Airline Review: Malindo Air Boeing 737 business class, Brisbane-Bali-Kuala Lumpur

Introduction

Following Malaysia Airlines’ exit from Brisbane in late 2015, a Sunshine State’s collateral has been though uninterrupted Kuala Lumpur flights, though Malaysia-based airline Malindo Air is looking to change that: dipping a toes in a H2O with a new Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur use that routes around Denpasar (Bali), Indonesia, with affordable business category fares from usually $2,200 lapse to attract business and convenience travellers alike.

Currently served with a Boeing 737 while direct grows, that could shortly turn a uninterrupted Airbus A330 flight though a Denpasar road though until that happens, here’s what we can design to find during a pointy finish when drifting Malindo Air Boeing 737 business class on a lapse outing from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur.

Check-in

  • Frequent flyer program: Malindo Air doesn’t have an Australian airline partner and isn’t a member of a tellurian alliance, though a possess Malindo Miles intrigue is giveaway to join.
  • Checked container allowance: 40kg
  • Carry-on container allowance: 2x115cm bags, and a laptop bag or purse as a third piece, adult to a sum altogether weight extent of 10kg per passenger.
  • Priority check-in: Business category check-in lanes are clearly sealed in both Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur, with travellers also carrying entrance to in-town check-in when vacating Kuala Lumpur and holding a KLIA Ekspres sight to a airport.
  • Priority pass control, security, boarding:  Show your business category boarding pass during Malaysian pass control on both attainment and depart for entrance to a business category fast-track lanes, subsequent to a APEC Card and Diplomatic Passport desks. For whatever reason, Malindo Air does not yield Express Path cards for use during Brisbane Airport, though a ‘regular’ queues on depart and when returning home were short.
  • Corporate travellers: Malindo Air doesn’t accept American Express or Diners Club cards when shopping tickets around a website, though we can use these cards to book your Malindo Air moody around transport agents like Expedia.

Lounge

In Brisbane, Malindo Air business category passengers have entrance to a Plaza Premium Lounge, charity an array of zones for relaxing, socialising and dining, roughly all of that yield accessible entrance to energy points…

… with a early morning revisit anticipating a common breakfast widespread of eggs, bacon, sausages, crush browns, fruit, yoghurt, smoothies and juices available, along with barista-made coffee for that initial caffeine strike of a day:

AusBT review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Brisbane Airport

As Malindo Air is now building a new loll of a possess in Kuala Lumpur, travellers can select between entrance to one of dual proxy lounges (the KLIA Premier Access Lounge or a Sama Sama Express Lounge), or a 30MYR (A$9) food and libation credit to spend during several food outlets in a meantime.

We naturally chose a ‘lounge’ track and opted for a Sama Sama Express Lounge formed on a recommendation of a check-in agent…

… though that valid to be tiny some-more than a dim room in a dilemma of a hotel lobby, with entrance to energy from usually a few specific seats.

Shower facilities, WiFi, machine-made coffee, smorgasboard dining and a tiny preference of ethanol were all available, however, with a (paid) dining menu also at-hand for hungrier travellers.

Lounge entrance isn’t offering in Denpasar when in transit, as we sojourn on a craft while cleaners zip by a cabin: avoiding a need for an Indonesian movement visa for Australian pass holders, during least.

Seat

With business category transport prices between Brisbane and Malaysia reduction than half as costly as Malindo Air’s vital competitors, we won’t find fully-flat beds here, or even angled-flat beds.

Instead, 3 rows of recumbent seats in a 2-2 configuration, with 45 inches (114cm) of pitch: a dimensions from your headrest to a same place on a headrest in front (or between dual other matching points).

High flyers competence recognize these as being identical to Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 business category seats, such as you’d find zipping between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and also between Brisbane and Bali: nonetheless with a few graphic differences.

For starters, there’s some-more room to pierce here than we competence be accustomed to on Virgin Australia, that has a 38-inch representation in business category as against to a 45-inch representation of Malindo Air. Even when a newcomer in front of we reclines fully, a chair is nowhere nearby your knees:

There’s also still room for a window-side newcomer to get adult and entrance a aisle, if a aisle-side newcomer stands adult to let them out. (When a newcomer in front has their chair upright, this can be achieved though a aisle newcomer standing.)

