User avatar
vivekman2006
Topic Author
Posts: 412
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 5:19 pm

Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:39 am

Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

BACKGROUND

Malaysia Airlines (MH) recently took delivery of its first brand new Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The aircraft is slated to take over the airline’s long haul routes that were formerly operated by the now retired Boeing 777s and also the ones operated presently by the Airbus A380 (i.e. KUL-LHR)
The A350s will prove to be a cost effective and fuel-efficient alternative than the gigantic A380 and provide much longer range than the airline’s A330-300s. At the time of writing this, MH has taken delivery of a second A350, and both the aircraft are currently doing short domestic and regional hops for crew training/familiarisation.

I saw this as a good opportunity to try out the Business Class product on the brand new aircraft, and promptly booked a flight to Penang (PEN), operated by the A350

REACHING THE AIRPORT

I was booked on MH 1140, with a scheduled departure time of 1105. However I received a text from MH a few hours before departure, informing me of a delay in departure. I left home accordingly, and reached the KLIA Main Terminal with plenty of time to spare.
A quick visit to the Anjung Tinjau (Viewing Gallery) gave me an opportunity to spot my aircraft docked at its designated gate.

Image

CHECK-IN

Check-in was quick and the Business Class counter had just one person ahead of me, and I was checked-in in no time at all. The check-in agent handed me my boarding pass and invited me to the newly renovated Malaysia Airlines’ domestic Golden Lounge.

Image

Image

Security check took no more than 2 minutes, and I was soon in the domestic departures area.

Image

The retail shops in the Domestic Departures area

Image

Image

The MH lounge was a five-minute walk away, and a smiling MH lounge attendant greeted me at the reception.

Image

The lounge had a definitely fresh look to it, and didn’t seem too crowded at the time. I quickly found a seat facing the tarmac, and grabbed some coffee and snacks.

Image

Image

This was the view from the lounge

Image

The food & drink area

Image

Image

As the boarding time approached, I made my way towards the departure gate, which was a good 10 minute walk from the lounge.

BOARDING

Sector: KUL-PEN
Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Flight: MH 1140
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Registration: 9M-MAB
Seat: 10A




This would be my ride today!

Image

Boarding for our flight was announced at 1130, 30 minutes before the revised departure time, and the huge crowd of waiting passengers queued up almost immediately. I on the other hand, took my own time admiring the brand new bird. As the queue thinned out, I walked over to the boarding counter. The agent quickly scanned my boarding pass, and I made my way to the aerobridge.

Looked like a full house today!

Image

Much larger windows on the A350 as compared to conventional aircraft. However, the 787 windows are larger.

Image

The Business Class on MH A350-900 has a total of 35 seats and is divided into two sections. The forward section is the larger of the two, and is separated from the smaller aft section by the Business Class galley. I had selected a seat in the aft cabin, and I had the whole cabin to myself on this flight.

Image

The Business Class cabin features a staggered 1-2-1 and 1-2-2 configuration. On the port side, there are single seats adjacent to the window, while on the starboard side, there are single as well as double seats in alternate rows. The middle section has 2 seats in a staggered arrangement.

This should give you an idea of the seating configuration.

Image

Image

Image

Image

The seat itself is nice and comfy and wide enough for a long haul flight. It of course reclines into a fully flat bed.

Image

There's plenty of legroom with the seat in the upright position

Image

The crew offered a choice of welcome drinks (apple juice, orange juice, guava juice or water) and I opted for an orange juice.

Image

The boarding process took around 40 minutes, and we were ten minutes past our departure time by the time it was completed. The doors were soon closed but we waited a few more minutes for pushback clearance.

Here's the view from my seat - 10A

Image

The IFE system

Image

Seat controls

Image

Image

There is space to keep your smartphone and a water bottle.

Image

THE FLIGHT

We finally pushed back 20 minutes past noon, and slowly the two RR Trent XWB engines powered up. The A350-900 is super quiet, and even with the engines powered on, you could hear the hiss of the air-conditioning vents.

Image

We began a slow taxi towards Runway 32R, which was the active departure runway, and held short as a Malindo Air 737 began its take-off roll. Soon it was our turn, and we lined up on the runway. The Trent XWBs spooled up to take-off thrust and we accelerated down the runway. The A350 was incredibly quiet even during take-off, so much so that one can hear the distinct sound of the flaps being retracted.

Here's a video of the take-off from KUL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_ujE_Jq_EA

Our heading today would be northerly straight to PEN.

I spent the next few minutes chatting with the cabin crew about their experience with this new aircraft. The crew seemed really pleased with it and was looking forward to operating it on the long haul routes. As per the head purser, MH would be operating the A350 on the KUL-LHR route starting Jan 15th.

The crew was kind enough to offer me a tour of the First Class cabin. The First cabin consists of 4 enclosed suites in a 1-2-1 configuration and is located at the front of the aircraft

A view of the First Class suite

Image

Image

The suite with the door closed

Image

Seat/IFE controls

Image

After thanking the crew for this tour, I returned to my seat. Here's the Business Class seat in the fully flat position

Image

ARRIVAL

The flight to PEN was quite short at 40 minutes, and the first officer announced that we had begun our descent.

As we descended into PEN, the view outside my window was gorgeous!

We touched down at 1315, nearly twenty minutes past our revised arrival time. Here's a video of the landing at PEN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htBzFSsLQoQ

After a short taxi, we docked at the Penang International Airport terminal, bringing to an end this short but enjoyable flight.

Image

SUMMARY

The hard product on board MH’s A350-900 is definitely state of the art, and looks pretty comfortable for the long haul flights it will eventually operate. Since this was a short flight, I was not able to experience the on board service though. However, MH is generally pretty good as far as the in flight
service is concerned.

The food variety is decent, and the signature satay is simply delicious. I hope MH comes up with some special offerings to mark the introduction of this brand new aircraft type. I also hope that the A350-900 brings in some much needed resurgence in MH’s fortunes.

Here’s wishing them all the best!

Thank you all for reading.
 
User avatar
allrite
Posts: 2482
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

Re: Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am

Interesting that MH put First Class in the aircraft considering their position in the market. Would be nice to be doing the SIN-PEN run on a A350 next week, but alas, it's A320s for us.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
User avatar
AirIndia
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 2:43 am

Re: Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:28 am

good report ViM. Congrats.
 
AR385
Posts: 6864
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

Re: Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:24 pm

Nice report. It seems the F seat is the same as the J seat. Is that the case?
 
rttlnsnk
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:23 pm

Re: Experiencing Malaysia Airlines’ brand new A350-900 Business Class

Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:53 pm

Nice of you to have tried this bird out in J and F. I only managed to fit a trip in Y into my budget and schedule. The satay is sure delicious.

AR385 wrote:
Nice report. It seems the F seat is the same as the J seat. Is that the case?


I "sat" in the F seat after arrival by "invitation" of the crew. The seat is of a similar width but the footwell is a lot bigger and unrestricted. Basically it is similar to a Delta One Suite on the A350.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bwaflyer and 27 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos