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A Cheap Getaway on Malaysian Airlines

A Cheap Getaway on Malaysian Airlines

Old Apr 4, 19, 7:20 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: HKG
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A Cheap Getaway on Malaysian Airlines

Fares drop considerably after the holiday period, and Jan. 4 seems to be the magical threshold. I wanted to visit my friends in Singapore for a few days and make a side trip while I'm in the area, and Malaysia Airlines offered a fairly affordable open-jaw option with a return from Kuala Lumpur. The price was good - HKD $1560 before taxes. To sweeten the deal, the first leg to KL, a 4-hour journey, was on Cathay Dragon.

Hong Kong's airport is trying out new, automated check-in belts to save manpower. This reminds me of the awful system in Toronto where people line up twice, once to get the boarding pass, and a second time to drop the bag. I'm not convinced less humans in the process make it more efficient, especially for many unsuspecting travelers who don't fly that often that will hog up the machines trying to figure out the buttons and how to attach the tags.



I still prefer the manual line, and the wait was not long today either.



My widebody flight today was assigned a bus gate, which is quite interesting for photo-taking. A long line snaked out from the gate. I wasn't interested in being squashed into a sardine can, so I waited for the initial group to pass before leisurely heading for my bus.



They still managed to put up 2 staircases, with one for the premium class up front and the rest for all of us, just like at a regular gate.



My first flight in 2018 would be on the A330, my favourite plane with a very humane 2-4-2 configuration. My window seat won't be a world away from the aisle for a bathroom break.













With little to see outside, I turned my attention away from the window, comfortable in my cattle class front row seat. However, it didn't offer that much extra legroom, as a wall gets in the way of my feet extending into the Business Class seat ahead of me.



The last time I flew this route, it was still on Cathay Pacific metal, but they decided to shift all the flights to their Cathay Dragon subsidiary, which is probably a cost-saving move. I didn't expect gourmet dining in my cabin, so seeing all the shrimp in my pasta was a nice surprise.













Making flying green is an industry hot topic. Whether it is blending jet kerosene with additives, flying newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, or even carrying less baggage, there are many things passengers can do, in addition to efforts by manufacturers and airlines.





After the meal was served, the lights dimmed and people took a rest from the early morning departure.



The lavatory was well-stocked, including my favourite creams from the Cathay mainline.





Back to my seat, it is a long 4-hour journey to KL. Eventually, we started descending, and it would be a cloudy arrival as well today.









The final approach into KL looked very green, passing above lots of palm plantations. With a 3 hour stop before my next flight to Singapore, I wasn't in a great hurry to get off the plane. The seat is old but quite comfortable.







KL is not a particularly interesting airport for plane spotting. So I had plenty of time to exit immigration and head to the outlet mall near the airport. I had spotted this on my last visit and thought it would be a good place to stretch my legs. Free shuttles operate regularly from the airport.





The outlet mall's design is quite good, with an air-conditioned waiting area next to the bus stop that is even stocked with check-in kiosks.





Satisfied with my brief visit although I didn't buy anything, I took the free bus back to the airport to explore the terminal once again. KLIA was one of the earlier new airports opened in Asia that changed the face of aviation. That was back in the 90s. The facility hasn't aged too well, and now is not that clean either.









Plane spotting was pretty much all Malaysia Airlines. They had a rough few years, losing one to a missile and another in a mysterious disappearance. I was reluctant to try them again but the price was too enticing.









Next post, the continuing leg to Singapore.

The full report is on my website : https://www.globalphotos.org/ka731.htm

Last edited by hkskyline; Apr 4, 19 at 7:26 am
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Old Apr 7, 19, 4:59 am
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Old Apr 7, 19, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Hong Kong's airport is trying out new, automated check-in belts to save manpower. This reminds me of the awful system in Toronto where people line up twice, once to get the boarding pass, and a second time to drop the bag. I'm not convinced less humans in the process make it more efficient, especially for many unsuspecting travelers who don't fly that often that will hog up the machines trying to figure out the buttons and how to attach the tags.
I guess it's a big saver for labour costs though. Just back from Norway and as well as the airport, McDonalds in Oslo didn't have a cashier (you had to use a machine to order, no other option). My hotel similarly had machines to check yourself in and out (although there was a 'concierge' in case you needed help with them). Same for buying train tickets for the airport express train. I was there for nine days too and never used or even saw anyone else use cash. Even the train station toilets took credit card.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
I guess it's a big saver for labour costs though. Just back from Norway and as well as the airport, McDonalds in Oslo didn't have a cashier (you had to use a machine to order, no other option). My hotel similarly had machines to check yourself in and out (although there was a 'concierge' in case you needed help with them). Same for buying train tickets for the airport express train. I was there for nine days too and never used or even saw anyone else use cash. Even the train station toilets took credit card.
Yes, Norway is quite on the extreme end of cash-less, although China is seemingly catching up while Korea and Japan still use a lot of cash.

Hong Kong's minimum wage is a paltry $34.5, not even USD $5 an hour. I doubt the airport will have a hard time finding cheap labour to man the counters.
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