I had booked this ticket on Malaysian’s website slightly over one month in advance. The price was 1,046 ringgit ($2,019) for a one-way ticket in business class (Z class) from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong.
Malaysian offers some good deals although often the best prices are tied to certain flights, which can be significant given the difference in products they operate. The same week that I took this flight, for example, some other Hong Kong flights were operated by one of the airline’s A380s.
At the Airport
I had received a text message and e-mail informing me that the departure would be delayed by forty minutes, so stayed in the city a little longer. KL traffic can get quite bad and I arrived at the airport a mere twenty three minutes before the revised departure time, which clearly was cutting it fine. The checkin staff said that the flight had closed. However, as I had a business class ticket and One World Emerald status, and no checked baggage, they made some phone calls and said that they could give me a boarding pass although the flight would not wait for me if I was delayed en route to the gate. This was gracious of them and I appreciated the help of the ground staff – Malaysian used to use the tagline “Malaysian Hospitality” and I do find the warmth of their passenger facing staff one of their biggest strengths.
The ground agent also said that I would only be able to have an economy class meal and indeed my boarding pass had the words “psgr agreed with ey meal x” on it. I was happy to trade off a business class meal to get back to HK that night, but I did wonder just how leanly the operation was run that in the gap between the flight closing and me arriving the meal had already gone.
I whizzed through immigration with a fast track pass, which saved precious moments, and fortunately the gate (G4) was close to that area. There was security at the gate, with no queue as everyone else had arrived. The plane was slightly further delayed, so I sat in the waiting area, pleased simply to have made it to the flight. Lots of airlines – BA springs to mind – would never have helped me as Malaysian did. Being late was my fault, but happily for me, they still got me on the plane.
The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800 (registration number 9M-MXR).
The seats were large ones in a 2-2 configuration. The recline was not deep for them, although it seemed as if mine had even less recline than the ones in front as it was in the final row. There was no powerpoint or USB socket that I saw.
There was a seatback television which had a decent selection of English language entertainment.
At the seat upon boarding was a blanket, a large, comfortable pillow and a set of headphones.
The business class cabin was full.
We were held on the ground for some time due to air traffic delays, so finally left about an hour after the rescheduled departure time. There was some turbulence en route – it was not especially strong, but the seatbelt sign came on about halfway through the flight and was left on for the duration.
We finally landed in a dark, very rainy Hong Kong shortly after one o’clock in the morning, about one and a quarter hours later than the original schedule.
There were two staff serving the business class cabin, both middle aged. They were friendly and hard working throughout the flight.
The menu card was distributed and a drink was served with satay. I chose champagne, which one of the cabin crew continued to keep topped up.
The meal service followed. I was given a business class tray and sides, but brought a main dish from the economy class galley. The cabin crew brought around a bread basket with a variety of bread, including some delicious garlic bread which I enjoyed. As far as I was aware the seatbelt sign meant that there were no hot drinks.
Food and Drink
The menu and drinks list is below.
The drinks were decent though I would expect more from Malaysian when it comes to quality of coffee choices. The meal was fine.
Malaysian consistently has friendly, helpful staff and this was the case here, both in the air and on the ground at KL. Given the comparatively cheap price of this ticket I’d say that even with the dated cabin configuration it was still good value.