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