There wasn’t much to do around in Terminal 3, so if you’re departing from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and have lounge access I’d recommend sticking around till the very last-minute before heading to the boarding gates for your flight back home. Our flight MH 191 leaving Delhi for Kuala Lumpur was scheduled to depart at 11:10pm local time, landing back home at about 7am in the morning. We left the lounge and headed out to explore the airport for a bit with 45 minutes left till departure. Like what I mentioned before on my previous post here for my outbound flight to New Delhi, Malaysia Airlines generally flies their Boeing 737-800 to most routes in India, but for New Delhi they operate the Airbus A330-300 on certain days of the week as MH 190 from KUL to DEL, and as MH 191 from DEL – KUL. So pick the right plane if you’re in flying business class as you could be getting a flat-bed vs a recliner seat for your journey.
30 minutes prior to departure boarding calls were made and everyone seemed pretty sleepy as they trudged through the gates onto the plane. The business class cabin was pretty full, thankfully I managed to snag the same throne seat again located in 1K for my flight back home. If you’re travelling alone it would be wise to assign yourself to one of the three seats, 1K, 4K & 6K for maximum privacy and a ton of storage. With cheerful smiles from the ever warm crew, I was shown to my seat and then offered a pre departure beverage. A glass of apple juice followed by a cold welcome towel. At every seat there was a blanket, pillow and the same pair of flimsy headphones waiting. No amenity kit unfortunately. Malaysia Airlines only hands these out for flights above 7 hours.
The seat also comes with a massage function and lumbar support should you need a good knead for your back during the flight. There is also a standard USB port located right next to the headphone jack underneath the remote control. A power plug is also available at the bottom side of the seat above the literature panel to power up laptops or charge your power-hungry gadgets.
The throne seats do offer a good amount of free space, there’s a large empty shelf located right next to your legs, and on the other side, there sits a little latch cabinet right next to the seat controls which has a mirror on the inside of the door handle. There’s also individual air nozzles located above should you need a stronger air flow if it gets too warm. The headphones provided on the flight were flimsy at best, not really comfortable and not even noise cancelling, you’d be better off bringing your own.
Malaysia Airlines business class seat arrangement is set in a 1-2-1 or a 1-2-2 configuration onboard the Airbus A330-300, so 3 unfortunate passengers seated in 2K, 5K & 7K won’t be getting direct aisle access. Passengers who are travelling together could take advantage of those three rows of twin seats by the right side of the plane (which sacrifices storage space significantly for both passengers), or the twin seats in the centre. For the solo travellers, if the throne seats aren’t available, you’re next best option would be to sit in any of the seats on the left side of the plane. For a true window seat with more privacy select seats in row 2A, 5A & 7A, those are closer to the window than the solo seats that are located in 1A, 4A & 6A which ‘exposes’ you to the aisle.
After reaching cruising altitude, the seat belt signs were switched off and the crew started coming around taking our very late dinner/supper orders. Malaysia Airlines still served us full course meals even at midnight which was impressive. A salad, 3 choices of mains and dessert were on offer for dinner. I decided to go with the chicken manchurian, which was described as an Indian style Chinese dish of chicken with ginger presented with Hakka noodles and greens. It sounded pretty interesting, but it was honestly the worst dish I’ve ever had on a plane. I thought I had the worst dish on my regional flight with MH from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok a couple of months ago, but this was inedible. What was even more disappointing was the fact that they ran out of all other options when I asked if I could get something else to eat. So yes, whenever you see chicken manchurian on the menu, avoid it all cost. Thankfully everything else was pretty good, so I loaded up on carbs instead and requested the satay & bread to keep flowing.
My order of Coke Light was served alongside the wonderful satay I’ve been looking forward to. How I wished the entire meal was just a plateful of these heavenly charred meat skewers. The salad, dessert and a piece of chocolate were all served soon after the satay course on a single tray. The crew also came by with a basket of bread, asking us to pick whatever we want. I went with some garlic bread and this time they had the option of roti. After about 15 minutes my main course arrived, the chicken manchurian. A plate of very tough dried out noodles topped with extremely oily and salty chicken pieces covered in sauce. It tasted like Chinese food left out over night which got reheated up in the microwave. It tasted pretty nasty. My 2 other friends on the same flight ordered the same thing, and returned it after a bite, so it wasn’t just me. Come on MH, you are better than this. If you can score on your catering, you’d do pretty well.
After dinner was over, everyone had their trays cleared and the crew dimmed the lights to maximize our sleeping time before arriving in Kuala Lumpur. The crew walked along the dimly lit aisles distributing bottled water to everyone. I was too tired to watch anything on the IFE, so I asked if they had a pair of eye mask to spare, and the crew managed to find one for me and I was grateful. When I got comfy and settled in bed, the lovely stewardess came by and offered me another bottle of water and asked if she could get me anything else. The seat which transformed into my comfy flat-bed has a width of 20.5 inches and length of 76 inches.
The flight was pretty much uneventful and smooth sailing till the captain made an announcement 30 minutes before we landed in KLIA. I woke up groggily and prepped the seat for landing. At about 7am we touched down in Kuala Lumpur, and if there’s one thing I always look forward to, it’s the announcement the crew makes when the aircraft taxies to the gates. As a Malaysian you can’t help but smile when you hear “kepada warganegara Malaysia, selamat pulang ke tanahair”, which basically means “to all Malaysians, welcome home”.