Flight Review – Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia OD580: Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh by Boeing 737-800

With a fare difference of almost 4 times more if I had flown non-stop from Changi Airport, I decided to get a bus to KL the night before instead to catch the Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia flight OD580 to get to Phnom Penh. Malindo OD580 is the only flight to Phnom Penh by Malindo, once a day.

Malindo’s check-in row for all destinations is at Row E at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

However, I’ve already completed my check-in at the KL City Air Terminal at KL Sentral earlier.

There are also new self-service check-in kiosks around the center part of the terminal.

However, a reprint of the boarding pass is not possible here after check-in.

With less than 1 and a half hours to my flight departure, I headed straight for immigration…

… only to be greeted by this “world-class” immigration queue.

However, upon closer look, the crowd was for Malaysian passport holders and the foreigner queue to the left was rather empty. Hmm.

Anyway, immigration was done in less than 10 minutes and it’s off to the customs queue.

My flight to Phnom Penh will depart from Gate C21, which is at the Satellite Building. So, it’s off to board the Aerotrain to get across.

The Aerotrain platform, with new boarding door signs.

My Aerotrain approaching.

From the Main Terminal Building and Contact Pier, it’s a straight dive down under the taxiway.

Passing under the taxiway.

Crossing with the opposing Aerotrain somewhere in the middle of the line at the curve to the Satellite Building.

Arriving at the Satellite Building.

The Aerotrain car without any external advertisements on it.

I heard about the new renovated toilets at KLIA, so since I have a little bit of time before the flight, I decided to check it out.

Yup, the toilets are stylish and modern alright, however, there are no more paper towels provided (replaced by the air washer) and it’s kind of a misfit with the other parts of the terminal which aren’t renovated.

Bye Jibby.

My “opened” gate at Gate C21. However, the security queue was at Gate C23, combining both flights departing from Gates C21 and C23.

After security, passengers were then split according to the actual departure gate.

At the departure gate during the boarding pass check, the immigration and customs declaration forms for Cambodia were given out.

Inside the gate hold room of Gate C21.

My plane was towed into the gate shortly after.

Connecting the aerobridge and loading up the food from Brahim’s SATS Food Services.

Hmm, final call for boarding when the boarding time is at 9.47am and it’s now 9.53am?

Hmm, gate closed at 9.56am when everyone is still sitting in the gate hold room? Is this TV screen operated by the same people handling the KTM Komuter departures?

Thankfully, the gate opened shortly after and the plane did not fly off without all the passengers waiting inside.

Heading down the aerobridge.

Passing through the Business Class cabin. Hmm, do you see what I see?

That’s right – no IFE on board.

Entering the Economy Class cabin.

Blacklisted seats on Malindo’s Boeing 737-800: 8A, 8F, 9A and 9F

My 16A seat with a nicely-aligned window.

The comfortable legroom on board Malindo Economy Class.

Except this.

Malindo promotes their in-flight entertainment as “an Adventure of True Onboard Cinematic Experience”. Unfortunately, I had none of that on this flight.

The cabin crew making a safety announcement for those seated at the emergency exit row.

Hmm, not sure why the lights were dimmed so much for a late morning departure.

Bye Malaysia Airlines A380s.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 in Negaraku livery.

A Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350-900 taking off.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 in MAS retro livery.

The queue for take-off took almost half an hour, with planes behind waiting even longer. Maybe it’d have hurt less if I had IFE.

I’ll be pretty pissed off if I were on this plane to Singapore with a half-hour queue for take-off.

Finally getting to the runway.

Goodbye KLIA.

Flying northeast from KL instead of the typical south that I usually go to.

I think it’s my first time flying over KL with clear skies, and a good view of the Petronas Twin Towers from above.

KLCC looks pretty small from up here.

Further up from the city, the cloud cover started.

Cabin lights were slightly brighter after the seat belt signs were switched off.

Oh yay, food’s here! I wonder what that could be.

There were two trolleys for the meal service – one for meal boxes only, and the other for drinks only.

Can’t wait to see what’s in the meal box!

Oh look, it’s the Chicken Pizza and Muffin again.

Not that I’m against it – it’s pretty good for airplane pizzas, but so far I’ve had this pizza and muffin combination for 100% of my Malindo flights.

You can read more about the pizza here, here, here, here and here.

After I finished my pizza, the drinks trolley came around.

I think the drinks trolley should be manned by 2 crew and the meal box trolley by only 1 since it’s quite a straightforward task to hand out the only meal choice but each passenger would have a different beverage order. This would also have both trolleys move at a hopefully equal speed.

My drinks order for the morning – coffee and apple juice. Okay, so I might have been a culprit for the slow beverage service with my two orders.

Flying out of Malaysia.

The interior of the washroom on board Malindo’s Boeing 737-800.

Flying above Cambodia.

Flying over the Mekong River with the view of Phnom Penh below.

Phnom Penh Railway Station and its surroundings from above.

Flying over the railway line, looking towards Phnom Penh.

Landed at Phnom Penh International Airport in Pochentong.

Cambodia’s Bassaka Air at Phnom Penh International Airport.

There are also a bunch of other international airlines, but are all mainly from China.

Turning into the gate at Phnom Penh International Airport.

A Cathay Dragon Airbus A320-200 in Dragonair livery heading for Hong Kong.

Arrived at the terminal building.

Disembarking from the plane.

Hmm, not too fun to be at the bulkhead seat on this plane.

Goodbye, confused premium airline branding of Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia.

Heading to the terminal building by thankfully the aerobridge.

Heading down for immigration and baggage reclaim.

Immigration was pretty quick, thanks to the bulk of arriving passengers needing to getting their visa-on-arrival. As such, it was a breeze to get through the immigration counters with no queues, and a wait of about 10 minutes for my bag at the carousel was necessary.

Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam passport holders do not require a visa to enter Cambodia.

Seems like my flight was delayed for 15 minutes. Oh well, not that I was rushing to anywhere important in Phnom Penh anyway.

Heading out after customs clearance to the arrival hall.

Immediately upon exiting the baggage reclaim area, you will see the counters for onward transport. You can get a train, bus, taxi or remork (tuk tuk) from these counters.

SIM cards are available on the counters on the right side.

I suggest getting the Cellcard Tourist SIM for US$2 for 1.4GB of data valid for 7 days. More details here. (The other SIM cards available at Cellcard as well as the other operators around offer a lot more data for US$5 and above, but I don’t think you’ll need that much for a short stay.)

From here, I got on the new Airport Shuttle Train to the city.

Overall, Malindo Air/Batik Air Malaysia was a pretty good choice for this ~2 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh. As I travel light, meals and check-in allowances are secondary to me for a short flight, but the reasonable fares and these frills already included are an added bonus which definitely made the whole airport and flying process more comfortable.

Looks like I’ve found my flight alternative after 1 July 2018.


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