Flight Review: How will I ever return to economy after flying on Malaysia Airlines Business Class?

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

On a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I was incredibly lucky to fly on Malaysia Airlines Business Class. My indulgent journey started from the moment I checked in at the Perth Airport, and it was one of the few times I didn’t want the flight to end. My return flight home was even more decadent with a massaging flatbed – I’m now left wondering how I will ever return to the economy after experiencing such magic at the pointy end of the plane.

Aspire Lounge, Perth Airport

Perth to Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Airlines Business Class B737-800

My flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur was at a very civilised 4.15 pm. Although I didn’t have the pleasure of a priority Business Class check-in counter, as the Perth Airport mainly uses self-check-in kiosks, the process was seamless. Within moments, I was sipping on a gin and tonic in the viewing deck in the Aspire Lounge, watching the planes land and take off with the city skyline in the distance. Naturally, I had to have the obligatory selfie with the resident quokka.

View of the Perth skyline from the Aspire Lounge

I flew on the B737-800 to Kuala Lumpur in a 2-2 seat formation with a total of 16 Business Class leather seats. I chose seat 4D because I prefer an aisle seat, and it was in the back row of the section, meaning I could lean my seat back and stretch out with the leg rest and foot bar without annoying anyone behind me or in front thanks to the additional legroom.

Business Class seats

Champagne and a cool towel were offered before take-off while enjoying the quirky safety video with a star-studded cast of entertainers; you can watch it here. Once the curtain between business and economy class was pulled shut, I really started to feel special, especially when the white tablecloth was placed on my pull-out table, along with glassware, polished cutlery, white crockery, tiny salt and pepper shakers, warm bread rolls, and a menu, resembling a restaurant experience in the sky.

Then the satays were served, and I made a complete pig of myself as they were probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten on a plane. The secret to their tastiness is the use of high-grade beef, chicken and lamb marinated into a special spice base, and then basted and hand-turned over a chargrill and served with traditional crushed peanut sauce. Malaysia Airlines has been serving these satays since 1973, so it’s safe to say they have mastered the art.

As a spectacular sunset unfolded, Seared Tuna was served, followed by a choice of Hainanese Chicken Rice, Braised Beef Brisket or Stir-Fried Hokkien Noodle. It’s pretty rare that I’d like to try everything on a menu, but this was the exception, and I narrowed it down to the Hainanese Chicken Rice, my second favourite thing I’ve eaten on a plane.

The gin and tonics just kept coming well into the dessert of White Chocolate Passion Fruit Mousse, which was also delicious. Then, it was time to settle in with a movie, The Miracle Club, followed by re-runs of Friends. I honestly could have comfortably remained on board for a long-haul flight, but before I knew it, we began our descent into Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport. After landing, I was ushered to a special lounge with a dedicated bus and an attendant to help with my belongings before whisking me off to collect my luggage.

Kuala Lumpur to Perth Malaysia Airlines Business Class A350-900

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s such an easy city to visit whether you’re on your own, there on business or a family holiday. Joining a night food tour on a Vespa with Vespalicious was the highlight for me, as I visited places I’d never been to before despite having visited the Malaysian capital many times. I appreciated the central location and my spacious room at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, particularly the comfy king bed, walk-in closet, well-appointed marble bathroom, extensive breakfast buffet and 24-hour room service.

Outside the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur with Vespalicious Tours


Fancy seats on the A330neo

While in Kuala Lumpur, I attended the MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) Fair 2024, where the partnership between Malaysia Airlines and Manchester United was announced along with the new flight routes to the Maldives, Da Nang and Chiang Mai, and free side trips to Peninsular Malaysia. I also sampled the upcoming new seats in first, business and economy classes on the new A330neo aircraft. You can read all about it in my post here.

Soon enough, it was time to return home to Perth. I excitedly checked-in at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at the dedicated Business Class counter D, where my luggage was heavier than when I left (how can you not shop in KL?)  but was still nowhere near the 40kg baggage limit. There is also a dedicated immigration counter for business and first class passengers before a private chauffer with massaging seats whisked me off to the Golden Lounge, where the buffet offered a range of Malaysian dishes, snacks, fruit and cheese with chefs on hand regularly topping up the dishes.

My chariot awaits to whisk me off to the Golden Lounge

There was also a dedicated bar, large powder rooms and a napping lounge, although, with the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the runway from the main lounge, I’m not sure I’d be sleeping with that view to keep me entertained.

Obviously, this is not me but my seat was the same

The massage button certainly got a work out

After all, my massaging flatbed was waiting onboard. The luxurious 350-900 features a high ceiling and loads of space in the cabin with a 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 seat configuration. All 35 seats in Business Class have aisle access, and I chose 6D as all the single seats with window and aisle access were already booked. A bag compartment with a mirror, phone holder, reading light, coat hook, bottle holder, charging point, and 16-inch high-definition screens enjoyed from the extra-wide seats was a joy.

I was thrilled when the satays made another appearance on the return flight, and they were just as delicious the second time around. Smoked Salmon Rolled with Cream Cheese followed, and for the main course, there was a choice of Chicken Masala, Grilled Beef Medallion (which I opted for), or Asam Pedas Ikan Merah (red snapper stew). The Onde Cake with a mixed berry compote was a sweet way to end the dinner service as I prepared for bed as this was a late-night flight.

Once my seat with pneumatic cushions reclined almost flat into the void in front, and I hit the massage button, I snuggled up under the cosy blanket and was rocked to sleep all the way home to Perth. My only criticism was that the flight wasn’t longer.

The service continued after I landed as my luggage was given priority and was one of the first suitcases to appear on the conveyor belt. I was equally thankful for the efficiency of the Perth Airport, and since I only live a 15-minutes away, I was home and in bed within moments – it was as though my sleep had only been momentarily interrupted.

Overall, I completely understand why you would splurge on Malaysia Airlines Business Class for the attentive service, quality of the food and seats, and standard of comfort. If money was no object, the level of luxury far outweighed the cost, as I’d arrive refreshed and ready for action the moment I landed, which is priceless, in my opinion.

I was a spoiled guest of Malaysia Airlines and the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur.

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