Coming in from MH602 from Singapore, it was a 95-minute transit to my next flight, Malaysia Airlines MH740 to Yangon. The flight to Yangon was departing from the Main Terminal Building as well, so after getting a snack from the Satellite Terminal, I got the KLIA Transit Area Shuttle Bus back to board my flight.
Unfortunately, it’s been 4 years since my last Malaysia Airlines flight, and on the previous and this flight, I learnt that more than just an airline code, MH actually stands for Mana Hospitality instead.
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I headed straight to the next gate as I’ve already been checked through from Singapore.
My flight was departing from Gate H8.
Unfortunately, the genuises at KLIA had 5 flights at 2 gates, H8 and H10 (with buses), using the same security queue of just 1 x-ray machine per gate. Needless to say, it was quite painful to queue at security while the boarding time gets closer and closer. The queue took about 25 minutes.
Finally after what seemed like eternity, I was cleared to the gate hold room.
Heading down to the gate hold room.
9M-MLN would be operating my MH740 flight. Phew, so close to getting a plane without IFE.
Once I got down, boarding calls were made for Business Class passengers to board first. Guess I made it just in time then.
Boarding my MH740 flight to Yangon. Checks were made by the ground staff to ensure that all those who need a visa for Myanmar had one, but luckily for me I do not need one to enter the country.
Heading down the aerobridge to board the plane.
Malaysia Airlines’ 100th Boeing 737, parked at Gate H8L/B8L.
The Economy Class cabin of Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 737-800.
The legroom on board. Nothing much to shout about, perhaps just an extra inch more than budget airlines.
The welcome screen of the IFE.
So close to getting a forbidden plane.
Once the doors were closed, a steward came around to distribute the headsets for the IFE. Hmm, I’m not sure if this thin plastic wrap with a very faded/scratched-off MH logo is a welcoming sight.
The safety video followed shortly after. Here are some shots of the point-of-view safety video which isn’t really to my liking since it makes the video kind of amateurish and shaky.
Passenger stowing away tray table and belongings.
Passenger pulling the oxygen mask towards himself.
Passenger putting on lifejacket.
Thankfully, the part on bracing was not shot from the passenger’s point of view.
The evacuation exits were shown as a pop-up book.
Seems that the Boeing 737-800 only has life rafts at the front exit. Now you know where you want to book your seat in case of a ditching.
An alright-ish safety video covering the key points, but with the amount of interesting safety videos on other flag carriers in the region, I think this pales in comparison, especially for the point-of-view shots as this my confuse first-time flyers.
The safety video ends with the Doa for Travelling.
Next, a video on the IFE offerings were played.
The video looks pretty old, actually, with the featured TV series ending years ago.
MH is Malaysian Hospitality? We’ll see.
Passing by Malindo Air planes at remote gates. Probably flights which were bussed from Gate H10.
Glad I didn’t have to bus to my plane again.
Queuing behind the “forbidden” ML series aircraft for take-off. All the best to the passengers in it.
Turning onto Runway 32R.
Goodbye KLIA. It was as if I just arrived in KL. Oh wait.
Flying past Port Klang.
Here’s where the fun starts.
My section of the plane was served by this steward with a surname of “Tan”. He had a name tag on with his full name but I didn’t catch a proper glimpse of his full name properly. And may I say that throughout all my plane travels, budget airlines or otherwise, this is probably the worst service I’ve ever received on a plane.
I had a friend travelling along who was seated at Seat 5A, the bulkhead seat, which is also the first seat that the meal service commenced on. Mr. Tan here decided that it was a good idea to ask the first passenger to be served his meal in Economy Class, “What do you want?”, when MH doesn’t give out paper menus, nor were the menus announced over the PA system before. So after asking “What do you have?”, Tan finally said that there was “Nasi Lemak or Roti Canai”.
When Tan came to me, he asked the same thing, “What do you want?”.
MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality eh?
I opted for the MH Nasi Lemak as I heard some positive reviews about it before, but have never actually tried it.
Unfortunately, it looks better than it tastes. The rice was not lemak enough to me, with more emphasis on lemongrass (?) and ginger than coconut. Also, the sides that came with it were rather basic, with one individually packed dry Nestum Cookie and the standard pack of nuts.
