Prior to this, I have never heard of anyone flying Malindo Air and I’ve only ever seen anything about the airline on billboard adverts scattered around Kuala Lumpur. I fly the KL to Singapore route a lot with other airlines, so how does Malindo compare to the likes of Jetstar, Singapore Airlines or Air Asia? I jumped on board to find out.
Route: Kuala Lumpur (KUL via KLIA) to Singapore (SIN) – OD805
Class/Seat: Economy – 21A window seat (3-3 layout)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Flight time: 45 minutes
On Time? Departed and arrived 10 minutes late
Getting to the airport
First sign that you’re not flying a budget flight (like Jetstar or Air Asia) with Malindo is that you leave out of the main KLIA airport since budget carriers tend to fly in and out of KLIA2 (although they used to fly out of the latter). Getting to and from both airports is super easy using the KLIA Express train from the KL Sentral station. If you find yourself mixed up between airports the train between them is free and are shuttle busses that run between KLIA and KLIA2.
Check-In and Baggage
It’s sad for me to say that Malindo has possibly the worst in-app experience that I’ve ever had. While I could check-in easily enough, the app doesn’t save your flight booking and the “Add to Apple Wallet” button simply does not work. As someone who tries to fly with as little physical waste as possible (eg. no printed tickets), this frustrated me to no end. Thankfully, just having the e-ticket emailed to me was sufficient enough for use.
My trip to Singapore was a short one, so I didn’t need more than a carry-on this trip though I did have a 15kg allowance if I needed it. Their baggage allowance depends on your ticket tier, the most basic being the 15kg I was allocated, while Business passengers get up to 40kg on this route. You can check the allowance against each ticket tier here.
Boarding and On-Board Experience
Boarding was done by zone which are shown on your flight tickets, starting with Business class passengers and those with young children before going backwards from zone 3. Being a small plane, there was abysmal space in the overhead compartments – so it didn’t take long before passengers had to try and stuff their bags overhead. Thankfully, I was part of the first zone to board, so I didn’t have any issues with that.
One nice thing about this trip is that you don’t need to spend extra money to pick your seat, as with the budget competitors – and even Singapore Airlines these days (depending on your ticket type of course). The seats were adequate, there was ample-enough legroom for my 5’7” self and I was comfortable throughout the flight, which is very nice to experience every so often. Nothing much else I can say really! There was in-flight entertainment, with movies and TV shows that you could spend the short-flight with, though at my time of flying – the newest movie they had on offer was Crazy Rich Asians (that came out in August). Maybe the selection is different on longer flights (I highly doubt it) so don’t expect to be able to watch anything recent that you might have missed in the theatres.
As Malindo calls themselves a full-fledged carrier, I would have expected that after take-off there would be a light snack (or in some cases, a meal) but this flight had only served non-alcoholic drinks. It definitely surprised me. Normally, for short flights like these I’m not all that fussed about eating, though it would have been nice to have something to munch on as it was a dinner-time flight. Thankfully the flight landed at Terminal 3 of Singapore’s Changi Airport, which has the only Pret-a-Manger in South East Asia, so my dinner was pretty much sorted although 2 hours later than usual. You could also add an extra hour and just enjoy the plentiful of delicious food the Lion City has to offer!
This being the first time flying with the airline, service-wise I was left with a lot to be desired. I’ve flown this route plenty of times, both with budget and full-fledged carriers, and I daresay that Malindo actually lies somewhere in the middle. They most definitely need to step-up their online check-in experience, revamp their app, and maybe offer a small bite to eat on the flight. Despite all that, it was still a comfortable flight for the 45 minutes that I was actually in the air for and honestly, I will accept any excuse not to be cramped up in a budget flight for any amount of time.
THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
To book a flight with Malindo Air or for more information about the airline, visit their website.
This flight was paid for by the publication. Photo within article taken by the author, headline image provided.