Review of Malaysia Airlines flight Kuala Lumpur Kuantan in Economy

Airline Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH1268
Class Economy
Seat 28A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 31 Mar 18, 09:25
Arrival at 31 Mar 18, 10:15
MH   #41 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 179 reviews
AriffAzrai
Published on 30th April 2018
Hello and welcome again to my new flight report! This time, I will bring to you the report of my flight journey from KL to Kuantan with Malaysia Airline. It is the shortest route flown by MH within its network (excluding the subsidiaries). The purpose of this trip was to attend my friend's wedding which was held in Kemaman, Terengganu where I went there with my mum.

Although situated in the state of Terengganu, but the nearest airport to get to Kemaman is Kuantan Airport (KUA), Pahang which located about 40 minutes-1 hour drive from there. Alternatively, you also can fly to Kerteh (KTE) from Subang Airport (SZB), but there was no flight available on my travel date when I tried to purchase the ticket, so KUA was no doubt the best choice! And in this trip, we stayed at 1 resort in the seaside town of Cherating (courtesy of my friend). So, besides attending a wedding, we also took this opportunity to have a nice and short weekend holiday.


In the Airport



On the departure day, we left our house early in the morning at 5am and went to KLIA (KUL) with Grab, the Malaysian version of Uber. The traffic along the way was very smooth and we reached the airport around 45 minutes later.

It was still very dark outside.
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Once we reached inside the Main Terminal Building of KLIA, we went to the check-in counters to drop our luggage and collect the boarding passes. Although I have done the web check-in earlier, I still wanted to get the physical copy of our boarding passes to be more secure.

Boarding pass.
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After that, we went to the Mussola (prayer room) which located near the KFC in that departure level to perform the Fajr Prayer (Dawn Prayer) before we had our breakfast in the "Kopi Time" Cafe.

1 hour and the half before our flight time, we walked through the security check and headed to our gate.
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The security check went smoothly and minutes later, we were already at the airside.

The duty-free shops in the airside.
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Our flight will be departed from Gate B7 of the Contact Pier Building.
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It was still very early and the gate was still empty with people, so I decided to kill that long time by doing some spotting while my mum was waiting at the gate.

I found this strategic spotting location which located towards the end of the Contact Pier Building just next to Gate B10. It has huge window which provides you a fantastic view of aircraft landing on Runway 1 and many other planes that parked on the apron.
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A sea of OD's planes.
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Spotted the FlyGlobal's (a charter airline company) B772.
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An Emirates' B773 just arrived from Dubai.
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Done with the spotting session, I returned back to Gate B7 and found out that more passengers had shown up, but there was still no sign of our aircraft. At 8:50am, the gate agent announced that our aircraft was experiencing a delay due to the late departure from its previous destination. Our new flight time would be at 9:40am. I spent the rest of the time by checking my social media accounts on the phone and took some naps.

Our aircraft, 9M-MLI arrived at the gate around 9am.
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When our aircraft was ready for boarding, the gate agent invited families with small kids and people with special needs to board the aircraft first. J-class passengers together with Oneworld and MH's Enrich Elite members were also allowed to board the aircraft now or later according to their own preference. At last, it was the time for Y-class passengers to fill the aircraft. The boarding process for Y-class passengers was done efficiently based on their respective zone. As we were sitting in Zone D, we were among the 1st group of passengers in Y-class to board the aircraft.

Next to our plane was another MH's B738 which bound for Alor Setar.
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A closer look to our aircraft.
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Onboard Experience



We were warmly greeted by 2 smiling and friendly cabin crew at the front door. As I stepped in inside the cabin, I realized that this aircraft is 1 of the few aircafts in MH's fleet that features the old and classic cabin without the Boeing Sky Interior (BSI).

