Fly In Malaysia’s New A350 First Class Seat For ~$200

Filed Under: Malaysia

Shortly Malaysia Airlines will be taking delivery of the first of six Airbus A350 aircraft that they have on order. The airline plans to use these to replace the A380s that they presently operate between Kuala Lumpur and London. The A380 provides too much capacity for them on the route, though the problem is that as of now it’s the only plane in their fleet capable of operating the flight nonstop.

In August we learned when Malaysia Airlines would begin flying the A350 on the two daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and London. Specifically, the two London frequencies will be operated by A350s as of the following dates:

  • MH004/001 as of January 15, 2018
  • MH003/002 as of March 5, 2018

Malaysia’s A350 will be in a three class configuration. First class will consist of a single row in a 1-2-1 configuration, though we don’t yet know exactly what product they’re going with (apparently it’s based on a Vantage XL configuration, though). In business class, Malaysia will have the same staggered configuration that they have on their A330s.



This is a significant improvement over Malaysia’s A380 business class, which simply consists of fully flat forward facing seats.

Anyway, when an airline takes delivery of a new type of plane, it’s normal for them to first operate some regional flights ahead of longhaul service. This is so they can familiarize the crews with the new plane, and also work out any kinks before the plane starts operating longer flights.

With that in mind, Malaysia Airlines has announced some intra-Asia A350 flights that they’ll be operating late this year and early next year. Specifically, the A350 will fly the following, per @airlineroute:

  • 5x weekly between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok between December 9, 2017, and January 13, 2018 (MH782/783)
  • Daily between Kuala Lumpur and Penang between December 9, 2017, and January 14, 2018 (MH1140/MH1145)
  • 5x weekly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore between December 10, 2017, and January 14, 2018 (MH613/616)

Not only is this a cool opportunity to try Malaysia’s newest plane, but they’re not selling first class on these flights. It looks like business class passengers are able to assign themselves first class seats on a first come, first served basis at no additional cost. So this is a chance to try Malaysia’s A350 first class seat early on.

I should mention that seat assignments are always subject to change, so there’s no guarantee the seat assignment will stick. It’s still possible that there will be an equipment change, or that they’ll reseat people. But I’d say it’s a fairly safe bet.

Award availability is wide open on all these flights, though Malaysia’s business class fares are also very reasonable. For example, I see roundtrip business class fares from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok for ~$200, so at that cost I’d rather just pay cash.

Anyone plan on taking one of these Malaysia A350 short-haul flights?

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think MH are insane for installing F class o their a350s. Carriers with excellent F classes like LH, SQ and CX all didn’t install F class on this aircraft yet a struggling, directionless carrier thinks they need it.


  2. 1 row of F is not that insane. In fact, nearly every Mainland Chinese carrier does the same: they are not selling these seats for money. But they serve a purpose.

    Even BA and QF and AA’s F class are not designed with revenue pax in mind. It’s nearly all non-rev and elite fliers, and they know that. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

  3. I’m fairly sure if business class isn’t full on a flight they will reseat those in first class in the remaining business class seats and fly the first class cabin empty.

  4. DONE. Anyone want to join me 11dec17 kul-bkk in first? Fingers crossed they keep it and do not swap etc.

  5. aah sheiße, In februari I will be in Kuala Lumpur and I had to buy a flight to Singapore anyway. Too bad they only fly these planes until Januari 14.

  6. @lucky where do you see KUL to BKK for 200 dollars? The price is never below 2k+ MYR for the dates mentioned and that equals more than 500 dollars.

  7. “Nearly all non-rev and elite”. What do you base that on? I bought a round-trip in F on BA from JFK to FAO for five of us just ten minutes ago.

  8. I really enjoy your blog but I would ask your editor to pay more attention. On this post, and several times in the past, you let “ first come first serve[sic]” slip by.
    As you may be aware, this is incorrect and should be “first come, first served”

  9. @alex “…If they didn’t have a first class they’d be nowhere for off duty staff and politicians to sit.”

    TN had an A340 with a worthless First Class for President Flosse’s use when he was summoned to Paris.

  10. @BenBen
    Might have been their sale price. I was looking for KUL-SIN flights a few days ago and they seem to be at 180-ish USD for a RT business fare.

  11. This would be the Vantage XL First Class design. It’s basically a clever use of unused space – you have the same staggered Vantage XL seats, but as this is the front row there is no need for a foot hole or smaller foot space – as there is no seat in front. Plus, at least on the concept art, they had doors on it. Think JetBlue Mint Suite / Delta One Suite but with a larger and open foot space. The seat itself is NOT wider.

    So they can market and sell it as first class, yet don’t lose any cabin space usable for seats (just some space for cabinets / galley use). Smart move imho.

  12. @Zach

    hmm might be but then this is a flight of 50min. How much can you experience any seat at all and given that you can fly this route for RM50 (USD12) with AirAsia I don’t really see the point. If you have to fly anyway no one spends $200 for 50 min when you can get it for $12. If you don’t have to fly and just want to see the new seat a 50min flight is not that aspirational either.

