkable. Fortunately, Malindo was offering some great fares in business class that is just RM50 more than economy. A no brainer, really. I was looking forward to try out OD's J class service for the first time. It could be my last ever flight on OD before their planned rebrand into Batik Air Malaysia. I upgraded from a MH promo Y fare to J for the return flight.



I arrived at KUL about an hour before the scheduled departure time. OD
now utilises the main terminal building of KLIA instead of the rather
cramped and badly designed KLIA2.


KLIA


Malindo Check In Counters at Row E


Business Class Counters

Check in was prompt with no lines. I had pre selected seat 3A in the last row of the 12 seat cabin. Malindo does not have a lounge in the domestic departure area. Their international lounge is still not open. Only MH has one in the domestic concourse which I had written about last year. I headed to the gate after having lunch in a local fast food chain.


Gate B10

The gate used was very spacious. It is one of those shared international/domestic gates with 2 jet bridges which can accommodate 2 narrowbodies at a time. An 737-900ER was parked at the gate but it was bound for BKI instead. my aircraft, a 737-800 was just taxiing into gate from DMK about 20 mins before STD. A slight delay was announced.


Tarmac Views

Boarding was finally called on 1310. Business class passengers are invited to board first.


Malindo Air
OD2104
KUL-PEN
Boeing 737-8GP
9M-LNP
Business Class
Seat 3A
1st July 2016
STD: 1255
ATD: 1329
Duration: 1h



9M-LNP

The cabin of OD's 737 are very nice like all BSI equipped 737s are. All 18 of their 737s are equipped the Sky Interior.


Cabin during Boarding


The Recliners

The business class cabin consists of three rows of recliners arranged in 2-2. By comparison, MH has 4 rows for a total of 16 seats.

Seat pitch on OD is slightly better than MH, I guess by 1-2 inches but they are quite similar in terms of comfort. They do have 4 levers for seat control instead of the 2 on MH (extra lumbar and footrest extension controls) but the extra controls seems to be broken on my seat. The PTV for AVOD is stored in the armrest. A pillow is placed on each seat.


Seat Controls

Only 3 passengers was seated in J while Y is packed. A pre departure beverage with a selection of juices is served while boarding for Y class is still ongoing. I chose apple juice. A hot towel is provided after the beverage service. The FA also came to take drinks order for the in flight snack. She tried to greet passengers by name which is a nice touch, albeit kind of forced.


Pre Departure Apple Juice


Views during Pushback


Hot Towel

The crew sprang into action as soon as the seatbelt sign is off. A meal tray consisting of 4 tiny sandwiches were served with my choice of latte. It is notable that they provide a full set of metal cutleries for the 4 tiny sandwiches. They are served on real glassware. The latte is of the powdered variety. The sandwiches are tasty for what are. I also requested a cup of water to go with the coffee. Amusingly, the FA handed out Phillips headphones for this 200 mile flight. The AVOD system is turned on throughout the flight. The choice of films and TV shows on offer is good enough for the longer flights that OD operate.


Sandwiches with Latte


AVOD Screen


Phillips Headphones

I actually prefer the PTV of Malindo's 737 to those on MH's. The screen is clearer and is more responsive. It also uses a standard 3.5mm headphone jack instead of the three pin jack. I am not sure if power ports are available (apparently they are present according to their own website) but then a USB port is present on the PTV.


Cabin in-flight


Seat Fully Reclined


The FA seems to have disappeared after the trays are cleared. There are no further top up of drinks but it could be excused as the flight is so short.
All too soon, the Seatbelt sign in lit and the admittedly decent Phillips headphones are collected.


Banking during final approach


Views on landing


Penang International Airport


Disembarking


Interior of Terminal

The flight landed slightly behind schedule at PEN. Overall, the service of OD is certainly good enough although a bit lacking in terms of polish and I actually prefer their hard product to MH's. The only major blemish comes when I was waiting for my bag since it came out quite late despite being "priority" tagged.

Four days later, I find myself at PEN again for my flight back on MH. My friends are also heading back to KUL on an earlier AK flight. The check in counters for MH is deserted as always.

