In June 2023 I travelled Business Class from Adelaide to London on Malaysia Airlines. This is my full review and cabin photos. It was a cold winter morning in Australia when I boarded my Malaysia Airlines flight MH138 from Adelaide to Kuala Lumper and was directed to my seat 6A in Business Class. This was the first leg of the 2 flight journey consisting of the Airbus A330 and Airbus A350 which have a similar business class offering on Malaysian but there are some differences to be aware of which we will come to.
In the past I’ve been fortunate enough to travel in Business Class on several airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Emirates, Delta, Virgin, United Airlines and America Airlines. Just writing that has made me think how lucky have been as a traveller. Most flyers only get to glimpse at the coveted business class seats when they shuffle past them to board and find their seat in economy (that is also me most of the time by the way). But I think it also makes me able to write an objective review for Malaysia Airlines’ international business class offering: I’ve experienced many others to compare it against.
Why would you normally travel in business class?
- Lucky enough that your employer pays for it.
- You want the trip to be ‘special’ such as for a honeymoon.
- You have a pile of airlines points and decide to treat yourself with them
- You are heading off on a very long flight or combination of flights over multiple time zones and want the comfort plus the significantly less hassle at the airports with a nicer lounge to wait beforehand.
Why I go business class?
For me it is option 4. Well sometimes 3 but for this trip to London from Adelaide it was firmly 4. I wanted a comfortable, stress-free travel experience and given I’ve been saving for this holiday for years after it was delayed by the COVID pandemic, I decided to spend the money on a business class ticket from Adelaide to London. Given I wanted to stopover in Kuala Lumper specifically for a side holiday on the way home, Malaysia Airlines was my best option for my business class ticket.
Fast Business Class Check-in
When you fly business class, you get to skip most of the lines at check-in and security. Neato. I didn’t have to wait to check-in at Adelaide, just sailed past the economy line to the desk. Bagged tagged with the right priority tag so it gets off the plane early. Sped through security. A good, stress-less start.
The Adelaide Lounge Experience was Non-Existent
A great perk about flying business class is access to the business lounge where you get free snacks, drinks, faster WiFi, and it is just a nicer experience away from the hussle and bussle at the airport. It wasn’t to be for me because of the way it is managed in Adelaide.
My partner took me to the airport. At Adelaide the business class lounge is before international customs, and is shared with several airlines. Normally you can guest someone into a business class lounge, but that morning, they were rather uncooperative. A grumpy old guy looked at my business class boarding pass and said ‘no guests…will leave it with you to decide if you want to come in.’ Sour taste after spending $12,000 on a ticket. Oh well, the Adelaide lounge generally just has cheap coffee and dry muffins in the morning anyway.
Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 Business Class
This was my first flight in 6A. One of the best things about Malaysia Airlines’ business class is that they offer single seats as well as doubles. So if you are travelling alone, you can be 100% completely alone if that is what you want. The seats are spacious and ample room to move around, loads of personal space, and no change of having your personal space impinged on.
Yes, Malaysia Airlines business class seats have generous recline and go flat to become a bed. On longer flights or overnight such as my KL-LHR leg you also get an extra mattress thingy which is really good, and to sleep on it is soft like a welcoming hotel bed. You can get a good, solid sleep with Malaysia Airlines business. Couldn’t be happier. Check out the seat controls.
Entertainment and Connectivity
Inflight Entertainment is controlled either with the touchscreen (it is slow to respond) or the in seat controller. Great selection of movies and TV shows, but some parts not available – an error message came up saying content not loaded. There was also an issue with the WiFi on this flight, it was not available. It used to be that a range of video games where available on Malaysian as well but they have been removed. Sad really, I used to enjoy some of them, especially when they had the retro Super Mario! The relics of this can still be found in the old seat controllers on the A330.
Other than breakfast, meals on Malaysia Airlines business class start with satay. Malaysia Airlines is famous for their satay skewers and they are amongst the best in airline food. I went for the mix of chicken and beef. Delicious.
This was followed by a starter of seared tuna, and a main of beef stroganoff. See the other options available in the menu.
In Flight Snacks
I’m a bit ticked off about the availability of I flight snacks with Malaysian Airlines business. They are available, but you need to buy them. Well, there are some things like rolls or small cakes you can have anytime, but want a chocolate bar or a bag of potato chips? You need to pay for them. I feel this is Malaysian being a cheapskate and is behaviour I’d only expect from a low cost carrier.
A bit yucky. But only I’d say because it was an older plane. Pictures say it all. In fact, there was only 1 bathroom available for the entire Business Class cabin, but there is another in the first row of economy just behind the curtain.
Malaysian Airlines crew are always wonderful in economy or business. Super friendly, and very accommodating. Lovely to chat to. Nothing was too much of a bother, if I wanted a drink, an extra roll or cake with my meal, they made it happen. I was genuine when I thanked a few of them for looking after me on the flight.
On Time Departure and Arrival
We arrived just on time. Malaysia has always been good with punctual departures and arrivals, so you can always be confident in them.
Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class
The Airbus A350 is a bigger plane than the A330.
Boarding in Kuala Lumper was efficient. That has always impressed me about Malaysian.
Seats were slightly more modern, and the touchscreen more responsive, clearly higher resolution and larger than the A330. I had a single seat again and relished the privacy with no one to climb over when I needed to getup.
What the seat can do is very much the same as the A330, you can go fully flat or choose a number or recline options and enjoy a massage! There is also a shoulder belt that needs to be worn for take off or landing.
There was also a newer in seat controller…with the video game controls removed. I guess the old Nintendo games are not coming back to Malaysia Airlines.
The food in business class on the Malaysian A350 was excellent, which was just as to be expected. Here is the menu:
I opted to start with the Banana Waffles. But I also enjoyed the sides of toast, muffins and cakes that came with the breakfast.
In flight snacking, although not fully available on my flight, the snacks I did try, namely the baguettes where very nice.
I was pleased to see a more modern, cleaner, bathroom on the A350.
One Major Problem with Malaysian Airlines A350 Business Class
Have a look at this picture of the cabin…what is missing? It is a nice spacious cabin, that is for sure. \
But why, oh why is there no storage lockers for the central seats? Peaking into economy, they have them. Why not give them to business class passengers as well?
Well, time for me to wrap up this review: Was it worth the money? Yes. Malaysia Airlines business class is a bit of a mixed bag of highs and lows. Some good points, some mediocre. Sure you could probably have a better cabin experience with Qantas, British Airways or Emirates on the Australia to Europe trip but the savings to be had with Malaysia make their, probably lesser product a bit better value overall. I still got to my destination having enjoyed a more comfortable flight, and was about $3,000 richer because of the savings from not having done it with Qantas for example.
Ultimately it was the crew that made my experience so special. The crew at Malaysian are the best part of what the airline has to offer regardless of class of travel. MH Stands for Malaysian Hospitality.