Malindo Airways 1806 – Subang to Kuala Terengganu

Malindo Airways – OD 1806 – SZB – TGG

ATR 72-600
Seat 4A (Economy)
Flight time: 13:30-14:35 (13:55-14:52)
Duration: 1 hour 05 minutes
27th March 2022

O V E R V I E W :
This trip report covers my third flight on Malindo Airways and the second time on their turboprop flying out of Subang Airport (SZB). Having flown on both the Jets and ATR aircraft on Malindo previously, I was excited to go on this flight to experience any changes to the customer experience since my last flight with them which you can read about here. The main reason for this trip is to utilize the travel incentive provided by the Malaysian Government to local airlines in order to revive domestic travel after travel restrictions within the country has been relaxed as we move towards the endemic phase of COVID-19. With that, I decided to go on a day trip to explore the East Coast of Malaysia and enjoy some of the yummy cuisine in Kuala Terengganu. My outbound flight will be on Malindo whilst the inbound back home will be on Firefly, both enjoying the special discount incentive which made these flights pretty affordable from the city airport of Subang, just under RM50 for this outbound journey.

Fast forward to the day of departure, pretty short queue for the OD counters at SZB that afternoon. Having already checked in online, I just wanted to get a physical boarding pass hence proceeded to obtain it via the check in counter.
As I arrived at the airport just in time around 1305 for my departure at 1330, which is typically doable for this city airport without any luggage to check in, I was told to run to the gates by the check in agent after she handed me my boarding pass with a rather unpleasant tone.
Spotted the latest operator out of SZB – SKS Airways whilst making my way to the boarding gate.
Boarding was called about 10 minutes after I arrived at the boarding area with a 2 lane split at the gate depending on your seating row onboard the aircraft.
Clear signage being used to indicate the departure destination with a staggered release to board the aircraft in batches.
First impression of the ATR 72-600, which still looks rather new and well maintained after being in service for around 6 years now for this particular tail number.
Safety demonstration was done manually as soon as everyone boarded the aircraft, it was a close to full load that afternoon!
Acceptable legroom for this short hop! Good amount of storage from the seat pocket in front and the literature holder above, however there wasn’t any inflight magazine offered on this flight.
After a long 20 minutes wait post taxi due to the busy air traffic that afternoon, we finally took off to TGG!
It was an uneventful flight with no complimentary refreshments offered (OD stopped providing even water now, contrary to my previous experience many years ago on their ATR) but instead the crew offered the sale of snacks and drinks which seemed rather unpopular for these short flights. Nevertheless, I was treated by some lovely sights of these islands upon descending into the East Coast of Malaysia!
After close to an hour in the air, we touched down at my destination of Kuala Terengganu around 20 minutes behind schedule.

C O N C L U S I O N: 

As this was a short flight, there was limited opportunity to experience the softer services by the cabin crew however in general they were pleasant as expected however the ground staff could have been more friendly in the way she asked me to proceed to the boarding gate at the counters. The hard product was good for this short hop and I appreciate the good amount of storage available at the seat even though I did not utilize them completely. It is a pity that OD has removed their complementary drinks or water service on the turboprop as it would have been on par with their competition. Overall, given the convenience of SZB as a city airport and the somewhat duopoly here at present, should Malindo’s pricing remain competitive I believe they will still be able to command a decent market share of out Subang. That said, as you may have read in the news, Malindo has now rebranded itself to Batik Air recently and it will be interesting to observe if any changes will be made to its products and services going forward.


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