British Airways First Class Lounge O’Hare
Cathay Pacific First Class ORD-HKG
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge HKG
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class HKG-KUL
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
Around Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class KUL-MEL
Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne
Australia Open Day One (2nd round of tourney)
Great Ocean Road Excursion
Australian Open Day Two (4th round of tourney)
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney Opera House Tour
Qantas Domestic Business Lounge SYD
Qantas Domestic Business Class SYD-BNE
Qantas Business Class BNE-LAX
Malaysia Airlines Business Class KUL-MEL
By the time we got to our gate and cleared security it was an unorganized mess of a “line” but I wasn’t in a hurry to board so whatever. I just moved along with the herd and eventually made it on board. To be honest I can’t remember if there was a separate jet bridge for business and economy.
We were perhaps a little more nervous for this flight considering the two unfortunate Malaysia flights in 2014. MH370 vanished early in the year and MH017 which was shot down over Ukraine later in the year. I booked this award flight just a few days before MH370 went missing. I did have brief thoughts of changing our flight throughout the year but figured that is irrational. But we were flying MH and we were flying in the dark and overnight and we would be lying if we said we weren’t thinking about it at some point before taking off.
Once we got settled in we were offered some welcome beverages. Most of the business class cabin was full. I think there were only two empty seats out of 28 total. There were also about four children in the cabin and one was slightly crabby and crying a bit. Once we got into the groove of the boarding and getting settled I think we got into our preflight routines and didn’t think much about the flight being “dangerous”.
The flight attendants offered to put our mattress pads on our seats in case we wanted to sleep right away. My initial thoughts of the seats were that they were somewhat narrow with not much immediate storage space. The seats were only 1.5 inches wider than the economy seats in the back of the plane. I felt like things were getting in my way and it was a little cluttered. However I realize the seat had tons of legroom and was miles better than the people seated in coach. We were seated in seats 2A and 2C which I think are a good choice. You definitely don’t want to be seated in the middle unless you are a party of three and even then its tough to have a middle seat in business class. No airline should be offering three wide in a business class cabin in my opinion.
I felt the cabin was fairly basic. Nothing to write home about but it was respectable. The seat does not recline to a 180 degree angle so sleeping can be difficult if you want a fully flat bed. However the large gentleman seated across from me in 2D had no problems getting some shut eye as my wife could ascertain by his loud snoring. I did enjoy the complimentary TUMI amenity kit. In fact I used that toothbrush for the rest of our trip and I am still using it because it had a nice case to keep it protected. It also came with socks, shoehorn, eye mask, hand sanitizer, Clarions hand and nail cream and moisturizing lip balm.
Malaysia Airlines business class amenity kit by TUMI
The menus were in the seat back pocket so I took a look. I was surprised at the amount of food. I don’t think you could go hungry on this 7 hour overnight flight. The only strange thing is eating a big meal at around 1AM for this flight.
The star of the meal, no surprise, was the opening dish-the satay. It was super! They had chicken and beef and you could have both but we stayed with the chicken. Really tender with great flavors! Well done Malaysia on the satay. The lamb main entree was also a solid dish. My wife’s favorite item during our meal service was the dessert. So much so that she ate her portion and mine. I then told the flight attendant how much my wife enjoyed the dessert and asked if there are any left over or extras could she have another? Within one minute my wife was presented her third piece of cake! She did allow me a bite and I thought it nothing extraordinary but she loved how light it was. Service was really good and it appeared that they had a lot of staff helping the business class cabin.
Chicken Satay starter
Prawn skewers, potato salad and fruit
After the meal service I watched two movies. A James Bond movie and something else that escapes my mind three weeks after this flight was taken.
The primary business class bathroom in the front of the plane was a fair size but nothing out of the normal here except that the placement of the bathroom in the plane surprised me as I couldn’t find it for a moment!!!! There were also two more bathrooms at the rear of the cabin as well.
I didn’t get much sleep on this flight maybe an hour. Before landing we were offered an assorted fruit plate but I was to groggy to remember to take pictures at that point. We were almost to Melbourne and the plane turned around!! We almost made it come on lets get this plane down safely. The captain came on to inform us later that due to heavy traffic in the area he had to circle and we would be arriving maybe 20 minutes late. We circled twice and finally headed in for our landing which was smooth.
A hazy view of Melbourne from our flight
I am glad to say we enjoyed our flight due to the food and the service. I will say the hard product is lacking however. Its not very competitive in my mind vs Cathay Pacific or Singapore or JAL which also fly to Australia amongst others. I would have no worries flying them again but given the option some of the other carriers have much better products to offer on this route or similar routes.
I used 35,000 American Airlines miles per person to book this flight. Malaysia Airlines and American Airlines are both part of the OneWorld Alliance thus partners.
Grand total of 70,000 AA miles and $144.20 of taxes and ticketing fees for our two tickets on Malaysian Airlines business class. I could have booked this through British Airways Avios (another OneWorld Alliance partner) points and got around the telephone booking fees but they were charging additional fees and I had a boat load of AA miles so AA miles it was. I forgot to grab screenshots of cash prices of this flight but rest assured it would run $2k+ per person typically.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you would fly on Malaysia Airlines!