Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia OD817: Penang to Singapore by Business Class

As quickly as I arrived from Bangkok, it was time to head back to Singapore with Malindo. Malindo operates one flight daily to Singapore and while the flight timing isn’t the most desirable, departing Penang at noontime, it was part of the Business Class promotion that I bought a couple of tickets with, so, here I am.

Malindo’s check-in counters are at the very end of the departure hall.

It was kind of confusing at the check-in area since it’s more crowded than Kuala Lumpur, with a general queue for all counters including the Business Class one.

The “No Entry” sign at the exit area didn’t help too, so I queued as per normal.

Perhaps this Smarter Shuttle thing is delaying things at check-in.


The queue for the common check-in took around 15 minutes.

“Not Just Low Cost” – then don’t remove your IFEs on your new planes guys.

My boarding pass receipt for my flight to Singapore.

Penang Airport, while compact, has a Plaza Premium Lounge in the departure area and Malindo includes it as part of the Business Class service, which is awesome.

Heading for immigration and security clearance.


I went up to the Plaza Premium Lounge to have brunch first, since I haven’t had anything for breakfast yet.

Came back down from the lounge just in time when boarding calls for my flight is made.

The central gate hold room, or rather area since there aren’t any checks to enter the room, for Gates A1, A1A and A2.



Walking down to the plane at Gate A2.


Despite the crowds queuing for boarding at the gate, I was the second last Business Class passenger to be seated on the plane.

In addition to the seat pocket items, a copy of The Star was provided at every seat.

On top of that, a blanket and pillow was also provided at the seat for the flight.

My welcome drink of apple juice.

Once everyone has been served their drink, the stewardess came around to take orders for today’s lunch, which is, surprise surprise, chicken pizza or vegetarian pizza again.

An actual pleasant surprise for me though was that I had my neighboring seat empty.

Pushing back from the gate.


The cabin lights were dimmed for take-off at noontime.



Bye Penang!


Turning away from Georgetown.


Flying over the Penang Bridge.


Butterworth Railway Station from the sky.



Since this was a longer flight to Singapore as compared to KL, the IFE was thankfully available on board.


My Vegetarian Pizza, the staple food of Malindo Business Class passengers.


For the IFE, Panasonic noise cancellation headphones are provided. I managed to get around 20 minutes of entertainment time before the IFE had to be stowed away for landing.



Passing by Singapore City.

Sentosa from above.



Seems that we’re going to land from the north instead.

Cabin lights were dimmed again.

It was pretty bright outside though.

Back in Malaysia for landing at Changi Airport.



Passing over Pulau Tekong.



Back at Changi.



While Malindo operates from Terminal 3, it usually parks at the far end of the A Gates, and this time is no exception too at Gate A18, the furthest gate possible.


The curtains were closed to allow Business Class passengers to disembark first.


Bye Malindo, my first and only Business Class experience from Penang to Singapore.

This is a quick turnaround flight back to Penang.


From the last gates of the pier, I got on the Skytrain to get me to arrivals.





Just less than a minute later, I got my bags from the baggage carousel and off I went.

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Lounge Review – Plaza Premium Lounge (Penang International Airport): A Comprehensive Lounge Sufficient for Short-Haul Flights

Penang International Airport has a pretty compact layout and a relatively simple departure transit area. Despite this, there lies a Plaza Premium Lounge on the mezzanine level of the departure area just after immigration. Thanks to my Malindo Business Class ticket which includes a visit to the Plaza Premium Lounge, it’s time to have brunch.


The Plaza Premium Lounge is located a short escalator ride up to the mezzanine level just after departure immigration and security clearance.


An exchange of the lounge voucher at the counter later, and I was off to explore and relax a little.

2 hours for RM168? Honestly, Don’t think I would pay for this if I’m on a normal flight.


The Plaza Premium Lounge at Penang Airport features their distinctive lounge seats found in all other Plaza Premium Lounges around the world, which are very comfortable for single travellers or small groups.

There is also a dining area for those who wish to have a meal.

If you wish to work on your laptop, there are bar counters and stools too.

The self-service buffet spread is rather simple at first look with just some hot drinks, orange juice, bread and petit fours.

At the hot counter, the only 2 items available were Nasi Lemak and porridge.

Until I saw this menu. Breakfast is served a la carte style, so just place your order with the chef and come back in 5 minutes.

The cold drinks selection was also diverse enough for a short stay.

Now for pictures of the food.

This is the Western Breakfast, the first item on the menu. It does indeed taste better than it looks, though the portion is rather small. But hey, there’s technically no limit to how much you can order…

… so I went for the Scrambled Egg Croissant next. The egg was pretty much prepared almost the same way as the Western Breakfast. Still good though, especially when I had it with butter.

A small portion of Nasi Lemak just to see how it fares.

Hint: Go for the western. Or have your Nasi Lemak before you come to the airport.

And a little bit of pasta salad (more like just pasta), olives and pickles.

After my brunch, I had around 15 minutes before I had to go to the gate so I lounged around with a drink at the sofa area.

Overall, the meals are pretty satisfactory for airport food and with the small number of flights as compared to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong, it was a pleasant and quiet stay. The lounge lacks shower facilities.

After the lounge stay, I headed back downstairs to board my Malindo flight to Singapore.

Rapid Ferry: Butterworth to Penang Island (Georgetown) by Ferry

After I alighted from the KTM Komuter Northern Sector from Padang Besar, it’s time to head to Penang Island with none other than the newly-rebranded Rapid Ferry.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the Rapid Ferry.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Rapid Ferry information page.



Despite being rebranded, the walking route to the Rapid Ferry is still the same.

Penang Sentral is taking shape though, which is connected to the existing bridge. Wished that they would have actually built a new linkway for the railway station and ferry terminal instead of having this unequal development.

With the Rapid Ferry, the old system of dropping coins into the gate is gone and replaced by a proper ticketing system. However, this also means that you can’t skip the queues at the counter anymore even if you have exact change.

Fares for the Rapid Ferry remains unchanged at just RM1.20 per adult, even with this new ticketing system.

My ticket on my first Rapid Ferry ride. Well technically it’s not my first ride across to Penang Island, just with this new ticket and new service name.

Scan the ticket’s QR code at the turnstiles to enter the waiting area.

All other procedures remain unchanged.


Inside the ferry, the Rapid Ferry branding becomes more apparent.



Pulau Undan, resting at Butterworth, bears a new Rapid Ferry livery with landmarks of Penang.

The journey time across to Penang Island remains the same at around 30 minutes.

Pulau Pinang also spots a new Rapid Ferry livery.


Docking at Penang Island.

Disembarking from the Rapid Ferry.

From here, I got on the Rapid Penang Central Area Transit (CAT) bus to my destination.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the Rapid Ferry.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Rapid Ferry information page.

 

KTM Komuter Northern Sector: Padang Besar to Butterworth by Train

With the Thaksinarath and Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train completed, it’s time for my final train journey for the Bangkok – Butterworth route: the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

With the rescheduling of the ETS timetable effective 1 August 2017, trains either ply the KL Sentral – Ipoh, (Gemas) – KL Sentral – Butterworth or (Gemas) – KL Sentral – Padang Besar routes only. The only train service that serves the line on the wye junction which links Bukit Mertajam to other northerly stations is the KTM Komuter Northern Sector. But not that I would have bought an ETS ticket for a short-distance journey anyway.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated KTM Komuter Northern Sector information page.


Tickets for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector can be purchased at the usual ticket counter at any time.

However, you should only buy your ticket within a reasonable time frame on the day of departure only as you will be questioned by the staff at your destination station should you be suspected of overstaying. Tickets are printed with the date and time of your purchase.

The slightly confusing fare and time table as seen at Padang Besar.


Waiting at Platform 2 for my 2957dn to Butterworth departing at 10.25am. This train is the next connecting KTM Komuter train after the arrival of the Express 947 Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train at 9.30am.

EMU 26 operating as 2952up, pulling into Padang Besar to form 2957dn immediately after arrival.

Also on Platform 2 is the Express 948 bound for Hat Yai, but with permissive working in place, 2952up is allowed to stop at Platform 2 as scheduled.

As passengers disembarked, possibly for weekend shopping at Padang Besar, the passengers proceeding south of Padfang Besar start to board. This is to be an on-time departure for 2957dn.

With the first and last coach filling up with passengers and lacking air-conditioning, I opted for a seat at the end of the middle coach, with possibly the only air-con unit functioning in the whole train. Better be choosy since I’m given the opportunity and get comfy for the 2-hour ride.

Don’t be fooled by the small number of stations to represent the length of the line as they are placed further apart as compared with stations on the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector.

Departing Padang Besar at 10.25am, right on time.


All was calm on the journey…

… until the train was arriving at Arau.

