Review: Malaysia Airlines Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong

Filed Under: Awards, Malaysia

We overnighted at the Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, and in the morning took a 7AM train from the hotel to the airport, which got in at around 7:30AM.

While this is usually just a simple train ride, it turned out to be rather complicated. At this point in the trip my mom’s foot was extremely swollen and she could barely walk. I think there were too many stairs for her between the white water rafting in Ubud and Amankila, so at this point in the trip I was literally dragging about six sets of bags (including her 70 pound suitcase), as she tried to just limp along.

Once at the airport we headed to the first class check-in counter, which is also for OneWorld Emerald members. Our boarding passes were quickly issued all the way to San Francisco. Even though we were in first class on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to San Francisco, unfortunately there was no first class award space on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong. As I covered in this post, Malaysia seems to have really cut back on the amount of first class award space they release since joining OneWorld, though at least their business class is fully flat.

Once we had our boarding passes we cleared immigration and headed to the international terminal. Wwe visited the first class lounge, though since I reviewed that just a few months ago I won’t do so again, but feel free to check out my previous review.

The lounge is pleasant though nothing special, and at around 8:45AM we headed to our departure gate, which was about a 15 minute walk away (it would’ve been a five minute walk if it weren’t for my mom’s foot).

Once at the gate they were making the final boarding call, and we proceeded to the upper deck jet bridge.

Our A380 to Hong Kong

Our A380 to Hong Kong

Malaysia 72
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – Hong Kong (HKG)
Sunday, June 16th
Depart: 9:15AM
Arrive: 1:05PM
Duration: 3hr50min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 15H (Business Class)

Once on the upper deck we crossed the aisle and turned right towards our seats in row 15, which were towards the back of the cabin. The business class cabin was surprisingly full, with only a few empty seats.

Malaysia has pretty standard “no frills” fully flat seats, which are perfectly comfortable, especially if traveling with a companion. There were pillows and blankets waiting at our seats as well.

Our seats

Pillow and blanket

On the center console were the seating controls.

Seating controls

And beneath that were the entertainment controls.

Entertainment controls

The seats had plenty of storage — there was a storage compartment underneath the IFE screen, and there were also lockers under the windows.



While the crew on the last flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur was mostly indifferent, on this flight the crew was nothing short of spectacular. They were all smiles and couldn’t have been more attentive. They quickly offered us pre-departure beverages, and I selected some guava juice.

Pre-departure beverages

As the departure time rolled around the captain came on the PA to inform us of a slight delay due to air traffic control, and that we’d be about 20 minutes late departing. Stupidly I only planned about an hour connection in Hong Kong, and my mom’s foot certainly wasn’t going to help our chances of making the connection. Still, there was nothing I could do, so figured there was no point in panicking.

Anyway, since the engines still hadn’t started and the APU wasn’t working, the cabin was hot. Really hot — it must have been close to 100 degrees. Yes, it’s annoying, but there’s no need to throw a hissy fit over it, in my opinion. The guy seated across the aisle from me seemed to disagree.

As boarding finished up he asked the flight attendant why it’s so hot. The flight attendant explained that it would cool off after takeoff and apologized profusely. He didn’t accept that as an answer, so asked to be speak to the captain. At that point the purser came over and explained that the APU was faulty, and that as soon as we pushed back and started the engines it would be cooler. At this point he lost it and asked why his colleague lied to him, since he didn’t say anything was faulty.

He sat there like a complete drama queen fanning himself with a full newspaper (hint: if you’re going to fan yourself with something, make it a laminated safety card, and not a pound of paper that requires more energy than the “cooling” effects). As another flight attendant walked down the aisle he grabbed her and said “get me a cold towel NOW.” She was courteous and apologetic and brought it to him. As soon as he was done with it he threw it on the floor and requested “an ice cold glass of water.” He downed the glass, and yelled “another.” She brought him another glass, and then he yelled “I want one more.” He then said he wanted to be seated somewhere cooler, “maybe the lower deck.” Yeah, like that’s going to happen. It has been a while since I’ve wanted to bitch slap someone as badly as this douchewaffle, though I couldn’t help but give huge props to the crew for how professionally they handled the situation.

Cabin during delay

Sure enough about 25 minutes after our scheduled departure time we finally pushed back and began our taxi to the runway.

