Malaysia Airlines dropping First Class…kinda

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 16 Dec 2018
at 09:25
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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • rferguson
    Participant

    MAB has announced that they are re-branding their First Class cabin to ‘Business suites’ from Dec 1st.

    The weird part – nothing onboard is changing. The ‘suites’ business class product will continue to be the same as it is in the current First Class and the fare code will continue to be F/A. The suites Business Class fares will be about half way between the current J and F fares.

    It’s a bit of a weird move. I don’t know, maybe they are hoping some corporates will be able to get around the business class only travel policy?

    https://www.ausbt.com.au/malaysia-airlines-drops-first-class-rebrands-it-as-business-suites?utm_source=hero

    I read conflicting information about China Easterns new A350’s too – some outlets saying it will have a ‘first class’ and others saying the front row is a ‘super business class’.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I’ll wager that they paid some parasitic charlatan masquerading as a ‘branding’ consultant an obscene amount of money to come up with this ‘idea’.


    rferguson
    Participant

    I’ll wager that they paid some parasitic charlatan masquerading as a ‘branding’ consultant an obscene amount of money to come up with this ‘idea’.

    Probably the same that they paid an obscene amount of money to rebrand from ‘Malaysia Airlines System (MAS)’ otherwise known as Malaysia Airlines to ‘Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB)’. Also otherwise known as Malaysia Airlines. IMHO the most pointless re branding ever.


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    ….. ‘Malaysia Airlines System (MAS)’ otherwise known as Malaysia Airlines to ‘Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB)’. Also otherwise known as Malaysia Airlines. IMHO the most pointless re branding ever.[/quote]

    But ‘Berhad’ just means ‘private’ / ‘plc’ / ‘private limited company’ in Malaysia. Of course I understand your point and your questioning of why it would be used internationally! ‘MAS’ is clear all over the world.


    Henryp1
    Participant

    I thinks it’s a very good idea. If they are not able to fill the First cabin with paid fares, either remove and refurbish with business class, or offer a new product. I would think that it would be popular with customers who want more space, a smaller cabin and more privacy, without paying a first class price.

    Without a refurbishment and no First class tickets,it also stops the clammer of business passengers trying to get a seat in the empty cabin.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    The rebrand takes effect from Wednesday December 12.

    Will MAS be refunding the price difference to those customers who booked when it was branded first class and sold at the first class price ?


    JH_1234
    Participant

    No idea why they’ve done this – they have a perfectly good First class product. Renaming it Business just cheapens the brand.

    I did a few dummy bookings, and ‘First’ was still showing up at more or less the usual prices, booking in to F/A buckets, but on some routes/dates I was shown ‘Business Suite’, booking into P fare class, for a lower price but no flexibility as far as I could see.

    I noticed they’ve also taken the opportunity to reduce the number of miles earned – 250% now instead of 300%.

    Out of interest, does anyone have any experience of whether already-booked flights generally earn at the rate at time of booking, or rate at time of flight?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Here’s our piece today. MAS confirms that refunds will be offered to passengers who have already booked and paid for first class on its A350s/A380s.

    Malaysia rebrands first class cabins as business


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    It is interesting to see how times change. MAS (or if you must, MAB) drop the title First Class because it is now socially unacceptable to flaunt one’s privilege and claim F status.

    About 10 years ago I flew on Korean Air on business and was surprised to be put by my company travel agent in what the airline called “First Class”. I queried this, as first class was certainly not allowed by the corporate travel policy. The answer was “This is First Class B”.

    What Korean Air had done was relabel standard business class as First Class B and real first class, F class, as First Class A. This was apparently entirely so that Korean businessmen could say to their wives that they had flown first class!


    rferguson
    Participant

    I think MH was the only airline to have a First Class product on the A350 also? I think there are none now?

    I was very lucky earlier this year. I was booked to fly KUL-SYD in J on an MH A330. About six weeks before departure the aircraft was changed to an A350. MH only sold at the time J and Y on the SYD route so the F cabin was blocked out on MMB. I checked again a couple weeks before departure and to my surprise the F cabin had opened up on the seat map for selection so I nabbed 1G and 1K.

    It was still the J service obvs but was a nice treat to sit in one of their F seats.


    JH_1234
    Participant

    I did laugh when I got the email from Malaysia Airlines introducing the “all new cabin class” and “brand new Business Suite”, which is exactly the same as ‘old’ First Class. Well, I suppose “Business Suite” is a new brand…

    Then I went and looked at the fares to see whether I might be due a fare difference refund on my upcoming First flight, booked before these changes. It seems Business Suite carries a price premium over First – £8845 LHR KUL, anyone?! And that’s a ‘Deal’ apparently…

    I love Malaysia Airlines dearly, but once again I have to wonder what planet they’re living on.


    rferguson
    Participant

    I did laugh when I got the email from Malaysia Airlines introducing the “all new cabin class” and “brand new Business Suite”, which is exactly the same as ‘old’ First Class. Well, I suppose “Business Suite” is a new brand…

    Then I went and looked at the fares to see whether I might be due a fare difference refund on my upcoming First flight, booked before these changes. It seems Business Suite carries a price premium over First – £8845 LHR KUL, anyone?! And that’s a ‘Deal’ apparently…

    I love Malaysia Airlines dearly, but once again I have to wonder what planet they’re living on.

    I feel a little bad saying this about MH given all the misfortune they’ve encountered but I just find them terribly mediocre these days. I fly them quite a bit in J each year due to some amazing J class deals and I just find them not a patch on their neighbouring competitors anymore. Their staff seem to have lost pride in the company and I can understand why.

    Their newest Business Class cabin on their A330’s while all finally lay flat seems a very dense and cramped configuration and it’s weird having two rows of economy behind J class in the forward cabin leaving one lav in the forward galley to use… although they also seem to have a weird practice of blocking off one lav in the economy galley for J class and ‘escorting you’ to the loo and unlocking it.

    Their catering is so-so.

    Their lounges despite a refurb of their KUL flagship lounges are still average with some odd booze serving restriction (I mean I know Malaysia is an islamic country but it’s easier to get a G&T in a lounge in DOH or DXB than KUL).

    But mostly i’ve noticed the decline in their cabin service on board. MH used to constantly win awards for ‘best cabin crew’. I now find their crew exceptionally variable…from great to pretty much downright dismissive. And that’s in the premium cabins. Again – I am absolutely sure that the loss of the two MH 777’s play a part in this. MH is not a large airline and i’m sure ALL their current cabin crew had several friends they lost in those disasters and i’m not sure how I would react in a similar situation.

    Anyway, I wish them well. But for my next flight from Asia to LHR i’ve booked Sri Lankan KUL – LHR via CMB so looking forward to trying out a new good value alternative to MH.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    The Memsahib just flew back from London to HKG in “ordinary” business. She is in rehab post-surgery and so booked a wheelchair.

    She would normally use the QR lounge in LHR but since she was wheelchair-bound was taken to the MH lounge, to discover that the F lounge has now been rebranded the “Business Suites” lounge and, despite being Enrich Platinum (top tier), she was not permitted entry but was relegated to the standard J lounge…

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