Malaysia Airlines have been having some turbulent years since the major incident of losing 2 wide-body planes in 2014. To attract customers’ interest, they had multiple sales up to early 2017 and I could not resist to try one of their retrofitted A330 for my Eid vacation.
- MH71 and 70 Business Class
- Tokyo (NRT) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and vice-versa
- 21:40 departure – 04:00 +1 arrival (7h 20m) outbound; 9:50 departure – 18:00 arrival inbound
Let me start by noting that I had no concern with their security when making my booking. So lightning did strike twice, but I have never seen any indication of any issue in MH fleet maintenance and security, and airplane remains to be the safest mode of transportation out there, so I think any safety concern when flying with MH is unfair. What I did have concern with, was the state of their cabin.
I know that MH has not been doing well financially but the fact that the wear and tear of the seat is so apparent, despite it being installed quite recently, and the fact that half of the lavatories in the whole plane were unusable – only toilets on the right side (右側 – no pun intended) of the plane in all classes were working – really gave a bad overall impression. The seat itself was actually quite decent. It’s fully lie-flat with decent storage, in particular if you can get one of the throne seats in 1K, 3K, and 5K. The bedding provided was sufficient enough for a good night sleep but again, I was a bit let down by the condition of the seat. I can only imagine how better it was when everything was still fresh and not broken.
On the bright side, the crews serving my cabin were friendly and they addressed all business class customers by name which makes you feel appreciated – this is despite the cabin was almost full. They were also generous with the satay portion which tasted great, though unfortunately, the remaining meal I had onboard and at their First Class Golden Lounge was pretty bland.
MH often offers tremendous value for premium cabin journey in Asia and Australia as you can get lie-flat seats and a good sleep in most of their long haul routes. I do not yet have any reason to proactively avoid them but I wish they did a better job in maintaining the state of their planes and improved their meal service.