Walking through the vintage business class cabin with its classic black leather seats. Only 2 seats in J-class were occupied throughout the flight.
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We were sitting in row 28 which located almost towards the end of the plane. As you can see here, the seat pitch was very tight although the seat itself was pretty comfortable.
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Another downside of flying in this ancient aircraft is the lack of IFE. Here is the back of the seat with the missing PTV.
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The seat pocket contents consist of safety card, air sickness bag and MH's inflight magazine, Going Places.
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Boarding process still ongoing with more passengers entering the cabin. Today flight seems about 60% full.
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The 2 cabin crew in Y-Class were so helpful and attentive in helping the passengers stowing their belongings into the overhead compartments and finding their seats during the boarding process.
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The view outside the window. Once the boarding process completed, the crew closed the door and our plane began its pushback.
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The safety demo was played from the overhead screens while we taxiing to the runway.
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They played the old safety demo video rather than the new one.
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Passing by MH's A380 superjumbo jet.
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MH's A330-300 and NH's B787-900 Dreamliner.
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Some aircraft in the Satellite Building.
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QR bound for Doha.
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The taxiing was quite long as there were 6-7 other aircraft ahead of us. Finally, our aircraft reached the end of the runway and made the 180-degree turn.
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Our aircraft then cleared for takeoff and seconds later, we were already up in the air.
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KLIA2 was clearly visible while we were still climbing.
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It was very misty outside.
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Cabin ambience moments after takeoff.
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The inflight service began 5 minutes after we were airborne. The crew pushed the cart from the back galley and started serving the passengers from the front row.
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While waiting for the crew to serve us, I looked out of the window and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
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My main source of entertainment throughout this flight.
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We were flying over some mountains and hills.
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The crew reached our row and handed us the usual Salted Peanuts and Orange Juice.
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I also requested a cup of Plain Water. Later, the crew came into the cabin again to collect the trash and the cockpit crew announced that our plane had begun its descent in the preparation for landing. We were told to fasten our seatbelts and turn the seats into upright position. Cabin crew made the final check to ensure that all passengers adhere to the rules.
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I believe this is the "Sungai Pahang" or "Pahang River", the longest river in Peninsular Malaysia.
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Vast Palm plantations. Reminds me to the areas surrounding KUL.
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Our aircraft's shadow reflected on the ground.
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To be honest, I wasnt expected to see many trees and traditional houses like this as although it would be the very first time for me to land in KUA, I have been to Kuantan for countless of time and I can tell you that it is a quite modern city.
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As I was completely aware that KUA is such a small airport with a short runway, I already prepared and "braced" myself for a very rough landing, but to my surprise, the landing was so smooth and infact, it was 1 of the smoothest landings that I have ever experienced!
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Our aircraft made a full stop and parked on the apron.
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Welcome to Kuantan's Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport. The airport is named after the 5th and reigning Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah.
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The deplaning process was done via stairs, which good for aviation enthusiasts and spotters but not for elderly or those traveling with small kids.
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1 last look to our aircraft.
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Our luggage went out less than 6 minutes after we left the aircraft. We walked to the landside area of the terminal and booked a Grab (they are operating all over the country) to drive us from KUA to Cherating. This small airport terminal features only basic facilities such as restrooms, retails shops, money changer and car/taxi rental service. Only 1 cafe is available here.
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Bonus : Click here display



And that is the end of the part I for my weekend trip to Cherating. Part II of the report that covers my return flight from Kuantan back to Kuala Lumpur will be published soon.

Stay tuned!
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Verdict

Malaysia Airlines

7.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering7.5

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.5

Kuantan - KUA

8.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Malaysia Airlines

- On this flight, I got the opportunity to fly with 1 of the MH's B738 aircraft that features the vintage cabin without the BSI and personal screen on every seat. To most people, it was a huge letdown and disappointment, but for me, I was really happy to get the experience flying in the classic way before this aircraft will be permanently removed from MH's fleet. The seat was tight, but pretty comfortable and completely acceptable for a short duration flight like this. The inflight snack and beverage were just the same like any other MH's intra-peninsular flights. The true gem of this flight was the 2 cabin crew who were working in Y-class. They were friendly, helpful and attentive to passengers throughout the flight. I hope all MH's cabin crew will possess the same great attitude, so that MH could bag the World's Best Cabin Crew Award once again.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 443098 by
    Mohd Amiruddin 31 Comments

    Neat and enjoyable trip report dude! I think this is the first time KUA is exposed here, I’ve never been flying there even Pahang is my hometown
    extra pictures about Cherating is a nice touch to promote Cherating and Pahang generally

    • Comment 443301 by
      AriffAzrai AUTHOR 14 Comments

      Thanks for your compliment! It was the very first time for me to fly into Kuantan Airport.

      Cherating is a nice and beautiful place. Would love to visit it again. And I hope other fellow Malaysian travelers will also able to share with everyone here the interesting sights and attractions that they visited particularly within Malaysia.

  • Comment 443360 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4839 Comments

    Hi, thanks for sharing this interesting report. I didn't know MH still had 738s with the old cabins. Looks like the seat pitch has always been tight on their 738s, not just since they introduced the new BSI cabins, as many people believe. Nice bonus. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 443409 by
      AriffAzrai AUTHOR 14 Comments

      Your welcome and thank you for taking your time to read my report.

      Personally, I also do not know how many B738 with vintage cabin still left in MH fleet but I do believe there should be more than 1 aircraft. IMO, the seat pitch could be painful for a tall person (Caucasian or African) but it wouldnt be a really big issue for the average Malaysian and people from neighboring countries.

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