This will just be a short report on a long weekend trip I took over the recent public holiday to Kuching, which was only an hour's flight away from Singapore. The tickets (going up on Malaysia Airlines and return on Air Asia due to the favourable flight timings), booked barely 3 weeks prior, were very affordable, but prices rose quickly after more travellers also booked their weekend trips.
Proceeded to the Changi Terminal 2 after performing my duty as a SG citizen by casting my vote in the recent election. MH counters were rather empty even though the flight ended up full. Flight was retimed from 1250hrs to 1340hrs because of late arrival due to haze conditions in Kuching, which briefly hampered landings in the morning.
Courtesy of Priority Pass, I visited the SATS Premier Lounge in T2, which is also used by MH and a few other airlines' premium passengers. Lounge was of average size with acceptable catering (tasty hot dishes but variety of selection rather limited). Had lunch and some dessert.
Plane arrived at 1320hrs.
MH642 would flying to Miri via Kuching. However most passengers were headed to Kuching, with only a few continuing up to Miri.
View from gatehold room.
11 September 2015 Malaysia Airlines MH 642 Singapore (SIN) - Kuching (KCH) B737-800 9M-MXT Economy Class Flight Time: 1H11M
Boarding commenced and was orderly despite the full flight.
Greeted by friendly crew members at the door. Passed Business Class cabin.
Economy Class seats.
Seated at 24F. The seats are fitted with all the latest gadgets, but legroom is tight, just slightly better than the budget carriers.
SilkAir B738 beside at E2.
Boarding in progress.
Inflight magazines and more.
Full selection of IFE is available, but no headsets were handed out. Use your own headsets if you want to enjoy the IFE.
Doors closed and we were good to go. Safety video was shown.
Only a short taxi to Rwy20C.
And take off at 1418hrs.
It was rather hazy as we climbed out.
Above the haze.
Switched to flight map.
Seatbelt signs switched off and service immediately started. No time to waste on this short flight. To start, crew came down the aisle and handed out peanuts from baskets. Surprised that they even did this on such a short and full flight.
Kacang Masin to start.
After peanuts were distributed, special meals were handed out and the meal carts came down the aisle. 3 crew were serving us in economy, and all were very friendly and efficient. 2 choices of meals were offered, along with a selection of drinks. Unfortunately halfway through the meal service, mild-medium turbulence was encountered and hot beverage service was suspended when the seatbelt signs came on.
Meal was served in a box, which also contained a dessert cake.
Roti Canai with fish curry. The fish had the very fishy taste which I didn't like.
The other choice was Dry curry chicken with steamed rice and vegetable. This was much better than the fish curry. I had an orange juice to go along.
Dessert was a cling-wrapped Kek Lapis (traditional layered cake), which was rather dry. Meal boxes were cleared and more beverages were offered.
Bouncing through the clouds for most of the flight.
Caught an episode of Glee using my own earphones. Descend started very soon after.
A short break of smooth weather while we were approaching Kuching.
Descending into the haze. Kuching is adversely affected by the haze caused by forest fires in Kalimantan, with air quality in the unhealthy level.
Touchdown on Kuching International Airport Rwy25 and taxied to the gate.
9M-MXT in the Kuching haze.
Immigration was swift and with no check-in bags, I was out at the taxi stand 10 minutes after disembarkation. Advantages of flying into small airports.
Stayed at Kuching Hilton, which must be one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, Hilton chain in the world.
The view from the room is supposedly to be great, if not shrouded in haze…
Of course, what is Kuching without all the great food the small city offers!
SATS Premier Lounge
Singapore - SIN
Kuching - KCH
Thoughts: Cabin crew were friendly and efficient and displayed no signs of stress in serving the full load within a short hour. Catering was acceptable though the fish choice was not to my liking. Aircraft was clean and new, more than acceptable for the short hop. Delay was not MH's fault but due to weather conditions. Overall, I am very satisfied with Malaysia Airline's service on such a short flight.
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