Review of Malaysia Airlines flight Taipei Kuala Lumpur in Economy

Airline Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH367
Class Economy
Seat 23D
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 04:45
Take-off 24 May 14, 15:05
Arrival at 24 May 14, 19:50
MH   #14 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 197 reviews
tn92
By 6433
Published on 20th November 2014
photo 000b) Banner IMG_1381 1658h


My 5th Flight with Malaysia Airlines - The Terrifying Seat Pitch (?)


Hi there! This is a long overdue report since… Almost a year ago?!
Nonetheless, I am sure it's never too late to post a report here; and I sincerely hope that everyone will enjoy it!

First of all, the seat pitch isn't THAT bad. It just got a little bit more uncomfortable than before this time round. After all, it probably do sound a little terrifying if one has to survive on a 30 Economy seat in a narrow body aircraft for almost 5 hours! At that time, I have actually made a mental note, straight after this series of MH B738 flights, not to book myself on one of them again anytime soon; but I guess sometimes human brains are just that fickle-minded yeah…? Another MAS itinerary has landed itself in my email inbox recently - I am actually extremely looking forward to it though, but I shall bring you through the entire story another time.

Today's report will similarly be a very long one, and I do aim to make it as comprehensive as possible so that you can virtually fly with me! There're quite a lot of photos - please bear with me as these one-year-old photographs were taken with either an iPhone 5 or a really-cheapskate-Sa*sung camera. We will get through these eventually as I have recently upgraded my cameras (slightly); I am sure my new Sony RX100M3 and iPhone 6+ will perform much better! (:

Now, let's get back to MH367 - the highlight of this report.

After two weeks in Taiwan, it's time to leave this beautiful island again. I will never get tired of my visits to Taiwan and even before departing the airport on my flight, I was already missing the place. Just for a recap - I arrived in TPE on a MH flight two weeks' ago, and you can view the older reports here:

Taiwan Trip in May, 2014
Flight 1: 09/05/2014, SIN-KUL, MH602, B737-800 (Click Here Please)
Flight 2: 09/05/2014, KUL-TPE, MH366, B737-800 (Click Here Please)
Flight 3: 24/05/2014, TPE-KUL, MH367, B737-800 (This Report)
Flight 4: 24/05/2014, KUL-SIN, MH609, B737-800 (Coming Soon!)


Malaysia Airlines MH366
Aircraft Registration: 9M-MXQ
Origin: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)
Destination: Malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Date: Saturday, 24 May 2014
Boarding Time: 1435h (UTC+08:00)
STD/STA: 1505h (UTC+08:00) to 1950h (UTC+08:00)
ATD/ATA: 1514h (UTC+08:00) to 2005h (UTC+08:00)
Estimated Duration: 04:45
Actual Duration: 04:46
Flight Distance: About 2,019 miles / 3,250 km

Timelines, such as this one, shall be included in most of my future reports. Hopefully this helps you better visualise the entire flight process - from start to end, as far as possible!

photo 001) Slide01


That day, I left home about three hours before my flight's STD. Heading to the airport to prepare for my two upcoming flights that day.
MH was offering really competitive and attractive return ticket prices on the Taipei route from Singapore.

photo 001a) Routing

My mom decided to treat me to a direct ride on a taxi from home to Taoyuan Airport; this saved us the hassle of having to transfer from a bus to another just to get there.

photo 001b) IMG_1319 1056h On Taxi

photo 001c) Slide02


My grandparents' place is relatively near the airport. So the journey took just about 20-25 minutes. A bus journey however will probably take double the duration, but of course, much cheaper! (Taxi fares in Taiwan, however, are really affordable too)

photo 002) SAM_2090 1123h Arrived at TIA T1

I was really early and the counters weren't even open yet.

photo 006) IMG_1324

It was 11.30am but the counters open only at 12.55pm - more than an hour later!

photo 008) SAM_2078 1130h Check In Counter Opens Only At 1255h

Self Check-In wasn't an option too as Malaysia Airlines do not offer this alternative in Taoyuan Airport.

photo 009) SAM_2079 1130h

For people like me who prefer a proper boarding pass, these machines will probably always be avoided, anyway.

photo 010) SAM_2080

It's always interesting to observe the flight information on these displays. But many do agree that the Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS) in this airport aren't that good-looking. Do you agree?

photo 011) SAM_2075 FIDS

Credits however should be given to other areas of this airport. Since the completion of refurbishment works in this terminal, it has began to look nice and refreshing again! The bilingual signage systems in Taoyuan Airport are also well-designed and situated.

photo 013) IMG_1331

Here's a view of the check-in areas. The effects of getting some natural lights into the terminal are actually really good, it's just my cheapskate camera that's making everywhere look so dull and dark…

photo 014) SAM_2071 1127h TIA T1

With such huge font size, I am sure everyone knows where the Information counter is located in this terminal.

photo 016) SAM_2081 1131h Info Counterphoto 017) SAM_2082

That's about all I have for the check-in hall now. Personally, I do feel that it's elegantly built. The interior designs of the terminal may be relatively simple, but it just doesn't feel like a budget airport anymore.

