The day I received my invite to join a food bloggers’ trip to Malaysia I was equally excited about the opportunity to see a new country as I was about flying business class with Malaysia Airlines! Just because… who wouldn’t love to experience the luxury of the airport lounge, extra baggage allowance, fully-flat seats, free magazines and snacks, in-flight entertainment, Champagne and Chef-on-call?
I had never flown business class before, so everything was new to me and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Here are the 5 things I loved the most about flying Business Class with Malaysia Airlines.
1. The Golden Lounge
One of the perks of flying business class is access to the airport lounge, particularly while waiting for a connecting flight after a long-haul one. You can freshen up with a quick shower, grab some food, relax on the sofas and use the free wifi.
We had breakfast in the lounge in London and I loved the wide selection of British and Malaysian dishes at the breakfast buffet. Hot and cold drinks were available to order at the bar.
The lounge was located next to our departing gate in Terminal 4, so we waited comfortably at the lounge until minutes before boarding the plane.
Once our flight was called in the lounge we quickly reached the gate and boarded through a separate queue for business and first class passengers. Business class passengers have also access premier lanes for faster security checks and immigration clearance. The whole experience was incredibly stress-free.
2. The A380 Business Class cabin
Before boarding I was giddy with nerves and excitement for the upcoming trip. Once inside the A380 I started to relax! The colour scheme is a soft purple and the lights are bright but not harsh, creating a welcoming environment.
The A380 is a double-decker aircraft with 494 seats divided between economy, economy premium, business and first classes. The business class is located on the upper deck with 66 seats split between two cabins. It’s amazing how spacious the cabin felt with just 6 seats (instead of the 10 of Economy)!
The ceilings are high and there is plenty of space to store all your bags (business class passengers have a baggage allowance of 40kg plus two pieces of hand luggage).
There is a galley area between the two cabins and another one at the front of the aircraft (where the staircase down to First Class are located). This area was stocked with newspapers/magazines, water and snacks. Pro tip: there is a larger bathroom on this side of the plane!
3. The seat
The flight from London Heathrow T4 to Kuala Lumpur International Airport takes approximately 13 hours, so being able to sleep on the plane is priceless. The seats in business class offer ample leg-room and recline into fully flat beds 183cm long (72”).
I received one pillow and two blankets, one to cover the bed before going to sleep (it has holes to let the seat belt through) and one to snuggle in! It was the most comfortable I have ever felt on a flight. A dividing curtain can be pulled between the two seats if you want a bit of privacy during the flight.
Each seat boasts an individual 17-inch in-flight entertainment screen. I was worried about my laptop battery not lasting very long, but thanks to the power outlets located between the seats I was able to use it for the duration of the flight.
The seat has a tray table located in the armrest, which is large and at the right height when unfolded.
There is also a shared table between two adjoining seats.
4. The food
MAS prides itself on its in-flight food and rightly so! One of the highlights of the flight is without doubts the satay, a Malaysian delicacy. These Chicken and Beef Satay skewers have been served on board Malaysia Airlines since 1972. Almost 20,000 sticks of satay are served on Malaysia Airlines flights around the world every day!
While in Kuala Lumpur we had the pleasure to visit the MAS Catering Facility. This is where all the food served on board is cooked and packaged (it will then be re-heated and plated by the flight attendants on board). It was such an interesting tour as I loved watching the staff baking pastries and bread, beautifully carving fruits, and cooking the food.
Malaysia Airlines uses high quality cuts of meat marinaded overnight in fresh shallots, turmeric, garlic, galangal and lemongrass. The satay sticks are then hand-turned while being chargrilled over original mangrove wood charcoal.
The satay is served with a traditional crushed peanut sauce which is gently cooked for hours to achieve the right consistency and flavour. The satay is complemented with nasi himpit, refreshing cucumber and tangy raw onion chunks.
When you fly business class with Malaysia Airlines, you can expect a real dining experience. The table is set by the flight attendant with a white tablecloth, metal cutlery, white ceramic plates and glasses. After the appetizer, they served a starter, a main course and dessert.
While the on-board menu offers three choices for mains, First and Business Class passengers can also choose the Chef-on-call option and pre-order their dish of choice from a large International and Malaysian menu.
There was also a good choice of snacks (hot noodle broth, cookies or chicken sandwiches) available to order at any time during the flight. And of course wine and Champagne are available to order before and during meals.
I was pleased to find a coffee & tea section on the menu, with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or Brazilian Santos filter coffee along with Malaysian teas such as Teh Tarik (milk-based tea) or Ceylon Meda Watte (loose leaf tea).
5. The customer service
Malaysia Airlines places a great attention to customer service and on all our flights (London-Kuala Lumpur-Kuching) the flight attendants were friendly, professional and attentive. The Malaysia Airlines’ staff is truly the nicest I’ve ever interacted with on long haul flights. From the airport staff at the dedicated business class desks to the flight attendants, everyone I met ensured I had a great experience. Granted we were on a press trip, but the staff wouldn’t have known that.
During the return flight from KL one of the food bloggers, Niamh of Eat Like A Girl, was surprised by the flight attendants with two birthday cake and a bottle of Champagne! Niamh had celebrated her birthday a few days before and the PR had organised a surprise for her (anyone can pre-order a celebration party on business class). We all sang happy birthday and celebrated at 30,000 feet!
Flying Business Class is expensive and I appreciate it’s beyond reach for most of the people reading this blog. It’s certainly beyond my budget! But let me tell you, it’s also an experience on a completely different level from economy flying. Especially if you are a nervous flyer like me or have health issues, then it makes such a huge difference. If you have the chance to spend the extra money, or perhaps use air miles for an upgrade, it’s 100% worth it.
Thank you Malaysia Airlines and PCC for inviting me along on this trip!
Malaysia Airlines is the only carrier to offer a twice daily non-stop A380 full service link between the UK and Malaysia. UK passengers can also take advantage of frequent onward connections to destinations across Malaysia, Asia and Australasia. To book visit www.malaysiaairlines.com or call +44 (0) 871 4239 090.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Malaysia Airlines. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.