Malaysia Airlines First Class Awards Available!

Malaysia Airlines is struggling financially, with very low load factors (read: empty planes). They aren’t losing nearly as much money as Qantas, of course.

I genuinely feel bad for them. Lots of employees affected, generally not at all their fault, the carrier getting restructured.

I much like the airline. They have my favorite satay.

Although there have been big cutbacks — a couple of years ago lobster in the first class lounge now the options are much more limited. Not surprising, they were struggling even before recent events.

Overall though I consider theirs the 10th best first class product (Lucky disagrees).

For the frequent flyer, though, it’s worth noting that first class award space on Malaysia Airlines is back.

Generally only one seat for long haul Europe – Kuala Lumpur, but back nonetheless.

Here’s a search for next June, and you’ll see at least one first class award seat every single day flying London – Kuala Lumpur and Paris – Kuala Lumpur.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I would not hesitate to fly MH; in fact I plan to fly them from HKG to AKL in February. I made the booking prior to the downing of MH17.

    They may very well be at fault for the MH370 incident (only time will tell) but I think the MH17 disaster was primarily due to a spectacular case of bad luck, for lack of a better phrase.

    I have read no reports that the flight crew operating MH17 was not adhering to any NOTAM or other directive, but I am certainly open to hearing contrary evidence…

    I work in the industry and I really feel for the rank and file MH staff. Performing your job knowing your livelihood is dangling by a thread is a stressful situation.

  2. Do you think that MH could cut F completely as part of their cost restructuring? I was thinking of booking a CDG-KUL in F, but not really interested in ending up in J if they parked their a380s and used smaller planes for all their euro routes.

  3. Since MH is now owned by the government, I wouldn’t be surprised if those F cabins are full due to government officials wanting to go to LHR or CDG for the weekend. 😉

  4. Gary, are LHR and CDG their only F routes? Currently in ICN and wondering if it’s worth burning AA miles out of there, ICN or nearby to get to Southeast Asia.

  5. @Aussie flyer – Whenever a company has a monster loss, they pile on and find everything they can — makes future quarters look better, and really once you’re in the billions adding more doesn’t make you look any worse. No shock there. But saying these are paper losses, aircraft write-downs, and not ‘real’ isn’t quite true or fair — it means they had unrecognized losses in earlier quarters. Saying your assets, that you paid for in earlier quarters, are worth less isn’t just paper, it’s real, just unrecoverable cash that you really did spend and couldn’t get back like you previously claimed…

    In any case, even if the $2.8b loss is overblown and it most certainly is, even a reasonably adjusted lower number is still going to be bigger than $700mm annualized that MH appears to be losing (unadjusted for size of carrier).

  6. I’ve never seen more than 1 J award seat on their Aussie and intra-Asia services. They could be more generous if their planes are empty.

  7. Same curiosity as nazgul…make me wonder if this availability is some sort of operational glitch ahead of aircraft swaps, route consolidation, etc.

    Also agree with italdesign…trying to get a second J seat KUL NRT for the end of this year, absolutely nothing, from the reports it sounds like they have the inventory… Are award redemptions worse than nothing?

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