While waiting for both of us to get a little more hungry, we sat around and rested for a while. My mom isn't flying back to Singapore with me that day but I was kinda acting as her transporter / shipper (whatever you choose to name me as)… That explains why I am bringing two checked in luggage with me, along with a fat backpack.

photo 018) SAM_2083 1131h Bags

Another aspect of this airport is the abundance of international power sockets - I am presuming this can fit most, if not all, kinds of plugs. All in all, there're just a lot of these that you will never find your mobile devices' batteries flat. Unless, of course, you have forgotten your cables.

photo 019) SAM_2084

Snapped a shot of Malaysia Airlines' and Philippine Airlines' counters before heading to the food court. Both airlines are on my upcoming list of flights in the coming months! The PR flights can even potentially be considered a long-haul journey, when combined.

photo 019b) IMG_1329

photo 019b) Slide03


At almost 12pm, it was time for lunch! I have one more hour to eat leisurely before check in for my flight commences.

Let me show you some photos of the relatively new food court in this terminal.

photo 020) SAM_2086

You will first see another set of FIDS situated in the food court. For an airport, it's really important to have these displays everywhere isn't it?

photo 024) SAM_2092

The ceilings in the basement are not really high. But the warm lightings succeed in removing any kinds of catastrophic atmosphere in this area.

photo 025) SAM_2094

I don't think it's too exaggerating to say that the looks of this airport have transformed almost radically, for the better!

photo 026) SAM_2096

Here's the receipt for my lunch. For an airport, this set of main course with a soup wasn't really expensive.

photo 027) SAM_2097 1152h Lunch

I would think that the price of this meal (TWD 148, SGD 6.40, EUR 4.30, USD 4.85) is perfectly reasonable! What do you think?

This is Korean food by the way! Bibimbap (???), rice mixed with lots of ingredients, meat, and Korean chili sauce.

photo 028) SAM_2098 1157h Lunch

When you are scheduled on an LCC flight out of Taoyuan Airport (TPE), I strongly recommend you to fill up your tummy first, here at the food court of TPE Terminal 1 where most LCC flights depart. That way, you probably can save a considerable amount of cash that you'd otherwise have spent for that tiny (and sometimes a little pathetic) box of microwaved aircraft food.

photo 028a) Slide04


15 minutes before the counter opens, I return to the check-in hall and saw that a long, long queue had already formed up.

photo 029) SAM_2099 1243h Check-In Counter

Thankfully, I've completed online check-in the day before and found out that the queue here was much shorter!

photo 030) SAM_2100 1246h Web Check-In

With regards to the cabin baggage, it didn't seem that the ground staff were too concerned about it. They did not weigh anyone's cabin baggage as far as I'm aware of.

Do you see the man in a hat with a light blue shirt on the left of the photo below? He would be my seat mate for the flight to Kuala Lumpur; he and his wife had a tight connection at Kuala Lumpur and throughout the flight he was rather concerned about missing the connecting flight. (I'll explain more in a while)

photo 031) SAM_2101

According to my brief observations, many passengers aboard MH367 that day were actually bound for destinations other than Kuala Lumpur, just like me. The only difference is that the flight time of my next flight is almost insignificant to their flights - those headed for other further parts of Asia, or Australia, or even Europe!

At that time in May 2014, Malaysia Airlines was aggressively trying to return to their normal state after the MH370 incident affected them so badly. It was extremely unfortunate and saddening that just another two months after that, MH17 went down in Ukraine.

Ever since, it's been reported that MH was struggling hard with maintaining profitability. Many people in the region, including several people whom I know of, will avoid travelling with MH at all cost. In the current period of writing this report, it's been announced (officially or unofficially?) that MH will be cutting routes to Europe and may even be planning to let go of its entire A380 fleet.

photo 034) IMG_1335 1249h Checking In

That would probably be an appropriate explanation of why MH is now seemingly investing much on their B738 fleet. And almost every single regional destination from Kuala Lumpur will be mainly served by this aircraft type.

No matter what's the plan of this company, I do sincerely wish them all the best and I would like to see them soaring high in the skies again, just like in the past. I guess the least I can do is to support then whem I need to fly - which is why an MH flight itinerary is sitting in my inbox now! (:

photo 036) IMG_1337 1254h

I was finally done with checking-in at 1.02pm, after almost 20 minutes of queuing. Looking back at the queue that had became worse over this duration. It seemed that there were quite a few tour groups too.

photo 037) IMG_1338 1302h Done with Check In

I headed up to passport controls on Level 2 of the terminal immediately.

photo 038) SAM_2104

The outer area, however, is still a public area, and there are many shops on this level too.

photo 039) SAM_2108 1311h Departure Hall

There are also some interesting exhibitions.

photo 040) SAM_2110 Exhibition

I was however just interested in finding this to take the corporate shot. (:

photo 041) SAM_2112 Free Internet (Flight-Report)photo 042) SAM_2113 1313h Flight Report

Apart from these free Internet PC terminals. The connection speed and signal of the free wifi available in Taoyuan Airport is amazing too.

photo 042a) SAM_2118

This is the wifi login page. I personally feel that it is even better than that of Changi Airport in Singapore.

photo 043) IMG_1333 1145h Wifi

Currency exchange counters are also available on this level, making it rather convenient for departing passengers.

photo 045) SAM_2116

Here're the boarding passes for my next two MH flights. Note that the boarding gate for my connecting flight from KUL was already printed on the boarding pass, ten hours before the flight.

photo 048) SAM_2120 1332h Boarding Passes II_Edited

After chatting with my mom for another half an hour, I said goodbye to her and went through immigration.

photo 053) IMG_1347 1353h Going Through Immigration

photo 053a) Slide05


It wasn't the busiest hour at that time and I was done with security checks and immigration in just ten minutes.

photo 054) SAM_2124 1359h Passed Immigration

Let's now head to the right for my boarding gate - A2.

photo 055) SAM_2126 1359h Towards Boarding Gate

The estimated walking time to gates were nicely depicted here. My gate was at the far end. The C and D gates you see on the left are those that belong to Terminal 2.

photo 056) SAM_2127

The foreign exchange counter airside wasn't opened. I'm not sure if there were more counters in other airside areas.

photo 057) SAM_2128

The Wall of Literature you see here is one of the favourite photography spots in this airport.

photo 058) SAM_2130 1401h

There's also a really tiny escalator within the airside area of the terminal.

photo 060) SAM_2134 1402h

Turning right again to head to my boarding gate.

photo 061) SAM_2135

Through the windows, I was able to take a shot of Terminal 1's new exterior look! What a good weather for flying isn't it?

photo 063) SAM_2138 1406h TIA T1 Exterior

Walking pass the boarding gate for a Qantas flight bound for Singapore? No way man. It's a 100% budget airline flight. On a side note, I never thought it is worth it to purchase a Jetstar flight with a Qantas flight number.

photo 064) SAM_2140 1408h 3K724 To Singapore

9V-JSE was performing flight 3K724 to Singapore that afternoon. It probably just returned to Taipei from Osaka earlier that afternoon, after performing a 5th freedom flight.

photo 064a) SAM_2150 1416h 9V-JSE

It was just 2.10pm when I entered this boarding lounge for the Jetstar flight. There was no one because the flight was only scheduled to depart 2 hours later.

photo 064c) SAM_2143 1410h Gate A4 Boarding Lounge

What was I doing in another boarding lounge? Actually, here's a tip for plane spotters who may be visiting Taoyuan Airport soon. In order to take a full photo of an aircraft in Terminal 1 (I'm not sure if this is true for Terminal 2 too), you actually need head to the adjacent boarding lounge for it to be possible.

For example, I was in Gate A4 and this Tigerair aircraft was parked at A3. To get a complete shot of it, it will most likely only be possible from the boarding lounge of Gate A4.

This aircraft is 9V-TAV, another one from home, bound for Singapore as TR2995. Departure for this aircraft was imminent at that point in time and many passengers could be seen dashing across the terminal for their Tigerair flight. It's not exactly 100% true that LCCs will never wait for latecomers. The airlines may rush their passengers but very frequently, I do see them admitting latecomers on to the flights as well. (At least in Asia, this is the case. Do not, however, try your luck the next time. Because you never know what can happen on an LCC flight. You paid the low price, so they are the boss. If they decided to close the aircraft doors and offload your bags, that's it.)

photo 065) SAM_2141 1409h TR2995 To Singapore 9V-TAV

photo 065a) Slide06


Arrived at my gate at 2.11pm. It was still quite a while before boarding commenced.

photo 067) SAM_2144 1410h Gate A2 For MH367

The logic for aircraft photograph cannot be utilised for planes parked at Gates A1 and A2, however, because Gates A1 to A3 share a common boarding lounge. It was therefore impossible to get a full view of my aircraft.

photo 068) SAM_2145 1411h Shared Boarding Lounge

The common boarding lounge is huge. Here’s a photograph to show you the number of seats it has.

photo 069) IMG_1348 1420h Boarding Lounge

These “recliner seats” allow passengers to take short naps before flights! Maybe we can call them the “business class seats” of this lounge?

photo 069a) SAM_2153

Decoration in the boarding lounge was limited to this tree.

photo 071) SAM_2149

The water dispenser provides cold, warm, and hot water. An extremely convenient facility for passengers. (Compare this to Kuala Lumpur’s boarding lounges, where no water dispenser can be found at all)

photo 071a) SAM_2168

One more look at the Tigerair aircraft before it leaves; and this is a shot through two window panes. At this moment, we could hear repeated final calls of the last passengers. It was already 13 minutes before the scheduled departure time and where are those people?!

photo 072) SAM_2152 1417h

Here’s a bad photograph of the flight information display at the gate.

photo 075) SAM_2146 1414h Flight Details

Like I have previously mentioned, this is the best photograph I can get for my aircraft.

photo 076) SAM_2147 1415h 9M-MXQ Aircraft For MH367

Operating MH367 back to Kuala Lumpur that day was 9M-MXQ. This aircraft had its first flight on 14 Jan 2014, so at that time, it was a really new plane - just about 4 months old.

photo 078) SAM_2163

Let’s do a little spotting with my camera of limited abilities. A B747 with SkyTeam livery taxied pass. This aircraft is B-18206, and it was operating China Airlines Flight CI521 bound for Guangzhou. Just a short hop away, with a B747!

photo 081) SAM_2160 1423h B-18206 To Guangzhou CI521

Another B747 in the airport that day was a Cargolux freighter plane. I wasn’t able to get its identification number.

photo 083) SAM_2166 1429h Cargolux

Yet another B747! This time its a China Airlines Cargo plane.

photo 084) SAM_2169

And it’s China Airlines again! This A340-300 is B-18803. I was unsure of its destination that day.

photo 085) SAM_2170 1434h B-18803 Unsure

Ohhhh! Something different! EVA Airway’s MD-90, probably headed to a destination in China (I was unsure as well). This aircraft is B-17913. Had its first flight in November 1996 and was then delivered to UNI Airways before being transferred to EVA Airways in March 2005. Apparently it’s now with Delta Airlines as N304EV, but some online information shows that it is currently stored?

There are still 2 to 3 MD-90s in the fleet of EVA Air Group. I am guessing that they will be retired soon, and I probably would not have a chance to fly on them.

photo 086) SAM_2171 1434h B-17913

One other China Airlines B747 was on its final approach into TPE.

photo 087) SAM_2173

The poor quality photograph taken by my camera forbids me to zoom in and check out the aircraft's identity though. So it’s just gonna be “yet another China Airlines B747”! Right now, China Airlines still has 29 B747 in their fleet.

photo 088) SAM_2174

photo 088a) Slide07


It was time for boarding soon. I am sure you can guess from the photograph below that it was not an extremely orderly process. Oh well, as long as I get on the airplane I shan’t complain. There seemed to be no priorities observed as well, despite it being announced over the PA system. I sincerely hope Malaysia Airlines can improve its boarding procedures, the situation was similar for three out of four flights (the flight from Singapore departed from a remote stand / bus gate).

photo 089) SAM_2176 1438h

I boarded the aircraft 25 minutes before the STD.

photo 090) IMG_1352 1441h Boarding

Glad that I was able to take a better cabin photo this time. It was nice to see that I was on another MH B738 with Boeing Sky Interior and individual IFEs.

photo 091) IMG_1353 1442h Aircraft Interior

It took me ten minutes before I reached my seat and settled down. The man (the seat mate that I’ve mentioned earlier) and his wife were already seated in the window and centre seats. After I settled down, I heard him mutter the phrase “this plane has absolutely no legroom” a few times. I was thinking to myself “yes sir, I agree wholeheartedly.

photo 092) IMG_1355 1453h Reached My Seat

photo 092a) Slide08


As I have already flown on this exact same aircraft type twice, before this particular flight, I would not elaborate as much about the hardware in this report. May I ask that you refer to the previous two reports for a better idea of this version of MH B738 aircrafts?

photo 093) SAM_2177 1448h Boarded (1514h Pushback, 1553h Take Off, 1556h Signs Off)

We could clearly see from the zig-zag lines below that the taxi took really long that day.

photo 093a) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.34.53 pm 1530h Long Taxi

