Malaysia Airlines is operating the A330-300 (version 2) on long-haul flights and this updated version has a more spacious interior featuring 36 angle flat seats in the Business Class cabin. The first Airbus A330-300 carrying the new Business Class was assigned to the Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane route in April 2011.
The upgraded configuration of the A330-300 offers Business Class passengers increased space in seat width as well as legroom. The seat width has increased from 18.5 inches to twenty inches, while seat pitch has increased from 45 inches to sixty inches. The seats are made by Recaro and are configured in pairs (2-2-2) layout giving every passenger either a window or aisle access. Features include in-seat power and USB port, 90-degree swivel chair table stowed in the arm rest (cocktail tables are available at the centre armrest), individual overhead reading lights, woollen seat cover, linen headrest cover, as well as Select 3000i personal entertainment on a 15.4 inch touch screen panel. From the latest movies to TV shows, multi-player games and the latest music, the Select In-flight entertainment selection has something for everyone. In terms of storage space, there is a literature compartment next to the personal TV, wide enough to place both a MacBook Air and iPad, and there is a water bottle holder on the other side.
Although the seats are new and comfortable enough, fully-flat beds are becoming the expectation in Business Class on major airlines and these ‘angled-flat’ beds are not the best for getting quality sleep. Some passengers have complained of sliding down the seat to the foot well and having to try and prop themselves up with pillows under their feet.
So which seat to choose? There’s obviously some pros and cons for all choices but here a couple of the major points we’ve noticed. Being in a window seat as a single traveller could be problematic if the passenger in the aisle seat next to you has their seat reclined, as the footrest would be protruding into your path. Also, if you’re wanting the first row in Business Class for even more leg room, be aware that these are bulkhead seats and the TV is mounted on the wall in front of you. It can feel a bit far away when you’re trying to watch a movie or similar.
Business Class passengers are entitled to an generous baggage allowance of 40kg, along with two pieces of hand luggage.
While most airports will have a dedicated check-in line for Malaysia’s Business Class passengers, the best experience is not surprisingly at Malaysia’s Hub City airport, Kuala Lumpur International. There’s the dedicated check-in facility for Enrich Platinum, First and Business travellers with personalised service and a small check-in lounge, located on the Departure level of KLIA. You’ll also enjoy avoiding long lines with express immigration clearance upon arrival and departure from the airport.
Malaysia Airlines First and Business Class features Chef-on-Call for passengers. This is a great feature, particularly helpful for those with food sensitivities who need to plan their meals ahead of time. Chef-on-Call has some twenty meal options that consist of Malaysian favourites, chef’s recommendations, light choices and healthy choices. Our lead QFlyer consultant Dan travelled on the A330 aircraft last month and he reports that the satay entrée is especially tasty! The monthly specials ensure that the most frequent flyers always have something new to choose from.
As a Business Class passenger you can access Malaysia’s Golden Lounge, and it’s designed to be your home away from home. With hot food offerings, a fully-equipped business centre and a more private space to catch some shut-eye it’s a great perk. If you’re travelling with children and transiting through Kuala Lumpur, the Kids Corner here is a real boon providing space for little ones to let off some steam between flights. With a couple of adult seats for you to watch on, there are toys, a chalkboard, hidey-house, kids seating, books and even a small side room with a cot. The room isn’t very large but being separate from the rest of the Lounge makes it safe and non-intrusive for other adults in transit. Within the Golden Lounge is the Platinum Suite, reserved for the highest tier of frequent flyers, offering premium services, products and brands.