Sunday, April 13, 2014

Double Wedding Holiday: Penang to Hong Kong (Malaysia First Class)


For our trip back to the US, we decided to fly this multiple stopover route in order to try the MAS A380 and Cathay Pacific First Class which we never flew on before.

Penang International Airport
We flew from Penang to KL before we boarded the A380 to HK. In Penang, we got to use the MAS lounge at the domestic wing because the Golden Lounge at the International side was still under construction. The lounge had the standard nasi lemak food and some sandwiches. After a cup of coffee, it was time to head to the departure gate.

My brother and his new wife had spent the week with us in Penang and was on the same Penang to Kuala Lumpur as us before flying back to Perth. We insisted to switch seats with them on the short hop so they could enjoy the business class service. Even though it was just a 45 minute flight, a light breakfast/snack was served.

We arrived in KL with an hour layover which gave us enough time to relax at the Golden Lounge. Unfortunately their First class lounge was not due to open until later that month, so we were shown to a cordoned off area in the Business class lounge. It was a small area along the windows of the lounge. The space was just separated with plush sofa but food and drinks were the one offered for all at the Business class area. There was nothing which interested me so I just had a cup of coffee and an ice cream (the same ice cream which would later be served on the plane).

MAS Golden Lounge

We headed to the gate just before departure time and were greeted by a long line at the security screen. We felt lucky because we were flying First and did not have to wait in line. When we walked to the First / Business class line, lo and behold, it was closed. We were told there was no premium line for the security screen. There was however a line for ladies only - how weird. We waited for the line to get shorter, before I headed in through the "ladies-only" line and Calvin through the longer men only line.

On the plane I was greeted by friendly smiles from the air steward and stewardess on board. They came to offer drinks and newspaper. I ordered a Milo ice (Chocolate ice drink). Some of you may think I am crazy for ordering that in First Class what with all the champagne and expensive wine option I could get. I guess that's the sacrifice one has to make when growing a little human inside you. A few minutes later the air stewardess served my drink and asked if I was flying alone as Calvin took longer than expected to board the plane. I explained that there was no first class security screen and they were quite surprised and apologized for the inconvenience.

The first class cabin had 8 seats but did not feel claustrophobic as there was a lot of space in front. I liked the red interior and the spacious seats. I have to say the seat was designed well. There was a lot of storage on the side where one could put their laptop and books. There was also a small compartment for smaller items.

For brunch, we decided to dine together. First, bread was served in a basket then they offered jams, I was going for the standard strawberry jam when I was offered "kaya" (Malaysian coconut jam). I was so happy I nearly jump out of my seat. I had been deprived of kaya since we moved to US but recently manage to find them at some Asian supermarket. So, "kaya" on board MAS flight made MAS one of my favorite first class airline. :)

For our main course, Calvin had prawn noodle soup and I had the chicken rice. The food was just ok and not wow. After the meal we settled back in our seat to watch movies. Movie selection was good, although head set was crap. They did not have the Bose QuietComfort 15 like some airlines do in their First Class cabin. Throughout the flight there were countless passenger walking up and down the aisle in the First Class cabin which was a bit disturbing. 

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