Free side trips and new flight routes with Malaysia Airlines

What do Manchester United, free travel and new flight routes have in common?

On a flying visit to Kuala Lumpur, compliments of Malaysia Airlines, I discovered that the country’s premier airline is proudly responsible for this incredible trifecta.

I had the enviable task of reviewing the Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class. Here is my flight review of Malaysia Airlines Business Class, but I will reveal in the meantime that the massaging and fully reclining seats sent me into a state of bliss I’ve never experienced on a flight before – how will I ever go back to economy?

Okay, there’s quite a lot to unpack (please forgive all the travel puns), so let’s start with the surprising partnership between Manchester United and Malaysian Airlines, a strategic move on the airline’s part to increase its global reach to the football club’s 1.1 billion fans. With Kuala Lumpur deemed as one of the key hubs in South Asia and as a member of the oneworld® alliance, Malaysia Airlines impressively connects to over 900 destinations and 170 territories globally (including Manchester via London) and has been named the Official Commercial Airline for Manchester United.

Manchester United’s superstar legends Patrice Evra and Wes Browne

In case anyone has any doubt about Manchester’s appeal in Malaysia, there is a significant fan base across three supporter clubs, with the Kuala Lumpur branch having one of the largest communities of Manchester United fans in the country. If the crowd gathering around Manchester United’s superstar legends Patrice Evra and Wes Browne at the recent MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) Fair 2024 was anything to go by, then this partnership is sure to boost immersive experiences for both brands.

Some women shop for shoes like I shop for travel, and the MATTA Fair was my version of a mega shopping mall that Kuala Lumpur is famous for, particularly with so many of the destinations showcased easily accessible from the Malaysian capital.

Shopping for deals at MAATA

MATTA was the perfect launch pad to announce Malaysia Airlines’ three new routes to Male (Maldives) and Da Nang (Vietnam) in August, and Chiang Mai (Thailand) five times a week starting in September 2024, which I found particularly exciting as this vibrant city in Northern Thailand is one of my favourite destinations. Tickets go on sale on 22 March, so you can get busy planning; click here for the flight routes.

Landmark pagoda in Doi Inthanon National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

You know when you buy a new dress and decide to splurge on a pair of shoes to match? Well, surely the announcement of an exciting sporting partnership and the new routes were also worthy of the upcoming launch of new seats in economy and business classes on the new A330neo aircraft, scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2024. In the meantime, I’ll be clocking up as many Enrich points as possible for the opportunity to relax in the new award-winning Recaro CL3810 Economy Class seats on the A330neo, which have been ergonomically designed with enhanced support and added amenities like coat hooks, cup holders and ample stowage. Out of the 297 seats economy seats, 24 will feature extra legroom.

Malaysia Airlines A330neo Business Class seats

It was only fitting that I manifested the opportunity to experience the upcoming Collins Aerospace Elevation Business Class seats one day by posing shamelessly in the mock-up exhibition. With 28 Business Class all-suite cabins onboard, it’s almost like having your own bedroom, with wireless charging ports, privacy doors, and elevation seats so you can lie flat—what a game changer.

“With our Manchester United collaboration, the expansion of our network to three new routes, and the unveiling of the new cabin seats on our new A330neo; this sets the benchmark of exciting things to come as we redefine what it means to travel onboard with Malaysian Hospitality,“ said Datuk Captain Izham Ismail, the Group Managing Director of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).

Now, onto those free side trips. When booking your next international flight to KL, you’ll be entitled to a FREE bonus trip to other destinations on Peninsular Malaysia, including Alor Setar, Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Langkawi, and Penang. What’s the catch, you might be asking? Apart from being subject to availability, the flights are free; but the taxes aren’t. And while you’re exploring, add Borneo to your list of must-see destinations in Malaysia, and please check out my adventures in Borneo.

George Town, Penang

It’s worth keeping an eye on the promotions page on the Malaysia Airlines website for exclusive deals and added perks, including sporting events, cruises, rail journeys and the MHexplorer for students offering up to 30% off flights and up to 45kg baggage allowance.

While at MATTA, I also discovered Journify, an app that offers deals on attractions, dining, shopping, and hotels while earning points. Plus, it was great seeing the Tourism Australia and Tourism Western Australia stands, further cementing the airline’s stakes within Australia’s market.

With Malaysia Airlines’ exciting plans, there is no doubt that Kuala Lumpur continues to be the gateway to South Asia and beyond.

Craving more travels? Please stay in touch by subscribing to Fluffy Towel today. And if you enjoyed this story, you might also like to listen to my interview about my trip on Travel Writers Radio.

I was an indulgent guest of Malaysian Airlines and the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur.

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