  13. Ben got lucky. The promo fare departing from KL ended on 22nd. MAS had cheap business class for $350 to delhi/mumbai/colombo too until yesterday. Wish you had published it one day early.

  14. @BenBen
    May be, but I need the baggage allowance anyway and prices for Airasia Y on my dates are 100+ sans luggage and I do have to travel on those dates coming off a cheap ex-EU J fare.

  15. Just booked myself in 1K on 17 December from KUL to BKK. One seat still available, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Let’s see what happens. BTW, only MH flights of less than three hours’ duration are dry.

  16. Cheap fare is back! Return flight from KUL is cheaper than one way BKK-KUL and worth more than one way KUL-BKK. Grab those cheap A350 first class seat while it lasts. There are also good return business fare from BKK.

  17. The biz seat on the A330 is the worst….and now it goes to the 350 please noooooooo….
    there are 6 o r 7 different experiences on these biz seats , all different, so it matters, that and its only good for someone 5’5″….I almost broke my ankle…just a horribly knee bashing uncomfortable experience.

  18. Great find and thanks for sharing – snapped up KUL – SIN in 1D (also on 17th Dec like that person above) very cheaply. Likewise, 1 empty place still available…

  19. Booked KUL-BKK on the A350 in 1A, only to be kicked out of it this afternoon back into the business cabin. Will probably cancel now.

  20. By the way, just to follow-up for anyone thinking of doing this – my seat just got re-assigned to row 2 and all of row 1 blocked, so not sure these will stick. Wouldn’t book on the assumption you’ll get the first class seat.

  21. Took advantage of this deal – Just received an email that my seat was moved out of row 1 and re-seated within the actual biz cabin. Anyone else’s seat selection updated/changed?

  22. Damn – same here – had secured seat 1A on MH783 today (9 Dec, the very first day they are flying the 359), and even completed OCLI and had my seat 1A boarding pass issued. Then, early this morning, when I checked it again, I found out I had got re-seated, without any notification from the airline. On ExpertFlyer, the flight is now said to be “F4 A0” – so, that cabin is now officially F Class (although I could not even make a dummy F booking on MH’s website).

  23. Just an update – in BKK now, originally booked on MH783 as per my post above. The flight has now been delayed for an hour (so departing ~5 hours later), and as of now row 1 remains blocked (though on ExpertFlyer row 1 has returned to form part of the J cabin instead of the “F4 A0” several hours ago). In order to arrive into KUL earlier, I have now moved from MH783 to MH789 (departing ~1.5 hours later) – on the usual 738!! Oh well.

  24. Ben, it would be good if you can address this in one of your posts – the reason most of us booked this fare was because we would be able to try their new first cabin. Malaysia made those seats available during the booking process and then much later on decided to block the seats and re-seat everyone who had booked row 1. The fare was attractive b/c of the seat/row 1. If I knew row 1 wasn’t in play, I wouldn’t have booked it! I understand that these things happen but it’s really feels like a bait and switch. Additionally, Malaysia isn’t being straightforward about why they’re blocking the seats — actually they’re not responsive at all.

  25. Well, I guess anything can happen. Same issue here, was booted out from F class back into J class. Probably a business tactic into tricking avaiation enthusiasts to book a flight with them to try out their new aircraft. Have corresponded with their representative and was given all sorts of reply from haven’t paid the full fare ( in which I did) to advance seat placement ( absent from their portal in manage my booking) which will still set you back at an exorbitant cost to deter you from sitting in F class. Well, I guess annoyance and agony was the only reward obtained from the whole experience.

  26. I also got moved from row 1 to another row, but suddenly when I checked on 22 December my flight’s row 1 had magically opened with remark “Seats to be left vacant or offered last” but I still try my luck – I’ll be flying tomorrow so let’s see if they move me back to business class section on the day itself. Not sure if it’s because it’s peak period, though, but it’s worth checking the manage booking section if any of you can get the first class seat again.

  27. Eric, thanks for the heads-up. I am also now allowed to allocate seats in the F cabin for my booking again, but the same message appears which isn’t very hopeful.

    What was the outcome on your flight yesterday?

  28. Andrew,

    I ended up being reallocated to business class, but I counted myself lucky as I still got their throne seat. The flight attendant informed me that the first class seats were for their engineers, which I assumed would be helpful as this is their orientation flight. At least the legroom was quite spacious, which makes it up a bit.

    Plus, please don’t go to the temporary lounge – it’s so bad even the reception staff there suggested me to go to the MH regional lounge (I still went in, though, especially as I have a trip review to make).

  29. I saw a woman on first class row. I’m sure that she is not MH engineer because her bf sat on row 2.

  30. When I first made my booking, I was able to select a row 1 (First Class) seat. A few days later I received an email that my seat had been reassigned back to the row 3. When online check-in opened 48 hours before the flight, I was able to check into a row 1 seat. Great experience.

  31. Against my better judgment I selected 1A as a QF WP SYD-KUL. Happy to report I wasn’t bumpe at the gate today )))

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