OneWorld Welcome: Malaysia Airlines First Class Kuala Lumpur to London

Introduction
American Airlines Flagship Lounge New York
American Airlines Business Class New York to London
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge London
Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge London
Malaysia Airlines First Class London to Kuala Lumpur
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines First Class Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines First Class Kuala Lumpur to London
Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 4
American Airlines Flagship Lounge & British Airways Galleries First Lounge Terminal 3 London Heathrow
American Airlines Business Class London to New York


Malaysia Airlines 4
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) ā€“ London (LHR)

Monday, February 18
Depart: 10:45AM
Arrive: 4:15PM
Duration: 13hr30min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 1D (First Class)

At the door I was welcomed by May and Liza, the chief stewardess and leading stewardess, respectively. I could immediately tell it would be a great flight, as they were all smiles. Liza directed me to my seat, 1D, and immediately offered me a beverage.


Our seats, 1D & 1G


Our seats, 1D & 1G


My seat, 1D


My seat, 1D


View from my seat of 1A

I ordered a glass of water and per Liza’s suggestion also ordered one of their signature drinks. These were promptly served along with a hot towel.


Pre-departure beverages

This time around instead of the bag with the amenities already being at my seat upon boarding, it was brought to me after drinks were served. Liza asked what size pajamas I wanted, and then brought over the bag, saying “Mr. Lucky, please enjoy the hospitality bag we’ve put together for you.”


Hospitality bag

As was the case last time, the bag consisted of pajamas, slippers, an amenity kit, and headphones,


Amenities

After that I was offered the menu, which was presented in a nice leather binder.


Menu

Next I was offered a UK landing card and Fast Track pass.


Landing card

As boarding finished up, four of the eight first class seats were taken. Seats were assigned perfectly in that the two window seats in row two were taken, while we had the center seats in row one, meaning there were only two people per row.

Right before push back the captain came on the PA to welcome us aboard and inform us of our flight time of 12hr55min, which he anticipated would put us into Heathrow right on time.

The safety video played as we pushed back, and our taxi to runway 32R took about 10 minutes. Once we were at the runway we were number one for takeoff, and again had a long takeoff roll and gradual climb out.


Tail camera while taxiing to runway


Tail camera on runway


Tail camera while taking off


Tail camera once airborne


Airshow after takeoff

As we climbed out I browsed the entertainment selection, and eventually settled on watching “Fun Size.” I realize I’m probably a dozen years too old to be watching the movie, though it wasn’t totally horrible.


Fun Size

On our climb out the inflight service manager, Cecilia, came by to introduce herself and wish us a pleasant flight. She assured us her crew would take great care of us, and told us to call on her at any time if we needed anything.

About 20 minutes after takeoff the lunch service began. The menu read as follows (I won’t post the beverage list again, as it was identical to the list on the outbound):

To start I ordered a Diet Coke and glass of Dom, which were served with mixed nuts.


Drinks and mixed nuts

As is the norm on Malaysia, the first course consisted of satay, accompanied by peanut sauce and compressed rice in coconut leaves. This crew was much better than on the outbound on so many levels. Often it’s the little touches that make all the difference. For example, not only was I addressed by name when I was asked whether I wanted satay, but I loved how I was asked — “Mr. Lucky, may I indulge you in some of our famous satay?”

The satay was delicious, and I was even offered seconds given that the cabin was fairly empty, which I gladly accepted.


Satay cart


Satay

The next course consisted of caviar and smoked salmon. There’s not much you can do to screw up this course, and unlike on the last flight, the flight attendants removed the cap of the tin before serving it.


Caviar and smoked salmon

I then had the Tom Yum with prawns and snapper, which was excellent as well and not too spicy.


Seafood Tom Yum

The salad was one of the best I’ve had in the sky. While I would have preferred a non-creamy dressing, I loved the asparagus and cubes of feta cheese, both of which are far too rare in airplane salads.


Mesclun salad

For the main course I ordered the jumbo prawn tandoori, which was good though not amazing. If anything it was a bit bland.


Jumbo prawn tandoori

For dessert I ordered the chocolate hazelnut cake and ice cream. I don’t think they totally understood I ideally wanted them together, though it wasn’t too tough for me to plate it my way. šŸ˜‰


Chocolate hazelnut cake and ice cream

The lunch was phenomenal, both in terms of the quality of food and service. It was easily one of the most enjoyable airplane meals I’ve had. The service was attentive as my drinks always stayed full, and I was addressed by name at almost every interaction. Even the little details were amazing, like how questions were phrased. When a course was done the flight attendant didn’t ask “are you done with that?” but rather “Mr. Lucky, may I clear your plate?” It’s the little touches that count, and this crew had them down. I’d say they were on par with a very good Singapore Airlines crew.

