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Flying On Malaysia Airlines With The Twins (KUL-BKI-CEB-BKI-KUL)

Posted by on 24 October 2009

In fairness to Malaysian Airlines (or MAS, as it is referred to in Malaysia), after my unfavourable review of their service and menu vis-a-vis Singapore Airlines’, I feel obligated to write about my recent experience with MAS.

watching luggage being loaded into MAS plane

The twins watching luggage being loaded into our plane. Photo taken at pre-departure lounge, KLIA

As my followers on Twitter know, the twins and I flew on MAS for our quickie trip to the Philippines. MAS happened to have a fare promotion from Kota Kinabalu to Cebu sometime in September during MATTA Fair (MATTA stands for ‘Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents’), which I quickly grabbed. That means we flew by MAS from KL to KK, were in transit for about an hour in KK airport, then continued the journey from KK to Cebu also on MAS. It’s a crazy set-up especially since I was alone with the twins but in hindsight, I’m glad we had the hour-long stopover in KK because it gave the twins a chance to run around and release all their energy.

Unfortunately, I have very, very few photos from the flights because I was too busy taking care of the twins. So I’ll just get right straight to my conclusion: the service was delightful but the food leaves a lot to be desired.

Our most memorable and very blog-worthy MAS moment was during the KK-KL flight. I was in the lavatory. Twin1 was sleeping. Twin2 was sitting by himself. When I got back to our seats, Twin2 was already eating, attended to by two very much amused flight attendants. They asked him to choose between fish and chicken (he chose fish), assisted him with the napkin (tucked under his shirt), and helped him open up the sealed bag containing the plastic cutlery. How I wished I managed to capture that moment with my camera!

As for the food, the best meal was the breakfast on our KL-KK flight — I had nasi lemak while the twins had roti canai, with fruits and Ferrero Rocher as dessert. All other meals involved either fish (sweet and sour sauce, tomyam sauce, and other similar variants) or chicken (ginger sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and other similar variants), served with steamed vegetables — carrots, cauliflower, French beans and/or broccoli. Too boring predictable. Dessert was Kitkat chocolate bar and cut fruits — honeydew melon, watermelon and/or pineapple. The only fruit juice that they had was orange juice.

I suppose food on long-haul flights is generally better, since we had beef steak for our KL-Capetown flight last June. For pics and details on food served in MAS long-haul flights, check out this site.

On the KL-KK and KK-Cebu flights, the twins got small pouches with mini toys inside. I couldn’t quite fathom what they’re for but the twins eventually made use of the pouches as bags for the marbles that we bought in the Philippines.

Free toys from Malaysia Airlines

On the return flights, they were given activity booklets with pens, which were, sadly, not appropriate for their age (sudoku puzzles and the like). It’s a good thing I have previously prepared activity books for them. Otherwise, entertaining them would have been a hassle because their Boeing 737-400 aircraft were not fitted with those individual little lcd monitors, i.e. there was no in-flight entertainment :(

One thing that I overlooked was our arrival time in KL on our return flight — 9.40 pm. That meant the twins fell asleep in the flight and I found myself in a quagmire — I had one sleepy toddler, one sleeping toddler who simply refused to get up, two small backpacks (the twins’), and a paper bag of hand-carried items. (I also had my laptop backpack and my Crumpler camera bag, which were not a problem as I already had them on.) The flight attendants helped me with our things…but only until the door of the aircraft, at which point, I had to find a way to do it on my own. If only they helped me out, until I got myself a trolley — now THAT would have been unparalleled service worth shouting out to the rooftops. But anyway, as I was saying, I had to figure out how to survive on my own. So Twin1 wore his backpack while I carried Twin2 on my left hip and carried the rest of our stuff on my right hand. At that very moment, how I wished KLIA had free strollers like they do in Dubai Airport.

So, MAS people, in case you are reading this, please get a new in-flight caterer who’ll bring in a fresh, renewed menu. And Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, please look into providing free strollers for the use of passengers within KLIA. Terima kasih!

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