Window view

Malaysia A380 and China Southern A320

Malaysia A380

Emirates A330

After about a 10 minute taxi we made it to runway 32R, where we were number one for takeoff. Of course I was watching the tail camera on both taxi and takeoff.

Taxiing into position

Taking off

Off we go!

Further in our climb out I browsed the entertainment selection, which was extensive. I had seen all of the movies I was interested in seeing, so decided to watch “Khloe & Lamar.” Please don’t judge me. Please.

Entertainment selection

Khloe & Lamar

As soon as we leveled off the brunch service began. The menu read as follows:


Interestingly when meal orders were taken the flight attendant specifically came to our row first and addressed us by name, as did every flight attendant throughout the entire flight. Malaysia does a phenomenal job taking care of OneWorld Emerald members, better than just about any other airline I’ve flown.

Once meal orders were taken the cart was rolled through the aisle with drinks, a fruit starter, yogurt, and a breadbasket. I had a glass of guava juice, some water, and a teh tarik.


For the main course I had the nasi lemak, which was phenomenal.

Nasi lemak

Meanwhile my mom had the scrambled egg with grilled cod, which she enjoyed as well.

Scrambled egg with grilled cod

No breakfast is complete without some dessert — in this case vanilla ice cream.

Ice cream

The crew was just really, really spectacular. I tend to think it’s tough to provide great service in a 60+ seat cabin, but they were constantly smiling, incredibly attentive, and literally addressed us by name at every single interaction.

After breakfast I decided to watch an episode of Samantha Brown’s Passport to Europe.

Passport to Europe

And then an episode of “Grannies Gone Wild,” which was… interesting.

Grannies Gone Wild

With about an hour left in the flight I decided to recline into the bed position for a bit and try to get some rest.



I managed to rest for about 30 minutes, at which point I visited the lavs in the very front of the cabin. There’s a small bar display there, as well as two fairly spacious lavatories.

Bar display



I explained my mom’s situation to the crew, because her feet literally wouldn’t fit in her shoes anymore. They showed a lot of concern and offered to give her slippers to wear instead, which was much appreciated.


About 25 minutes out we began our descent, so I again switched to the tail camera view.

View on descent

View on descent

After a brief holding pattern we initiated our final approach for runway 7L.

Final approach

Short final

Exiting runway

Our taxi to the gate took about five minutes, and as usual there was lots of interesting traffic.

Thai A380

Asiana A330

We pulled into gate 60-something, while our connecting flight was leaving from gate three.

Pulling into our gate

With less than 40 minute to make our connection I knew we were in for some fun…

  1. Something similar happened to me recently traveling with my pregnant wife. We simply requested a wheelchair on the plane, they called it in, and we had it waiting for us as soon as we stepped out the gate. Very convenient.

  2. it’s really not fun traveling on a plane with someone who feels entitled to abuse the flight attendants… sadly it happens the most in coach. you handled it pretty well… i would have told him to get a life.

  3. Guava juice a new favorite local option for pre-flight beverage? Mom’s drink looks downright festive.

    Great description of the blow-up over the heat. Dare I ask was the drama queen an American? The shame of it!

    Your previous trip with Mom plus this one suggests need of a baggage porter to accompany. 😉

    This is a no judgment zone re movie selections.

    Cinnamon pancakes? Yum! (in my best Homer Simpson voice).

    Only one “d” in cod as in Cape Cod. 😉

    Wow–that’s a cliffhanger until the next update re the trek through the airport!

  4. We flew MH 72 back in August and the crew was great also. I was very impressed with The J section on the A380 but then it was my first time on a A380.

  5. @ Lucky – I hope your mom’s better now! 🙂

    I second John & Ismael – a wheelchair or a cart would’ve been great (you probably checked into it though). My mom started not feeling well on her IAH-DME flight — no fault of great SQ F crew but they arranged for a wheelchair for my mom to use at the airport and two gentlemen helped her off the plane and into it.

    FYI, my mom’s feet also were swollen after that flight but were better after the inbound – she told me it’s because on DME-IAH she immediately adjusted the foot rest to be horizontal (like in “slippers” photo).

