Matt727 From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 299 posts, RR: 36 Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 21342 times:
I haven’t written a trip report in over four years and since I read a lot of them here on A.net I thought it would be nice to share my last flight experience.
In early May I saw an on-line ad from a travel agency called Supersavertravel.se and they had a campaign where they sold return tickets from Stockholm to Newark with Malaysia Airlines for only 2.495 SEK (USD 320) and that really caught my interest. So after talking to a friend about it we booked tickets for mid-August. I was really looking forward to flying with Malaysia Airlines since I’ve heard that they are famous for their service. MH alters between the B777-200/ER and B747-400 on this route and when I got the booking confirmation I found out that we got the Jumbo.
We live in the southwest of Sweden and needed a cheap and easy way to get to Stockholm for the flight west. We looked at train tickets but they were kind of expensive plus it takes like 4-6 hours to get to STHLM and we were gonnna have to be at the airport early in the morning because the flight departures at 7:45 am. And I didn’t really feel like spending the night on a bench in the departure hall.
Then I remembered that we had some Eurobonus points from previous trips to Thailand and the US with Scandinavian and United, so we used our EB-pionts on a Scandinavian Airlines flight from Gothenburg to Stockholm and back plus a stay at the Radisson Blu Sky City Hotel at Arlanda Airport.
22 hours prior to departure Scandinavian starts e-check-in on most flights. On the afternoon the day before the flight, while packing my bag, I got a txt that said check-in has started. I got online, checked in and also reserved my seat, 9A and also printed out my boarding pass.
Entrance to Gothenburg Landvetter Airport
We arrived at GOT around noon and tried to get on an earlier flight to ARN, but all SK flights that day was full so we had to wait for two and a half hours for the flight we were booked on. Since we already were checked in had our boarding passes we got our luggage tags from the self service kiosks and then walked over to the Scandinavian check-in counter to drop off our luggage and get our finger prints registered. It was optional to register your finger print but it came in handy when it was time for boarding.
Sandinavian self service
The domestic terminal at GOT doesn’t really offer a lot of thing to do. I spent the time drinking coffee (lots of coffee), reading newspapers and watched the occasional take-offs and landings on runway 21.
View of the domestic terminal
Iceland Express B737-700 to Keflavik
Emirates B747-4HAF/ER/SCD to Dubai
Bergfora Viking taxiing to the gate
The plane arrived about 20 minutes late from some Mediterranean charter destination and the passengers were bussed to the international terminal. Now the plane had to be prepared for the next flight, this meant that we’re gonna be late. Looking around the departure hall you could see that the flight was going to be full. I think the Scandinavian B738s take 186 passengers, not bad for a Swedish domestic flight on a Sunday afternoon.
GOT-ARN Aug 16
Scheduled 14.50-15.45 (0.55)
Actual 15.15-15.58 (0.43)
Eqp: B737-883 Reg: LN-RPN – Bergfora Viking First flight 13/11/2000
Seat: 9A – Window
My 20th flight on Scandinavian and 18th B737-800 flight
Boarding started at 14.50 and it took only ten minutes for everyone to board. Instead of waiting for ever for the gate attendant to check your boarding pass and welcome you aboard, many of the passengers (including us) had regisrered you finger prints and were able to board “automatically”. Passengers sitting rows 1-16 board through door L1 and passengers in rows 17-32 though door L2. The aircraft felt clean and nice. I made my way to seat 9A, a window seat with a good view of the number one engine. The seat pitch is 31” according to Seatguru and it felt kind of cramped, but luckily this was a short flight.
The view from my window
We pushed back at 15.07 and taxied the short way to runway 21. The 737 didn’t need much of the 3.300 metres of the runway before airborne.
Rotate from runway 21
Shortly after take off the plane made a sharp right turn though the clouds. It was some turbulence during the initial climb, but as soon as we were out of the clouds it was smooth flying again. The flight was rather uneventful. After reaching our flight level, which was 33.000 ft, the FAs started walking around trying to sell overpriced sandwiches, snacks and beverages. They actually got me; I bought a cup of coffee. And so did the guy next to me, but when he asked for some more milk she forgot to charge us. Don’t know if I am gonna feel guilty for not telling her, but if you charge 20 SEK (€2) for a mug of weak coffee and throw in a tiny piece of chocolate…who is the crook?
At 15.39 we started our decent for Arlanda runway 26. Scandinavian are on many domestic flights using green approaches, which means that the aircraft from top-of-decent doesn’t use its engines until gear down. This saves a lot of fuel, but needs more planning and is not really useful when there is a lot of traffic. Anyway I think this is good way to save both money and the environment. Our approach to ARN was a green approach, It too was rather uneventful, lots of clouds which meant that there were no good opportunities for pics.
After a not too hard nor too smooth landing on runway 26 SK 154 was taxiing towards terminal 4. After a few minutes we were at gate 37. Terminal 4 at ARN is feels kind of old and is in my opinion rather boring (sorry no pics). After we got off the plane we walked to the baggage claim. It took only a few minutes before we got our bags and we headed to Arlanda SkyCity. It is only a two minute walk to the hotel from terminal 4. Check-in at the hotel went easy and we got room 643, a room with an airport view. From the room you look down on SkyCity which is located between terminal 4 and 5 at ARN. The Apparently the hotel chain has changed name from Radisson SAS to Radisson Blu…don’t know why? Anyway the hotel was very nice and clean, the standard rooms are just like any standard hotel room, small with a acceptable bed, desk, fridge and TV. A nice surprise was that we had access to the sauna and Jacuzzi at the hotel gym. So as soon as we had carried our bags to the room we went to the hotel “spa”.
Views from the hotel room
I have been to ARN a couple of times before but only once for an international flight, and I was looking forward to see what Terminal 5 was like. We got up at 5.00 had some breakfast then walked to Terminal 5 for check-in. We were really lucky, four counters was open and now line to any of them, but when we were done there were more than 50 people behind us waiting to check-in. Security went easy and we walked to the duty free to buy something to drink…
Terminal 5 at ARN
Star Alliance Airbuses to MAD, FRA and VIE.
At 6.15 the departure boards said ‘Go to gate’, one and a half hour before departure seemed kind of long and we weren’t bothered. We sat down and had a cup of coffee and at 6.40 the board said ‘Final call’ so we proceeded through the passport control to gate F 66. The gate was open and we were let into the waiting area. More and more people came and it was really crowded in the end. At 7.40 boarding started, and was completed 12 minutes later.
ARN-EWR Aug 17
Malaysia Airlines 90
Scheduled 7.45-10.05 (8.20)
Actual 8.14-10.07 (7.53)
Eqp: B747-4H6 Reg: 9M-MPN – Pangkor First flight 17/05/2000
Seats: 43K – Window
My 1st flight on Malaysia Airlines and 6th B747-400 flight
We boarded though door L2, Business class seats to your left and right, the stair to the upper deck was in our right and somewhere around to door R2 there was suppose to be a muslim prayer area, I didn’t see it though. We walked down the cabin to our seats 43 J and K. We were suppose to be seated in the rear cabin on this flight but during check-in I found out that we were gonna be in one of the "small" mid-cabins of the aircraft. Good news, I rather rather not sit in the rear cabin of a wide-body jet.
At 8.05 we started taxiing towards runway 19R.
There were a few planes taking off ahead of us and at 8.14 the B747 lined up on the runway, and without stopping the plane was rolling down the runway. The take off roll lasted for about 45 seconds.
Shortly after take off the 747 made a sharp right turn heading northwest. There was some turbulence as we went through the clouds and about 10 minutes after take off the seat-belt sign was turned off.
Headsets were handed out by the FAs and I started to explore the IFE., there were a few good movies and TV-series that I wanted to see during the flight. At this moment I was most looking forward to getting something to eat, but it took almost an hour before “breakfast” was served. I was expecting the breakfast that you’re getting on other airlines; bread with ham, cheese and vegetables, yogurt with müsli, and coffee/tea and juice. But noooo. All we got was a rather dry chicken/coleslaw sandwich plus some coffee and orange juice. I was disappointed because I was really hungry and I honestly expected more from Malaysia Airlines.
Well, the breakfast might have been a disappointment but the rest of the flight was excellent. We were offered drinks and snacks every 10 minutes, water/soft drinks/beer/wine for free, and I have to say that MH serve the best peanuts ever. I had a beer leaned back, relaxed and enjoyed a good sitcom on the IFE. Also the seat pitch was 34” which is very generous for Y-class.
Beer and IFE
After a while I felt like stretching my legs and I also took some shots of the cabin.
I love the spacious felling that you're get in a wide-body and especially in a 747. The route for this flight was over Norway out over the Atlantic, passing Iceland and Greenland and then Canada before turning south towards the US.
Throughout the flight the seat belt sign wasn't turned on once, which meant no turbulence at all during the flight. Not bad for an almost eight hours in the air. There were also clear skies almost all the time which means good opportunities for pictures.
Overflying Greenland was amazing. The last times I crossed the Atlantic I either had an aisle seat oh it was cloudy, but this time I got a great view of "Arctic Denmark".
Melting Ice (I guess)
East coast of Greenland
About two hours before arrival to Newark we got the dinner menu on our PTVs. I didn't see the two first options but the third was potato salad, mashed potatoes with beef stew and vegetables and a brownie as dessert.
Not too bad for being airline food. After dinner we were offered coffee/tea and if we wanted more drinks. The staff always made sure that every passenger always had something to drink if they wanted so. The only disturbing thing about the service except the breakfast was that they never stopped walking up and down the aisles trying to sell overpriced duty-free products even though no one bought anything. I thing they had two or three rounds and I didn't see a single passenger buy anything.
As we entered American airspace about 9.25 am local we stared our decent to Newark. Got some nice views of up state New York and New Jersey during the approach.
Approaching Newark Int'l
Leaving Rw 22L
We landed on Rw 22L at 10.07 and taxied to gate 55 and parked next to an El-Al B777-200. When were in the terminal we headed towers immigration, we were not the first ones there, and Air India 747 had also just arrived so we spent some time waiting there. After being questioned about purpose of visit and etcetera we went to the baggage claim and waited there for abbot 30 minutes before going through customs and then took the train to Manhattan.
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): I was expecting the breakfast that you’re getting on other airlines; bread with ham, cheese and vegetables, yogurt with müsli, and coffee/tea and juice. But noooo. All we got was a rather dry chicken/coleslaw sandwich plus some coffee and orange juice. I was disappointed because I was really hungry and I honestly expected more from Malaysia Airlines.
Yes, MH's catering is quite disappointing compared to numerous Asian and ME carriers. The airline has been focusing on cost-cutting for a while now...
Flyboy_se From Switzerland, joined Feb 2000, 745 posts, RR: 6 Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 21141 times:
Thanks for a great report.
Nice to see a report on MH, since they just discontinued this route 2 days ago.
Wow, the meals are truly a big dissapointment, considering MH is 5 star ranked.
Also its a big change from the meals i got on that route some 4 years ago.
but i guess you get what you pay for.
Thanks for sharing
9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2099 posts, RR: 20 Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 20554 times:
Very appropriate trip report. As mentioned previously, the service was suspended on 1 October 2009 due to economic condition. There has been a huge critism towards MH at home soil with regards to their massive cut in inflight catering, but little improvement has been made.
Some news from Malaysia to share:
Quote: Last MAS flight out of New York
By LIM AI LEE
NEW YORK: The 19-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur which took off from here at 10pm on Thursday (10am Friday, Malaysian time) turned out to be a sentimental journey for many passengers and crew.
MH91 was Malaysia Airlines’ farewell flight from the Big Apple as Malaysia’s national carrier has decided to suspend its Kuala Lumpur-New York route.
As the plane prepared for take-off from the Newark Airport, it was given a water salutation normally reserved for aircraft making their debut at an airport.
A total 188 passengers boarded the flight, including eight members from the Malaysian national darts team who had just won a bronze medal at the World Darts Championship in North Carolina.
“We are happy to catch the last flight home but at the same time, disappointed that MAS will stop flying from New York after tonight,”said team member Sazali A. Rahman from Labuan.
Pilot Kapt Badrul Hisham Zainal Abdin said he hoped MAS would change its mind about suspending the flight.
“The United States is Malaysia’s largest trading partner but direct acccess has now been reduced to just Los Angeles,” he noted.
MAS area vice-president (Eastern USA) Malkit Singh and station manager Kamili Md Amin were present to ensure that things went smoothly. MAS airport staff and those from its Manhattan office were also there.
The New York-Kuala Lumpur flight has been operating since 1998, initially transiting in Dubai and since Nov 2004, in Stockholm. In July this year, the airline announced that it was suspending the flight from Oct 1 due to a drop in demand following the global economic crisis.
Also on the flight were Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman and 13 Malaysian delegates who were in New York to attend the United Nations general assembly.
Ongoing thread in the Civil Aviation subforum suggested that KUL-ARN appears back! For us to find out.
Chrisrad From Australia, joined Dec 2000, 1006 posts, RR: 9 Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 20068 times:
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): The only disturbing thing about the service except the breakfast was that they never stopped walking up and down the aisles trying to sell overpriced duty-free products even though no one bought anything
Nice trip report, economy catering is dissapointing to what it was a few years ago. I have never found their duty-free to be overpriced at all, have bought many perfumes etc. on board.
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4015 posts, RR: 52 Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19413 times:
That's a very nice flight for this price! Flew MH 9M-MPP once (KUL-AMS) and found the pitch also very good in Y class, but by then was served 2 very nice meals (full plates) and good snacks throughout the flight. Your meals look more discounted now...
ARN-KUL (and EWR) are not operating anymore by now I heard. That's why the flights to AMS are upgraded to B744 again (was B772).
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1672 posts, RR: 15 Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19289 times:
Great report, a nice Sunday's read!
The MH fare was quite a bargain, and I was also planning on taking that offer, but I had too many exams at that point and I didn't want to miss them
To me I have always found the train to be a rather cheap option, especially the X2000, though when booking a ticked only a day or two in advance the prices are sometimes ridiculously high. And if booking on a short notice, a 399 SEK last minute flight is the best option (if you're a youth or student).
Your flight on MH looked rather nice, and the service looked much better than I would have expected. Though calling MH a five star airline is something that need to be taken with a pinch of salt IMHO. Though the should have served a more proper breakfast e.g omelets, and then serving that sandwich as a pre arrival shack.
Anyway thanks for sharing!
I won't stop complaining until SAS reintroduces free service in Economy Class!
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8264 posts, RR: 56 Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 18831 times:
Nice report and pictures for this little reported route.
That price of $320 is a steal, amazing price!
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): I was expecting the breakfast that you're getting on other airlines; bread with ham, cheese and vegetables, yogurt with müsli, and coffee/tea and juice. But noooo. All we got was a rather dry chicken/coleslaw sandwich plus some coffee and orange juice. I was disappointed because I was really hungry and I honestly expected more from Malaysia Airlines.
- Yikes, that's a pretty poor start to the trip, I actually expected something better from MH, shame. Sounds like the rest of the service was ok though, thank goodness for that!
Matt727 From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 299 posts, RR: 36 Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 18630 times:
Thanks for all your comments
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 1): Yes, MH's catering is quite disappointing compared to numerous Asian and ME carriers. The airline has been focusing on cost-cutting for a while now...
Quoting Flyboy_se (Reply 2): Wow, the meals are truly a big dissapointment, considering MH is 5 star ranked.
I forgot to mention the gluten-free meal my friend got...shouldn't even be allowed to be called food.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12): To me I have always found the train to be a rather cheap option, especially the X2000, though when booking a ticked only a day or two in advance the prices are sometimes ridiculously high. And if booking on a short notice, a 399 SEK last minute flight is the best option (if you're a youth or student).
Not a student anymore and am now a grown up on train so I have to pay full price.
Econojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 6 Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 18510 times:
Thanks for writing up this trip report. It was good to get a glimpse of what the service is like close to the date of withdrawal of this service.
I took this flight all the way from KUL to EWR in June 2008 and the service on the ARN-EWR was pretty similar to what you have described. The flight timing was different back then (and operated using a 777), departing ARN around 4 or 5pm and landing at EWR around 7pm. I guess with that timing it made sense to offer a light snack after take-off and a full dinner before landing. With the revised timing, I agree it would have made more sense to offer a full meal first (maybe breakfast or brunch) and a lighter offering before landing in EWR. The catering I experienced back then is very much the same, both in quality and presentation, as what is shown here though, so it wasn't just recently that the service has been cut back. I also noted that the cabin crew on my flight were more focused on inflight duty-free sales than I was used to seeing, and none were particularly welcoming to any passengers that I could see. It certainly was not a full flight nor a short one, but the service felt rushed. It was fine, except anyone going in with the expectation of experiencing a flight made less ordinary by award-winning cabin crew would have felt shortchanged.
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17342 times:
This is a very good and entertaining report, I enjoyed reading and watching!
The seat pitch must be great but the food looks pretty poor. The sandwich looks like a snack you get on some intra-European flights and the presentation of the main meal is pretty poor, definitely not something I would expect from an airline like MH.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10): Yes, I look at and eat it. Food is more than just a necessity for me.
Same here. I am very, very picky when it comes to the presentation of food. Be it in a plane, in a restaurant, or at home. Yes, even at home, when I cook something together with my girlfriend, I always make sure that our plates look nice and appetizing! The same for the cutlery, I refuse to use it when I spot the slightest dot of dirt on it.
Mas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2916 posts, RR: 6 Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 16328 times:
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 13): Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter):
I was expecting the breakfast that you're getting on other airlines; bread with ham, cheese and vegetables, yogurt with müsli, and coffee/tea and juice. But noooo. All we got was a rather dry chicken/coleslaw sandwich plus some coffee and orange juice. I was disappointed because I was really hungry and I honestly expected more from Malaysia Airlines.
i guess they must have served a full breakfast prior to landing at ARN hence only a snack after take-off on its second leg to EWR.
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 16248 times:
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): At this moment I was most looking forward to getting something to eat, but it took almost an hour before “breakfast” was served. I was expecting the breakfast that you’re getting on other airlines; bread with ham, cheese and vegetables, yogurt with müsli, and coffee/tea and juice. But noooo. All we got was a rather dry chicken/coleslaw sandwich plus some coffee and orange juice. I was disappointed because I was really hungry and I honestly expected more from Malaysia Airlines.
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): The staff always made sure that every passenger always had something to drink if they wanted so.
That's the bare minimum any 5 star value carrier should ensure.
Quoting Matt727 (Thread starter): The only disturbing thing about the service except the breakfast was that they never stopped walking up and down the aisles trying to sell overpriced duty-free products even though no one bought anything. I thing they had two or three rounds and I didn't see a single passenger buy anything.
Duty free products aren't supposed to be over-priced. I've made numerous purhcases on my travels (not MH) and found the prices were often lower than what I would get at retail malls in Singapore. They should have just done 1 round on the Duty Free cart, free the aisles and then inform everyone who needs to purchase anything later on to approach the crew directly.
Quoting Mas777 (Reply 21): i guess they must have served a full breakfast prior to landing at ARN hence only a snack after take-off on its second leg to EWR.
Haha... another one of those "MH can do no wrong" fans....