Review

Malaysia Airlines 777 Business Class review – MH141 – Kuala Lumpur to Sydney

The research and booking of this flight should have been straightforward, but ultimately proved to be a royal pain. A one way Business Class flight at the lower Enrich miles level comes in at 34,000 Enrich miles – as I wrote recently, Enrich is fast becoming my go-to scheme to consider for great value long-haul Business Class redemptions. For myself and my travel companion, I had initiated a transfer for the necessary 68,000 miles from American Express over the phone with Amex.

These points were all earned from spend on my Platinum Edge, pretty much my favourite card / rewards scheme – more on that here, and the best current signup bonuses here.

After a couple of days I started to get concerned – the miles hadn’t posted. I started by troubleshooting this from both the Malaysia Airlines and American Express side. After a fair bit of finger pointing, it came to light from the American Express side that the phone rep who originally registered my Malaysia Airlines account had forgotten to, or hadn’t realised they needed to, add the MH prefix in front of my Enrich Membership number in the Membership Rewards system. The points transfer had been made, but it was never going to work. My worst nightmare – with potential for lost points.

I was told I needed to wait for Malaysia Airlines to reject the transfer before American Express would be able to redo the transfer with the right details again. This took a couple of weeks in the end, after lots of phone calls and harassment – along with 5,000 MR points by way of apology. Not a bad outcome, but I was pretty concerned that the availability for the flights I wanted would dry up our travel dates were only 3-4 weeks away.

All was well that ended well – flights were eventually booked, and at 34,000 points and 633 MYR per person (around 200 AUD) for Business Class, an absolute steal. Qantas would charge 60,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for the Singapore – Sydney, admittedly a nicer product on their A380 – but not worth nearly double the points, in my opinion.

The Flight

MH141 is a day flight, with scheduled departure of 9am, arriving into Sydney around 8.15pm. Given the departure time, we cut our arrival at the airport pretty fine and ended up with time only for the briefest look around the Malaysia Airlines lounge in Kuala Lumpur. It wasn’t massively impressive for the 5 minutes we spent there, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve explored more thoroughly another time.

After our 5 minutes in the lounge, we headed off to the gate to board, which was a smooth, simple process, and then settled into the angled-flat recliner seats on MAS’ ageing 777-200.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

It’s worth pointing out that I knew exactly what I was buying with my points for this journey. I knew that the MAS inflight product on their 777’s was inferior to Qantas, Cathay and Singapore Airlines – and that the IFE, seating and such was not going to be competitive. But, as I explained before, I was not concerned for the price I paid, and I was mentally comparing this redemption against Premium Economy (45,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points) on Qantas from Singapore, or potentially an Economy redemption on Singapore Airlines through Krisflyer (25,000 Krisflyer miles). Given those comparison points, the Malaysia Airlines redemption was a no-brainer.

The Business Class cabin and seat was roomy enough, and certainly comfortable enough for a daytime flight. I probably wouldn’t have got a great sleep if travelling overnight, and the seat is less appealing to me than a Qantas Skybed MKI, found on QF’s unrefurbished 747’s and A330’s.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

After a standard pre-departure drinks service, we had three windows to enjoy the view when departing from Kuala Lumpur although the haze meant there wasn’t much to look at.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review
The menu available on this flight looked like this:

After an hour or so we were served our brunch (main) meal, and I went for the Nasi Lemak.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

It was tasty enough, but nothing outstanding.

After a couple of hours of watching some IFE – which was old school, small screen, looped multi-channel entertainment – we hit the Australian coast.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Another movie went by, and we popped open the windows somewhere over the middle of the Australian outback to be confronted with some of the most astonishing views I’ve ever seen from a plane.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

The refreshment service came around – Salmon Gravlax & Satay. Both tasty. Overall the food was fine, good flavours but just not enough – I was a bit hungry throughout.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

About an hour later we were making our way down to Sydney Airport for arrival.

Malaysia Airlines MH141 Business Class review

Our other Malaysia Airlines reviews

Conclusion

A perfectly comfortable way to travel – Malaysia Airlines old 777-200 flights are nothing special both in terms of service and inflight comfort. However, for the price in points, in can’t be beat – and you may find MAS also offering some very competitive paid fares around Asia and into Europe as well, which have been surfacing recently.

