Malaysia Airlines – MH 2621 – BKI – KUL
Airbus 330 -300
Seat 1G (Business)
Flight time: 18:30-21:10 (18:45-20:53)
Duration: 2 hours 40 minutes
20th December 2021
O V E R V I E W :
It is the peak year end travel season and with domestic travel being ramped up in Malaysia as International travel is still pretty much out of reach due to COVID restrictions, some of the popular travel destinations in East Malaysia including Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Kuching in Sarawak has seen increased flight frequencies and even equipment upgrades by airlines. My trip to Kota Kinabalu fortunately fell within this period and with my staff benefits being part of the national airline, I had the flexibility to book my ID90 (discounted) flight ticket pretty last minute. Having monitored the flights with upgraded equipment on the Airbus 330 which are typically operated by the B737 narrow body of Malaysia Airlines, I decided to purchase my ticket home from KK on the only flight ex-BKI that was upgraded to the wide body aircraft for my day of departure.
As the equipment upgrade is a rare one for this route, I decided to try the premium cabin on MH’s A330-300, which is also my virgin flight on this aircraft variant on Malaysia Airlines, I have only flown on the -200 series on MH many years ago for my trip to Beijing. On the day of departure, I proceeded to the Business Class check in counter for the second time of my life, after my very first J class experience (also domestic) years ago onboard Qantas which you can read about here.
It does feel good to be stepping on the Business Class check in carpet which is not available in Economy Class. As my discounted ticket was on standby, I had to wait a little until check in was closed (to ensure the cabin is not full) before I was issued my boarding pass. Fun fact, my discounted staff ticket do not come with lounge access in Business thus there is no need to rush or allow for some time to enjoy this offering.
Fortunately, the J cabin that evening was not fully booked though it was pretty occupied, otherwise I will not have been able to get on the flight! A rather minimalistic boarding pass being issued for my flight with no MH logo in sight sadly. I left it to fate for my seat allocation by the check in staff and did not secure a window seat however a bulkhead one in Row 1 is much appreciated nevertheless. As I entered the departure lounge pretty close to boarding time, it wasn’t too long until the boarding announcement was made for priority class passengers including those with Enrich and Oneworld status to board the aircraft first. After my boarding pass was inspected by the ground staff, I was instructed to board the aircraft through the left door which led me to the front aerobridge to board the aircraft. As this flight was operated on the Airbus 330 widebody aircraft, two aerobridges were being deployed to speed up the boarding process at BKI. First glance of the Business Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus 330-300. As I was snapping away pictures of the cabin too enthusiastically, one of the cabin crew kindly offered to take a picture of myself which I quickly obliged. Some of the items available at the seat includes a noise cancelling headphone which was of decent quality. A shot of the seat controls and USB inlet as well as the small compartment which was a perfect fit for the storage of my iPhone.
Hygiene kits along with a bottle of mineral water was present at each seat, this is in contrast to the usual distribution of hygiene kits in Economy where they are given out upon entering the aircraft by the cabin crew.
Love the amazing legroom of this bulkhead seat! Fast forward to the single tray dinner service, there were 3 options available and I went for the Red Snapper Curry with steamed rice option which is accompanied with a crunchy Papadom roll, mango chutney and refreshing cucumber raita. No bubbles or alcohol are served for MH’s domestic business class hence I went for Apple Juice to go with my meal. It is noted that most passengers have opted for the pre book Chef on Call option offered as their meals were served without the crew asking for their preferences. Upon finishing my delicious dinner, I made a mandatory visit to the lavatory for J class passengers at the front of the aircraft and it seemed pretty much similar to the Y class one except for some additional bottled amenities for usage. Whilst making my way to the lavatory, I requested for a hot Teh Tarik and to my surprise it was already available at my seat upon returning and it was perfect to accompany my movie of choice. Half way through the journey en-route to KUL. Of course I had to also try out the lie flat bed function of the seat even though the flight was too short for a proper experience or review. Nevertheless, the bulkhead seat definitely provided much more legroom for different sleeping positions and there were sufficient privacy at the head area when the seat was fully flat. The mood lighting was turned on for most of the duration throughout the flight and this is a unique feature in Business onboard MH’s A330 if I recall correctly. The flight went by in a blink of an eye and upon touchdown, it was quite a wait for the baggage to be delivered and it is noted that the sequence of delivery was slightly off with Business Class priority baggage not being the first to be out on the carousel interestingly.
C O N C L U S I O N:
Being my very first flight in the premium cabin of Malaysia Airlines, and only my second time experiencing Business Class, the widebody aircraft has definitely elevated the inflight experience on this short haul flight. The hard product of the A330-330 J class with its fully lie flat bed is still competitive in my opinion though it may need a refresh in the next few years with more premium airlines adopting Business Class seats with much more space and privacy. In terms of the F&B experience for this domestic flight, while the food was delicious with great flexibility and options with the Chef on Call pre book feature, the beverage list could potentially be improved to include more premium options of alcohol for instance. In terms of the softer product, no doubt the Malaysian Hospitality that was extended by the crew despite the rather full load in Business was greatly felt with an extra touch of attentiveness compared to Economy class. Quoting an example for my flight would be the Inflight Supervisor being very observant and kindly asked if everything was working fine with the massage function of the seat as he noticed me trialing the different massage strength through the seat controls. Overall, there was nothing much to fault on the Business Class experience for this domestic flight and I very much look forward to try the same cabin on a longer haul flight in the near future should the opportunity arise.