[Airline Review] – JetStar Asia A320-200 (3K686) – Economy Class, KUL-SIN (11 Nov 18)

IMG_0822

Jetstar A320-200

On the Ground

Jetstar departs Kuala Lumpur from KLIA 2, the new terminal for budget carriers. Check-in counters for Jetstar are located in row Z, to the extreme right of the terminal building. As I have completed mobile check-in (which I always recommend my friends to do which can save time waiting at the airport), I headed to the counter for document verification to obtain our boarding passes. There was a small queue at the check-in counter, despite the queue, it did not take us too long to be served. Being a low-cost carrier, passengers who have luggage to be checked-in has to pay extra. The ground staff at the counter seemed friendly enough to assign to us the seat that we have requested for. However, she seems to rely on us to read the information on the boarding passes to figure out the departure gate and the time of boarding.

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Jetstar uses A320-200 to fly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The single-aisle, single cabin aircraft has a total of 180 seats, arranged in 3-3 configuration. The cabin onboard Jetstar A320-200 is decked in white and black seats, with strips of orange on the floor as well as running along the overhead bins, consistent with the uniform colours that the crew are wearing.

There a total of three lavatories for all 180 passengers onboard, one of the lavatories is located at the front of the aircraft, while two others are located at the rear of the aircraft. As with most single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are a tad small due to the lack of real estate space onboard the aircraft. The lavatory is brightly lighted and is kept very clean by the cabin crew. There are limited amenities in the lavatory, however, it serves the purpose it is built for.

The Seat

Seats in the cabin are cladded in black leather, each having a pitch of 29″ and a width of 17.9″. The seat pocket is cast in hard plastic material, located on top of the seat back instead of at the bottom.  These seat pockets are rather deep, making retrieving of small items difficult. Seat functions are very basic onboard, only seat recline button located on the right armrest and a large tray table is found in each seat. Other seat functions such as air vent and lighting are located on the ceiling above the seat. Legroom is quite good for a low-cost carrier, however, there is limited recline on the seats. Being a low-cost carrier, seats in Jetstar does not come with In-flight Entertainment, there aren’t any drop down screens onboard this aircraft. Safety briefings are conducted manually by the cabin crew.

Service

As with most low-cost carriers, service onboard Jetstar on this Kuala Lumpur to Singapore leg is minimum. Cabin crews are seen only during safety checks before taking off and prior to landing as well as during safety demonstration. Since this is a short 1-hour flight, cabin crews only went around the entire cabin once to solicit in-flight sales. The lack of service onboard is expected of low-cost carriers such as Jetstar. Despite the lack of presence of the cabin crews, they were friendly and smiled at passengers whenever we bumped into them during the flight time.

Afterthought

Jetstar is a low-cost carrier and served its function of bringing passengers from point A to point B at a low cost compared with traditional full-fledged airlines. The seats are comfortable and I do find the legroom to be good. However, seat recline tend to be a little stingy, perhaps due to the operation model in low-cost carriers. For a short 1-hour Kuala Lumpur to Singapore flight, Jetstar served its purpose and is rather comfortable. I would not say the same for longer flights.

IMG_0821

Flying over Malaysian airspace

 

[Accommodation Review] – Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre (2 Bedroom Apartment), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (9 – 11 Nov 18)

IMG_0764

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Signage

Location

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is located in the heart of the shopping district of Bukit Bintang in the capital of Malaysia. The Pavilion Shopping Mall is located opposite the hotel, and also a gateway to the numerous shopping malls in the vicinity. The Petronas Twin Tower is a mere 10 mins walk from Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Chinatown is just a short monorail ride away from the hotel.

The Suite

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre has two buildings located next to each other. Most of the hotel rooms are located in the hotel building, while the 2-bedroom apartment suite we booked is located on the residence tower. The spacious 2-bedroom Apartment Suite in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre has a total floor area of 97m², which seem significantly larger than most of the 2-bedroom apartments that I have stayed in.

Front Porch

The 2-bedroom apartment suite in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a corner suite. Entering from the main door, a front porch for guests to put on their shoes is immediately in our sight. This area is furnished with a fairly large shoe cabinet which seems capable to store more than 10 pairs of shoes.

IMG_0760

The front porch in the suite is furnished with a large shoe cabinet

Kitchen

Further into the suite, separated by a wall, is where a small kitchen in the suite is located. The kitchen is fully equipped for guests to cook a simple meal and comes with simple cookeries as well as a full dining set for four persons. However, only two teaspoons are available in the suite, which seems a tad weird. There is a full-size fridge in the kitchen, perfect for guests to store some food items and drinks. Other kitchen equipment found in the 2-bedroom apartment suite is a microwave and an electric kettle. A bar counter segregates the kitchen from the rest of the areas in this suite.

IMG_0740

Kitchen in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Dining Room

Opposite the kitchen, a little after the front porch is where guests will find the dining room. The dining room is furnished with a wooden dining table with four chairs. This is a great place for guests in the room to gather, other than dine in the apartment suite. There is another cabinet placed by the wall next to the dining table, which we did not utilise.

IMG_0752

Dining room in the apartment suite

IMG_0761

This cabinet next to the dining table provides suite guests with extra storage space

Living Room

Occupying the largest real estate property in the suite, tucked in the furthest corner from the main entrance is where guests would find the living room. The living room is furnished with a 3-seater couch and two single-seat armchairs by the side. There are a couple of small tables on each side of the couch furnished with table lamps. In the centre of these chairs is a fairly large coffee table. Behind the couch is a semi-circular large window, which gives guests a good view of the city.

IMG_0738

A very cosy living room in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre 2-bedroom apartment suite

IMG_0751

View of Kuala Lumpur from the living room in the suite

Opposite the couch is where a large 49″ LED TV is placed onto the TV cabinet. The feature wall cabinet above the TV not only serves as decor for the room but also provides extra storage space for guests. The heavy use of wooden furnishing in the living room area, coupled with the use of warm yellow lights makes this area feel very cosy.

IMG_0739

TV console area

Tucked in the furthest corner from the main entrance to the 2-bedroom suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a small work desk. The work desk pretty standard which one would find in most hotels, comprising of two tables, which provides ample workspace for the apartment’s occupants. The hotel has cable internet access, which might provide fast internet complimentary internet access. I find the wifi in the suite to be very sluggish when I connected my phone to it.

IMG_0759

Work desk in the apartment faces the living room

I like the way the hotel place the living room, which is between the two bedrooms, serves not only as a focal point but a very good gathering space for occupants of this 2-bedroom apartment suite.

The Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is found next to the kitchen. The squarish master bedroom feels a tad smaller compared to the second bedroom. At the centre of the master bedroom are the king size bed and a couple of bedside tables on each side of the bed. The use of yellow lighting in the master bedroom gives it a cosy feel. I find the sleep quality on the king bed to be good, however, the pillows are too soft (and gave me neck sore the next day) for my liking. The Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre does not provide a pillow menu for guests. Air conditioning in the master bedroom is rather bad. I had turned the temperature to the lowest, but still, find it warm.

The storage space in the master bedroom is not fantastic. There are two wardrobe space and a cabinet below where a 32″ LED TV is mounted. The wardrobe beside the TV  only allows guests to hang their clothes. The hotel managed to squeeze an ironing board and the iron inside this wardrobe, which takes up space in the already limited spaced wardrobe. The other wardrobe is found opposite the entrance to the bedroom, which has only shelves for guests to store clothes folded. However, I would think twice about putting my clothes here as I am not too sure when this wardrobe was being cleaned. There are some more cabinets below the TV which only allows guests to store small items and perhaps their shopping. The only power outlet in the master bedroom is found in the ledge below the TV. There is no in-room safe found in the master bedroom.

Second Bedroom

The second bedroom is located opposite the kitchen in this 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Unlike the master bedroom, the second bedroom has an elongated space. The second bedroom is furnished with 2 twin beds each with a side table. There is only a small window in the second bedroom.

IMG_0732

Twin bed in the second bedroom

There is more wardrobe space in the second bedroom compared to the master bedroom, which goes to show the lack of thought by the interior designers of the hotel. It is also weird that the only in-room safe in the entire suite is found in the second bedroom. There are more wardrobe space as well as storage space in the second bedroom, allowing its occupants to store more clothing and items compared to the master bedroom. Similar to the master bedroom, a 32″ LED TV is placed on the cabinet opposite the bed.

