Seen too many of your great reports over the years, I finally decided to post one myself. Pardon the lack of picture, I will try to make that up as more reports come along. Flying is almost a fortnightly affair for me due to my base being in Singapore and home in Kuala Lumpur. My countless experience with LCCs has always been mundane, boring and straightforward, not worthy of a report. However recently prices of the SIN-KUL and vice versa route has been soaring due to preference of tourists, mainly from India and China to fly via KUL to SIN due to cheaper fares. Hence for my recent trip, I scoured through the legacy carriers instead for comparison and found a very competitive rate offered by MH, giving me the opportunity to try out their services for the first time since their restructuring. My outbound flight was uneventful, and will not be reported. The return trip however was something else, here goes:
Flight No: MH 613 Registration: 9M-MXF Date entered service: FEB 1, 2012 Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-800 Departure Time: 17:25 GMT+8 Arrival Time: 18:25 GMT+8 Flight Duration: 1 hr
MH encourages OLCI or self-check in at the kiosk in KUL, hence I arrived at the airport with slightly more than an hour before departure. Since there would be no lounge visit for me this time around, and with the KUL tarmac predominantly occupied by MH, I decided that an hour prior to departure would just be alright.
Departure was at the main terminal of KUL, gate B6, not the Satellite one that is usually used by foreign carriers and MH widebodies.
KUL only does security check at the gate, hence the gate area only opens slightly under half an hour before boarding is called. However for this particular flight, it only opened 15 minutes prior to departure (which was 17:25 and not the boarding time of 16:55) for reasons not known.
To exacerbate the matter only 1 set of staff was performing the security checks, with no priority enforced whatsoever. Security check was painfully slow and a mess with passengers forming queues from all directions. Apologies for the lack of pictures at this point as I did not intend to post a review at that point in time due to the terrible boarding service. By the time I was through security, it was well over 18:00 and the MH ground staff were hurrying passengers to board.
The waiting area was also shared with a delayed Malindo Air (OD) flight to Denpasar-Bali that was scheduled earlier than mine. Passengers belonging to both flights were squeezed into an area barely enough for one Boeing 737. There were passengers sitting on the floor and carry-on luggage blocking the path towards the entrance of the gate itself, creating total chaos to boarding. To cut the story short, I had to navigate through the mess to board.
This was the first picture I mustered. Boeing 737-800 interior with BSI.
The chief purser had actually apologised profusely on the delay of departure despite not being the fault of the airline. Decent service to start with, and something that is not expected for MH of today. Seems like its legacy of Skytrax 5 Star service is still living in some of its staff.
IFE shortly after take off. Actual flight time is only 35 minutes.
Despite the short flight time, all movies and TV shows was made available to passengers at the gate. Simple and functional IFE system only let down by a unresponsive touch screen. The interface was frustrating to navigate though. However the controller solves this short fall.
Seat pitch of 30" was just sufficient for my 180cm height for an hour long flight, anymore would be a different story. They are not very different from the LCCs. Seat width of 17" also mimics that of LCCs. This is something that MH has to address in the upcoming order of 50 Boeing 737MAX if it inspires to be a Skytrax 5 Star airline again.
In flight service started shortly after, and despite the short flight time, look what MH actually offered.
Service was always with a smile and the stewardess greeted each passengers while service was being carried out, and this was in the cattle class, not J. Credits where credits due, this is impressive from MH. My frequent experience with other regional carriers have not yielded such services in Y, with CX particularly bad in Y and Y+. Only in SQ and GA have I experienced such courtesy in Y.
3 choice of drinks to go with the ice cream, Orange, Apple and Water. The colour of the liquid is self explanatory.
Approaching SIN. Typical of flights arriving Singapore Changi Airport in the evening, you are bound to experience a holding pattern while your flight is en route for landing. After 4 loops and 20 minutes later, we were finally given the go ahead for approach.
View from my window on approach. Huge construction going on to add a Runway and the massive Terminal 5 to SIN. Estimated to complete by 2021 giving SIN a total passenger capacity of 145 million passengers a year.
We landed at 19:05 which was a 30 minutes delay and the chief purser again came on the PA to apologise for the delay. Announcements were made very clearly with no attempt by the Asian chief purser to fake a Caucasian accent, which i personally find very irritating and insincere.
Great short flight from MH and I do sincerely hope that they keep this up and keep this consistent across all the flights they operate.
Kuala Lumpur - KUL
Singapore - SIN
Surprisingly decent flight from MH. Hard product is a tad disappointing, especially when MH was known to have very comfortable hard products in Y previously. Service was also erratic in their flights with my outbound SIN-KUL flight bringing disinterested service attitude while this MH613 flight being an excellent one.
I sincerely hope that with the new people at helm, MH would start thinking about improving all aspects of its product while keeping service as excellent as what I have experienced in this flight. Time to wake up and challenge the regional big guns.
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