Drinks were also rather basic, with only 4 options available besides plain water, which is Coke, Sprite, Orange Juice and Apple Juice. You read that right – coffee and tea were not available.
As I did not realise that the menu was so limited, I decided to ask if wine was available, since it was a flight of more than 2 hours. Tan retorted with a frown and a smirk, “Wine? We don’t serve wine here.”.
Well sorry MH, I thought you guys were a full-service airline. First my meal came in a tapau box instead of a proper tray and now this?
MH probably accurately stands for Mana Hospitality instead.
Not complaining about the lack of wine, but is it that hard to tell a person nicely that there isn’t any wine on board rather than putting them down like a lowly peasant? It’s not as if I’m asking for Champagne or a Flaming Martini. Moreover, I did remember having wine on my previous MH flight 4 years ago anyway.
Thankfully, he didn’t reply this rudely when my friend asked for a coffee – which was also not available on this flight.
Also, Tan served drinks with just two fingers pinching the rim of the cup, as if all passengers were some low-caste dirty being unworthy of flying on things with wings.
The rest of the journey was uneventful after the meal and drinks service (but do I still call the service service though) with me watching The Greatest Showman on the IFE, which was the second time I watched it, more for the music since there weren’t much available on the audio selection and the movies and TV selection were quite limited as well.
Crossing into Myanmar, my first visit to the country.
The grass seems to be of a different shade of green here as compared with other ASEAN countries.
Approaching Yangon International Airport.
Flying above Royal Mingalardon Golf & Country Club.
My first views of the Yangon Circular Railway and Myanmar Railways in general.
Touching down on Burmese soil.
Yangon International Airport actually looks pretty modern.
Turning to the international terminal at Terminal 1.
Sigh, now I wish I had paid more to fly on this instead.
Parked at Gate G3.
Myanmar time is at GMT+6:30, 1.5 hours behind Malaysia. As such, this is the goodbye screen from Malaysia Airlines.
Heading up the aerobridge to the terminal.
Thank you Malaysia Airlines for teaching me the true value of how money and service works ie. you get what you paid for.
Heading to the arrival hall.
Hmm, why do the signs, carpet and glass look familiar.
Goodbye Singapore Airlines. And thank you Malaysia Airlines for teaching me to pay more for my tickets in future as it would actually offer better value and service standards.
Hmm, it feels as if I took a flight from Changi Airport Terminal 2 to Changi Airport Terminal 2.
Heading down the escalator to immigration.
As I do not require a visa, I could head straight to the empty immigration counters thanks to the front-enough seat.
Baggage reclaim is just after the immigration counters.
My bag took about 5 minutes to appear after I showed up at the baggage carousel, pretty alright.
After customs at the public area, money changers and SIM cards are available. The rates here at the banks are pretty competitive, and it’s probably cheaper to change it here than in the city or in your home country.
Do take note that only 3 currencies are accepted for exchange – Euros, US Dollars and Singapore Dollars. Make sure you have EUR, USD or SGD to change as other currencies are not accepted.
MH740 landed into Yangon 2 minutes early.
Heading out of the airport terminal to the driveway.
From here, I got on the YBS Airport Shuttle Bus to get to downtown Yangon.
Overall, my Malaysia Airlines experience from Singapore to Yangon was dismal at best, with the tight seats similar to low-cost carriers, cold and even rude steward, basic snacks and meals provided for a full-service airline and a limited IFE selection on regional flights.
I had remembered Malaysia Airlines to provide far better service on my flight to Tokyo 4 years ago, and Mr. Tan on Malaysia Airlines MH740 most certainly single-handedly put down all other crew who are working hard to deliver Malaysian Hospitality to all guests on MH. I only flew with MH based on cost (they offered lower fares than low-cost carriers), with them offering the lowest fare on the Singapore – Yangon route. However, adding in all other cost-cutting measures, Malaysia Airlines sure will not be my top airline choice to fly with any more.
If Malaysia Airlines is only able to compete with other airlines in the region based on cost now that service levels are out of the window, then I guess I’ll just treat MH exactly as what it is – a low-cost carrier.
I’m already dreading my return flight from Yangon to Singapore, and another long-distance return trip that I have already booked next year, also based on low fares. I hope this will not be what Malaysian Hospitality is for my next flights with MH, but for now, I have already mentally prepared myself for a Mana Hospitality LCC experience on board Malaysia Airlines.