Flight Review – Malaysia Airlines MH743: Yangon to Kuala Lumpur by Boeing 737-800

It was a quick 3 days in Yangon, and it’s now time to head back. Since the last incident with Malaysia Airlines on the flight to Yangon, I wonder how they would fare on the return leg this time. As I had purchased a return ticket, this trip will involve this flight, MH743 from Yangon to Kuala Lumpur, with an onward connection to Singapore.

Yangon International Airport’s public area is simply laid out with both arrivals and departures on a single level. As such, there is no confusion in getting around the terminal. Bags will need to be scanned before entering the airport, just like most airports in Indonesia.

The departure hall of Yangon International Airport. Looks a bit like Terminal 2 of Changi Airport.

Check-in for Malaysia Airlines is at Row E.

MH uses 3 counters at Row E.

Despite the small number of counters, the queue moved reasonably fast.

MH743 would take me from Yangon to KL.

Check-in was fast, since I had already done my online check-in.

Heading up to departures.

A boarding pass check is done before immigration.

My boarding pass for my MH743 flight from Yangon to Kuala Lumpur, taken after immigration. The immigration officer will stamp both the passport and boarding pass with the exit stamp of Myanmar.

My onward boarding pass for my MH609 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

Heading up to the transit area.

The path to the gates will lead you through the duty free shop first.

Looks like this is their main competitor for sales.

Heading out of the duty free shop to other duty free shops.

Yup, definitely looks like Changi Airport Terminal 2.

At the end of the duty free passageway, head down the escalator to the gates.

The gate area is made up of a single large seating area for all departures.

The seats look straight out of Changi Airport Terminal 3.

There are power sockets in the middle of each bench, which is quite a nice touch to the benches.

The “gates” are actually just boarding pass checking counters. All counters will lead to the same passageway where you walk to the actual aircraft gate, which does not correspond to the counter number.

Queuing to board the aircraft at “Gate 15”.

Heading down the passageway to my plane.

And here’s the actual plane at the actual gate, Gate G4.

Heading down the aerobridge.

Boarding my flight to KL.

The typical Business Class seats on MH’s Boeing 737-800.

The interior of Economy Class.

My seat for the trip, 24A.

The reasonable legroom for the short-haul journey.

The entertainment screen was available for use upon boarding.

The view of the apron of Yangon International Airport.

The doors closed with about just slightly more than half of the plane filled.

The safety video played shortly after.

I thought that the audio and image of this part of the video was not in sync, despite being the third time I’m watching this. I think it’s due to an additional voiceover being used to dub the video.

Pushing back from the stand.

Not really a fan of the first-person view almost throughout the video as it makes the aircraft look more crammed, and may not work well for first-time flyers to understand the procedures fully.

The Doa for Travelling is flashed after the safety video.

Strangely, with no traffic on the tarmac or on the runway, the plane stopped on the taxiway for about 10 minutes before being able to proceed onto the runway.

Heading to the runway for takeoff.

Goodbye Yangon.

The smaller Domestic Terminal on the other end of the apron.

Goodbye Yangon Circular Railway.

Flying over the Hlaing River.

Flying out of mainland Myanmar.

Shortly after the seatbelt signs were turned off, the dinner service commenced. Thankfully, this time, the steward didn’t ask me “What do you want?” like on my onward flight, but rather, told me that were choices were either “… chicken or fish, both with rice. Which would you like?”.

My chicken with rice turned out to be Nasi Tomato with Chicken Curry.

Unfortunately, the dish seems to have shifted to one side, probably caused by the food handling somewhere along the way from the catering centre to my table.

The typical Coke, Sprite, Apple Juice, Orange Juice and Water selection were available. Hot drinks (coffee and tea only) were also available for the meal service, but were not available after the first round of drinks request.

I ordered an Apple Juice and Sprite to concoct Singapore Airlines’ Fruit Spritzer. Cheap thrills.

#flyinghigh above the Andaman Sea.

Unfortunately, the good image of Malaysia Airlines I had in my mind from the start to the drinks service was tarnished yet again, when I was heading to the aft toilets, when I saw all the crew sitting on the empty Economy Class seats with headsets on watching their own movies, just like a passenger. I’m not sure if this is good image for MH, but it certainly isn’t to me. If this was a long-haul flight needing space for a crew rest, fine, but the return journey to Yangon doesn’t take more than 8 hours right?

Anyway, here are some toilet shots. Clean but basic, with just a bottle of soap for amenities.

Coincidentally, the seat belt signs were switched on for the most of the middle part of the flight for turbulence (it never got really shaky), but passengers still moved freely about, so I just followed suit and headed to the toilet which I needed to use anyway.

But the whole turbulence time, the crew were watching their movies rather than strapped in their jump seats, so I guess that’s fine.

The sunset over the Malay Peninsular.

The KLIA arrivals video played shortly before descending.

Unfortunately, as much as I would love to, I wouldn’t be taking this route into KL today.

The cabin lights were dimmed with the Boeing Sky Interior lighted to blue during the descend.

KL from above.

KL Tower and KLCC nicely lit at night.

Unfortunately, I would not be stepping into KL this time.

Landing at KLIA, with the Boeing Sky Interior lights still on. Hmm.

Parking at Gate G10, with the view of klia2’s Skybridge in the background. This is the same gate as my initial flight from Singapore to KL when heading to Yangon.

Disembarking from the aircraft.

Hmm, the emergency exit row might be nice for a 3-hour flight.

Heading into the terminal building.

Heading to the central area to check on my onward flight’s gate.

As I had already gotten my boarding pass in Yangon, it was just straight to the gate for my next flight, MH609 to Singapore.

Overall, the return flight to Yangon was not very impressionable to me as a foreign visitor using Malaysia’s national carrier, with the unbelievably rude steward “Tan” on the flight to Yangon and with the crew on this flight enjoying their movie on passengers’ seats during the flight. As a frequent visitor to Malaysia, MH’s Malaysian Hospitality for these two flights is nowhere like real Malaysia on the ground, leading me to believe that MH actually means Mana Hospitality instead.

However, bearing in mind that the fare I paid was lower than budget airlines, I shall bear in mind that I should expect budget service as well, and I should just treat it as a budget airline to console myself. As such, MH did fulfill their basic deliverables for as a budget airline. Heck, the only reason I flew with MH was for the fares anyway.

However, service-wise and food-wise, MH still does need to buck up as their main competitor in Kuala Lumpur, the red one which is the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the 10th year in a row, offers far better service standards and food at restaurant standards which tastes amazing as if it hadn’t left the ground.

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