In fact, our captain even made an announcement to inform us that we will be in the queue for about 30 more minutes before reaching the runway, and this was attributed to the single runway operations in Taoyuan Airport. (It’s still the case now in 2015 and works on the other runway will only be completed by end-2015 or early-2016 if I’m not mistaken)

photo 093aa) Slide09


It was nice that the wait eventually was not 30 minutes, but a slightly shorter 23 minutes. We took off from Runway 23R at 3.53pm that day, 48 minutes from the STD.

photo 093b) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.35.30 pm 1553h Take Off Runway 23R

Many onboard MH367 got worried about their connecting flights at KUL. My seat mate stopped a flight attendant to explain that they had a tight connection ahead to another MH flight. It was nice of the FA to assure him that ground crews at KUL will definitely sort it out, and the next flight will very likely wait for them.

But hey? Ain’t I also one of the passenger with a connecting flight ahead? Why am I not worried at all? That’s because my transit time was a looooong 3 hours and 15 minutes, which probably explains why I already began to continue watching the movie that I paused from the previous flight (the perks of having AVOD IFEs!) while all the rest were worrying about the delays.

photo 093bb) Slide10


The seat belt signs were turned off at about 3.56pm and we flew out of Taiwan towards the sea at about 3.57pm. The aircraft was just about to pass 7,000ft.

photo 093c) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.36.38 pm 1557h Signs Off at Near 7000ft

I took the opportunity to snap a quick shot of the cabin again, before everyone started dashing to the lavatory.

photo 094) IMG_1357 1601h Aircraft Interior

Sorry for blocking the camera slightly with my finger, I didn’t realise it at all!

photo 095) IMG_1359 1602h

But yup, this is the lavatory onboard 9M-MXQ.

photo 096) IMG_1360

It was still clean and tidy, but the flower that I saw previously on MH366 was gone already. I guess it was just by chance that the FAs on MH366 decided to decorate the economy class lavatory as well?

photo 097) IMG_1361 Flower Gone MH366

Altitude was about 23,000ft by the time I got back to my seat. We were still climbing.

photo 098) IMG_1362 1606h

Paused my movie and enjoyed the flight map for a while. Even though the screens were small, the screen resolution was good!

photo 099) IMG_1363

Flying along the Taiwan’s West coast in the initial phase of our flight.

photo 103) IMG_1371 1609h At 24000ft

This time, I was able to remove the remote control as it was not stuck like previously. It helps that this aircraft was only 4-months old at that time, doesn’t it? Really glad that I could recharge the battery of my phone too! (I have 3 hours ahead of me in KUL, don’t forget)

photo 106) IMG_1369 1608hphoto 106a) IMG_1367 1607h

The seat pocket contents are as follows:

photo 107) IMG_1370 1608h Seat Pocket Contents

We have reached our initial cruising altitude of 36,000ft at 4.20pm, leaving the Taiwanese airspace soon. I will be back! (:

photo 108a) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.38.50 pm 1620h Reached Crusing Altitude 36000ft

photo 108aa) Slide11


Ah ha! Here’s what I was most looking forward to on this flight - the meal service.

photo 109) IMG_1375 1612h Starting Meal Service

The FA seemed to have forgotten something from the galley and she just left the cart on the aisle! Fortunately nobody thought it was a buffet onboard MH367 that day. HAHA.

photo 110) IMG_1376 1612h

My dinner came after 10 minutes! It was just 4.22pm and still a little early for dinner. But I guess the FAs wanted to complete meal service quickly so that the passengers and themselves can both take some rests after that.

photo 112) SAM_2180 1622h Main Course

Here’s the main course: fried rice with egg and chicken along with some vegetables .

photo 112a) SAM_2184 Main Course

You know what… MH’s catering from Taiwan was amazing as well! Every ingredient you see in the main course was almost perfect in terms of the “airline food standard” I would say.

photo 112b) SAM_2185 Chicken

The appetiser was good too, as the prawns were rather fresh!

photo 113) SAM_2182 1626h Appetiser

Fruits were a little disappointing. Especially since Taiwanese fruits are usually awesome.

photo 114) SAM_2183

And I was getting myself extremely well-hydrated on this flight. (It’s like this always, I prefer to keep myself more hydrated when flying)

photo 118) SAM_2186

A pineapple tart seemingly replaced the more-common breads on this flight. It was nice because it wasn’t too sweet and the fillings did not taste artificial / processed.

photo 119) SAM_2187 1645h Pineapple Tart

Catering wise, MH has performed well again! I was just happily waiting for a cup of hot tea by then.

photo 120) SAM_2188

The Sky Interior mood lighting was turned on after the meal so that people who want to rest can now start to do so.

