Why Choose Malaysia Airlines for Local Flights?
This is a trip we’ve done many times, sometimes using the AirAsia budget airline. You will generally pay more to travel with Malaysia Airlines, but there are several advantages that can make it worthwhile:
- Schedule Changes: Very common with AirAsia (…and even occasionally with Malaysia Airlines).
- Baggage Allowance: 20 kg free checked luggage is standard with Malaysia Airlines. With AirAsia, you pay extra for checked luggage.
- Check-in Service (… or lack of): With AirAsia you’re on your own – you even have to print your own luggage tags at the airport using a really annoying machine.
- Inflight Refreshments: Complementary with Malaysia Airlines. You pay extra with AirAsia.
- Legroom: More legroom with Malaysia Airlines.
- Stress at the airport: AirAsia is often chaotic, and not all the staff are helpful, making for an unpleasant experience.
Malaysia Airlines Booking Website
Booking a ticket online with Malaysia Airlines is straightforward enough. We booked our flight 7 weeks in advance.
In our case, 9 days after making our booking we received an email stating that our flight had been affected by “a minor schedule change”. The flight would now be leaving 3½ hours earlier. This was unworkable for us since our connecting flight would not yet have arrived!
The flight that Malaysia Airlines had changed was also their last flight of the day to our destination. We therefore decided to book a hotel close to the airport on the day of arrival (the Sama Sama Hotel KLIA) and choose another ongoing flight the following morning.
We made a call to their cancellation Helpline and got through to a live agent fairly quickly. He arranged our change of schedule over the phone, and emailed the new electronic ticket to us.
This was the only time we have had to reschedule a flight with Malaysia Airlines. With AirAsia this is much more common.
Check In & Boarding
As mentioned above, we each had a 20 kg checked luggage allowance in addition to a 7 kg cabin baggage allowance.
Check in was fast and orderly, and the plane was about half full.
Seating & Inflight Service
Regarding seating space and legroom, the images say it all. We were offered a drink and a snack during our 70-minute flight.
Taking into account the progressively worse service and experience offered by their main competitor – AirAsia, we will continue to fly with Malaysia Airlines …for the time being.
Interestingly enough, there are 2 new competitors entering the market.
- MYAirline recently received its air operator’s certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), paving the way for Malaysia’s newest low-cost start-up to start flying passengers. MYAirline is a newly-established ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC).
- Also, the Johor-based SKS Airways will join the mix. SKS Airways is a regional airline operating in Malaysia, primarily serving routes to and from the outlying islands.
Keep watching this space!
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