After bidding farewell to my friends I headed to MH's lounge. This is not my first time at this lounge so I knew what to expect before going in.

*As of Febuary 2017, the lounge at PEN is closed.


Lounge Entrance


Dining and Seating Area


Food and Drinks Selection


Shower Room


Food Spread

Food Spread


Seating Area

It is not very big but it won’t ever get crowded as the business class cabin is rarely filled. The only plus point is the presence of a shower room which was greatly appreciated after a long day out. The food and drinks selection is nothing to write home about. No alcohol as always in any MH domestic lounge. The lounge is completely enclosed with no natural light at all. At least it is better than sitting in the terminal.


"Dinner"


Coffee and Tea


Juices and Soft Drinks

The inbound aircraft is again late, this time almost by 25 minutes. Boarding is only called 10 minutes after the STD. There is a special lane for status holders and J pax.


9M-MSJ

Malaysia Airlines
MH1165
PEN-KUL
Boeing 737-8H6
9M-MSJ
Business Class
Seat 4A
4th July 2016
STD: 2040
ATD: 2109
Duration: 55m


Upon entering the aircraft i was greeted with the gorgeous MH cabin. A pillow and blanket is placed on each seat. I always liked how the MH cabin looked with the blue seats and mood lighting. It has 16 seats but only 6 are taken on this flight. The seat beside mine remained empty.


Business Class Cabin


Business Class Seats

I have written about this seat a few times before but I can say that it is a very pleasant place to sit in. AVOD is provided by a screen mounted at the seat back in front. It is of an older generation compared to OD's system. The touchscreen is resistive instead of capacitive for example. No headphones are provided. The airshow is again broken like my flight from BKI few months ago.


PTV Screen


Guava Juice


Hot Towel

Pre Departure beverages are served on a tray, again with an assortment of juices and water. I chose their signature pink guava juice. A Hot towel is provided after the drink service. Similar to the outbound OD flight, the FA took drinks order for the snack service while the plane is still on the ground.


Cabin during Taxi


Cabin during Takeoff and Climb


"View" during Climb

The service timings are almost identical to the OD flight. The snack is served in a meal tray right after the seatbelt sign is off. The snack is more substantial, more like a proper meal. It is flanked by a small packet of nuts (not their phenomenal peanuts) and a Lindt LINDOR truffles. It is actually the same satay I had when I flew KUL-PEN last year. The satays are tasty while the rice blobs are not very good. I had teh tarik to compliment this very Malaysian snack service.


Satay and Teh Tarik

My request for an additional cup of apple juice which was promptly served by the FA.


Apple Juice


Cabin in-flight

I had another glass of water prior to landing. I am impressed with the service that they can provide during a flight with an actual flying time of less than 40 minutes.


Water

The FA is more attentive and service more polished compared to those on the Malindo. I guess they have tons of experience serving these kinds of flights while Malindo as an airline is only 3 years old.

The operations of KUL's runways are flipped on the day, meaning that the flight will land from the north instead of the usual southerly approach. This is especially notable at night since it will allow for gorgeous views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline at a low altitude.


Views on Approach - Petronas Twin Towers


Views on Approach - Seafield Interchange

We landed at KUL at 2150 and taxied to gate A11, marking the end of another great MH experience. My bag did come out first unlike my experience at PEN.

Having experienced both airlines, I still prefer MH J class over OD but Malindo is by no means a bad experience. When LCCs are becoming ever more popular, it is refreshing to see an
airline transitioning into a full service carrier like Malindo is doing right now.

Sorry for the horrible photo quality since I was unable to source a better camera for this trip. Thanks for reading!

Previous Reports:
KUL-PEN MH Business
KUL-BKI-KUL Rayani Economy and MH Business

Last edited by RttlnSnK; Jan 31, 17 at 11:25 am
RttlnSnK is offline  
Old Jul 7, 16, 11:00 pm
  #2  
 
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Smile Cool trip report!

Thank you for putting that together!

The drinking glasses on Malindo are cool! Both the clear-glass and the coffee cups!
Paella747 is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 4:03 am
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I recently flew both airlines in J as well! I actually preferred Malindo. I was amazed what they were able to do on a flight as short as KUL-SIN
RuthlesslyAbsurd is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 5:10 am
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nice report, sir...