Oh wow.


Within a minute, all seats in the train were taken up, leaving the remaining passengers with standing room only.

More passengers started to board at Sungai Petani. Despite me being seated at the end of the coach already, I tried to tuck in my belongings as much as possible to create a little bit more space for the standees.

Making the turn into Bukit Mertajam.

Most passengers alighted at Bukit Mertajam to transfer to the next train bound for Padang Rengas.


Crossing over the Prai Swing Bridge.

Arriving into Butterworth.

Passengers heading north rush into the train as the train arrived at 12.27pm, 11 minutes late, but their train to Padang Besar, 2960up, is formed by this same train which was supposed to depart at 12.25pm.

It’s back to Padang Besar again for EMU 26.

Meanwhile, I let the crowd from 2957dn clear from the lift and staircase first before heading up.


With the northbound crowd cleared, the 2960up departed Butterworth at 12.30pm, 5 minutes late. Also, now that the crowd for the stairs have cleared, I went up too.

The crowd at the concourse, waiting for the next ETS Platinum train to KL Sentral.

Penang Sentral ahead is finally taking shape, though I wish that it would be more integrated with the railway station.

The facade of Butterworth Railway Station once again, and it’s the end of the line for me. Contrary to my previous trips, I will not be taking the train all the way back to Singapore.

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From here, I got on the Rapid Ferry to Penang Island.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated KTM Komuter Northern Sector information page.

 

Express 947 Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train: Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar by Train

After arriving from the Thaksinarath from Bangkok, I had slightly more than an hour to go before the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train departs at 7.30am.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.


Hat Yai is the biggest town in southern Thailand that is closest to Malaysia. It is slightly less than an hour away by train to Padang Besar, and SRT offers two pairs of shuttle trains daily.

Tickets for the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train are only sold on the day of departure, so queue at the counters for immediate travel to purchase your ticket.


Tickets usually costs 80 baht when travelling with the Daewoo DMU, but as the rake is swapped with a non-airconditioned third class rake, the air-conditioning fee and second class fee is waived for this journey, saving me 30 baht. No complains at all, in fact I’d prefer a non-airconditioned train.

The Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train departed from Platform 3 on the day of my journey.


The Alsthom locomotive coupling to my rake to form the train to Padang Besar.



Express 947 from Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar is ready for departure.



The train is made up of 3 coaches of Bogie Third Class coaches, probably to cater to the large crowd heading up to Hat Yai on a Saturday.

I sat in the high-capacity Third Class coach on the bench for 3 people so I have 6 seats to sprawl out for my bags and myself.

Departing Hat Yai Junction.


Heading right to Padang Besar, branching off the line to Sungai Golok.




The typical scenery when travelling south to Padang Besar.

Crossing Phet Kasem Road or Thailand Route 4 before arriving at Khlong Ngae Railway Station.



Arrived and departed Khlong Ngae Railway Station almost immediately as there were no passengers boarding or alighting here.



Arriving at Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station.

If you are heading to Malaysia, do NOT alight here. There are two border stations and the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train will get you across to Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia.

Entering the electrified sector.

Passing through the old Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station.

The rickety border gate.

Hello Malaysia.


Arriving at Padang Besar Railway Station.


The Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train arrived at Padang Besar at 9.19am, 6 minutes ahead of schedule.

A quick run-around of the locmotive later, and the Express 948 is formed for the return trip back to Hat Yai Junction.

Here’s probably the cause of the downgrade to third class coaches – there are too many passengers for them to fit into the 2-car Daewoo DMU. Despite the train already being half-full, these passengers are still queuing for immigration into Thailand.

Needless to say, the Express 948 to Hat Yai Junction was delayed.

This also means that you need not worry if there are too many people buying tickets on the day of your departure as SRT will cater for enough space for you and will not depart the train while you are still queuing for immigration – so don’t fret.


The train conductor of the Express 948 telling passengers to move in to the centre of the car.

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From this platform, I waited for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector to continue on my journey towards Butterworth.


This post is about the travel experience onboard the Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train information page.

 

AirAsia AK721: Kuala Lumpur (klia2) to Singapore (Changi Airport) by Plane

AirAsia has one of the most frequent flight departures between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Not wanting to take another bus ride back to Singapore on the same day I came up by bus, I opted to fly back instead.

From the SkyBus drop-off point which I pre-booked my ticket on, it was a walk through gateway@klia2 before I got to the main terminal building.

Printing my boarding pass at the Self Check-In Kiosk.

