Flight-Report

Review of SilkAir flight Kuala Lumpur Singapore in Business

Airline SilkAir
Flight MI325
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:11
Take-off 16 Sep 18, 11:57
Arrival at 16 Sep 18, 13:07
MI   #29 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 61 reviews
atco
By 835
Published on 15th January 2019

How I booked


Routing


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After my first experience of flying Business last November, I had got the taste for this whole Premium Cabin thing.

Strangely enough it was a chance comment from a friend that was the opening to the rabbit hole. He mentioned about how he was taking his dad from London to LAX in BA First using Avios.
Now honestly I'd never really had a clue about miles, points etc and how the whole thing worked. Boy did I ever waste a lot of years! I'd always wondered how so many people could afford to pay the insane prices airlines charged for F and J. Little did I realise that many of those people were there for pennies on the dollar.
After diving into the whole scene full blooded I'd unlocked the key to do this on a big scale. So less than a year after starting I was able to put together a trip around Asia all in Business.

The YYZ-ICN-BKK flights cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles. The TPE-YYZ flight also cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles and for reasons I'm not entirely sure I understand I wasn't able to make my multi-city itinerary accept my return flight KUL-TPE-YYZ so I had to book KUL-TPE as a separate leg. This was highly annoying however the blow was softened by a 30% transfer bonus on my SPG points, so that effectively made the flight free in the end.
I used 15,000 BA Avios for the BKK-SIN leg on Cathay which is a crazy good value.
However my terrible luck bit me again on this flight which frankly I booked because it was on the A350-900 and I was yet to fly on one and with the rave reviews it was getting was to be a highlight of the trip for me.
Of course about 2 months before we left ExpertFlyer delivered the brutal news that there had been an aircraft change to an A330-300.
I was gutted especially when I checked EF and found that of the 30 days in September the A330 was operating on only 2 of them. The day after I travelled it was an A350-1000 which would have been even better. I thought long and hard about changing plans to fly a day later but it was just too much hassle. While my wife is nice and understanding even she has limits on how much she will accommodate my avgeekness!

The rest of the flights were cash bookings.
The most expensive flights was the SIN-KUL return on SQ. I originally booked in Y as the cost difference between Y and J was too much. However not flying in J was eating away at me and I started to wonder about how often I would get the chance to fly SQ J again and I buckled and upgraded the flights. It was crazy for a 50 minute flight, but our travel decisions are not always made with the head are they?
It ended up about $775 return.

KLM was about $390 for SIN-DPS, Garuda was about $260, Malaysian CGK-KUL-BKI was $330 and BKI-KUL was $190
*All prices per person in CAD


klia and singapore airlines lounge


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With apologies this sector is a little light on photos. Not sure why that happened, I think partly the excitement of heading to Bali that day.
I always travel with my spouse so of course its always a bit trickier to think of taking the best shots for a trip report when you are just going around your ordinary business.

We finished up our stay at the beautiful Shangri-La in KL, by far my favourite hotel there. Its a real haven of luxury and it was so nice to see that it hadn't changed at all since I was there last 15 years previously.
After an early morning breakfast we got a taxi to the KL Sentral station to grab a ride once more on the KLEkspress train. This is by far the best and fastest way to get between KL and the airport and it also goes on to serve KLIA2 the low cost mainly AirAsia hub on the Western side of the airport. It's basically its own individual airport, and quite a sight to behold. If ever there was a monument to the low cost revolution it is KLIA2.

We arrived at the main terminal and after doing battle with the horrible elevators (They were jam packed and would go down before they would go up so stopped at every floor twice….ugh!) we got to the check in areas. We quickly found the desks for Singapore Airlines and Silk Air.
While we were checking in I asked the agent if it would be possible to check our bags all the way through to Bali. We would be stopping over in Singapore for almost 4 hours so it wasn't a problem if we had to collect and re-check but of course it would be more hassle.
As we were flying KLM, a totally different alliance, I didn't think they would do it but lo and behold it was done for us with absolutely no fuss at all. One moment did slightly amuse me the agent was having trouble tagging our bags to Bali because he couldn't figure out the IATA code. He asked a supervisor to help him and she told him it was of course DPS for Denpasar :) Shame he didn't ask me I could have told him that :D
Anyway the Silk Air agents were incredibly helpful and got our day off to the perfect start as we could just enjoy the Changi transit experience without having to get our bags and check in all over again.

