Review of Malaysia Airlines flight Kathmandu Kuala Lumpur in Economy

Airline Malaysia Airlines
Flight MH 171
Class Economy
Seat 14F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 04:55
Take-off 21 Jan 13, 12:20
Arrival at 21 Jan 13, 19:30
MH   #41 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 179 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 6058
Published on 23rd October 2013
Day 4: Foggy morning at Baktapur ancient city.

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Locals going about their daily life in the ancient city. Attraction for tourists, but home for Baktapur residents.

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The school is definitely not fake!

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Back alleys

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Living in Baktapur

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The famous Baktapur-produced yoghurt!

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On the way to Nagarkot for Himalayan mountains view!

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Mountains around the corner!

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There they are!! Luckily the morning fog had lifted.

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Back to town.

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4 nights in Kathmandu and it was time to return to the modern and material world. The return flight was booked on MH to KUL, transferring to SQ back to SIN. As MH codeshares with SQ and MI on the KUL-SIN vv sector, I was able to hop onto the earlier SQ flight, avoiding a 3hrs transit stop in KUL. Taxi ride from the hotel was a real interesting affair, with the driver avoiding the jams by cutting through a local residence area, along a beaten track up and down a hill and finally popping out just beside the airport entrance!!

Lots of migrant workers waiting to enter the terminal building.

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Before entering the terminal building, all passengers must present a copy of their ticket/e-ticket for verification, and have their luggage screened. Luckily, MH check-in area was situated at the part of the building where there were not much of a queue. 3 counters opened for check-in today, but only a short queue as I guess most of the passengers (again mainly nepalese migrant workers) had arrived much earlier and checked in prior. There was a contract staff processing check-in and a MH staff supervising at each counter.

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Was directed to the Business Class counter for check-in. Even though it was 1.5hrs prior to departure, I was already number 124 in sequence! However, our request for emergency exit rows were granted again! Score number 2! Bags were tagged to SIN but boarding passes for the SQ sector could not be issued and could only by picked up at KL. Luckily today's flight operated as scheduled as the previous 2 flights were heavily delayed due to foggy weather.

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Off through immigration, where again the local queue was much longer than foreigners' queue, and into the waiting lounge before security. All airline lounges and duty free shops are at this area. Nothing too interesting though.

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Then it was through another long queue for security screening before allowing into the gate area.

Boring and sterile-looking Tribhuvan terminal building.

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Boarding gates, which resembled bus gates.

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Clear skies today! Our MH plane had just arrived not too long ago.

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Rather busy noon!! Mainly flights with worker traffic departing for regional destinations.

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One of the four Qatar Airways flights scheduled on that day arriving.

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Rak Airways A320 departing for Ras al-Khaimah. First time I heard of this airline and destination.

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Tara Air Dornier Do228

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Rak Airways pushing back.

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View of tarmac with Himalayan mountains in the background.
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21 January 2013
Malaysia Airlines
MH 171
Kathmandu (KTM) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
B737-800
9M-MLJ
Economy Class


Boarding started slightly late. Again, we were bussed to the aircraft as aerobridges are non-existant at this airport.

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Upon alighting the bus, a queue was formed. A MH ground staff was directing passengers to the respective doors (front or rear) for boarding depending on the row numbers. This ensured a swift boarding process.

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Aircraft today was the leased 9M-MLJ. Darn, no personal IFE today.

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Royal Nepal B752 and Oman Air parked beside.

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I was directed to the front door while some passengers were directed to the rear for boarding.

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Entering the aircraft.

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Fuselage seemed long at this angle!

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Was welcomed aboard by 2 stewardesses at the door. Malaysian-published newspapers were available upon entry. Passed by the Business Class cabin with retro-looking seats. Only 2 out of 16 Business Class seats would be occupied today.

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And into economy class, which was totally packed!!

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Emex row again! Pillow, blanket and headsets on each seat, but no personal IFE available. Cabin was clean and well-maintained though. Unlike the previous flight, row 14 on this leased plane can be reclined! Perfect!

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With the cabin crew's assistance to get everyone seated down, boarding was completed rather swiftly.

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Royal Nepal Airlines B752, with a plane departing.

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Safety video played on the drop-down LCD screens.

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Even though we were ready to go, the captain came on and gave the bad news that due to congestion in KTM, we would be expecting a delay of about 20min. Groans.




Himalayas can be seen!

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IndiGo A320 arrived.

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However, we pushed back shortly.




View of Himalayas again.

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Buddha Air ATR72 taking off.

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Taxied to the runway holding point, where the wait started. We held there for about 15 minutes waiting for 4 planes to land!

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The last of the 4 aircrafts that landed. TG's B772 from BKK.

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45min after STD, we were finally on our way!




Right after takeoff, the aircraft made a 270 degrees left turn, overflying the city of Kathmandu while gaining altitude.

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Over southern Kathmandu.

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Beautiful Himalayas!

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Another view.

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Overflying Tribhuvan Airport. Peak hour now! All aircraft lots, less for one, at the International apron were taken up! Time for airport expansion!

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Climbing higher.

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Himalayan mountains could be viewed from the left side of the plane. Again, seated at wrong side, but give me emex row anytime!

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Post takeoff announcement.




Over hills.

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Zoom out through the left window.

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The nice passenger seated at the A seat, on seeing me taking photos, beckoned me over to snap some photos through his window. Nice scenery…

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About 10min into the flight, the pilot came on and announced that Mt Everest was on the left! Again, snapped a zoom-up shot!

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Inflight entertainment on this flight was a Hindi movie played on the overhead screens. I do not care for the movie, which however kept most of the other migrant workers onboard occupied. No radio channels were available as well even though channel selector was available on the seat, much to my disappointment.

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Service started with a peanuts and water/juice run. I had an orange juice.

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This was followed shortly by lunch. As the load in Business Class was very low, the leading stewardess came down to assist in Economy as well. 5 crew in economy really made for very efficient service!

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Choices today were Chicken Briyani or Fish Curry with Rice. The tray came with a Chickpea and bean salad, warm bun with butter and dessert. I had an orange juice and white wine to go along. For a supposedly 5-stars airline, meal presentation was definitely much to be desired. What is with all the disposable plastic containers and cling-wraps?? No metal utensils used on this sector as well, unlike the incoming sector.

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Chicken Briyani choice, which was rather tasty with huge chunks of meat under the rice. Rather spicy though.

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Fish curry with rice, which was equally tasty and spicy as well. This appeared to be the more popular choice for the nepalese passengers. Guess seafood is not too readily available in Nepal.

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Chickpeas and kidney beans salad for starter and Bread & Butter pudding for dessert.

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Soft roll and Amul butter.

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Chunky curry fish with rice.

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Bread and butter pudding, which was quite nice as well.

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Crew came round with 2 rounds of drinks before tray collection. However, no coffee/tea was offered during the meal service nor after during 2nd round of drinks or tray collection. Weird….

Cruising.

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Visited the lavatory, which was rather basic on this leased aircraft.

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However the standard amenities were still available.

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View of the cabin. It was almost full in economy again!

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Having nothing to keep myself entertained, I took a nap during the flight. Luckily the seat is comfortable, with lots of legroom and decent recline.

Nearing Malaysia, it started getting cloudy and a bit bumpy.

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After a comfortable but boring 4hrs of flying, the captain came on with the arrival announcement.




Sunset.

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Crew prepared aircraft for landing, followed with the landing announcement.




Nearing Kuala Lumpur.

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Making a turn back to the airport.

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Approaching KLIA.




Landing in KLIA Rwy32L, about 15min behind schedule. Made up quite some time enroute.




Taxi to and parked at the main terminal.

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Disembarking, with a blurred picture of normal seat rows. Legroom did not seemed that good.

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See more

Verdict

Malaysia Airlines

8.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering9.0

Kathmandu - KTM

5.6/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.5
Services4.0
Cleanliness6.0

Kuala Lumpur - KUL

8.2/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Another comfortable flight on MH but it was lacking inflight entertainment. It is a lottery on whether you would get an aircraft with personal IFE as MH rotates both its leased and owned aircraft around on the regional routes. Catering is good but presentation is definitely not 5-star standard. Crew were friendly, but not particularly outstanding (think average SQ crew). All in, acceptable flights on MH.

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