Immigration was surprisingly clear on a Saturday evening.

Upon checking my boarding pass at the gate, the staff informed me that my 7.45pm flight would be delayed by 15 minutes. Okay, no big deal I guess.

Inside the gate hold room, it’s obvious that there isn’t enough seats for everyone even for a small A320 aircraft. And because the entrance to the gate hold room is just beside the exit door to the aerobridge, the standing passengers like me had to move in to the rear to allow other passengers to board.

Is this a bus or an Airbus?

Boarding commenced at 8pm, 15 minutes after the original time of departure. So it isn’t a 15-minute delay after all.

Another WiFi-enabled plane. Too bad I doubt I’ll be using the free entertainment this time though.

And because I didn’t want to pre-book my seat, AirAsia has kindly assigned me the middle seat in the row as usual. 🙄

Inside the very full plane, which took off at 8.19pm instead. 34 minutes off schedule.

And of all people, the person beside me decided to be the most chatty person in the world, talking to me in a one-way conversation for 90% of the time about literally everything under the sun like how he had to pack his meal in order to rush for the supposedly-delayed-and-now-slightly-delayed flight, how KL Hokkien Mee is the best thing in the world and how the world is changing thanks to lithium-ion batteries.

I did pre-book my on-board Ashok’s Butter Masala Chicken Biryani meal inclusive of the Est Cola for only RM10 though, which is actually cheaper than eating at klia2 before the flight.

Oh, and chatty guy asked me “What is Masala?”, thinking that Masala is the main dish, but I just pointed the word Biryani out to him.

The chicken and vegetable curries were a little saltier than the usual Singapore ones, but every Briyani I’ve had in Malaysia so far are salty, so I guess this is normal? And if it’s already salty in flight it’s probably even saltier if I ate this on the ground. But nevertheless, still worth the RM10 for sure.

Chatty guy proceeded to tell me how bad carbonated drinks are. He’s now known as Chatty Annoying old (CHAO) guy.

Never been happier to get off a plane. Perhaps if I had pre-booked my preferred seat earlier, I wouldn’t have ended up beside CHAO, but then again, you can only choose your seat and not your neighbours.

How I wish AirAsia had a Pick-Your-Non-Annoying-Neighbour option.

Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia OD807: Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by Business Class

During the Malindo Business Class sale, I did buy more than one ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. So here I am, back at KLIA once again.

After coming in by the KLIA Ekspres and a light lunch at the KLIA Premier Access Lounge, I headed off for immigration and my gate, H8.

H8 is located at the Main Terminal Building itself, so it’s just a short walk from immigration.




Not much crowd for security screening, since the gate was now serving just one flight.

The new and retired Batik Air Malaysia Boeing 737 Max 8 all-Economy Class with no In-Flight Entertainment System. This aircraft will be transferred over to Lion Air instead.

Poor 747s, even with the found owner, it still looks as if abandoned.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 (40 Years Retro Livery) departing Gate H8, also heading for Singapore as MH619.

My plane is revealed after retracting the aerobridge for Gate H8/B8R once MH619 taxis off to the runway.



Didn’t take long after this for Malindo to announce boarding for passengers.

Hello 9M-LCP.

The interior of the new Malindo Economy Class without IFE.

Seriously, Malindo. At least get a seatback with a flushed back instead of just filling in the void and plug the holes in the bulkhead. The current form makes it look as if someone came in and stole 150 TV screens.

Even Business Class isn’t spared from this no-IFE disaster.

Here were the buttons and hinges to pop the IFE out.


My seat for this trip – 3A. With the bulkhead behind me, I could recline freely afterwards without bothering about the non-existent seat behind me.

How I wish all my flights had this amount of legroom.

Couldn’t even reach the seat in front of me after stretching out fully.

Before departure, the stewardess came around with welcome drinks of apple juice, orange juice or water. 11 out of 12 Business Class seats were filled on my flight.

My orange juice before pushback.

Oh here’s another free downgrade with no IFE – a former Firefly Boeing 737-800 now operated by Malaysia Airlines. Better hope you never ever board one of these.

Bye 73M, see you in Indonesia next time.

Bye guys, hope you find a better owner.

Just before takeoff.



Bye KLIA.

The development of KLIA Aeropolis taking shape.

What a pilot would see before landing on Runway 14R.


Eww, please stop throwing sewage straight into drains or rivers.


“Having here or take away?”

Why not both?