photo 121) SAM_2189 1653h Boeing Sky Interior

It was a day flight mostly so I didn’t choose to rest. Continued my movie, and paused it now and then to look at the flight information. At 4.57pm, we were still maintaining an altitude of 36,000ft.

photo 123) IMG_1377 1657h At 36000ft

We were flying back to Kuala Lumpur at a faster speed that day! Cutting down the effects of the delay rather significantly. (:

photo 124) IMG_1378

With the mood lighting switched on, it seemed that the resolution of the screen got even better in these photographs! Haha.

photo 126) IMG_1380 1657hphoto 127) IMG_1382 1658h

I have completed my movie by 5pm and did not want to start another one. After switching the IFE to the flight map, I continued to spend my time watching Korean variety shows.

photo 128) SAM_2190 1710h Watching RM

Here’s the ground speed at 5.32pm - 888km/h - definitely a good sign for us Asians!

photo 129) IMG_1383 1732h

The seat pitch might have been a little daunting. Nevertheless, I was still enjoying the late afternoon flight!

photo 133) IMG_1395 1820h Seat Pitchphoto 130) IMG_1386 1733h

It truly looked as though we were in a nightclub instead of a B737 aircraft.

photo 132) IMG_1393 1814h

At 6.42pm, the FAs went around to distribute peanuts and drinks. By then, it was the “real” dinner time and I could feel myself getting hungry again. It probably took up some of my energy trying to survive the very-tight-coach-seats yeah. =P

photo 134) IMG_1397 1842h Peanutsphoto 135) IMG_1398 1851h Apple Juice

To be fair, a 4-hours flight isn't that long actually. So I guess most people will still be able to tolerate a narrow body aircraft on such flights. Otherwise, MH367 wouldn’t have been THAT full that day!

We were approaching Malaysia, still at an altitude of 36,000ft.

photo 135a) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.40.23 pm 1917h Approaching Malaysia Still At 36000ft

My final destination was just THERE (Singapore, slightly to the south of Johor Bahru). Wouldn’t it be nice to just fly me there, captain? (Just kidding)

photo 136) IMG_1399 1919h Almost Reaching

At 7.31pm, our co-pilot came onto the PA with the arrival information! Here’s what he said:
- Our altitude at about 36,000ft, and ground speed about 840km/h
- Kuala Lumpur’s weather: cloudy with a temperature of 30 degree celsius
- No time difference between Taipei and Kuala Lumpur



An air steward then followed up with a really short and concise Mandarin translation of the pilot’s announcement.



The descend began at about 7.34pm and the approach route was not very direct.

photo 138c) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.41.35 pm 1934h Descend Began

Personally, I am not a great fan of mood lightings and actually do prefer the cabin to be really just dark - like those night flights on budget airlines. Wouldn’t it be nicer to sleep that way?

photo 139) IMG_1405 1932h

Before seat belt signs came on, I made my way to the lavatory again since I kept drinking lots of water and juices - no alcohol this time round. While queueing for the lavatory, I took some photographs of the “worse” seats on this aircraft - the last row.

photo 140) IMG_1408 Last Row No Recline

Not only is there absolutely no recline, the seat pitch seemed to be even more horrendous here. As far as I remember, the entire aircraft was full except for the few seats on the last row. Well, I guess very few will actually be willing to sit here unless they have no choice?

photo 142) IMG_1412 Look at the Horrible Seat Pitch

Back to my seat at Row 23 - a row that I frequently select because 23 is one of my favourite numbers. xD

photo 142a) IMG_1415 1944h

Most people were already seated and prepared for the landing. The seat belt signs would be switched on soon.

photo 143) IMG_1413 1943h

Isn’t it true that the seat pitch looks marginally better here, than at the back? (I think I was just trying to convince myself that I chose a better seat)

photo 144) IMG_1414

photo 144a) Slide12


Final approach at 7.46pm.

photo 146) IMG_1417 1946h Final Approach

The last shot before I had to switch off my phone, featuring the vandalism we unfortunately see on this new aircraft.

photo 147) IMG_1418 2006h Vandalise

And here’s the approach route from FlightRadar24.com.

photo 148a) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.42.46 pm 1948h Approach Routephoto 148b) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.44.13 pm 1952h Final Approach Heading 320

photo 148bb) Slide13


We landed on Runway 32L six minutes after the STA, which actually was quite an achievement given our rather extended delay back at Taipei.

photo 148c) Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 3.45.06 pm 1956h Landing Runway 32L

photo 148cc) Slide14


We then arrived at the gate just a few minutes later at 8.05pm, 15 minutes behind schedule, which really wasn’t that bad after all.

photo 148d) IMG_1419 2012h (1956h Touch Down, 2005h Reached Gate)

I wasn’t in a rush so I waited for most people to disembark before I left my seat. That gave me a good opportunity to take another photograph of the cabin!

photo 149) IMG_1420 2014h

I tried again to take a photo of my aircraft. But given the restricted view and lighting outside, the effect wasn’t too good.

photo 150) IMG_1421 2015h

photo 151a) Slide15


Back at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) two weeks later. At that time, it was my third visit to KLIA. But all three times, I was there as a transit passenger, and I haven't got the chance yet to enter Malaysia from its major airport.

photo 152) SAM_2193 2018h

My next flight departs from Gate H10 - the same one that I used to depart for Taipei two weeks ago! Now that was some nice coincidence in place.

photo 153) SAM_2194 2019h Check Next Flight

Spotting isn’t easy in this airport, especially since one needs to pass through boarding pass and security checks before entering a boarding lounge.

photo 154) SAM_2195 2021h

Having three hours to spare in KLIA, I decided to just find a place for dinner and to use my MacBook. Off I go to explore KLIA!

Thanks for reading! I promise the last instalment won’t take too long to be published, as I am also eager to share some of my more recent flights anyway!


This report was completed on 1 May 2015, in Singapore.

— End of Flight Report for Malaysia Airlines MH367 —



Next Flight
Saturday, 24 May 2014
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore (SIN)
Malaysia Airlines MH609, B737-800
Coming Soon!
See more

Verdict

Malaysia Airlines

7.6/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering9.0

Taipei - TPE

9.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

7.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Similar ratings again as the previous flights but I have cut cabin comfort by 1 point because it really did feel more cramped up this time round. The crew on MH367 was slightly friendlier. Meal wise, it could have gotten a 10/10 from me again if not for the fruits that were a little disappointing. Entertainment gets a higher point this time round because I was allowed to watch my movie while we were stuck in the long queue for take-off at Taipei - that helped a lot in making time pass faster. Punctuality wise, it wasn't the airlines' fault but I still deducted 0.5 point for the slightly late arrival.

TPE is a great airport and has improved vastly over the past few years. However, it was a little more tricky to get to the airport than to leave from the airport for the city. I guess things will get much better once the Airport Train is up and running by end-2015! Otherwise, I am always satisfied with TPE.

Lastly, this was what I wrote for KUL in my previous FR's summary:
KUL has good efficiency in terms of security. Variety of shops and F&B outlets do look adequate too. It's okay to transit there and it won't get too boring if your transit time is just about 1 to 2 hours.

So... A transit of 3 hours was a little too long and I got bored. It'd help a lot if you've got lounge access because many lounges in KUL look great! I probably will get to experience some soon. (:

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 135260 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this very comprehensive and well narrated report with us!

    I am presuming this can fit most, if not all, kinds of plugs
    - Those Aussies might disagree ;)

    I was however just interested in finding this to take the corporate shot. (:
    - I'm pretty sure that corporate shot will not bring back good memories for the person that flew that flight (which never made it to HKG...). Poor Numero_2

    And almost every single regional destination from Kuala Lumpur will be mainly served by this aircraft type.
    - That's not good to hear, frankly even TPE should be served by an A330 in my opinion.

    There's also a really tiny escalator within the airside area of the terminal.
    - Everybody that goes to TPE loves the mini-escalator.

    Just a short hop away, with a B747!
    - KE sends B747s on domestic routes sometimes and Korea is a tiny country.

    It took me ten minutes before I reached my seat and settled down
    - Ahhhh, good old fashioned US-style boarding efficiency.

    A pineapple tart seemingly replaced the more-common breads on this flight
    - Definitely TPE catering. I'm surprised that the fruit selection didn't have dragon fruit.

    I took some photographs of the “worse” seats on this aircraft - the last row.
    - Who needs recline? And it looks it 'might' have enough room to fit some legs in there.

    The MH hard product does not look so appealing (other than IFE) on these B738s. That pitch doesn't look feasible for me on a flight of that length. That said IFE and catering look very good quality. My feeling is that MH will just contract into a more regional carrier (like GA), restructure to get financial stability, then start to expand out again. Switching to an all B738 fleet for regional routes will hurt their attractiveness to most premium-cabin passengers since there is so much competition in the region.

    Thanks for this report and see you for the next leg!

    • Comment 315103 by
      tn92 AUTHOR 171 Comments

      Thank you for sharing this very comprehensive and well narrated report with us!
      You're welcome and thanks for your compliment! I read your comments in one of your reports that you enjoy putting your 100% in writing these flight reports, even though it's hard work, if everyone enjoys them, you'll continue doing so. Hey, I totally agree with you about this! Which was why I told you I got hooked on to your reports because reading them made me feel as though I was flying with you!

