Duration: 2h 10m
Aircraft type: Boeing 737-800
Departure: 11:05 (delayed by just over an hour)
My flight departed from the main airport in Bangkok (BKK) which is where most of the legacy carriers fly from. If flying with a low cost carrier, check to see if you’re flight is operating from the second airport (DMK). The journey to the airport took just 30 minutes from my apartment in Ekkamai as it was a public holiday; personally I would allow up to an hour on a normal day as the traffic can vary significantly at different times of day.
BKK is huge. As there is only one main terminal building, all airlines check in under the same roof. The gate area is also essentially just one building, albeit with separate concourses. I would allow plenty of time for both check in and the usual immigration and security formalities, unless you have access to the fast track lanes which are noticeably faster to get through.
I arrived 2 hours 30 minutes before my flight as the check in desks were just opening. I had previously changed my ticket and there appeared to be an issue with reticketing my reservation – this took around 20 minutes but was eventually resolved.
I arrived in plenty of time to use the lounge facilities at BKK. Passengers travelling in Business with Malaysia Airlines are offered entry to the Miracle lounge. There are several of these throughout the terminal so you can access whichever one is closest to your gate. I found it odd that Malaysia Airlines were sending their passengers to a third party lounge when there is also a Cathay Pacific (CX) lounge in the terminal – this may be due to space constraints as the CX lounge was quite small, especially when you consider how many other oneworld flights operate from BKK throughout the day. As a oneworld emerald member I was able to visit the CX lounge anyway so I decided to have breakfast there.
My flight was subject to a 1 hour ground delay at the gate, which eventually ended up being slightly longer than this on board. When I was made aware of the delay at the gate, I did suggest staying in Bangkok and flying the next day since I knew I’d missed the last connecting flight of the day to Denpasar but I was advised to continue to Kuala Lumpur so the ground staff there could make any necessary changes to my reservation.
The flight was short, but I was still offered the full business class experience. Cold towels were handed out before departure and a welcome drink of orange juice, apple juice, guava juice or water was offered. A decent meal was served soon after the seatbelt signs were switched off.
Malaysia operates a 737-800 on this route, which features a large seat back in flight entertainment screen which was very responsive and easy to use. It was one of the better
regional IFE services I’d seen.
It should be noted that no alcohol was offered on this, or my connecting flight; this appears to be a regional flights policy rather than systemwide as I believe it is still offered on longer routes, such as their A380 service to London. The movie list was as recent as I would expect on an airline; I started watching Kong but there wasn’t enough time to finish – luckily I caught the ending on my connecting sector to Denpasar.
Upon landing, I was met on the air bridge with a sign, advising I would be delayed overnight at KL. I noticed two more flights to DPS that evening with Malinda but MH would not reroute on their services. I chose to let it go rather than push for a reroute on another carrier because:
1. I had a late arrival into Bali anyway would have meant I was going straight to bed, so arriving the next morning made little to no difference to my plans
2. The airport hotel I was offered at Kuala Lumpur was nicer than the one I had booked for my first night in Bali – I had booked a basic hotel for my first night due to the limited time I was spending there anyway
3. Dinner and breakfast at the hotel was prepaid by Malaysia Airlines so it actually saved me a little money – this was a rare occasion where a missed connection actually benefitted me!
There was a long line at immigration but as I edged forward I noticed a dedicated line for those travelling in Business / First so I managed to move over and then pass through immigration quote quickly – around 15 minutes or so. I did not have any bags to collect so proceeded straight to my airport hotel for the night.
Overall, a pleasant experience with MH (despite the short delay of around an hour resulting in missed connection and a 12+ hour delay with an overnight in Kuala Lumpur!) with friendly service throughout.