The same chicken pizza and muffin is served on this sector. The muffin is now a sane orangey-brown colour as compared with my previous luminous green one.

Also on this flight, beer was available, though I had to request it after overhearing another passenger in front ordering one. Seems like when Malindo informs you on what drink is available to order with your meal, they leave out the alcohol unless you specifically request for it.


Glad I’m flying above this on a Sunday evening.


So near yet so far.

Back in Malaysia for the approach to Changi.



Flying over the now-massive Pulau Tekong.

… and touch down!

Oh look, the KLM Orange Pride is back in Singapore, possibly heading onwards to Bali.

Oh man, literally the furthest gate of Terminal 3.

The Batik Air Airbus A320 at the adjacent gate.



And because I’m parked pretty far, it’s a Skytrain ride to the Arrival Hall.




And because of Changi’s efficiency combined with my Business Class priority tag, I had to actually wait longer for my bag as it already bypassed the start of the belt while I was clearing immigration (and possibly a couple of times factoring in the waiting time for the train), and I wasn’t going to run round to the other side of the belt with the risk of by bag entering back to the staff area.

So ironically, those without the priority tag got their bags first while I had to wait for the belt to spin another round. Truly first world problems. No complains at all though.

Lounge Review – KLIA Premier Access Lounge: A Simple Lounge in the Public Area

The Malindo meal voucher allows for entry to various dining options (RM30 credit) and two lounges in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Since I’ve already tried the Sama-Sama Express Lounge, I decided to give the KLIA Premier Access Lounge on the landside a shot this time.

The KLIA Premier Access Lounge is located just before departure immigration, since its intended purpose was to provide a lounge area for passengers who purchase the fast-track immigration service. However, since I’m a Business Class passenger, this is already provided for and the sole purpose of this visit was to rest and to sample the refreshments.


Since this is meant to be just a passing-through lounge instead of for longer transits, the offerings here are limited to simple finger food, salads, plain porridge and fried bee hoon. Not the most inspiring food in a lounge.

A plus point as compared to the Sama-Sama Express Lounge is that there are canned drinks of Coke, Sprite and Root Beer. Beer is chargeable for Malindo passengers at RM22 a can though.


The lounging area of the KLIA Premier Access Lounge.

If there’s a complain which may be serious enough to address, it would be that there are no toilets in the lounge. If you wish to use the toilet, you have to exit the lounge and walk to the public toilets a few meters away. For something touted as “premier access”, this doesn’t feel very “premier”.

And because I was bored already with the limited food offerings and I needed the toilet anyway, I decided to leave the lounge early and visit the viewing gallery for a while instead.

Not much planes to spot, just this.


Would I come back to the KLIA Premier Access Lounge?

Probably only if I’m in a desperate need of fast-track immigration, which means that I wouldn’t have time to enjoy the lounge facilities anyway. If given a choice between the KLIA Premier Access Lounge and the Sama-Sama Express Lounge, I would pick the Sama-Sama Express Lounge.

But of course, if there are opportunities to visit any airline lounges or the Plaza Premium Lounge, those would easily exceed the quality of either lounge mentioned here.

KLIA Ekspres Wave & Save Promotion with Visa payWave: Almost Useless When KL City Air Terminal Does NOT Accept Visa payWave

I’ve got another cheap Malindo Air Business Class ticket, and since I had a bag to check-in, I might as well use the KLIA Ekspres to get to the airport, and take advantage of the Wave & Save Promotion with Visa payWave. There was just a slight problem…

The KLIA Ekspres Wave & Save Promotion with Visa payWave allows for a 15% discount on one-way tickets (final fare of RM46.75) when paid for with a Visa payWave card at the fare gates.

The slight problem at the KL City Air Terminal (KL CAT) where I need to enter to check-in my bag was…

… that the KL CAT fare gate does NOT accept Visa payWave, or any other third-party cards such as Touch ‘n Go for that matter. What’s the point of offering a promotion on a non-existent mode of payment.

And yes, I did verify this with the counter staff just beside the fare gates. Either I go to the counter or kiosk to get my ticket without the 15% discount or I head straight to the gate to the platforms and check-in my bag at the airport itself.

Honestly, RM2.75 doesn’t make me a millionaire but it’s the principle of offering this promotion. ERL should have stated this clearly in their terms and conditions instead of having the ticket counter tell you only when you are just about to check in at KL CAT. If I had wanted to check in at the airport, I would have just gotten on the Airport Coach for an 82% discount.

My Point KLIA Ekspres

But I’m pretty sure this will happen, just like the other railway operators around here.



And because I still want at least a 10% discount, I got my ticket from the kiosk instead.


Back to the fare gates to KL CAT.

Checking in my bag at KL CAT.

My boarding pass for my Malindo OD 807 flight back to Singapore.


Down to the KLIA Ekspres platforms at KL Sentral.


Back at my favourite seat on the KLIA Ekspres.

Bye KTM and LRT.

Looks like Bandar Malaysia is starting to take shape.

The KL skyline with the Tun Razak Exchange and The Exchange 106 taking shape.


Still waiting for you guys to commence service.

Finally spotted the new CRRC KLIA Ekspres trainset. Honestly, I didn’t see this when looking through my camera, luckily I decided to be trigger happy when passing by the depot in order to catch the name as stated on the train.

Terms and conditions apply indeed. Albeit non-existent.

Scanning out of the KLIA platforms.

To go up to the departures level, you can wait for the lifts which may take quite a while.

Otherwise, you can just ride the escalators which will take equally long too since you have to go up four floors.

Ever since the fare increase, it’s already hard to swallow paying RM55 for a KLIA Ekspres ticket, and with non-existent discounts now, it’s even worse since it’s just giving you false hope. If I didn’t have anything to check-in and was slightly earlier, I would have opted for the Airport Coach or Jetbus instead, and will probably stick with them for my trips in future.

Lounge Review – Sama-Sama Express Lounge KLIA: A basic lounge for a short stay

My Malindo Business Class ticket came with a “meal voucher”. This can be used at food outlets, of course, but using it at a lounge would make better sense.

The two lounges on the voucher are the KLIA Premier Access Lounge and the Sama-Sama Express Lounge. Since the latter had shower facilities, that’s where I opted to spend my time in.

The Sama-Sama Express Lounge is located above Gate C5 of the Satellite Terminal, in the transit area.

The little entrance where the buggy is parked, leading up to the Sama-Sama Express Lounge and Transit Hotel.

The counter of the Sama-Sama Express Lounge. Not much smiles here though. After handing my voucher over, the staff walked away to check on something and then came back to say that I’m allowed to enter. Not sure what the issue was, but whatever works I guess.


Most of the seating area in the lounge are for four to a centre table like a cafe. There is a lack of charging ports though, they seem to be only found on the bar counter on the right of this picture, facing the entrance of the lounge and hotel.

The very sad looking fruits chiller – 3 slices of watermelon can be found inside. Alcoholic drinks in the minibar are not included in the lounge service but can be ordered a la carte.

Luckily they had a coffee machine and some petit fours, in the loose sense of the word. There were love letters and pandan dodol.

The appetiser and dessert section of the buffet. There wasn’t any order in laying out the food here though, the tuna puffs and crackers can be placed beside a sweet dessert tart, and you wouldn’t know which one was the tuna since there weren’t any labels aside from “Appetiser / Dessert”.

Hot food was also available, but I didn’t get any photos of it. There was Fried Rice, Spiced Chicken, Stewed Vegetables, Penne pasta (plain) and Carbonara sauce (which was a cream sauce with no meat but just capsicum).

Cold drinks of Mango (yes, I know it looks like Orange but trust me.) and Lime Juice were available, along with toast on the side.

Kind of a messy buffet put together, but it still kind of worked in the end since I managed to try almost everything. Not the best tasting food though.

Of course, the main highlight and purpose of the lounge visit was a shower.

Each shower cubicle has a separate wet and dry area, which made it really convenient. A towel is laid out for you in the dry area of the cubicle. Soap is provided in the wet area.

If you need additional towels, or other toiletries such as a toothbrush kit, shaving kit or shower cap, you can help yourself to them on the tray here.

A clean sink area with paper towels can be used for brushing your teeth or shaving. Not too pleased with the litter in front of the rubbish bin though.

Overall, since it was a free lounge visit with my RM109.10 Business Class ticket, I guess I don’t really have any grounds to complain. In fact, it’s probably thanks to this lounge visit that I had a shower and some substantial dinner (and coffee, yes.) before I board my flight back to Singapore. Not the best, yes, but it definitely fulfilled its purpose.

If you plan to pay for the usage of this lounge as an economy passenger though, it costs just RM55 nett per person for 3 hours of usage, which actually makes it a very affordable airport lounge to rest and relax in. Just remember to bring along your powerbank.