Business Class Malaysia Airlines OneWorld Trip Reports

Review: Malaysia Airlines Business Class Airbus A330 | Tokyo Narita to Kuala Lumpur

[Click above for the video review.]

Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Flight Number: MH71
Route: NRT-KUL
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Registration: 9M-MTJ
Delivered: September 2012
Flight Duration: 7 hours 25 minutes
Distance: 3,365 Miles

Overall Impression:

Selamat Datang! Come join me and let’s fly to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines Business Class !

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS/MH) is one of my favorite Southeast Asian carriers. I’ve mostly flown them on short hops to/from Kuala Lumpur, so I was looking forward to flying them on a much longer (but still regional) route. My flight was originally being serviced by MH’s Airbus A350, but there was a last minute equipment change to an A330. This Airbus A330-300 flight from NRT-KUL offers 2 classes of service, Business and Economy Class. There are 27 seats in business class configured in a 1-2-1(2) staggered layout similar to Swiss’ Business class configuration. Most seats have direct aisle access, and all turn into a full flat bed along with a full size pillow and duvet. Aigner branded Amenity kits were also provided to Business Class passengers. Onboard service was very good. The crew, though not as polished as other crews from leading carriers delivered warm and engaging service. The food was also delicious, and nicely presented. Overall I think MH offers a solid business class product on this route. The seats are comfortable, service very good, and the catering, delicious!

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What I liked:

JAL First Class Lounge in NRT – We got access to the JAL First Class Lounge via our Oneworld Emerald Status. This is my favorite lounge in NRT. The first class section has been recently renovated, and I love the minimalist decor. There’s plenty of food and beverage options including made to order food ramen and sushi. There’s also plenty of seating to lounge and relax before the flight.

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The Food – I’m a big fan of Malaysian food, and I love how MH offers their signature satay service right after takeoff. The onboard catering out of NRT was also delicious. I ordered the Japanese set for the first meal, and it was tastefully presented, as it was delectable. 2 hours before landing, I ordered some vegetarian fried noodles (mee bee hoon goreng) and it was nice and spicy.

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The Onboard Service – The flight attendants delivered a very warm and engaging service. There was no language barrier, as most of them speak English very well. The male flight attendant working our aisle was chatty and he came by a few times to see how we’re doing and what our plans are in KL. The crew though not as polished, as let’s say Singapore Airlines’ crew were all well-intentioned and very eager to please. Pre-departure beverage service with hot towels were offered. I was also proactively offered drink refills and the crew always responded to my please and thank yous.

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The Airplane/Onboard Amenities – The Airbus A330 has become one of MH’s workhorse on longer flights, as it got rid of all of its Boeing 777-200s after the MH 370 and MH17 disasters. This aircraft is about 7 years old, as it was delivered in 2012. The Business class cabin still looked fresh and well maintained. A full size pillow/duvet, bottled water, noise canceling headphones, and Aigner-branded amenity kit were all waiting at my seat upon boarding.  The lavatories were kept very clean by the crew, and well stocked with Acca Kappa toiletries along with toothbrushes and razors. One last thing: AIR NOZZLES! This Airbus A330 was fitted with air nozzles, and the crew kept the cabin perfectly cool during the flight, which is made it easier to relax and fall asleep. You hear that, JAL? 🙂

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What I didn’t like:

The IFE – MH’s IFE system was a bit too basic. Yes, there were a few dozen movies, TV shows, and other media content, but the interface was kind of wonky, and the screen was not very clear compared to newer IFE systems on other airlines. The moving map was also very meager.

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It was OK…I guess:

The Seats – MH offers a decent business class seat on their Airbus A330. The seat configuration is 1-2-1(2), where as all of the portside seats are single seats, while on the starboard side, the seats alternate between double seats for those traveling together, and the highly coveted single “throne” seats.  I was seated in 7A, one of the single seats on the port side the plane in the last row of business class. I thought seat was comfortable for both sitting and sleeping, but my only complaint is the seat  width is a little on the narrow side, so bigger folks beware.

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Bottom Line:

I’m a Oneworld flyer for the most part, so my choice for this route is either Japan Airlines or Malaysia Airlines. I know most people would probably choose JAL , but I actually prefer MH on this route, and this is mainly because I like the MH business class seats over the JAL Sky Suite III on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. MH also offers a full amenity kit, compared to the mini wash bags that JAL hands out on this route. Not to mention MH keeps their cabins cool during the flight, compared to JAL’s flying sauna warmer cabins with no air nozzles. In terms of the food onboard, MH’s catering out of Narita was also superb and almost on par with JAL’s onboard offerings, plus MH offers satay service. The service from the crew on this flight was also very warm and casual, unlike JAL’s very formal (and sometimes robot-like) reception. Both JAL and MH uses the JAL Sakura/First Class Lounge in Narita, which is awesome. Overall a great flight, and I would definitely fly MH again on this route, given the choice.

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