Malev – any views?

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    I have to make a number of visits to Eastern Europe over the next few months, and have noticed that Malev are offering some extremely competitive Business Class fares.

    Has anyone any recent experience of Malev, Budapest Airport, etc., or any related info that I might find useful?

    For example, it is not clear from Malev’s website whether the middle seat is kept free in Business (like several East European carriers,they seem to think that the quality of the food is the most important source of competitive advantage!) ; also, some of the offered connecting times at Ferihegy seem pretty tight (40 minutes in one case).

    Many thanks in advance for any input.


    JonathanCohen09
    Participant

    Hello SimonRowberry,
    I have used Malev several times with connections to countries in Eastern Europe. They do leave the middle seat free, or they did when I flew with them in business on their 737 fleet which are all New Generation. If you are on their Canadair or Fokker Jets they have dedicated business class seats which are 2/2. Their catering in business is ok as far as I can remeber.

    As for the airport, it is ok and I was fortunate enough not to miss any of the connections I had even with 40 minutes, which is quite tight. (I have been through there at leat 30 times in the last 18 months. the airport is user friendly and not too big to be able to move through quickly when needed so I think you should be fine.

    I hope the above is useful but if you have any other specific questions then ask on here and I will be happy to answer them.

    Safe travels

    Frequenttraveller09


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Thanks a lot, Frequenttraveller09. That’s useful and sounds pretty positive.

    When you had a tight connection, did your bags make it too?

    Could you please help me with this: I have the opportunity with some of their connections to stopover in Budapest if I wish. Not having been there since 1988, it’s an attractive option. I would probably use the Hilton in Buda. However, I’ve read pretty negative stuff about Budapest taxi drivers (possibly just scaremongering). How would you advise travelling to the City Centre?

    Also, have you or any others got any views on Sofia, as that is one of the destinations I have to go to, and I’ve never been there before.

    Many, many thanks,

    Simon


    JonathanCohen09
    Participant

    If my memory serves me correctly there is a free shuttle bus from the airport to the Hilton in the city centre. I have also heard some negative stuff about the taxi drivers there. Usual rules apply, fix the price before you get in the cab or use the meter but make sure it has been zeroed before you start off.

    With regards to bags, sorry I cannot help you there as I only ever took hand luggage. Maybe someone else out there can answrer your question.

    I cannot help with Sofia either. i have been twice but only for the day.

    Finally, Czech Airlines also offer some attractive Business class and economy fares and flying via Prague is usually even easier than via Budapest. Just something for you to consider.


    SimonRowberry
    Participant

    Thanks for your sage advice, Frequenttraveller09. I hope I’ll be able to return the compliment at some point, on some topic!

    Regards, Simon


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    Hi. I travel to Budapest every few months, but tend to take KLM via AMS.
    they however, as AF code share with Malev so frequently find myself on them ( as do Czech via Prague).

    They appear to have larger seats in business for the first few rows on the 737, the food n service isn’t bad. Lounges are tired & small very dowdy in Budapest, several Airlines using their lounge also.
    Budapest has 3 terminals, Malev in the better of the 2 (+ a low cost other side of airport).
    Don’t worry about the taxis that was sorted a long time ago.
    As you exit the terminal, there is a Taxi Service office, & its a set price to whichever number District you travel to. U py to the office for a ticket.
    Returning, ask the hotel to provide you with a taxi, & they always best to guide you for a decent price & company or pay the hotel, & they Put it on their account, so easier options. I think Prague is much more dodgy that Budapest these days.

    There are many great hotels with much more character that reflect Budapest & situated on the river. Some have wonderful spa baths, more as a clinical or theraputic norm in hungary, (many see Dr’s there & are prescribed a course of spa treatments)- like a GP service they are used.
    At the right hotel, you will have a wonderful spa facility, to add to yr business stay.

    More modern & good locations, The Novotel on the Buda side has a wonderful view opposite parliament over the river, great modern studio type rooms, good restaurant.
    The Sofitel is also great on the Pest side, but have a look at some of the more grand traditional style hotels in Hungarian style. It depends on yr needs, style, atmostphere you need & like & condusive to business.
    Watch the (i think now 22 or 27%) VAT type tax on everything, so if yr rate booked outside Hungary & is included or its pre-paid, you will make quite a saving. They Levy in Euros, although all else remains in the Forint.
    Worth paying up front via a booking service for Budapest in my view.
    Hope that helps a little.


    MarcusUK
    Participant

    I flew KLM LHR-AMS then on Malev to BUD this week.
    As usual i got allocated the old 2-2 across business seat, just behind the curtain as they have several rows.

    Means you buy economy ticket & if you have gold status in an FF program, a more comfortable business seat. Its an old version…even has a an ash tray in the arm!

    Chose to stay in Sofitel, received an upgrade to Exec top floor, with Danube chain bridge & castle views.
    Great atrium inside very chis spacious quiet, fabulous leisure facilities with pool, & spa which is booked up a day ahead!
    Taxi was a set 22 Euro as mentioned from the taxi office outside the arrivals hall.

    Hope you enjoy yr stay

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