Progressing through KLIA is quite easy. After check in you go down a large set of escalators to clear Malaysian immigration and then its on to the train to the satellite terminal.
KLIA like Changi does security screening at the gate, which I absolutely love. At some airports if you get there at a bad time security can be an absolute zoo, but with it being done at each gate its only your fellow passengers you have to deal with. Its far more civilised!

We made our way to the Singapore Airlines lounge which was pretty basic.
The two things I remember most about it were the location was fabulous for spotting and I got some great shots and also the absolute death trap steps into and coming out from both the mens and ladies washrooms. Now they had the step marked with bright warning tape but my God it was a big step and if you missed it and tripped you were going to get hurt for sure.
We didn't bother with any of the food items as we had filled up with a big breakfast at the hotel and a cursory look didn't reveal much of interest. There was not a great deal there to be honest and the lounge was pretty underwhelming. It was a small lounge and I think it would get pretty crowded with a full A330 flight. As we were on Silk Air today that would mean no more than 12 J passengers so the lounge was pretty quiet the whole time.
I didn't really want to book Silk Air but it was the only option as we had to be in Singapore well before 4pm to make our flight to Bali with KLM, so being a Sunday Silk Air was all that was available. I was hoping that at least I might get a 737MAX8 but of course the aviation Gods continued to spite me and sent a regular, standard 737-800.

If you want to read more about the SQ lounge here in KL and see some pictures there is a succinct review here which pretty much tells you all you need to know…………….
I'm not sure if linking to other sites is allowed? If not, I humbly apologise and will remove the link. Obviously I should have taken my own photos. Again I'm still learning how to make time to do all of this!

https://theshutterwhale.com/blog/2018/6/14/lounge-review-singapore-airlines-silverkris-lounge-kuala-lumpur-international-airport-kul

As you can see its just very underwhelming and not really worth spending a lot of time in. Also if you've had a few "adult beverages" you might want to use the washrooms elsewhere otherwise there is a good chance you will fall to your death either on the way in or back out again as you negotiate the Mount Everest of washroom steps.

Side note: Big shout out to KL airport for this incredible display of model aircraft. I wondered for a few minutes the possibility of chartering a Cargolux 747 to bring all of these home with me. They would look amazing down in my basement!
I suspect however my wife would just impale me with one of the stands if I actually went through with my plan so I quickly dropped the idea and settled instead for a couple of photos. An avgeek can dream though right?


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MI325 KUL-SIN


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9V-MGQ the aircraft that operated our leg back to SIN. Pic was taken by me at Changi a few days prior.


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Flight Details:
Airline: Silk Air
Flight Number: MI325
Departure: Kuala Lumpur KUL
Departure Time: 1157
Arrival: Singapore Changi SIN
Arrival Time: 1307
Flight Time: 01:06
Travel Date: Sunday September 16th
Class: Business Class
Seat: 1A
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: 9V-MGQ


Our gate was C4 which was just a short walk away from the lounge. We went down to the gate in plenty of time before boarding which was due at 1130 for the 1200 departure.
Security at the gate was a breeze and boarding started right on time. Even with a long connection time there's always a bit of nerves about making it and not dealing with the stress of a mis-connect. It was especially important for us as of course KLM only have the one flight a day to Bali, if we had missed it I guess they would have re-booked us on Garuda, but as we were on separate tickets I'm not sure how that works. I'm glad I didn't have to find out because this flight was bang on time.

We boarded of course at door L1 as did everyone else. With all our other flights being on widebodies so far I had forgotten how much fun it is to be constantly nudged, jostled, bumped and banged into by everyone else as they board and then of course there's the inevitable period of awkwardness when someone holds the line up and about a dozen people are all standing there looking at you in your fancy big seat.
In the midst of all this the cabin crew were doing there best to start the Business Class service with pre-departure drinks, newspapers and a towel service. It wasn't easy but the crew handled it with grace and smiles.

