So I am not fussy at all when I travel. Hopping on to budget flight or a private plane to me is equal in my eyes because both, are a privilege. But, in early Sept, I had the privilege of being upgraded to Malindo Business Class while on a short flight to Kuala Lumpur…. and dare I say…. even if I paid… IT WAS WORTH IT!
First of all, the price for Malindo Biz is extremely competitive. To be fair, when I got tickets, prices for a Business class return trip were the same as some of the full-serviced flights from SG to KL. Yes.. it is a short trip. Only one hour. But I’ll explain why I think if you are travelling to KL, splurging on a biz ticket, might be worth your while.
I have recently travelled to KL on both the Singapore and Malaysian national carriers for this same route, on Business class as well, so I am using them as a basis for comparison. Don’t even get me started on Oman Air. I was slated to travel on Biz to KL with them too, my flights got cancelled… TWICE. Once I was rescheduled on a flight 4 hours later, that would have me miss my first morning meeting that was very important. I basically ran from T3 to T1 and paid for a one-way ticket on AirAsia 30 mins before the flight! The second time was on my return, where the flight was totally cancelled, and they put all passengers on Econ on the Sq flight back to Singapore. O_O
- Price point
This is a definite plus. When I booked a flight back from KL to SG on a popular time back on a Sat, at 2am that same morning, it cost S$100.
I have paid up to S$200 for a last min ticket TO KL on a budget airline, one way – and I had to pay for my own food on the plane. -_-”
2. Malindo allows 30kg for Economy passengers on this 1 hr flight. Business class passengers can bring up to 40kg.
You may not think it is significant. “Who needs that much luggage allowance for a one-hour flight any way?” one might ask. OH my dear friend, let me explain this to you using economics… (well.. sort of at least).
Given the current exchange rate, and the fact that wonderful places like Daiso exist in Malaysia as well…. (and how awesome the food is) never underestimate your ability to spend on small inane household products.
This was a lesson I learned when I bought myself an budget ticket and I discovered the wonders of Miniso in Malaysia. Honestly, I did not intend to shop. All I brought was a small carry on bag for my overnight work trip. But after discovering Miniso….. I landed up needed to buy extra bags for check in.
I tried to up my luggage allowance the night before my trip. In fact, the website, and the ticket, said you could top this up before your flight with a simple online purchase… but for some reason, I tried multiple times and failed. I thought I could top it up at the airport, but no. They just charged me RM$400 for my overweight luggage. I explained that I tried many times to purchase. And because on the budget website, there are no contact numbers… there was only a “Live chat” option available. But I was stuck on the “You are 3rd in line” for 30 to 45 mins THREE TIMES!
Btw, with that particular carrier, I realized that perhaps it is a ploy to earn via overweight baggage. I had the exact same experience returning on a trip in Indonesia, same thing. Trying to buy the extra luggage, but failing, and being “in queue” for the customer service chat FOREVER!
3. Service is good
The lovely air stewardess, Mel, on my flight, obliged by helping me take multiple photos. SCORE!
But of course, that isn’t my basis for good service. On both the national carriers, and on business class… Don’t get me wrong – I have had excellent service on both carriers especially when I’ve travelled Business on them. But service was rather lacking on one of my trips going to Malaysia, the stewardess forgot about me after the welcome drink.
In another adventure on a carrier from Malaysia, well, I had a bad experience where the entire plane was trapped on the tarmac for more than 3 hrs just before takeoff because there was an issue with the brakes. JUST BEFORE TAKE OFF. Like seriously, the engines had already roared to life as they do while revving off for takeoff, before slowing whirring to a complete, silent, stop. Given how, in some unfortunate coincidence, both the national papers that were stuffed into the magazine pockets that day carried front page articles on an unfortunate crash, and another tragedy suffered on their planes ….. I think all the passengers were just relieved that we had not become a statistic.
BUT the flight was supposed to leave at 7pm. I reached home at 2am. And in the entire time we were on the tarmac, there were only 3 announcements – the first to tell us the brakes were spoilt, and we were getting towed back in the first hour. The second an hour later to tell us that we could not be towed, so we were waiting for a repair crew. And 30 mins later, we had about another 45 mins of the plane being jerked and lifted, and hearing all sorts of drilling and loud sounds emnating from the belly of the aircraft. And the last.. oh, an announcement that we were switching planes.
During this time we were served NOTHING. Even on Business class. Not a juice. Nor a water. Not a snack. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. And the seatbelt light was on. (Fair enough.) But during the whole time, NONE of the flight attendants were present. They were safely curtained away in their crew chairs. When I felt like I was bursting and had to use the facilities, I pretty much accidentally walked in on a few of them eating. Whole meals. On the plane.
We didn’t even get water. O_O
I was actually on transit on my way back from Seoul. So basically I had travelled from 5am that morning. I was not very amused.
Upside: I met a super dad on the flight. He was a new dad, on the flight with his beautiful 6-month-old daughter. He HANDCARRIED her through the entire ordeal. And he was travelling by himself.
Apparently she makes a fuss when she is in a baby carrier.. but because he cradled her in his arms the entire time, she only woke up twice, once for milk and once when the pilot announcement crackled on a little too loudly. I have no idea how he did it. AND he told me he was rushing back from Malaysia because he had an exam the next day!!! His arm must have been dead because basically from the time he got to KLIA, he was handcarrying her like a precious rugby ball in the crook of his left arm. No toilet breaks. No assistance. Just the occasional doting-dad kisses on her forehead.
Oh. Btw. Did I mention that after waiting another hour for the buses to take us back to the main terminal. We basically had to walk across the entire airport again to a new gate, that wasn’t even open when we arrived. And waited for another hour while they got the new plane prepped.
I could have driven back at 4pm instead of going to the airport, and gotten back to SG faster. BUT I WAS TRAPPED ON A PLANE!!! (And no one wants to kick up a fuss and land on the no fly list.)
I could stretch out my feet completely on this place. My legs. Out. Straight. It was very roomy. I couldn’t even do that in some of the aircraft for the national carriers.
5. I could use WIFI. AND MY PHONE!!! ON THE PLANE!!!
And check out those dope earphones that they give you to use with your personal entertainment devices. (Unfortch I was all set up for work and in my “I need to business” zone.)
I EVEN SNAPCHATTED!!!! ’nuff said.
All in all… I’d rate my entire experience on Malindo a 4.5/5.
The only reason I’d deduct points? Their plush, buttery leather seats while cushy and wide, were a beautiful but unfortunate shade of beige. People often wear jeans on planes. Denim jeans often leave dye.. and it definitely transfers onto light colours.. so they land up looking dirty, when they are actually pristine.