Review of Malaysia Airlines flight Kota Kinabalu Kuala Lumpur in Business

Airline Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH2605
Class Business
Seat 4F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:25
Take-off 14 Sep 16, 10:45
Arrival at 14 Sep 16, 13:10
MH   #43 out of 115 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 194 reviews
Alif A.F.
By 1134
Published on 5th November 2017
Good day everyone,

It has been more than a year since I posted my last flight report here. Today, I am going to post about my trip to Uzbekistan. Stay tuned…

BACKGROUND

My first ever overseas trip since January 2015 came at a rather short notice. The idea of going to Central Asia first came to mind in July 2016 when my aunt and her family paid a visit to our home for the Eid. Whilst talking about family matters and what not, the topic of overseas holiday sure came. We all know my aunt is an avid traveller and whenever we have a family get together she talks about how she is planning to go here and there, visiting the exotic places that we seldom heard of. But, when the price starts to be mentioned, everyone started thinking twice. For several years, she always eager to invite us for a tour of exotic places but the cost does not always justify the intent. Although my parents did follow but that so far that is only for places that are within five hours flying time.

“We are planning for a trip to Uzbekistan this September,” she said. This is not the first time I heard about that country, but it struck a chord in my mind that I may finally have a chance to go for seldom seen places. Immediately, I swipe my smartphone and began searching online to know more about the country. Sure, we all somehow heard this and that countries before, but knowing a bit more detail is always exciting when someone especially in your family begin enticing you on a trip like that.

I didn’t make instant decision that afternoon. I need to sink in whether I should join this trip or not. I promised to my aunt that I will decide later. “You are still young and energetic, this is a great opportunity for you to get out and see places beyond. Not like us elderly, getting harder to walk,” she quipped. Fast forward few days later, I finally decided to join the trip.

When I told my colleagues that I am planning to go to Uzbekistan, I can see bewilderment on their faces. “Uzbeki…what? Which …tan? Where is that? How do you pronounce it? Isn’t there war going on there now?” are all the reactions I got. Quite frankly, mention the countries with the suffix ending with –stan nowadays have a bad connotation in them. Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan are way more popularly known and sadly for all the wrong reasons and large part of it have to do with portrayals in mass media, be it news channels or films.

Anyway, my return journey to Uzbekistan involves six flights. The highlights of the trip are my experience on flights in business class with Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air (recently renamed Batik Air Malaysia) for the domestic leg of the journey and of course my first flight with the seldom heard airline, Uzbekistan Airways. We also took a domestic flight too within Uzbekistan. All will be told in the next six reports. So, stay tuned.

PART 1


While I have been plying the busiest domestic route in Malaysia for many years now, this is actually the second time I do so in Business Class, and the first time ever I paid to be in Business Class with my own money. Despite joining the tours where all the flights and accommodations are already paid in one-go, for those of us who resides at the other side of the South China Sea has to fork out extra expenses as the tours only covered cost beginning and ending at Kuala Lumpur. Whilst booking my return flight to Kuala Lumpur, I discovered that Malaysia Airlines (MH) offered the business class ticket at half the price. Sensing the opportunity, I jumped straight at it so I have something interesting to report later on.

After carefully packed my bags the night before, my dad sent me to the airport. My parents did not join the trip as they were busy at that time. After performing the usual security checks, I went straight to the dedicated MH check-in counter for those travelling in business class. There was absolutely no queue. I was the only one there. I got my luggage checked and then my boarding pass issued.

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My plain white boarding pass…


If you all noticed that I successfully got my Emirates Skywards Frequent Flyer number registered in my boarding pass. Days after I came back from my trip, I checked into my Emirates Skywards account and found out that my miles have already been credited even though it was a domestic flight and not involving any EK flights whatsoever.

Not wasting my time, I went straight to the boarding lounge. I could probably stop by at the airline’s Golden Lounge for Business Class Passengers and Enrich Frequent Flyer members (and possibly for OneWorld FF members too?) but time was short. Besides, the Golden Lounge is located at the far northern end of the terminal which is odd and not strategically placed at all considering many mainline flights departed from the southern part of the terminal building. So, for those of you who wish to stay at the Golden Lounge, please note this and take ample time as a walk towards there can be quite lengthy.

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The main activity occurs at this part of the terminal…


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View on the opposite side towards the far northern end of the terminal where Golden Lounge is located…


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I am always amongst the first ones to arrive at waiting lounge although flights are one hour away…


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The waiting lounge is still largely devoid of passengers…


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Pssengers started streaming into the waiting lounge at Gate A5…


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Gazing towards nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park’s islands of Manukan and Sulug…


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View towards south-southwest…


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After repeated pressure, AirAsia finally gave in and reluctantly moved to Terminal 1 from their smaller Terminal 2. Now sometimes bitter domestic rivals have to content by parking their aircrafts side by side…


At about 10.00AM, boarding announcement started with passengers that have their seats towards the back of the plane and passengers with children being prioritised first. Soon afterwards, all passengers including those sitting in Business Class were then allowed to board. I waited until the last few remaining passengers boarded the aircraft so I can enter at ease and to avoid the queues at the jet bridge. To be frank, I expected to board the airline’s Boeing 737-800 with Boeing Sky Interior (BSI) fittings. But to my mild disappointment, our flight was assigned with the airline’s earlier version of B738s (9M-ML* series, I can’t remember the registration though) fitted with older cabin product before BSI version came into service. I honestly thought MH already retired all their –ML* series aircrafts, but to my surprise they still keep few of them. Anyway, at the end of the day one should not be picky and just get on with whatever on offer.