I just had a glass of water to start as champagne was once more not on the cards and declined a newspaper, focusing instead on setting up my GoPro to film out of the window as I had been doing since our Cathay flight. Yes I forgot I had the bloody thing for our first flight (in my defence I just bought it prior to our trip) and then for our Asiana flight I was so tired I couldn't be bothered.

The cabin was a pretty standard 737 Business config for Asia. 2-2 recliner chairs with 3 rows for a total of 12 seats.
There were no personal TV's, any inflight entertainment had to come from the window, the magazine, anything on your own devices or you could stream and watch things on the Silk Air app. There was no point in us downloading it for such a short flight. I just looked out of the window and my wife read her book.


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The best bit of any inflight magazine, the fleet page and route map


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Safety card of course


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There were drop down screens for the safety video. Very retro!


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Legroom was just fine for this short hop, and of course having the bulkhead meant nobody reclining into us


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We pushed back on time and made a spirited taxi to 32R where we wasted no time in lining up at an intersection about a quarter of the way up the runway. With a huge runway and a lightly loaded 737 this was of course no issue at all and we only had a short wait at the hold before we lined up and were on our way.



We passed these 2 rather interesting 747s


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Nobody seems to know who owns them nor how they ended up at KL.
Repeated searches and attempts to contact the last known owners have been fruitless and Malaysia Airports would like someone to pay their bills!

Here's more of the story in an article in the Straits Times:

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/last-call-for-owner-of-3-abandoned-planes-malaysia-airports-seeks-owner-of-boeing-747s

All very strange!

Once we were up in the air we climbed to the heady heights of FL250 and there were some impressive could formations to be seen



Inflight service again was quite limited due to the short sector length.
Apologies for getting half way through my lunch before remembering to take a photo of it!

There was no menu provided just trays delivered to each of us with a drink. I was just in the mood for water


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Quick look at the seat controls. As standard as it gets for a 737 recliner seat. Again I didn't bother with any of the functions given we were barely on the aircraft for an hour.


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After the trays were cleared we began a bumpy descent into Changi and yet again an approach to 20C. In total on this trip I would fly 2 landings and 3 takeoffs at Changi and all were on 20C!


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It appears that another runway is being built to the East of 20C, which I assume at some point will be 20L.
Last shot in this gallery shows the new Terminal 4 with Cathay, AirAsia, Silk Air and Scoot parked up. Korean Air, Hainan Airlines and a bunch of other low cost operators fly from here like Vietjet, Cebu Pacific etc



We arrived into Terminal 2 and of course being Changi it was an easy transfer to Terminal 1 and off to the dnata lounge that KLM uses while we waited for our flight to Bali.

Again its hard to offer definitive opinions about an airline on such a short flight. Silk Air were perfectly fine, with an engaging crew and tasty snack the service was as good as could be hoped for and a nice seat with good legroom left all the boxes checked for another perfectly good flight. I didn't bother with their in-app entertainment so can't really judge but everything else was above average and it was a short, pleasant flight.

Sorry there is a lot missing from this report. I should have taken many more shots of the airport and lounge. Never really occurred to me to take snaps all over the airport, but it will going forward. So apologies its a bit light on decent photos I know the areas to focus on in future!


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Verdict

SilkAir

6.1/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
In-flight Entertainment5.0
Meal/catering5.0

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Singapore - SIN

9.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

The Singapore SilverKris lounge in KL was not one to go out of your way to spend time in. Maybe a few minutes to get a charge or grab a quick drink but otherwise it was pretty forgettable (Incidentally the lounge is not listed to be able to review - It lists Singapore First Class lounge but I don't think this is the same thing)

KL airport is a good experience, of course its overshadowed by the brilliance of its bigger neighbour to the South but otherwise its a really good South Asian hub.

Silk Air seemed to be a decent experience, again on a flight of an hour its difficult to get much of an impression. Of course Silk Air won't be around much longer as SQ is taking over and ending the Silk Air brand somewhere around the year 2020. This will apparently bring about flat bed seats in Business which sounds very inviting!