In between any newcomer is a centre console with a cocktail list and a slide-out libation tray on any side…

… and a seat’s features, including recline, lumbar support, a legrest and a footrest can be tranquil around a hostile armrest, that also houses a tray table.

The push determining a footrest was damaged on a Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur leg, though being a daytime moody where work was a priority, we were still means to get peaceful regulating a other remaining controls.

Speaking of work, any business category chair provides entrance to both AC and USB power, located on a front of a centre console…

… and while we could use a Australian-pinned horse though an general adaptor, incomparable energy bricks such as for a Microsoft Surface do unfortunately hinder a USB pier above:

We were means to make use of a gangling USB pier on a neighbour’s side, though if that’s not accessible to we (or your device has a unequivocally brief cord), you’ll find a second USB charging opening during a bottom left of a inflight party screen, subsequent to a headphone jack:

Malindo Air also has personal tractable atmosphere vents above each seat, that we always appreciate.

Meal

The tour from Brisbane starts with a pre-departure drink, a choice being extract or water:

Shortly after take-off, your choice of breakfast or an early lunch is served. There are no printed menus, though a organisation come by to offer possibly an “omelette with sausages” or “rice with chicken”.

Given a 4:30am wake-up call for this moody and that we’d already eaten breakfast in a lounge, we opted for a latter, served with fruit and a bread roll.

It valid juicy enough, though we wouldn’t endowment any additional outlines for presentation, and a apportionment sizes of a duck and vegetables were utterly small. If not for a tableware, this could simply be an economy category plate on many other general airlines.

We’re not offering any snacks via a flight, though usually when we start to consider “hmm, we could unequivocally go for something to eat” closer to a initial alighting in Denpasar, a warmed muffin appears, and we take a possibility to sequence some wine.

There’s no booze list, and a options given are “red or white”. The latter valid acceptable, though one potion was ample.

While on a belligerent in Denpasar, there’s no food or libation service, though closer to take-off, pre-departure drinks are again offered, and lunch is served once en route.

Choices given were “chicken curry with white rice”, or nasi kuning: an Indonesian plate centred on yellow rice. Given that’s where we were drifting from, it seemed like a wise choice, and came with a tiny side salad, a croissant and a square of consume cake.

Again, display of a categorical march was unequivocally ‘airline meal’ clearly exhilarated in a same plate it was served in – though we’d have desired something to widespread on a croissant like jam or butter.

On a tour home, an dusk depart from Kuala Lumpur finds cooking served after take-off, commencement with a potion of booze and some churned nuts.

Being business class, those nuts would be better-served warmed in a tiny bowl, rather than during room heat in a common foil packaging, for a some-more ‘premium’ touch.

For a categorical course, there’s a choice of duck biryani or duck lasagne. We chose a former, and again, while we’d not endowment any additional points for presentation, a food itself was surprisingly delicious.

Given that a full cooking is served on a initial leg home and that a leading moody departs Denpasar around midnight Brisbane time, we were astounded to find a second turn of cooking being served as a subsequent leg began.

We opted out, anticipating instead to maximize a rest, though were also astounded to find no breakfast or coffee served before to alighting – not even a muffin, bagel or a square of fruit – with a usually break offering being another bag of churned nuts, that we declined.

That competence fit travellers who assimilated a tour in Bali and chose to eat a midnight cooking usually a few hours prior, though when you’re holding a full moody from Malaysia to Australia and doing your best to nap though entrance to a bed, nearing during your finish feeling inspired isn’t a good approach to finish an general business category experience.

Entertainment Service

During waking hours, a preference of movies, TV shows and games can be accessed by an 11.1-inch touchscreen monitor, that folds out from within a centre armrest and can be swivelled and slanted to your elite observation angle.

It responds to reason many some-more like an iPad than a customary airline monitor, so peaceful presses get a pursuit finished rather than tough jabs.

Given a position towards a side of a seat, there’s room adequate to work on your laptop or inscription on your personal tray list while carrying a party shade open in ‘moving map’ mode to a side, to keep tabs on your flight’s progress:

Panasonic over-ear headphones are supposing for use with a inflight party system, though miss noise-cancelling functionality and a audio peculiarity constructed wasn’t good either, with sound also in usually one ear on a sold span unless fiddling with a cable.