After lunch I decided to head up the stairs to the business class cabin, given that it was a daytime flight and the business cabin was fairly empty. Right up the staircase was the snack bar, which featured cheese, fresh fruit, cookies, etc.


Onboard bar

Right by the bar are two of the business class lavatories, which are the most spacious on the plane. Lufthansa has first class on their A380s on the upper deck, and their lavatories are huge. While the business class lavatories in the same area on Malaysia aren’t quite as big, they’re still much more spacious than any others aboard.


Business class lavatory


Business class lavatory

There are two business class cabins on the Malaysia A380 — one smaller forward cabin, and one main cabin behind it. Both are in a 2-2-2 configuration, with fully flat seats.


Forward business class cabin


Rear business class cabin

As I toured the cabin in my pajamas one of the business class flight attendants approached me and offered to show me the business class seats, which I thought was a nice touch and I took her up on. The business class seats were pretty standard fully flat seats, with a decent amount of space. If traveling with someone I’d definitely take seats on the side rather than the center, given that the window seats have a bit of extra room on the side where you can store things.

While I found the seats comfortable in the bed position, I should note that if you’re over 6’2″ or so, you’ll probably find these seats extremely uncomfortable, as the bed isn’t all that long.


Center business class seats


Aisle/window business class seats

There was also a business class menu on the seat, so I had a look at it to compare it to the first class menu. It read as follows:

It’s interesting to note that the first and business class menus are almost identical, save for a couple of appetizer choices and one extra entree choice in first class.

Once I got back to the first class cabin I requested my bed be made, which was promptly taken care of.


Turndown service


Turndown service

With over 10 hours to go to London I managed to fall asleep, and I slept for nearly eight hours, waking up about two hours out of London. Now that’s what I call a good night day of sleep!


Airshow before going to sleep

I woke up as we were approaching Germany, and decided to watch a few sitcoms prior to dinner.


Airshow after waking up


Airshow after waking up

I watched a few episodes of Family Guy I hadn’t seen before, which kept me entertained.


Family Guy

For what it’s worth there was a snack menu on the flight, which read as follows:

Since I slept almost the whole way I wasn’t hungry, and instead just had dinner 90 minutes out of London. The menu read as follows:

And as a point of comparison the business class menu read as follows:

That’s right, the first and business class menus were identical, except first class passengers had access to a veggie pizza — swanky, eh?

The prawns in the starter were quite good. While I love gnocchi, I don’t think I’ve ever had decent gnocchi on a plane, and this flight was no exception. They were chewier than gum.


Sauteed prawns

I had eaten nothing but Malaysian food on both the outbound flight and while in Kuala Lumpur, so food wise I was Malaysianed out. Therefore I went with the veggie pizza, which was horrible. I mean, truly, truly horrible. But I wasn’t all that hungry, so that was fine.


Vegetable pizza

Meanwhile my friend ordered the shepherd’s pie, which he enjoyed.


Shepherd’s pie

The dessert consisted of fresh fruit.


Fresh fruit

I finished off the meal with an iced coffee.


Iced coffee

We began our descent about 30 minutes out, so I changed out of my pajamas and stowed my carry ons. It was an uncharacteristically nice afternoon in London, so I switched to the window seat to enjoy the views.


View on descent


View on descent


View on descent

We had a smooth touchdown on runway 9R a few minutes ahead of schedule, and a quick taxi to the gate from there.


Tail camera on final approach


Tail camera on final approach


Tail camera taxiing off the runway


Gulf Air


Royal Air Maroc

As we deplaned I thanked the crew for the great flight and snapped one last picture of the cabin.


Cabin upon arrival


A380 upon arrival

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to fly the Malaysia A380. In addition to this I’ve flown the Qantas, Lufthansa, Emirates, and Singapore A380s, and I think of the five Malaysia’s was the least pimped out. There were no suites with doors, bars, or showers, though it was still a really solid first class product. The first class seats weren’t totally private though extremely spacious and comfortable for sleeping. The food was very good — perhaps not as gourmet as other airlines in first class, though the execution and taste was spot on for the most part.

On this sector the service was excellent as well. I’d definitely consider flying Malaysia in the future, and think they’re a great new addition to OneWorld.

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Comments

  1. That is one unhappy iced coffee. Are you a big bang theory fan?? (Looks like Penny and Sheldon in the background of the coffee picture..)

  2. You using the Business Class lav reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry gets into an argument with a coach passenger while walking to the coach lav from First šŸ™‚

  3. Ben start a trend, start say “disembark” instead of deplane šŸ˜‰

    -Stay classy One Mile at a Time

  4. Great TR, esp with two cabins for the price of one. Glad to see I’m not the only one sad enough to have noted Big Bang Theory on in the background – an excellent choice, sir šŸ™‚

  5. today, i read interesting news. one korean passenger booked air-france business class. at the day of flight, he met ridiculous situation. seats were overbooked, and air-france offered korean-air’s economy class with $700 dollars refund. the passenger got so angry to use another airline’s first class. after business trip, he sue air-france. was it right action for the passenger? i don’t understand air france.

  6. Hi, another great TR.

    I’ll be taking my wife to SYD/MEL. I’ll be paying the ticket. I will fly either QF or MH.

    I tend to take QF over MH, since MH does not have F to OZ. If they do in the near future, which one should I go with ?

    cheers

  7. @ Nathaniel — Big fan? No, HUGE fan.

    @ Deniz — ROFL, didn’t even notice that till now.

    @ Carl — One of my favorite episodes!

    @ oonoon — Airlines definitely do overall at times, so while it’s rare, it does happen. Doesn’t sound like the compensation was especially generous, but it is a right that airlines reserve, so not sure his case will go anywhere.

    @ Thomas — I still think Qantas first on the A380 is a somewhat superior product, so I’d probably still go with them.

  8. @ Ralph — Well for one they have five entrees so there’s plenty of variety, in my opinion. But does MAS even allow one to book the cook?

  9. With almost the same menu, and both lie-flat seats, the difference between Business and First has become small(er). If you would fly them on a paid ticket, do you believe the (much) higher price for first is justified?

  10. Interesting about the difference (or lack thereof) between the FC and BC menus…I guess the portions are also smaller.

    What was the meat served in the salad? They didn’t mention it on the menu…plus, I always thought Mesclun salads don’t usually have meat.

  11. @ Xandrios — Well it looks like on a paid fare the cheapest business class ticket is about $4,000, while the cheapest first class ticket is about $10,000. I could never imagine dropping that kind of cash, and I certainly don’t think first class is worth paying 2.5x as much more. That being said on miles I think the premium is totally worth it given the superior service, drinks, and most importantly, the much more spacious bed.

  12. @ wwk5d — There wasn’t any meat. Though now I’m trying to recall what that thing in the middle is. Hmmm…

  13. @lucky although presumably that’s using AA miles? With BA it’s 140k Avios + taxes for LHR-KUL return in business, vs 210k Avios + taxes for F. Is it worth 50% extra miles?? Obviously you can save a bit going from CDG instead (120k C / 180k F with lower taxes due to lack of APD), but still a 50% premium in miles that I’d be interested in whether it’s worth paying for.

  14. @ Alan — That’s definitely a tougher question. It’s an extra 35,000 Avios and I value them at about 1.3 cents each, so that’s basically $450 for a one-way upgrade to first class. I think it comes down to each person’s mileage situation to decide whether that’s worth it or not. I think that’s a reasonable premium to pay in miles if you have them, though I know others will disagree.

  15. @lucky – yes, I tend to value than at around 1p each (that would be 1.5c or so) – they are amazing value for intra-Europe flights, especially given the free connections from the UK regions so although my balance is fairly healthy I have a bit of difficulty justifying the extra cost. I guess leaving from CDG would reduce the hit a good chunk (as it brings it jus below the 6,500 threshold), so could kinda use that to justify the upgrade to oneself, and use the Ā£150 or so cash saving to pay for a hotel on the out-bound leg. Not that I’m trying to justify it or anything šŸ˜‰ Malaysia definitely looks like it has been a nice addition to OW. Look forward to a Qatar TR in due course! Raffles at Headforpoints did a nice TR on Air Berlin, another handy OW addition.

    Overall though, still jealous of the nice AA redemption options šŸ˜€

  16. @wwk5d ah, nice – thanks. Only started following the blog in the last year so hadn’t spotted that one. Will go have a read!

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