      Regarding the plugs. I was thinking about the ones in Korea actually, but how could I have forgotten about Australia's interesting-looking socket. Hahaha, given that I'm visiting that awesome county on average about 5-8 times a year recently. =P

      I'm pretty sure that corporate shot will not bring back good memories for the person that flew that flight (which never made it to HKG...). Poor Numero_2
      Oh man, now that you mentioned it. I kinda remember what happened on that eventful flight? Wonder if I'm talking about the correct one.

      With regards to MH's plans to gradually start to operate B738s on their regional routes, I really do disagree about that too. But I think given their current situation and unfortunately, reputation about safety among the general public, I don't know if it'll be hard to fill up even a B738 on routes that are less demanded. Do allow me to check that out and report about it when I fly them again in July.

      KE sends B747s on domestic routes sometimes and Korea is a tiny country.
      Perfect example. I heard the B747s are usually always fully packed between Jeju and Seoul.

      Ahhhh, good old fashioned US-style boarding efficiency.
      I didn't know it's like this in U.S. too? It was seriously a problem on my MH flights back then.

      Switching to an all B738 fleet for regional routes will hurt their attractiveness to most premium-cabin passengers since there is so much competition in the region.
      Definitely. But we must also note that their competitive prices on those regional business class seats may still attract many CX, QF, or even JL frequent flyers who want to earn some mileage at cheaper and more affordable rates! (Like me.. Hahaha)

    • Comment 315522 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      I read your comments in one of your reports that you enjoy putting your 100% in writing these flight reports, even though it's hard work, if everyone enjoys them, you'll continue doing so. Hey, I totally agree with you about this!
      - For me, it's about sharing with others.

      I just re-read his experiences on both flights actually, and... Poor guy... =X
      - It's one of those 'classic' FRs since it was a nightmare experience. I've been 4/4 with CA so far, but am scared to book another trip with them since I feel like it would risk my sterling image of the airline ;)

      reputation about safety among the general public
      - They aren't a convenient option for me, which is the only reason why I haven't ever considered them. What happened to them were things that could have happened to any carrier (although how they handled MH370 was a little concerning).

      I didn't know it's like this in U.S. too?
      - Oh yeah, every flight is guaranteed to have at least one person that goes to their seat at the back of the plane to realize there is no overhead space, then has to take their suitcase all the way back to the front of the plane to find space, stopping boarding for at least 10 minutes.

      CX always has very good fares ex-Japan.

    • Comment 315110 by
      tn92 AUTHOR 171 Comments

      Correction: It was not the flight that I was talking about with regards to Numero_2's experience. I just re-read his experiences on both flights actually, and... Poor guy... =X

  • Comment 135413 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5530 Comments

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very detailed report. I enjoy your timelines, which give a good idea of the whole process and the time it actually takes. It is sad what is happening to MH, especially since it's such a nice little airline. I really like the Boeing Sky Interior, which I have only been on a few times. Any aircraft I've been on with mood lighting usually turns off all lights during longer overnight flights. Since this was an afternoon/evening flight, I guess it makes sense they didn't turn off the light. I always bring a mask with me in case I want to sleep, but the lights are on. The seat pitch does look tight--30 of pitch is not very 5-star. Other than that the seats look comfortable. The catering looks really good. Now I'm hungry :-)

    • Comment 315284 by
      tn92 AUTHOR 171 Comments

      Hi Kevin! Thanks a lot for your comments! (: Oh yup, now that you mentioned it, I think you're absolutely right about the mood lighting vs. all dark issue. Maybe we can put in the exception of Emirates' cabin ceiling that sometimes get filled up with stars? xD It wouldn't be considered fully dark on those cabins then. Haha!

      I really do pity MH. Frankly speaking, after experiencing four of their B738 flights, I sincerely dislike it. But the affordable pricing, good catering, and rather extensive regional network will still attract many potential customers - if not for the unfortunate incidents last year.

      And yeah... It's always a torture to see all the nice food pictures in flight reports. Especially when I am studying for my uni final exams now.... Oh no.

      I will write the report for the next flight real soon!

  • Comment 135976 by
    Chibcha 441 Comments

    Thanks for this FR, is very detailed and a great read!
    MH seems such a nice airline, is a shame it's going through such hard times.

    • Comment 315800 by
      tn92 AUTHOR 171 Comments

      Thank you very much for your comment! And yes, on the overall, Malaysia Airlines is definitely a nice company to fly with. It definitely had a hard time last year but all of us within this part of the world can sense that MH is trying extremely hard to rebuild its reputation. I am looking forward to experiencing their product again later this year!

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