I checked in for this short hop trip from Singapore to KL landside because it had not been possible to get a sensible fare which combined BA and MH from the UK. This was not a problem as I left plenty of time between flights.
Check-in at the Premium desk was smooth – I asked for and received a forward aisle seat and my suitcase was tagged “Priority”. My boarding pass was printed with my BA status clearly indicated. I was given lounge instructions and made my way through Immigration which was very quick (having queued for 30 minutes in the reverse direction on half an hour earlier).
The Gold Circle Lounge in Singapore is not huge but is well appointed and there are good food options, both hot and cold. Given the number and frequency of MH flights from Singapore (and with little through traffic), not many passengers appear to stay there for an extended period so it was entirely fit for purpose. The attendant came to me specifically to tell me of a gate change – I thought this was excellent.
Boarding was from F37 which is a healthy walk away from the Lounge so I headed off in good time. Security is at the gate in Changi but there was no queue on arrival and my boarding card was checked (and the receipt carefully stowed to ensure Avios credit if necessary).
Oneworld status passengers were called forward first along with Business Class and so I boarded to an empty aircraft, found 6C and was able to stow my luggage before the rush – one of the real benefits of status!! Boarding was slow as people manouvered bags well over the notional 7kg aboard. Once loaded, we pushed back on time but then taxied for a long period, joining a slow moving queue, hindered by poor visibility due to smog from forest burning in Indonesia (or Malaysia, depending on whom you listened to!!).
Once airborne, roasted nuts and fruit juice/ water was served in a haphazard way so that many passengers appeared to miss out on the first run and cabin crew had to return to make up for the gaps. Having flown a similar length sector the previous day with BA, the contrast in terms of service competence was stark. MH cabin crew smile beautifully but did not appear to have the professionalism needed to provide service to a full flight within a 45 minute window.
We started our descent about 20 minutes out and I was irritated to see that an American teenager in the row in front of me, despite twice being asked to turn off her laptop, totally ignored the cabin crew. I am not normally driven to intervention in these circumstances but this would be a major offence in her home country (Marshalls at the gate on arrival, maybe???) and the arrogance in refusing to obey the request was stark. So I took her to task as we waited to deplane and, to give her her due, she did look sheepish in response.
We landed maybe 10 minutes late and were on stand a few minutes later. A long walk brought me to Immigration and no queues (one up for KL over Singapore). My luggage was one of the first out and I headed out to find the Sama-Sama Airport hotel for my overnight stay, located a brief buggy ride from the terminal. Great location and modern, comfortable hotel!!