14th June 2011 at 08:30 #581158
Anonymous14th June 2011 at 08:30 #581159
I checked in online for my MH001 flight from heathrow t4 to kuala lumpur. This did not give me much benefit as I’d already phoned them a few weeks earlier to make sure I had a seat on the upper deck. On arrival at the airport I was checked in very quickly and on my way through security to the lounge. Security was via a fast track lane which didn’t work too well as I had to rejoin the masses just after the boarding card check. However, after ducking a couple of barriers I was through in five minutes.
It took me a few minutes to find the lounge which was tucked away before gate 6. It was worth looking for. I had decided to eat before boarding and there was a great selection of Malay food to fill me up. The drink service was from a bar and was a bit slow (I would generally prefer to serve myself in a lounge) however the barman was a character and the bar clearly added to the atmosphere. The view from the lounge is excellent. There was wifi (albeit with not a very good connection) and a limited selection of newspapers.
The gate used by Malaysian is miles from the lounge in a satellite. The barman said it used to be closer but gulf air bagged the slot. Once we got to the gate boarding was painless and I was quickly seated and offered a drink. Departure was roughly on time at 10pm (I think – I was asleep).
I was seated in the upper deck front row window seat. It was right next to the loo but otherwise a great place to be. You had the seclusion and storage of an upper deck window but it was still easy to get out without disturbing your neighbour. The seat itself I found quite uncomfortable in both seated and sleeping (angled lie flat) positions. However the poor seat (and the lack of eye pads or ear plugs in the amenity kit) did not stop me sleeping for the best part of 10 hours.
The in flight entertainment was definitely not five star (Malaysia boasts a lot about its five star Skytrax rating). The system is not AVOD, the headsets are not noise cancelling and the movie selection is poor.
Having eaten in the lounge I had no dinner on the plane. Breakfast was served as a light meal. The only breakfast option of the main courses (pancakes) was actually sold out by the time they took my order. However I’d already decided to go for nasi lemak with prawns. They did serve muesli with choice of full cream or skimmed milk types (nice touch), fruit and some bad croissants with no jam. To drink I had te tarik (nice local variation).
We landed on time and were off the plane quickly. There was a premium immigration line. However only two staff were manning it and one decided to go on his break just as the queue developed! The same premium queue was also used for disabled (who joined the front of the queue). After standing still for some time I was processed eventually after a wait of about 25 minutes. My bag was on the carousel after the long immigration wait and, with a quick train to Sentral, I was in my hotel room 90 minutes after landing.
I didn’t feel the service warranted a five star rating. The seat and IFE were not the best in the market. As the home carrier i also felt Malaysia could do more to ensure KLIA immigration offered a more efficient service. However the lounge at heathrow was top class. In general the service was very good. In practice there is no other direct flight on this route so there is no better option.
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