Suites, Treats, and Eats, a Malaysian Mileage Thanksgiving: Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi

  1. Introduction: Constructing — and Re-constructing — the Award Trip
  2. American Eagle DC – New York and the New Nicest JFK Airport Hotel, the Hilton
  3. Cathay Pacific First Class, JFK – Hong Kong
  4. The Wing lounge in Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong – Kuala Lumpur
  5. Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
  6. Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi
  7. The Andaman Langkawi
  8. Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Langkawi – Kuala Lumpur
  9. Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
  10. Things to See and Do in Kuala Lumpur
  11. Korean Airlines First Class, Kuala Lumpur – Seoul and the Korean Airlines First Class Lounge Seoul
  12. Korean Airlines First Class, Seoul – Washington Dulles

We were bid adieu on our way out of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur by the same front office manager who had been on duty the night before when we arrived. No rest for the weary, getting a new luxury hotel up and running!

It was about 45 minutes to the airport, and we were departing from the main terminal at KLIA. When I first booked the trip my plan was to buy cheap AirAsia tickets to Langkawi, they were pricing much less expensively than buying tickets on Malaysia Airlines.

I actually had hope that prior to the trip Malaysia’s induction into oneworld would be complete and I’d be able to add the Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi segment into my existing award ticket without spending any additional miles (my Kuala Lumpur stop was less than 24 hours). But it became clear that timetable wasn’t to be.

As luck would have it, a friend had a modest stash of expiring Malasyia Airlines Enrich miles, so he redeemed them for business class tickets. Not that the premium cabin is necessary for the scheduled 55 minute/282 mile flight.

Our driver pulled up to the domestic end of the main terminal, we went in to find an almost deserted area with no line for check-in at the business class counters and a very short line for security. Shoes didn’t come off, no liquids out either. It was a short walk through the domestic terminal.

With business class boarding passes in hand we headed over to Malaysia Airlines’ domestic lounge. We were welcomed in and found a pretty threadbare place — the furnishings reminded me of the common areas at the end of the floor of my freshman year college dorm. The carpet had seen better days. This was, of course, a domestic lounge and those don’t usually get much attention even from airlines with top-line international products.

The one frustration I couldn’t abide, though, was the internet: you could pick up a signal if you stayed close to the check-in desk, but couldn’t actually access the internet if you strayed more than a few feet from the desk.

Having had breakfast in the lounge but no lunch, I checked out the buffet and there was ample hot food but I had the sense it had been sitting awhile so I decided against.

Since the seating wasn’t great, the food wasn’t appealing, and the internet didn’t work I decided to roam the terminal and see what else might be a better way to pass the time. There wasn’t much, so somewhat defeated I settled on Malaysian fast food for my lunch — Marrybrown’s.

After a quick bite it seemed soon enough that it would be time to head over to the gate, so I walked over in that direction. Interestingly, boarding passes and checked as you enter the gate area rather than as you get on the aircraft. So we had to show boarding passes to get in and find a seat, most of the passengers on the flight were already in the gate area but since it wasn’t a full flight there were plenty of places to settle in. It was then only 5 or 10 minutes before boarding was actually called.

Business class had 5 of 16 seats filled, while coach seemed perhaps two-thirds full.

The seats up front were fairly ancient, seeming even more so because of the fabric styles. But they were perfectly comfortable for a short flight.

We were greeted with a welcome drink and hot towel.

Once airborne a modest meal was served. I picked at the pot pie, and once it was collected the flight was about 60% complete. I read for a bit and then we descended through a decent amount of turbulence into Langkawi.

Deplaning was via stairs, we walked over into the terminal, picked up our bags and found a representative from the Andaman waiting for us for the half hour ride to the hotel.

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. “We were greeted with a welcome drink and hotel towel”

    I’m guessing you meant “hot” towel but color me impressed if MH gives you a full sized towel. 🙂

  2. As far as domestic lounges go, I love the TG domestic lounge in BKK, as well as the SAA domestic lounge in JNB.

  3. I just don’t get food pictures. Not one bit. How many meals have I eaten that have been terrible but looked great…and vice versa? Lots.

  4. “Interestingly, boarding passes and checked as you enter the gate area rather than as you get on the aircraft. So we had to show boarding passes to get in and find a seat” The same procedure is used in SIN.

  5. @Tom – in Singapore there’s a security check at the gate though, there was no security check at the domestic gates in KUL (though there’s a security check for international departures)

  6. Gary,
    You lucked out- I flew SIN-KUL on AirAsia today and while SIN is great and the flight was fine, the arrival at KUL was a sub-LaGuardia experience- stairs (in the rain), then a 1/2 mile outside (covered) walk to customs, then a scrum getting to the bus to the train to KL. The cheapo terminal is not nearly as nice as the one you were at. That being said, the flight was SUPER cheap, so overall it was worth it.

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