Whenever a great travel deal comes along, you book it and grab some friends along for an adventure. In this case it was incredible India. Late last year Malaysia Airlines had an irresistible deal for flights to India, published fares were going for about under RM 1400 return in business class. Without much hesitation I jumped the gun and bought tickets headed to New Delhi, and in the process I managed to drag 2 friends along with me. Since none of us have been to India before, the prospect of visiting a new country at such prices made it that much sweeter.
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. The flights are priced exactly the same regardless of aircraft type, and it was a no brainer to pick the days which the A330 flies, which offers a flat-bed on a wide-body aircraft vs a recliner seat on the 737. For a 5.5 hour flight to India with a flat-bed priced at RM 1399, it was pretty much a steal. I also managed to knock the price down to RM 1317 by purchasing the flight on Traveloka instead, ahhhh I do love a good bargain.
Unfortunately the Malaysia Airlines International Golden Lounge wasn’t ready for opening yet, so we spent a few hours in MH’s regional golden lounge before catching our flight to New Delhi. Click here to read about my review for MH’s regional lounge, which I’ve previously visited before.
After having one too many cups of coffee at the lounge and 2 big bowls of laksa, it was time to board flight MH 190 headed to New Delhi. I was lucky enough to snag a bulk head seat upon booking the flight, which also happened to be a ‘throne’ seat, 1K. 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. It was spacious and I love how much room there is to store all your junk and gadgets around you. We were greeted cheerfully upon boarding and shown to our seats. I can never say this enough, but the Malaysia Airlines crew are simply stellar.
The throne seat did feel pretty nice, I felt like a commander of a space ship sitting there, heh. Before I could explore the seat features the crew popped up for pre departure beverages with a trio of juice option of apple, orange & guava. One pink guava for me please! Which was served together with a cold wet towel.
At every seat there was a blanket, pillow and headphones waiting, no amenity kit unfortunately. Malaysia Airlines only hands these out for flights above 7 hours. While the crew busily helped passengers get to their seats and prepare for take off, it was time to rummage around 1K and have a look-see at the features. The three-point seat belt system is similar to what you’d find on Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 in first & business class, not particularly my favourite type of seat belt arrangement as it feels constricted, but the crew encouraged you to put on the chest strap for take off and landing. The seat also comes with a massage function and lumbar support should you need a good knead for your back. 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.
Let’s talk about storage. 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. That’s where I stored my camera gear and powerbank throughout the flight. There’s also individual air nozzles located above should you need a stronger air flow during nap time or 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, 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 all three rows of twin seats by the right side of the plane, 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 even 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.
As soon as we were up in the air, seat belt signs were switched off, and it was time to explore the menu. To start off MH would be serving its signature satay, can’t wait for that to compare it to the ones that Singapore Airline serves. An appetiser, 3 choices of mains and dessert were on offer for dinner. I decided to go with the pan-fried red snapper with tomato rice.
The meal service started with a drinks being served alongside some packaged assorted nuts. A cold towel and glass of Champagne was brought to my table, I don’t really drink, but I just wanted a taste. Malaysia Airlines serves Comte Audoin du Dampierre Grande Cuvee non vintage Champange in business class, and that is a mouthful of a name. Next the satay came and it was magnificent, slightly better than Singapore Airlines. I wished the entire meal was just a plateful of these heavenly charred meat skewers. The appetiser, mains and dessert 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 a dinner roll and a piece of garlic bread. Honestly I was half expecting the food to be abysmal based on my food experience with Malaysia Airlines, but thankfully it was delicious this time around. The red snapper was particularly awesome, and the dessert was just heavenly.
This is going to sound embarrassing for a Malaysian to say, but for dessert, they served an Indian a dish called gulab jamun. I’ve never heard or seen this before, but the moment I took a bite, I wanted more. My friends even made fun of me on social media asking me how is this possible, given the fact I’ve spent 3 decades growing up in Malaysia. Little fried milk solid balls soaked in syrup. I ate this everyday when I was in India.
After the meal service was done, it was time to test out the flat-bed and try to get an hour or two of rest before we land in New Delhi at midnight. The entertainment system on board was fairly good, lots of choices for tv shows and movies. The only thing I can’t get over is the dreadful headphones that were provided, I ended up using my own ones after putting them on for 5 minutes. When I got comfy and settled in bed, the lovely stewardess came by and handed me a bottle of water and asked if she could offer me anything else, and I chose to have a mug of teh tarik. Something warm and sweet to help me sleep. In flat-bed mode the bed has a width of 20.5 inches and length of 76 inches.
About 2 hours into my nap, the crew started waking everyone up in preparations for landing. The 5 hour flight ended pretty quickly, and the crew soon started offering drinks and snacks to everyone before we descended into Delhi. Some assorted nuts and biscuits alongside another mug of teh tarik for me before we were asked to put our seats back upright.
All in all, it was a fairly good flight, I cannot stress how much of a deal this fare was since it was almost at economy prices. There really shouldn’t be anything to complain about, except the headphones. Almost 6 hours in the skies with a flat-bed in an Airbus A330-300 for almost Rm 1300? What a steal! We landed in Delhi smoothly, and we disembarked with the cheerful crew bidding everyone farewell. My friends and I grinned to one another when we exited the aircraft, knowing that our midnight adventure in India begins.