On my journey flying through the last couple of years, discovering that it’s possible to fly in premium cabins without sacrificing my kidney, I’ve come to realise that I’ve not step foot into my own national carriers’ lounge before, which is Malaysia Airlines. On this trip to Bangkok I’ll be checking out their newly renovated Golden Lounge (completed in October 2017) in the main terminal of KLIA.
Malaysia Airlines has dedicated first/business class check in counters located in row D at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is also applicable for passengers flying with MH with Enrich silver status and above. Check in was pretty swift, and there were even porters around to help lift and weigh my luggage once they saw me approaching the check in counters. I got my bags tagged and boarding passed issued in under 2 minutes the moment I arrived, which was probably the fastest check in I’ve experienced, but that was partly due to the fact that there was no one else in front of me.
Next, to get through immigration and head to the Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge, which is located in the main terminal building. If you’re coming from security it will be located on your right, just make sure to keep an eye out for the signage. The moment you spot an escalator sandwiched between a money exchange, and the MH lounge signage you’re on the right track. Head on up one level and you’ll find the lounge. Accessing this lounge would require you to be flying in first/business class with Malaysia airlines, holding gold/platinum Enrich status, or holding emerald/sapphire one world status.
The moment I entered I was greeted ever so graciously by the friendly lounge agents who verified my boarding pass then ushered me to enter. That’s one thing I always find comfort in when flying with Malaysia Airlines, the hospitality. Not only shown in flight, but extended graciously to ground crew as well.
The first thing you’d notice when you enter is how spacious and well-lit the lounge is. The floor to ceiling windows facing outside towards the aerobridges let natural light flood in the entire space. Plus the curvature of the ceilings would make it seem that the back of the lounge was at least 2 storeys high. The lounge is divided up into a few areas, there’s the main living/lounging area, the main dining hall, a coffee bar, an actual bar, the bathrooms/shower area and also a nap room. The living room area is where you’d find most people lounging about and it’s where the gigantic windows are, a great spot for plane spotting, though since it was in the main terminal, you’d probably only get to see mostly MH’s Boeing 737, the backbone of the Malaysia Airlines fleet.
Towards the end of the lounge in the living area is my favourite spot. It’s a fairly quiet zone, with barely anyone sitting around. You’d get plush armchairs and a TV all for yourself, and if you opt to grab a seat by the windows, you’d be shielded by screens that divides up the seating area.
You won’t be running out of seating area in this lounge, or at least that’s what I came to experience during my visit, and the best part of all, a window seat isn’t hard to come by. Almost all the seats located by the windows have their own personal USB ports and power outlets in the centre table divider. A great spot to catch up on work and have a couple of drinks while recharging all your gadgets.
I was getting a bit hungry at this point, so it was time to go check out what’s on offer in the dining area. The scent of laksa was permeating through the air, I knew what was going to be for lunch. The dining hall is located right in the middle of the lounge, surrounding it would be the buffet area and the noodle station, on the other side you’d find the bar. There was an array of things to choose from, breads to salads to fruits, desserts, hot and cold foods, and of course the noodle station serving up local Malaysian delights and also pasta. There is a huge twin door cooler at the front of the buffet line where you’d find your canned/bottled drinks.
The hot buffet options on offer was a little underwhelming, the variety was certainly there but the taste was just so-so, it lacked the Malaysian kick. The chef would need to be a little more heavy-handed with the spices to take things up a notch. It wasn’t bad, but it could certainly be better. Thankfully the Penang asam laksa at the noodle station tasted on point. It was so good that I abandoned whatever that was on my plate which came from the buffet, and I ordered a second bowl of laksa to gorge on instead. YUMS!
After inhaling those 2 bowls of laksa, it was time for some coffee! There is a dedicated coffee barista next to the drink station, or you could also get your own cup of coffee beverage from the machine in the buffet area if you can’t wait, but I’m pretty sure the barista would do a better job. As I ordered my cappuccino from the barista I noticed there was a Panini press sizzling behind the espresso machine, you could order yourself a cheese melt, chicken Cajun grilled ciabatta and a few more varieties of sandwiches, they looked pretty nice. There is also a counter top next to the coffee bar just for fruit infused water. How fancy.
There is also a bar area right next to the dining hall, no I didn’t have anything to drink from there, but it did look like a cosy quiet spot to unwind.
I initially wanted to grab a shower before my flight, but was told by the bathroom attendant that there was queue. I asked if it was ok to just snap some pictures of her desk and the contents of the shower amenities, she suddenly became all smiles and said “no-no please let me clean up first, it’s not nice to take pictures of a messy table” she began moving around the basket contents and preparing a “shower kit” for me. She was totally adorable, speaking in bahasa all the time of course. She then proudly presented a shower basket to me, which included a face towel, bath towel, and some toiletries. She jokingly even asked if I wanted flowers in the picture, she could run out to the lounge to get some for me. Unfortunately this meant I couldn’t see the shower rooms, but the regular water closets were pretty nice and clean, each one had its own sink and mirror inside.
Next it was time to check out the nap rooms. I didn’t notice it at first, I mistaken assumed it was a prayer room from afar, but after walking a little closer I noticed the signage saying ‘nap area’. It was located at the back-end of the lounge, and divided up into male and female rooms respectively. In the male’s dormitory there were 4 day beds sprawled out in the somewhat dim room with a wall lamp and little bedside table next to each leather upholstered bed. There is just one large pillow for each bed and I didn’t see any bedding provided. Behind each table you’d also find power plugs to recharge your devices while you take a short nap. Funny enough, there was a little acrylic stand at each table specifically made to hold your boarding passes.
I suppose that’s about it for my review on the newly renovated regional Golden Lounge in KLIA by Malaysia Airlines. I’m not sure how the old one was like, but after a quick google search, it did look somewhat dated, and the newly revamped one looked heaps way better. I’m pretty sure the hospitality stayed and maintained the same though, MH has always pride itself on that aspect of service. A great place to wait out prior to catching your flight, delicious laksa, quiet and cosy corners around, and the coffee bar was a nice touch together with the nap rooms as well. Though, I would feel pretty weird if I did fall asleep and started drooling or snoring loudly as the beds are placed pretty close to one another. My only gripe would be the buffet line where I feel it really needs to be improved on. Like I mentioned, the variety is there, it’s just missing the flavours. Now to grab a ginger ale and some ice cream before catching MH’s brand new A350-900 in first class to Bangkok. I’m super excited.