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Dated Business Class seats – anyone have any ideas what is the seat pitch?..


As dated as it may be, this is still far cosier than any Economy class seats. I felt a bit awkward sitting alone in my Business Class seat. There were only three other passengers sitting in the same section. There were still passengers (sitting in Economy) that streamed pass my seat to get to theirs at the back.

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Watching the ground activity went by as we waited for takeoff…


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I have to turn head a bit to see the wing…


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Plenty of legroom here…



Two cabin crews manned our section. “Hello sir, would you like to have apple juice, orange juice or plain water?” one of the crew asked in soft-spoken tone while we still on the ground. I opted for orange juice.

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Pre-takeoff refreshment service…


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Fresh towelette were then handed out to us too…



About 10.45 AM, we started pushback. In this particular aircraft, there are no personal entertainment screens like the ones fitted inside the airline’s BSI version. But, I don’t find it an issue for flights of less than three hours as long as I got treated with good food.

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In-flight safety video was shown from drop-down screen…


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We taxied to Runway 02 for takeoff…


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Kota Kinabalu International Airport’s Terminal 1 in full view…


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New railway station being built…


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Can see more of KK towards the foot of Crocker Range…


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My office is somewhere down there – my colleagues were working their backs at the cubicle while I was sitting comfortably inside a metal tube watching them from above.


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The tallest peak in Borneo in the distance!..


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Sharp turn towards South China Sea…


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Weather was less than inviting – visibility wise…


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Still managed to see blue tranquil waters of Gaya island from above!..



Soon after takeoff, the aircraft steadily march towards its cruising speed. As usual, the view became less interesting as we headed out to open water. The cabin crew came to meet me again offered me options of apple or orange juices or just plain water. This time I opted for plain water. I was also given a packet of salted peanuts.

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I saved the salted peanuts for brunch later…


Later on, the crew came and offered me with two choices of menu for brunch. I couldn’t remember exactly the other choice of menu but I opted for Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang which is a popular Malay dish in the country. Soon, she helped me set up the table and put the meal on it by herself.

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Here it is!..


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A more complete set – remember I said I saved the salted peanuts for later? So, I basically sprinkled the peanuts to give it more kick…



I think one of the finest moments of flying especially in Business Class is to savour your meal slowly and munching it to get the taste of the food. There is no point rushing and swallowing your food and later complaining that the portion is too small. It is up to us how we can appreciate it as best as we can. In this case, I thoroughly enjoyed the offering despite the lack of accompanying entertainment screen. After finishing my meal with a clean slate (I might as well finished everything as I paid for it to appreciate it), I lay my head on the headrest and slowly nap as we cruised across the South China Sea.

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Crossing above Natuna islands which are part of Indonesia…


One hour is long enough for me to get a good nap. I can hardly hear any chatters or noises coming from the Economy section despite being full. At about 12.30PM, we began descent over Peninsular Malaysia.

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Descent over Peninsular Malaysia…


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Heavily cultivated land…


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We lined up to land at Runway 34L of Kuala Lumpur International Airport…


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Touchdown at 1.00PM…


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A couple of Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 was parked side-by-side. Once a flagship, Boeing 777 is no longer part of the airline’s fleet.

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Watch out for the incoming traffic!..


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Safely arrived and docked at the gate…


As Business Class passengers we were the first to be allowed to exit the aircraft. Upon entering the terminal, I proceeded towards baggage reclaim and then wait for few hours for the rest of tour group members to arrive at the airport before we check-in for the next flight to Tashkent.

Thanks for reading!
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Verdict

Malaysia Airlines

7.3/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering9.0

Kota Kinabalu - BKI

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

When I booked the Business Class ticket, I was expecting that Malaysia Airlines deployed one of its many Boeing 737-800s (the 9M-MX* and 9M-MS* series) that are fitted with BSI. Instead, we get the early version that has dated hard product with no personal TV entertainment screens. Put that aside, the food is the main highlight. I am not sure how to comment expertly on the food though but I would say the food is tasty (furthermore, I have the habit of sprinkle my meal with peanuts if I have the chance); the portion is also adequate for me on a 2.5 hours flight. The legroom is obviously roomy and what more could you ask for, for merely less than three hour shuttle flight. For half the price of one-way normal Business Class ticket, this is absolutely worthwhile.

Information on the route Kota Kinabalu (BKI) Kuala Lumpur (KUL)

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