Initially, my original booking was to fly to Brunei on the 1st November, followed by Malindo on the 3rd to Penang and returning on the 5th and then back home on this flight (6th). However, Royal Brunei's 787 was no longer flying on the 1st so I decided to change the date to the 8th as it was one of the few days that was operating the Dreamliner on both outbound and inbound flights. As a result, my Malindo flights were cancelled (without refund) and since my MH's flight was not refundable, I decided to take a joyride to Johor and back to KUL on the same day.
On the day, after checking into my apartment near Bukit Bintang, I rested for a short while before making my way back to the airport. It took me about an hour to get from the monorail station to the airport using the Express Train from the KL Sentral.
I did my online check-in with my Ipad and I got the QR code to scan with my phone. Skipped pass the check-in counter since I had no luggage, I went to the domestic departure hall, my first time doing so.
Photos of my evening trip!
Using the B gates for the first time.
I saw 9M-MXA, the aircraft with the retro jet parking at B6, unfortunately that wasn't my aircraft. Looking at the schedule, there wasn't any flight assigned to the aircraft. Probably a period of rest for it before it resumed its flying.
I went over to my gate B11 and waited patiently and eagerly for the plane to arrive. I saw the old colours of MH and I went "oh-oh", have I been "Mh-ed" again? "Mh-ed" is the term when the airline does a last minute equipment change, a term that is well known to #avgeeks. When I saw the winglets, I knew it was still a 738 and looking at the nose gear - it was 'FD' which means that I was flying on 9M-FFD, an ex-Firefly bird.
The ex-Firefly 737-400s parking over there waiting for its next charter flight.
My aircraft had arrived, it was a slight relief to see those winglets!
I was naturally disappointed but at least it was one of the ex-firefly birds but the good thing was it was a different cabin from the others. If you ask me Malaysia Airlines's fleet is quite messy, so many different types of 737s and different schemes.
My flight route!
Carrier: Malaysia Airlines
Date: 6th November 2013
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Delivered to MH: 27th November 2011
Previous operators: South African Airways and Firefly
First flight: 20th December 2001
Engines: 2 X CFM56-7B27
Departure time: 1725
Push back: 1730
Flight level: 230
Duration: 50 mins
Take off: 32R
Once boarding began, I made my way down to the aero-bridge. I wasn't sure how the cabin was like, but only know one thing, it was the old cabin. Checking the aircraft's history, it was about 13 years old so definitely no BSI on this bird.
The interior of the aircraft was the black leather seats, much better than the colourful seats on the 737-400. One obvious observation was the legroom space, it was around 34 inch, quite spacious. The leather seat is very comfortable and plenty of legroom space and that is also helped by the fact that wasn't any PTV box. Looking at the history of this aircraft, it used to operate for South African Airways.
The flight was less than 30% full, many empty seats were spotted around the cabin. I was very lucky indeed to have gotten the 738 perhaps the return was more crowded. The airline could have easily changed this flight to a 734.
The old windows, I had to bend down to look outside!
Once the aircraft was ready, we pushed back about 5 minutes after departure time and we taxied to runway 32R for a quick rotation and headed to Johor Bahru. It was a short 50 minutes flight, the crew had it easy for them, but they were professional and friendly.
What's inside the seat pocket?
I hope the airline is going places!
Toilet cabin photos
Only a drink was served on the 50 minutes flight.
My only form of entertainment was this!
Look at how huge the winglet is!
My ride was smooth and we landed on time at Johor's single runway, runway 16.
My ride after the flight!
Photos of the Senai Airport
I checked in here for my Air Asia flight. The machines on the left wasn't working so I had to use the check-in counter to get my boarding pass.
I got to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the Senai Airport, I was expecting an old building with few shops but this experience I had was a positive one. I would definitely come back here in the near future. In my opinion, its much better than the current LCCT. Of course both airports are built for different purposes. For LCCTS that come to Johor, they won't use the aero-bridge but instead will walk on the tarmac to the aircraft. Only Malaysia Airlines and Malindo (739ER) use the aero-bridge. This airport currently only open to domestic flights only and only the local carriers used the airport.
This is a good alternative for Singaporeans to use if they stay far away from Changi Airport. One can take the public bus or taxi from the Airport to the City Square near the checkpoint. From there, take one of the cross-border buses towards one of the designated places; Woodlands, Jurong East, Queen's Street and Yishun. Its quite convenient if you ask me. However, I wouldn't recommend this to any solo female travellers. Its not safe for one to travel alone in this city.
In-flight service: 8/10
Cabin interior: 8/10
Seat comfort: 9/10
Aircraft cleanliness: 8/10
Johor Airport: 7/10
Overall rating: 50/60
I had a fun time on this trip! Everything went well on the flight and my time at Johor airport. I would recommend anyone who wishes to do a joyride on the flights in Malaysia. You will be assured of the safety of the airports and comfort too. I can't really comment much about Malaysia Airlines as this was just a short sector but for the price I paid, it was a bargain. I paid only around S$30 for the one-way sector, a bargain right? So no complaints from me. Check out the airfare of the domestic flights in Malaysia, they are cheaper than most other places if you ask me.
Thank you for reading my trip report!
Charles Ryan Teo