Information on the route Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Singapore (SIN)

7 Comments

  • Comment 484026 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 239 Comments

    If only wives could understand avgeek's a bit more haha! It's probably one of your last flights with them too I bet as the brand is disappearing from the market and to be fully integrated back to SQ, while 9V would take over some routes of theirs.

    • Comment 484117 by
      atco AUTHOR 93 Comments

      Hi ThomasDutch,
      Thanks for your comment! Very likely to be my one and only Silk Air flight. I can't wait to see how they reconfigure J when SQ takes over, if as reported they go with flat beds. I'm hoping MH goes ahead with the 737MAX flat beds but they seem to be wavering on that now. I'm hoping that much like how Business has changed over the last 30 years to the point where 1-2-1 all aisle access and flat beds are industry norm now, that perhaps some years down the line flat beds on narrowbodies will be just as commonplace. Will probably never happen in Europe though sadly.

      Best wishes, happy flying

  • Comment 484428 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hello, Atco!

    And back to Singapore we go.

    That is a lovely collection of models, and quite the impressive lineup, although the mixed scales make me cringe a bit. Must be a bit OCD.

    “ith all our other flights being on widebodies so far I had forgotten how much fun it is to be constantly nudged, jostled, bumped and banged into by everyone else as they board and then of course there's the inevitable period of awkwardness when someone holds the line up and about a dozen people are all standing there looking at you in your fancy big seat.”
    - Having to rub elbows (literally) with the proles. How distasteful!

    Ah yes, those seat controls! And is it just me, or does at least the presentation of the meal here beat that on SQ? At least in terms of not being plastic-wrapped. We know these are mass-produced meals, but we don’t really need that reminder.

    The Shangri-La certainly looks lovely. And great views around KL. I’ve yet to make it to Malaysia. I must solve that deficiency someday.

    Thanks for sharing this… looking forward to the Little Blue House in the next report!

    • Comment 484623 by
      atco AUTHOR 93 Comments

      "That is a lovely collection of models, and quite the impressive lineup, although the mixed scales make me cringe a bit. Must be a bit OCD."
      - Good so its not just me then :)

      "Having to rub elbows (literally) with the proles. How distasteful!"
      - An outrage!

      "Ah yes, those seat controls! And is it just me, or does at least the presentation of the meal here beat that on SQ? At least in terms of not being plastic-wrapped. We know these are mass-produced meals, but we don’t really need that reminder."
      - I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think this was also served in the plastic wrapper, I think I just tossed it aside! Also I'd got halfway through it when I remembered I hadn't taken a picture of it yet.
      There's not a great deal of effort in the SIN-KUL-SIN sectors it appears but based on the demographics in J I suspect its almost entirely business travelers who just want to get from A to B as quickly as possible and have no desire for full service.

      Thanks as always for dropping in, all the best!

    • Comment 486323 by
      socalnow GOLD 839 Comments

      "Having to rub elbows (literally) with the proles. How distasteful!"
      Thanks for the chuckle!

  • Comment 486326 by
    socalnow GOLD 839 Comments

    Greetings Atco and thanks for sharing Silkair with us. There are not a lot of reports with them.

    "Side note: Big shout out to KL airport for this incredible display of model aircraft."
    -I always have to stop and gaze. I wish I had room for such a display (albeit at a smaller scale).

    I like KLIA and it's funny how they try to be Changi Jr. but fall well short. Still, i find it easy to use and painless to transit.

    Great shots again from the air. It looks like your connection is not at risk. Great of SQ/MI to put your bags on the KL flight for you.

    Thanks again for another fun read Atco. Happy flying.

    • Comment 487058 by
      atco AUTHOR 93 Comments

      Hello Socalnow,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I wished I'd taken more photos, but boarding always feels a bit of a shmozzle on narrowbody aircraft. Its certainly a decent enough product for a 40min flight.

      No complaints about KLIA, its a good airport but of course will always be overshadowed by its neighbour to the South. I remember when KLIA was first proposed there were to be 4 satellite terminals, of course only one was built and its doubtful the others ever will be.

      All the best, safe travels

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