IMG_0737

Wardrobe space and TV in the second bedroom

The Bathrooms

There are two bathrooms in the 2-bedroom apartment suite at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Both bathrooms are located in each bedroom.

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom comes equipped with a bathtub and a walk-in shower stall. The bathtub is of a decent size, sufficient for guests for a good soak. Guests can opt to shower in the bathtub or utilise the walk-in shower stall.  The walk-in shower stall is equipped with a massaging function shower head.

At the centre of the master bathroom and also the first thing that one would see upon entering it from the master bedroom is the sink area. The master bathroom is equipped with a single sink and the marble countertop has sufficient space for one to put their additional toiletries on. There are cabinets above the sink that provides more storage space for guests. The hotel provides good quality bath amenities. Additional bathroom amenities such as toothbrushes, shavers, are found in this cabinet. However, the hotel does not provide glasses or mugs in both the bathrooms. Beside the sink and next to the walk-in shower is where the toilet is located.

Second Bathroom

Similar to the master bathroom, the second bathroom is located inside the second bedroom. Compared to the master bathroom, the second bathroom is smaller. The second bathroom is furnished with a bathtub, which is the same size as that found in the master bathroom. The bathtub in this bathroom also functions as a shower area as a walk-in shower stall is absent in this bathroom. There is an also a single sink countertop in this bathroom, however, this is smaller than that found in the master bathroom. The toilet in the second bathroom is found next to the sink area.

Ageing Suite

The suite screams of the need for a major renovation. The suite that I was assigned comes with fixtures that are broken and air-conditioning that is not functioning well.

Breakfast

Breakfast for guests staying in the 2-bedroom apartment suite is served at the Living Space, which caters to guests staying in the resident tower. The restaurant is located on the 10th floor in the building and is next to the swimming pool. One would find a good mix of local as well as western options for breakfast. The egg station is located outside the main restaurant area. The food is quite good and sufficient to fill one’s stomach. A small part of the menu for breakfast varies from day to day.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is located on level 10 of the hotel. The single swimming pool is separated into three parts, with a small shallower area catering for children and a large, deeper area for adults to do some decent laps in it.
A smaller round pool between the children and the adult pool is where one can find the jacuzzi pool.

IMG_0767

Swimming pool at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Gym

There is a small gym located on the 10th floor of Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Access to the gym is via the keycard to the room. The gym comprises two areas, one area for guests to do their yoga pilates. An area further into the gym area is equipped with some gym machines such as treadmills and weight machines that guests can do some simple work out. The gym in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is quite simply equipped.

Children’s Club

The hotel has a Children’s Club located next to the gym, which is essentially a huge play area for children and young adults. The children’s club has an indoor playground as well as some computer for LAN gaming and console games such as Xbox and PS to keep children entertained during their stay at the hotel. There is even a movie screen area where guests can borrow movies from the manned counter to watch with their friends or children.

IMG_0772

Children’s Club is equipped with entertainment options for kids and young adults

Service

Service rendered in Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is generally good. Staffs are welcoming at the point of check-in. There are even staffs at the reception area that are deployed to assist guests in check-in and check-out. The porters at the main door to the hotel are very friendly and would always be there to open doors for guests. I called the housekeeping to request for additional bath amenities and my requests were met with speed and efficiency. The amenities that I requested for were delivered to my suite within minutes of hanging up the phone. The staffs at Living Space where breakfast for residence guests is served are very friendly. The lady at the front of the house was always seen with a smile and promptly brought us to our table. Plates were cleared promptly by the staff in the restaurant and food was constantly topped up during the first day when I headed the Living Space for breakfast, However, there seems to be a lack of staff around the Living Space on the second day. This has resulted in plates not cleared and food not topped up.

Overall

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre is very well located with tons of shopping around the hotel. The suite I was assigned is very spacious and is well equipped even for a long-term stay. The suite seems dated and fixtures are falling apart. The sleep quality on the bed is decent, but the pillow is too soft for my liking. Service is generally quite good in the hotel where staffs can generally be spotted smiling whenever guests walk past.

[Airline Review] – Malindo Air B737-800 (OD804) – Economy Class, SIN-KUL (9 Nov 18)

IMG_0695

Malindo Air using Batik Air B737-800

On the Ground

Malindo Air has its dedicated check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. Malindo Air shares the same check-in counters as Lion Air and Batik Air. Passengers flying on Malindo Air are given 20kg check-in baggage. Web check-in on Malindo Air was not available for flight departing Singapore. The check-in counters for Malindo Air is located in Row 1 in the terminal building, which is located at the left extreme side of the terminal. The ground staff processing our check-in wasn’t really that friendly, she has a poker face as if she is there just to do her job. The ground staff did not even bother to inform us of the gate the aircraft will be departing nor the boarding time. After processing our documents, she merely passed our boarding pass to us.

The Aircraft

At the departure gate, we found that the aircraft plying this Singapore to Kuala Lumpur route is being serviced by Batik Air B737-800. Despite having Batik Air livery, the only item onboard the aircraft having the Malindo branding is the aircraft safety card.

Cabin

Malindo Air B737-800 is a single aisle aircraft equip with two classes, Business Class and Economy Class. There are a total of 12 seats in Business Class cabin and 196 seats in Economy Class cabin. The Economy Class cabin is brightly lighted and decked with dark brown leather seats with red trimmings, giving it a very clean and refreshing look. The mood lighting present in the Economy Class cabin gives it a very vibrant feel.

There are only two lavatories situated at the rear of the aircraft serving all 196 Economy Class passengers. However, during the flight, only one lavatory was usable. According to the flight attendants, the other lavatory did not have water hence was not usable. The lavatory is a tad small given the size of the aircraft. Unlike most other airlines, Malindo Air uses blue lighting to illuminate the lavatory. Amenities inside the lavatory are limited to hand soap and tissue. Despite being small, the lavatory has all the necessary that served its purposes.

The Seat

Seats in Economy Class cabin onboard Malindo Air B737-800 are arranged in 3-3 configuration, each having a pitch of 32″ and width of 17″. Each Economy Class seat is wrapped in leather, which is very comfortable to sit in and also gives the cabin a premium feel. Legroom in Malindo Air B737-800 is very good, it does not feel cramp during the flight. The seats onboard Malindo Air B737-800 feels very basic. Since there is no IFE onboard, the only seat function that is found onboard is the seat recline button, located on the right armrest. The seat pocket is pretty standard, allowing passengers to store personal items such as passport, mobile phone and even an iPad (though I do not recommend as most airline seat pockets are filthy). Other controls such as air vent and lighting as well as flight attendant call button can be found on the ceiling above the seat.

IMG_0698

Business Class seats

In-Flight Entertainment

I was a tad disappointed to find the absence of In-flight Entertainment system onboard this aircraft. Drop down screens are not even available onboard. Safety briefings are conducted by the flight attendants. The only form of entertainment onboard is the in-flight magazines. Since this is a short 1-hour flight, the absence of IFE did not bother me much.

IMG_E0709

The only entertainment onboard is the in-flight magazines

The Food

Due to the short flight time, only drinks are served onboard. Passengers are given options of water or cranberry juice.

IMG_0715

Only drinks are served during the flight. I opted for cranberry juice.

Service

Despite the “basic-ness” of the seats, the service onboard is great for a short 1-hour flight. We were welcomed by the warm flight attendants during boarding and again thanked by the crew when deplaning. Despite the short flight time and the numerous passengers to be served drinks, the flight attendants carried out their duties with a smile. As I was queuing for the lavatory, the flight attendants quickly served those of us in the queue a cup of drink and even returned to ask if we wanted more. Flight attendants were seen patrolling the cabin several times during the short flight.

Afterthought

Would I fly Malindo Air again? For a short flight such as Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, yes I would. However, I wouldn’t consider the airlines for longer flight times. Despite the comfortable seats in Economy Class cabin and the great service, the lack of IFE and the non-availability of web check-in is sufficient to deter me from flying with the airlines for anything longer than 1 hour.

IMG_0717

Flying with Malindo Air