Given Malaysia Airlines are now deploying their new A380 and A330’s on routes to Australia (the A330’s) and Europe (the A380 for Paris & London), redemption opportunities on MAS will become even more attractive for Australian travellers. The A380’s are fitted with lie-flat seating, the A330’s with a new angled-flat product. Combine this, Enrich’s cheap redemptions on their own flights, and their new membership of oneworld so anyone with Qantas elite status has their perks recognised, and MAS flights become a truly attractive use of your points.

Malaysia Airlines 777 Business Class review – MH141 – Kuala Lumpur to Sydney was last modified: November 28th, 2017 by Keith

Comments Expand Comments

  1. Sam

    Hi Keith,
    I have a MH flight (paid economy )coming up in few weeks time and have been offer to bid for upgrade for business class. I know MH business class is not that great, Is it worth bidding? or any tips for successfull bid? what are your suggestions or any experience with this? I could not find any guide or similar on this website..

    thanks

    • Keith Author

      No specific experiences with MH’s upgrade systems, but MH new Economy is much better supposedly than the one in this review so would value it higher. Might be worth checking flyertalk and see if any experiences have been shared there, and if you don’t find any, just whack in a number at the high end of the range that you’d be happy to pay and hope. If it comes through or not, either way you aren’t disappointed if you haven’t overpaid.

  2. Wife and I have wife’s sister and hubbie nearing Sydney as I type.
    We crumblies are amazed at the tour-de-force of seeing the inside of the plane,
    what they are eating, views outside, how late they are, pictures of the chefs, fact that the 777-200 is old, and they are nearing a huge cyclone. Well done, tell me how its done sometime.

  3. Michael Wong

    Love your website. I know its an old article but your experience with AMEX on points transfer is similar to mine. It happened to me twice – first time, I got 10000 MR points bonus because I was abused by one of their staff members on the phone, and secondly, 5000 MR as I could no longer be bothered fighting with AMEX. Earn rates on AMEX is no longer good – check out Westpac Altitude Black

  4. Robert

    Isn’t that scenery over central Australia magnificent?!! First time I saw the intricate ripples and waves, I could instantly recognise central dessert Aboriginal art — except the ancient artists did not have the benefit of a 30000 foot vista!

    • Keith Author

      You can, but it’s quite tricky and not amazingly cost effective. It’s an award top up program rather than buying points outright – so you need a specific redemption in mind. And you have to do it all with paperwork, not online. Google ‘Enrich Express’ for more info.

      • Natasha

        A bit maybe late for this discussion, but here is my 2c… You can actually buy points through American Express, $25 for 1000MR over the phone, no taxes here and they will transfer them to Enrich. Very cost effective way. Although taxes you pay to Malaysian for award redemption is very high. I was quoted AUD1100 SYD to FRA. Not sure if it is worth the $$$ though.

      • Natasha

        Wow, thanks, didn’t know MS is running this. That’s great! Worth keeping an eye on. Do you think, in the end of the day, buying points like this and paying Malaysian high tax for J is worth the $$$? or is it better to buy points through Avianca or others for a $$$ value?

      • Keith Author

        Only real way to compare, IMO, is to put it all in a spreadsheet and assess dollar for dollar which works out best. Then take into account routing (Malaysian’s network isn’t huge) and availability (Malaysian point availability is pretty good) factors too. All depends on your specific plans and preferences really.

  5. Liz

    Can you advise if you can transfer your qantas freq flyer miles over to your enrich a/c and if so how do you do this. We just flew melb to Tokyo return business so have accumulated around 44000 points. I was not a previous enrich member but we are a qantas freq flyer.. Thanks Liz.

    • Keith Author

      Hey Liz – generally transferring points between competing programs (e.g. Airline to Airline like Qantas to Malaysian, or Hotel to Hotel) isn’t possible, unfortunately. Would suggest either piling on the Qantas points until you can use them, or get rid of them on a trip in the near future if you don’t generally fly with Qantas.

    • Keith Author

      You can indeed earn MH points on QF. Whether I recommend that or not? There’s quite a few variables here which may make it worthwhile (or not). So thanks for the inspiration for a future post – I’ll comment again with a link once I’ve written it up.

Links to this article

  1. Malaysia Airlines A380 & A330 Business Class Review: MH21 & MH141 Paris to Kuala Lumpur to Sydney - Point Hacks

Leave a Reply