We fast switched to a possess Bose QC35s, that also helped to drown out a sound of mixed children that continued to roar aloud via a Brisbane-Bali leg of a moody in a seats opposite, and could be connected to a complement though digging out a common two-pin airline adaptor by regulating a customary 3.5mm plug:

Cabin organisation on a Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flights were useful though distant, seen usually during plate times, though always responded within 10 seconds when a call bell was pressed.

On a lapse journey, organisation were many some-more courteous and frequently stopped by to top-up booze and H2O glasses, though a call bell wanting to be pressed.

Small amenity bags were distributed, containing slippers, an eye mask, a dental pack and a comb, with ‘Batik Air’ branding: Batik Air being Malindo Air’s sister airline, with Malindo Air to be rebranded as Batik Malaysia after this year (and Batik Air as Batik Indonesia).

Malindo Air Boeing 737 business class: a verdict

Overall, a thought of drifting a Boeing 737 from Australia’s easterly seashore to Malaysia mightn’t interest to each traveller, though for self-funded flyers or cost-conscious businesses, Malindo Air represents a value choice compared to a some-more costly competitors.

On daytime flights such as outbound from Australia, a miss of a bed isn’t a vital emanate if a aim is to stay watchful and get work finished or to recline with a good movie, and would be a some-more than excusable choice on shorter informal flights within Asia as well.

Where you’ll notice a disproportion is on a overnight tour home, where being means to distortion prosaic and nap would be many welcome, as would a uninterrupted moody to equivocate staying watchful while in transit.

But vocalization of sleep, a final Bali-Brisbane leg of a outing wasn’t at all gainful to removing some: not usually since of a seat, though due to a constant, shrill interruptions over a aircraft speakers.

While watchful to take-off and shortly thereafter, cocktail song was cranked adult via a plane: irritating in itself, generally during what was midnight Brisbane time, though over a march of a lapse journey, I’d listened a same handful of songs no reduction than 16 times each (I was counting…), that is simply absurd and had me wishing I’d packaged ear plugs.

That’s since a same song was played in a same sequence on boarding, after pulling behind during a gate, before landing, and afterwards again during a embankment during each theatre of a journey, and while we contingency acknowledge to fondness a film Pitch Perfect, there are usually so many times we can hear “Flashlight” in a 48-hour duration though wanting to reason your fingers in your ears until it stops.

Just as I’d finally dozed off, we was awoken during what was 2am Brisbane time to a shrill proclamation proclaiming that duty-free sales were available. we got behind to sleep, usually to be awoken to another announcement: this time, reminding travellers to put their seatbelt over their sweeping to safeguard they weren’t woken up…

I fell defunct once more, to be woken again to an proclamation that a cabin lights were now being dimmed to assistance us sleep. Why they’d been during full fluorescent white for a initial half of a tour is another matter, though there’s no need to announce something that can be finished sensitively (and substantially should have been finished earlier).

Yet again, we went behind to nap to be woken a fourth and final time, to an proclamation merely reminding of a moody series and destination. At this point, if you’re on a wrong flight, we unequivocally usually have to go with it!

I was propitious to have managed dual hours of nap on a whole moody – about all I’d design to get serve behind in economy – and if I’d not donned my eye facade and had my idle, over-ear Bose QC35s switched to full noise-cancelling mode throughout, I’d have been propitious to nap during all.

Malindo Air’s CEO has formerly told Australian Business Traveller that a airline could ascent 3 of a 7 weekly lapse KL-Brisbane flights to non-stop Airbus A330 services with beds during a pointy end “as early as December, if not a tiny sooner”: though until that happens, a few easy changes on a airline’s partial per cabin announcements and inflight lighting would do many to assistance travellers nap aboard a Boeing 737.

But, as we mostly say, we do get what we compensate for: and during $2,200 lapse from Brisbane to Malaysia, I’d still fly with Malindo Air again: though maybe with some plain ear plugs tucked into my cabin bag, in a wish of removing some nap on a approach home!

Chris Chamberlin trafficked to Kuala Lumpur as a guest of Malindo Air.

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