I was fortunate to grab a last-minute promo fare on Malindo Air (on a Friday evening flight nonetheless), which allowed me to sample its Business Class product on a short flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Malindo Air Business Class is competitive with the Business Class product of premium airlines and other flag carriers, with a generous 40kg baggage allowance, complimentary lounge access, priority boarding and disembarkation, and full meals served with a range of beverages (including wines and beer) offered. Like other full-service airlines, Malindo Air operates from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as opposed to the low-cost carrier hub, klia2.
Operator: Malindo Air
Route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore (SIN)
Departure from Kuala Lumpur International Airport: 7.40pm / 7.49pm*
Arrival in Singapore Changi Airport: 8.40pm / 8.42pm*
Flight Time: 1 hour / 53 minutes*
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8GP
(* denotes actual timings)
Travelling with Malindo Air in Business Class allows complimentary access to the Sama Sama Express Lounge at the Satellite Terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The lounge (part of Sama Sama Hotel Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is situated next to Gate C5. It is a small lounge, offering a selection of food and beverages. Though it is a nice place to relax before the flight, the lounge itself is quite dimly lit and seating is limited and compact. Beverage options seemed sparse, with two types of cordial drinks and the availability coffee and hot/cold water machines. I didn't see any soft drinks but I believe guests may request for wines and beer from the staff. For the hot food selection, Biriyani Rice, Fried Rice, Spiced Chicken, Fusilli Pasta and Tomato Concasse, Achar, and Lamb Soup were on offer. My phone didn't work very well with the Wi-Fi, which had issues in constantly disconnecting and requiring a fresh log-in. I honestly found the KLIA airport Wi-Fi within the terminal to be much better (I couldn't get its signal within the lounge though)!
One perk though, was the availability of shower facilities, with a spacious shower room, plenty of shower cubicles and hairdryers to freshen up before the flight. I managed to grab a quick but refreshing hot shower, before heading to my gate for boarding.
At the boarding gate, priority boarding was given to passengers travelling with young children, and Business Class passengers could board at their own convenience.
I made my way to the seat and settled into the spacious and wide leather seat, which offers a 45-inch seat pitch. This product is very similar to the ones offered on Malaysia Airlines or SilkAir, on their regional flights.
The seat features a useful retractable drink holder, and a (even more handy) three-pin power charging point.
A big comfortable pillow was set on each seat.
It would be quite full in Business Class today, with 10 out of 12 seats occupied. Thankfully, the adjacent seat to mine would remain empty. During the boarding process, contemporary and upbeat English and Malay pop songs were played.
Once most of the Economy Class passengers had boarded, the pretty Business Class cabin crew member served welcome drinks: with the option of Orange Juice, Apple Juice, or Still Water.
Hot towels were then served. I was surprised at the size of the towels - not quite the dainty handkerchiefs served on most airlines but they were full-sized and thick facial towels! I couldn't resist but to bury my entire face in it! It felt soooo good!
After collecting the used towels, the smiling cabin crew member then came round to take menu orders. Addressing me by name, she offered a choice of "Chicken Pizza or Vegetarian Pizza". Opting for the Chicken Pizza, I decided to have beer to go along with it. She helpfully asked if I would like "Tiger Beer or Carlsberg". the nationalistic me opted for the Singapore beer brand, Tiger Beer.
Blankets were also offered before take off - though they were already unwrapped (which suggested they were probably reused blankets from the previous flight sector), the blanket was well-appreciated as it got quite chilly in the cabin during the flight.
The cabin LED lighting was switched to a deep and dazzling shade of Boeing Sky Interior blue before being dimmed for the night take off.
We then took off into the night sky.
Upon the seatbelt sign being turned off, the attentive cabin crew member came around to offer entertainment headsets, which were Philips SHP1900 Stereo Headphones. They were lightweight and fitted snugly on the ears. I was honestly surprised to receive headphones on this short sector!
A short bout of turbulence ensued soon after - but the seatbelt sign was switched off as quickly as it was switched on. In the meantime, I explored the 11.1-inch entertainment touchscreen. Movies were limited but I managed to find something to occupy my time on this short flight, "The Heart of The Sea".
A USB port is located under the screen.
The flight tracking map - albeit a simple one, was available (Even when the seatbelt sign was just turned off, it was shown that 20% of the flight was already completed - that's how short the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore really is!).
The cabin crew member then continued to surprise me by laying the tray table with linen - another service gesture I didn't expect to see on this short flight! I offered to place the table linen on the tray table myself but she insisted on placing it for me. Kudos to her for her customer-oriented gesture.
She then served the hot snack, which was properly plated on a meal tray. As with the table linen, she insisted on placing the meal tray on my tray table for me. My Chicken Pizza was served with an Orange Muffin. I liked that the muffin too was also warm. The Chicken Pizza was somewhat tasteless and a little more soggy than crisp, but I appreciate the hot snack offering on this short flight sector. My Tiger Beer was served in a glass with another glass of still water, again, very well appreciated. I personally felt it would be nice to receive a full can of Tiger Beer though, rather than a glass, but that's just me.
Before landing, hot towels were again served. Again, I showed my gratitude of its size by plonking it on my face.
Though the flight was short and even with a bout of turbulence encountered, the service was relaxed and well-paced - which really made the flight experience very enjoyable. This, I have to attribute to the professional and warm service of the Malindo Air cabin crew member. It was the little gestures she did that really made a difference, such as greeting passengers by name, and gently shaking the hot towel with her tong before serving them, and cautioning passengers to be careful as they were hot. What excellent service from the Malindo Air cabin crew!
Furthermore, a full Business Class experience was offered on this very short flight:
complimentary lounge access
serving of hot towels before take off and before landing
setting of table linen on the tray table
offering of blankets and headsets
a hot snack service with a choice of drink
choice of two menu options
Malindo Air's Business Class truly mirrors that of premium airlines, and in certain aspects, even excels above them (I believe Singapore Airlines only offers cold sandwiches in Business Class on the same sector, and Malaysia Airlines only offer one snack option).
Soon after, the cabin was secured and cabin lights were dimmed, and we landed in Singapore Changi Airport, ending a delightful Business Class experience.
Thank you for reading this review of Malindo Air Business Class on FlightTravels.
For the full video review of my Malindo Air OD805 flight, please see below: