Malaysia Airlines to join OneWorld on February 1, 2013

In June of last year it was announced that Malaysia Airlines would be joining the OneWorld alliance by late 2012. The good news is that just today OneWorld announced Malaysia Airlines’ official join date, which was up in the air till now. The bad news is that it’s only going to be February 1, 2013, so it seems the entry is delayed a bit. My hope is that they’ll develop more reciprocal agreements with other OneWorld carriers before then, though I wouldn’t count on it.

Malaysia Airlines has a fantastic reputation, and I can’t wait to finally try their first class product. While Malaysia Airlines has partnered with Delta SkyMiles for a while, they impose substantial fuel surcharges and also limit award redemptions to business and coach class. Chances are that we’ll be able to redeem our American AAdvantage miles for Malaysia Airlines first class, and there shouldn’t be any sort of fuel surcharges. Their first class product looks pretty awesome as well, especially on the Airbus 380.

Airbus 380 first class product

Malaysia’s only route to the US is daily service to Los Angeles via Tokyo, though unfortunately that’s a two cabin plane without first class. That being said, they have several destinations in Asia, Europe, and Australia with first class service.

OneWorld really is starting to give the Star Alliance a run for their money, if you ask me…

Filed Under: Malaysia
  1. @ theblakefish — They already are. Between their current members and Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and the other “members-elect,” I think they’re just about on par with Star. Especially when you factor in some of the Star Alliance airlines that are releasing virtually no award space nowadays.

  2. Now there’s an idea.

    Take one of the world’s best served routes and make it the only flight in your entire network involving the world’s largest airline market being served by a two cabin floor plan that competes directly or indirectly with nearly every major Asian airline of record. Wait, what?

    I guess I simply didn’t realize anyone was willing to fly a generic twin cabin 777 to NRT or KUL just to experience the wonder of SQ’s half baked half-brother. šŸ˜‰

  3. @ Dax — LOL, good point. Till March the service went through Taipei, but I suspect the fuel savings of going through Tokyo proved too much to give up.

  4. Did anyone else pick up on the notes in the oneworld media release about MH-LA integration will not be complete until 2-months AFTER MH joins oneworld? I really hope this is due TAM joining as well. Then Star really will be screwed! šŸ™‚

  5. @ Romsdeals — They discontinued that route in March in favor of the Tokyo route.

    @ John B — Since they formally join on February 1, that’s when you’d be able to start booking awards with them, assuming they don’t create some individual airline partnerships in the meantime.

  6. MH is not SA their countries are close together but that’s it. Ever been on a flight in F and they are not serving any alcohol until sundown, they are a lot more parochial than SA. Just don’t ask/do for something is not in the manual and they will avoid you for the entire rather than saying, no.

  7. MH only flies their 772s to LAX twice weekly, with 2-3-2 in Business.

    The F product is excellent, but the ground service isn’t anywhere near BKK. They’ve already started to restrict redemptions for their own FFP members to redeem F on the A380, so I can only imagine how generous they’ll be with partners.

    After the 747s leave the fleet, they’ll be left with only 6 aircraft with F cabins, all of which are A380s, which probably means they’ll be even more stingy.

  8. I agree OneWorld is certainly catching up with Star. Maybe if Virgin Atlantic joins Star that will edge them forward though my money is on them joining SkyTeam

    Anyway I am thinking of planning a AA OneWorld award from US-Asia using the LHR-KUL route. TWICE daily A380 service! Checking Malaysia Enrich award availability appears WIDE open. I am sure the service is not up to SQ but hey I am sure it will still be great and it’s nice to experience different products. On this one thinking of going out with BA-MH and back on Thai and Air Canada.

  9. Flew them in short-haul coach this summer (KUL-HAN) and I have to say the service was probably the best I’ve ever had in coach. Good food, frequent drink runs, helpful FAs.

  10. MilesAbound is correct — the biggest impact is being able to use them on an AA 1W award. When SriLankan (UL) joins, this will make 1W, and specifically AA, king for MLE redemptions.

  11. @Lucky: The only 2 destinations that have F service is SYD and LHR. Once the B744 retires and MH receives all six A380s, the only F destinations will be CDG (1 daily) and LHR (2 daily). I suspect there will be another destination that will be flown by the A380 (possibly NRT, MEL or SYD) since only five A380 is required for the CDG/LHR runs.

    @Kai: MH flies KUL-NRT-LAX 4 times a week (M, W, F, Su ex-KUL and LAX).

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