Malaysia Airlines invested a lot of care into its A330-300 business class seat upgrades throughout 2016 and the consensus from most travellers is that it’s paying off.
You can look forward to experiencing the upgrades for yourself on all Malaysia Airlines A330s to and from Australia. Here we’ll give you an idea of some of the perks you can enjoy before and during your business class flight with Malaysia Airlines.
Before you even board the plane, you are offered priority check-in and boarding. If needed, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) business class travellers can even request a personal assistant to help them make their way through the airport.
If nothing else, they can probably show you to the lounges that you can access as a business class traveller, so that you can enjoy having some private space to yourself.
Malaysia Airlines operates its own Golden Lounges in cities around Malaysia and at London Heathrow. As a oneworld partner, it also lets you access affiliated lounges in most major airports around Australia.
- Adelaide – oneworld Members Lounge
- Darwin – oneworld Members Lounge
- Melbourne – Qantas International Lounge
- Sydney – oneworld Members Lounge
- Perth – Qantas International Business Lounge
Frequent flyer perks
If you belong to the Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer program, you can earn Enrich points on Malaysia Airlines flights, as well as on any of its oneworld partners. Tiers start at the Blue Card rank, climbing to Silver, Gold and Platinum, with the rewards growing as you ascend.
The basic Blue membership lets you begin earning and redeeming mileage rewards and status credits, while Silver also gives you access to the Business class priority check-in, even when flying economy, as well as pre-reserved seating. On the A330, which has some distinctly better seats than others, this can be quite useful.
Gold rank grants an additional baggage allowance, priority baggage services and lounge access, even while flying economy, while Platinum lets you get the first class priority check-in, lounge access and fast-track at security lanes.
Space and seating
The A330 business class has an unconventional setup. As you’d expect in business class, it’s predominantly a 1-2-1 arrangement but there are a few 1-2-2 rows among them. Everyone gets direct aisle access, unless you’re in 2K, 4K and 7K.
You can recline on your flight with fully flat beds. These come in at a cushy 193cm long when fully extended, but remain a little bit narrow at a relatively standard 52.3cm wide. You’ll probably want to put the armrests down for a bit more space in bed mode. You can do this by twisting the armrest clockwise and simply pushing it down, rather than hassling with the buttons and latches of earlier A330s.
With a seat pitch of 109.2cm, you’ll find a fair bit of legroom in seat mode, and a footrest that can be modified through a side panel. This is the same panel that converts the seat into bed mode. It also offers up a nice range of other features including lumbar support adjustment, mood lighting and an in-seat massage feature.
Near that panel you’ll find the remote control for the entertainment system, if you’re not keen on the touchscreen. You’ll also find USB power, an adjustable reading light and a small storage pocket that might suit keys, glasses cases and other small belongings.
In addition to that pocket, you’re spoiled for choice of storage elsewhere. There’s a larger storage cupboard, seemingly designed for the amenity kit, the headphones provided for your seat, and more. The seatback pocket in front of you comes with its own multi-country AC power outlet, along with another fold-down storage compartment in front of you that might be perfect for phones. You’ll also find side tables and an open shelf higher up. Just note that the shelf opens right to the aisle for most seats, so think twice before using it for anything you might miss.
To increase the levels of comfort when you’re flying flat, you’ll be provided with mattress pads, pillows and blankets. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pack your own PJs, though!
In business class, you’re also provided with Porsche Design amenity kits, including an eyeshade, socks, dental kit, mouthwash, moisturiser, lip balm and fold-out comb. Shaving kits are also available on request.
If you prefer your own entertainment, you can take advantage of the USB and multi-country AC power plugs in your seat. You can also entertain yourself with a range of movies, television and music provided through the large-ish 16-inch HD touchscreen. As mentioned earlier, you’ll be provided with headphones, but they’re not very high quality.
Dining and refreshments
Malaysia Airlines has a well-earned reputation for fine dining. You’re definitely in for a treat in business class, especially if you pre-ordered through the Malaysia Airlines Chef-on-Call service.
The flight begins with a choice of juices pre-take-off, and then gives way to full bar service after take-off. If you’re flying out of Australia, you can most likely expect a hearty inflight wine cellar full of Australian vintages.
The Chef-on-Call meal might be the highlight if you ordered one, but you can expect an ongoing series of high quality courses for your meals, plus snacks and other refreshments in between.
Where can I fly?
In Australia, Malaysia Airlines operates flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, mostly using its A330s.
The A330 business class seats are probably better than most other business class seats, and the relatively recent upgrades mean you can get that new plane feeling on most trips.
The seats offer the exceptional comfort you can expect from most business cabins. But it’s the extra storage and customisable seating area that helps set the Malaysia Airlines business class apart.
As there’s a mixture of seat configurations, booking early could help you secure the seat you want. Make sure to take advantage of the lounge options and plan to pre-order your main meal before leaving home. Then you can look forward to flying in style.
Pictures: Malaysia AirlinesBack to top
Ask an Expert