  6. That’s an interesting brunch menu, to say the least. Cod with scrambled eggs? Lamb loin? Well, at least your mom enjoyed her order.

  7. I second that — we’d like to hear your Mom’s report of the trip. And I guess your Dad’s report from your trip to Europe. Thanks.

  8. Interesting to read your account of Malaysian First Class.

    My experiences with Malaysian have been awful, to say the least.

    MNL to KUL the flight attendants in Econ told me they couldn’t bring a pillow because they were “all off duty”. They spent half the flight at the rear of the plane watching TV in empty seats.

    Same experience KUL-RGN.

    Planes were typically old and grungy. Not a fan! Perhaps the routes with more affluent passengers are better staffed.

  9. @ TheBeerHunter — It’s coming at the conclusion of the report. It has taken her longer than I had hoped to get creative.

  10. I know it’s hard to judge an airline based on 2 flights only…but how would you rate MH’s regional product overall? Are you psyched to try it again, or will you stick to SQ or CX?

  11. This would have been a great time to snap a photo of that jerk.
    But that could have gotten you in trouble.

    And your Mom’s right foot looks pretty swollen in that picture. I hope she is laughing now at the whole adventure. Specially that crazy Chinese man screaming and throwing a towel. I would have given anything to watch that nonsense.

  12. Hope you mum is ok. My mum had similar problem went to hospital and turned out to be DVT. Just you got home ok

  13. @Lucky, Hey. So i was flying from ORD to LGA on United today. And was eating my food by C19 before going to United Club and saw this lufthansa lady drop off a passenger. They came in from tarmac and they were being drop off by a Bronze Mercedes GL450. She pointed the direction of the United Club for him. Is Lufthansa offering car service in ORD now?

  14. @ wwk5d — On the whole I don’t think they’re quite on the level of Cathay Pacific or Singapore, though I do appreciate the new routes they open up for mileage redemptions and also how well they treat OneWorld Emeralds.

    For me the deciding factor for choosing airlines within Asia is which offers a longhaul product on a shorthaul route. If I can get a flat bed, no matter which airline it’s with, I’d always choose that, all else being equal.

    Malaysia definitely isn’t quite as polished on the whole as Cathay Pacific or Singapore, though.

  15. @ James — That’s news to me. Haven’t heard of such a service, though now will start to look out for it. Interesting.

  16. @lucky @sjs. Just look up online and found out that it was United Global Services lady. Their yellow uniform made me thought it was lufthansa. United getting fancy with their GS customers haha

  17. @Lucky – am assuming that you took the KLIA from the Le Meriden so why didn’t you check in there and check in your bags – it is a great service. I do it every time and that way I don’t have to haul them on the train and i clear the airport quickly.

  18. @Lucky I always heard how amazing MH’s satay service was on their flights. It doesn’t look like they had satay service on your flight but was there one? Or is it only served in First class?

  19. @ Joey — It is indeed great and they do serve it in business class, but just not this flight. For example, they do service it on the Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur flight that my A380 flight turned to.

  20. @ Simon — I’d say Cathay Pacific still wins hands down given the far superior hard product (reverse herringbone seats rather than just fully flat seats).

  21. Hello Lucky,

    I was trying to book this flight and it seems that Malaysia Airlines don’t operate this route Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong at the A380 anymore. I checked their website and it only shows direct flights at the Boeing 777-800.
    So, would you recommend me to fly this route At the A330-300 of the Cathay Pacific?
    By the way, I wanna fly business.
    Kind regards

  22. @ Felipe Amorim — Assuming you can get one of the longhaul Cathay Pacific A330s (with just four seats per row in business class) then I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific.

  23. I’m coming here with a comment three years after the report has been posted… I just want to mention that I was not impressed at all with the seats in business class in the MAS A380. Lie flat yes, but still a bit too short and cramped around the feet to really stretch out if you’re 1.88m like I am. (Flew KUL to LHR). As always, service was fantastic, food was very average incl. the Nasi Lemak, which used to be a safe bet on MAS (MH). What made the flight different from the usual KUL-FRA experience on MAS 777’s was the plane! Flying the A380 does feel different and it does feel a lot quieter and steadier than any other plane right now (except the A350 maybe, which feels similar. But I haven’t been on a 747-8i which might be similarly pleasant to fly).

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