[Airline Review] – Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 (MH851) KUL-DPS (8 Aug 18)

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 at the tarmac of Denpasar Airport

On the Ground

This is the second leg of my trip via Malaysia Airlines from Singapore to Bali. As there was a delay in takeoff at Singapore Airport, our transit time has been reduced from 1hr 20 mins to 45 mins. When we disembarked from the previous flight, we saw a ground staff standing at the gate with a paper stating the gate of our onward flight. Our onward flight to Bali departs from gate G4, which is next to the gate of our onward flight.

The Aircraft

Malaysia Airlines uses B737-800 for Kuala Lumpur to Bali. This version of the B737-800 comes equipped with In-Flight Entertainment system (I termed this B737-800 V2 to differentiate the version without IFE in my previous post).

The Cabin

The cabin in Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 looks bright, coupled with the use of white walls and white mood lighting during boarding, the cabin looks clean and fresh. The pilot also uses different colour mood lighting during the flight to help passengers adjust to the time of the day. Economy Class seats are decked in two shades of red, with the main seat in maroon colour and bright red as the headrest. The tight leather wrapping on the seats makes the cabin look new and tidy. There are a total of 16 seats in Business Class and 144 seats in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2.

There are only two lavatories onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 in Economy Class, both are located at the rear of the aircraft. Due to the limited space onboard, the lavatories are a tad smaller compared to those found onboard larger aircrafts such as B777 series. However, the clever use of bright lighting and mirrors made the lavatory feels larger than it actually is. The lavatories housed the standard equipment like toilet and sink. Onboard amenities in the lavatories are limited to hand soap other than paper cups and tissues (some other airlines still provide cologne and/or mouthwash).

The Seat

Seats in Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 are arranged in 3-3 configuration. The maroon seats and bright red headrest measures 30″ in pitch and 17″ in width wrapped in cowhide leather. Unlike other airlines, the headrest cannot be adjusted. The legroom in the Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 is very good, I still had a good amount of space between my knees and the seat in front of me. There is a USB port located on the bottom right of the TV screen for passengers to charge their mobile devices. The seat recline button is located on the right armrest. The Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 also comes with a single fold tray table, which is perfect for passengers who brought their laptop to work onboard.

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Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

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Legroom is very good in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

The seat pocket in the Economy Class cabin is fairly large and has only one tier, which is good enough for passengers to store small items. In-flight magazine, duty-free catalogue as well as the aircraft safety card are stored in every seat pocket onboard Malaysia Airlines. The in-flight magazine was very useful to help me kill time when the IFE was down halfway through the flight. Malaysia Airlines seem to be cutting operating costs as pillows and blankets have to be requested. During the flight, I attempted to request for a blanket and was told that there aren’t sufficient blankets carried onboard.

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Seat pocket with in-flight magazines and safety card

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Pillows were not distributed at boarding, passengers have to request for them

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Seat lighting and air vent at the ceiling above my seat

In-Flight Entertainment

All Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 comes equipped with on-demand In-Flight Entertainment system. Economy Class seats are fitted with 9″ touchscreen TV that kept me entertained during the flight. Despite TV screens having touchscreen function, the touchscreen function seems to lag quite a bit and I find using the remote control to be a lot less frustrating when navigating through the IFE menu. The IFE is loaded with a large collection of movies and TV shows, some of which are fairly recent Hollywood blockbusters. However halfway throughout the flight, the IFE hanged and there were no attempts by the flight attendants to reset the system despite being a three-hour flight.

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IFE system in Economy Class onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2

The IFE controller is stored beneath the TV screen, which has functions such as seat lighting control, flight attendant call buttons on top of the four-direction control panel for navigation of the IFE system and the standard video control functions. A qwerty keyboard is found on the back of the IFE controller, which serves no function as there are no items on the IFE menu that warrants the use of the keys on the back of the controller. Headphone jack for the IFE is located on the right armrest. Headphones are already being placed on every seat at the time of boarding. These headphones were collected prior to landing for recycling purposes.

The Food

Food was served about one hour from taking off. Unlike most airlines which served food in a tray complete with salad and dessert, food offering was a tad simpler in the Economy Class cabin onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2. Food was served in a cardboard box, that contains the main meal, an oat biscuit and a packet of peanuts on top of a small cup of water. On this Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar flight, passengers in Economy Class cabin were given the choice of Roasted Chicken Rice or Fried Fish with rice. I opted for the chicken rice and the chicken rice is very tasty. Rice is full of flavour and the chicken is tender and juicy. It is a pity the portion served is a tad small. After all the passengers were served with food, the flight attendants went around the cabin to serve beverages.

Service

The service onboard is the Economy Class cabin on this Malaysia Airlines flight is rather mediocre. There is hardly any smiles on the flight attendants. I pressed the call button to request for pillows and blankets, the flight attendants did not seem to bother to bring me these items the first time around. I had to request for another time before a pillow is being brought to me. During meal service, it is apparent that the flight attendants serving the Economy Class cabin rushed to complete meal service. The flight attendants disappeared into the rear of the aircraft and were not seen during the flight other than during meal service and prior to landing. One of the attendants convenient skipped asking my row for beverages during the beverage run. When requested for beverage, the attendant gave an irritated look on her face.

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Flight attendant during meal service

Afterthought

Economy Class seats onboard Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 is very comfortable for the three-hour flight time to Bali. The Economy Class cabin looked modern and feels clean, thanks to the colour scheme and the bright lighting used throughout the flight. The IFE system was easy to navigate and provided me with entertainment halfway through the flight. It would be perfect if the IFE had not hang halfway through the flight or that the flight attendants did their due diligence to reset the system rather than leaving it hanged. The catering onboard in the Economy Class was tasty, but the portion is a tad small. The service onboard is less than desirable. The flight attendants did not seem to put in the effort to provide any form of service other than distributing food and drinks and collecting the used headset.

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Malaysia Airlines B737-800 V2 taxiing to the runway in KLIA

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