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Review: Malaysia Airlines

Airline

Good food, lost bags and a dry hotel

  • By SilverTraveller HMJ

    687 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2014
  • London Heathrow
  • Medan via Kuala Lumpur
  • Partner
  • Business / Club

21 people found this review helpful

In view of the tragedies surrounding flights MH004 and MH370, Malaysia Airlines were offering full refunds. We decided to stick with them for our flight Medan, Sumatra as alternatives were either more expensive (British Airways or Singapore) or required a stop over in Doha (Qatar) or Dubai (Emirates).

The Business Class check in was efficient and confirmed that BA Avios points had been recorded (an advantage of the airline). We were quickly through VIP security and enjoying coffee and nibbles in the excellent lounge overlooking the airport and our gate.

Whilst not normally a nervous flyer, I did feel slightly uneasy and thought the usual pre-take off fizz would help, only to find it a ‘juice only’ experience: I did enjoy champagne later in the flight.

Our pre-reserved seats (7A/7C) were on the top deck of the airbus and in a smaller front section of business class. The flat beds were reasonably comfortable for me, but my partner at 6’ 2” couldn’t quite stretch out fully. Plenty of loos meant no queuing, with one of them being absolutely enormous.

We were kept amused with the in-flight entertainment although despite a good selection of films, I eventually had to resort to ‘turkeys’ or repeats on the return 13 hour flight from Bali. In addition, the latest editions of magazines were available, including my favourites, Sunday Times Travel and Condé Nast.

The food was excellent, but there was far too much (although to be fair we didn’t have to eat it all). Lunch started with their award-winning signature dish of chicken and beef satay served with a crunchy peanut sauce. Tuna tartare with a quinoa salad followed before our chosen main course, beef wellington. Bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce finished the meal, and us off.

Staff were professional but friendly with the girls being elegantly dressed in fitted floral jackets and matching long skirts.

We knew our transfer in Kuala Lumpur was tight at only 50 minutes, but this was exacerbated by a late take off and lengthy taxi to the gate. On arrival, a girl pointed us in the direction of the gate which we reached just as the flight was boarding. Our window seats allowed us to see the baggage trolley arrive with our brightly coloured, floral suitcases on board. ‘Phew’, not only had we made it, but our bags had as well. Our relief turned to horror, as the baggage trolley found the hold already closed and disappeared off.

On arrival in Medan at 9am, we were efficiently passed from person to person, until we found the one who could deal with our missing luggage. After filling in a form and describing our bags’ distinguishing features, we were told they would probably be on the next flight at 3pm. This wouldn’t have been a problem if we’d been staying in Medan itself, but we were heading directly off to Lake Toba which was a 5 hour drive followed by a 45 minute boat ride. We realised it could be some time before we saw our luggage.

Our guide, Hans, checked the luggage arrived on the 3pm flight, and insisted it was driven immediately to Parapet to allow it to catch the first ferry at 8.30am the next day. Although we’d been due to start our day’s programme at 9am, Hans suggested waiting for the ferry. We were delighted to see our bags were perched magnificently at the front of the boat.

Our journey home from Denpasar in Bali was at an unearthly hour of the morning to allow us to connect in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, and presumably because of a downturn in bookings, our flight was cancelled and there was no alternative but to stay in KL overnight. Interestingly the airline decided to put us in a five star but ‘dry’ hotel (Grand BlueWave) and so we headed into down town and the Petronas Towers for dinner and wine.

Catching up with Silver Travel on return, I noticed British Airways is to begin flying direct to Kuala Lumpur again. If I go to the Far East again, I think I might fly with them.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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