After all these budget travels, it’s time to spend a little bit more to indulge myself by flying back home on Business Class with Malindo Air. Though by “little bit more”, I meant as a comparison to a normal bus or train ride. Also, this might be my last few times flying with the Malindo brand before it gets officially re-branded as Batik Air Malaysia.
My only experience with Malindo so far was a domestic return flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, which I didn’t blog about as I wanted to keep RailTravel Station purely for trains only at that time. And I’ve probably forgotten about it already anyway. Not sure if the jump straight to Business Class was good for managing my expectations, but at a promotional fare of only RM109.10, why not?
The actual Malindo check-in counter at KLIA is at Row E, in case you didn’t take the KLIA Ekspres here.
I queued again to get a reprint of my boarding pass before heading for immigration and the lounge.
There is an express lane for immigration for First and Business Class passenger of any airline in the middle of the immigration hall, which was great since the queue at KLIA was strangely as long as JB Sentral on a Saturday.
Two lounges are available for Malindo Business Class’ passengers, the KLIA Premier Access Lounge located in the public area of the Main Terminal Building and the Sama-Sama Express Lounge in the transit area of the Satellite Terminal.
Though my flight was departing from the Main Terminal Building, I opted to go for the Sama-Sama Express Lounge as they has showers, something which I needed since I haven’t had any since the bus ride from Singapore.
Gotta look and smell like a Business Class passenger yo.
The Aerotrain ready for departure.
Walking towards the Sama-Sama Express Lounge.
Checking-in at the Sama-Sama Express Lounge with my voucher.
About an hour before departure, I left the lounge and headed back to the Main Terminal Building with the Aerotrain.
When I got to Gate G6, I thought it was still closed despite the screen saying that the gate is opened. So I actually waited outside for a good 10 minutes before sensing that something is amiss.
Yep, you might have guessed, it, Gates G4 and G6 have a combined security clearance due to a lack of staff. I know, because the security guy was telling another passenger exactly that when she complained of the long queue.
9M-LNO ready to take me on my first Business Class ride of my life.
“Smarter way to travel.”
Sitting at the front of the gate hold room with priority boarding with Business Class, something which I haven’t got since I’m neither pregnant nor elderly.
A clear walk to the plane with an almost empty aerobridge.
And it’s of course my first time being greeted by all the air stewardesses at once on board at the same time.
On first glance, Malindo’s Business Class product is definitely not of a budget airline standard, as perceived by many, and definitely not of European standard with simply the middle Economy seat blocked out and proclaiming it as “Business”.
And in case you have had a misconception before, though being under the Lion Group, Malindo Air is a full-service airline.
A Malaysia Airlines plane in retro livery pulling in to the Main Terminal Building.
A welcome drink choice of apple juice, orange juice or plain water was served just before pulling away from the gate.
Since the IFE had to be stowed during landing or takeoff, the safety video was played on the centralised TV. And this time, I paid good attention since I had no idea where my lifejacket was.
The brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 for Batik Air Malaysia.
Before the snack service, the stewardess came round to place a linen cloth on the tray table. A nice touch for a short hop.
The branding of Batik Air seem to have taken flight already. (Ha.)
Two choices of pizza was available on the flight, chicken and vegetarian. Just like an SAF cookhouse.
Drink choices was the same as the pre-departure drink, with the addition of Coke and Sprite. No alcoholic drinks were mentioned to be available, but I didn’t ask for it too.
I opted for chicken pizza with Coke, with my order taken before takeoff. The picture looks more blueish than usual thanks to the Boeing Sky Interior, but the mystery muffin was really greenish in colour. Not sure what it actually was but it was good. The chicken pizza, well, not too much to rave about.
The IFE system was not launched throughout the flight, nor were there any hot towels or addressing passengers by name as featured in plenty of flight reviews out there. A particular family sitting on the other row with no care for seat numbers or privacy of other passengers didn’t help with the experience.
Was it because of the low fare I paid? I’m not sure. Basically, the experience felt like a full service airline’s Economy Class service with a plushier seat.
Arriving at Terminal 3 right on time.
No priority lanes for First or Business Class over here at Changi (only for Singapore Airlines Suites), because there’s never a need to.
Perhaps when I can somehow afford a 5-digit ticket in future will I be able to make a comparison with other top airlines in the world, but for now, a good experience at an unbelievable price.