I've never tried Malindo before... so this can be a good reference for me...

and from your photos, it's clear that Malindo is really on the way to rebrand as Batik Air Malaysia... the FA uniform is almost similar to Batik Air...

the IFA system is also similar to Batik Air, but I don't know Malindo's IFE content... when I tried Batik Air IFE the contents are not too interesting, but good enough...
anak_negeri is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 8:10 am
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Thanks for the report, RttlnSnK!

I haven't seen many Malindo reviews so nice to see they offer a competitive product to MH on the KUL-PEN run. The satay on MH is a winner against a generic sandwich though.

For a domestic lounge the Golden Lounge in Penang is actually pretty good, I do enjoy the make your own noodle soup option.
Coathanger is offline  
Old Jul 9, 16, 11:17 am
  #6  
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Originally Posted by anak_negeri View Post
nice report, sir...

I've never tried Malindo before... so this can be a good reference for me...

and from your photos, it's clear that Malindo is really on the way to rebrand as Batik Air Malaysia... the FA uniform is almost similar to Batik Air...

the IFA system is also similar to Batik Air, but I don't know Malindo's IFE content... when I tried Batik Air IFE the contents are not too interesting, but good enough...
From what I can see, the IFE choice is decent but not that extensive.


Originally Posted by Coathanger View Post
Thanks for the report, RttlnSnK!

I haven't seen many Malindo reviews so nice to see they offer a competitive product to MH on the KUL-PEN run. The satay on MH is a winner against a generic sandwich though.

For a domestic lounge the Golden Lounge in Penang is actually pretty good, I do enjoy the make your own noodle soup option.
I decided to document my travel experiences due to lack of information around the web about domestic premium class travel around Malaysia. This is my third flight of these lengths on MH J and I find their service quite consistent. The satay is admittedly not as good as those on the ground but then I do stay near Kajang, the satay town of Malaysia.
RttlnSnK is offline  
Old Jul 10, 16, 11:16 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 52
Thanks for the report! I'm looking to book Malindo in J from KUL to Kochin, India. Is Malindo a dry airline or does anyone know if they serve alcohol on longer flights? What is the status of lounge for Malindo at KLIA?
belugalove is offline  
Old Jul 10, 16, 12:36 pm
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Thanks for the amazing trip report.

I flew KUL-PEN-KUL in MH Y,if you book the ticket at least 2 weeks in advance it only costs 12USD/50MYR each way (have to book on the Malaysian version of MH website,otherwise the price will be much higher). It was amzing that as an OWE connecting from CX flight I could use the MH First Class lounge.

Also I was under impression that MH typically assigns older-non sky interior on domestic flights and newer 738s on SIN/HKG and likes,but seems that this is not always the case.
Rami Tamimi is offline  
Old Jul 11, 16, 2:35 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Rami Tamimi View Post
Thanks for the amazing trip report.

I flew KUL-PEN-KUL in MH Y,if you book the ticket at least 2 weeks in advance it only costs 12USD/50MYR each way (have to book on the Malaysian version of MH website,otherwise the price will be much higher). It was amzing that as an OWE connecting from CX flight I could use the MH First Class lounge.

Also I was under impression that MH typically assigns older-non sky interior on domestic flights and newer 738s on SIN/HKG and likes,but seems that this is not always the case.
What plane you get domestically basically depends on the luck of the draw actually. The flight before mine from PEN is operated by an old non-BSI bird.

Originally Posted by belugalove View Post
Thanks for the report! I'm looking to book Malindo in J from KUL to Kochin, India. Is Malindo a dry airline or does anyone know if they serve alcohol on longer flights? What is the status of lounge for Malindo at KLIA?
Good question on the alcohol, don't hold too much hope on it being available I guess. They used to have an international lounge in KLIA2 but theie lounge in KLIA MTB is still under construction.
RttlnSnK is offline  
Old Jul 11, 16, 2:36 am
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Great to see familiar sights, thanks for the TR
dctravels74 is offline  

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