Review: Malindo Air Economy Boeing 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Colombo

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I was looking around Google Flights to position myself from Singapore to Colombo, and the options were:

  • Singapore Airlines – most comfortable option and the ability to earn Krisflyer miles, but also the most expensive option (S$500+ for a 4-hour one-way flight is ridiculous)
  • Sri Lankan Airlines – direct flight from Singapore but the one-way flight came up to S$300+
  • Malaysia Airlines – transit in KL and slightly cheaper, but not worth the trouble given the slight price differential
  • AirAsia – cheapest option but includes a long layover in KL
  • Malindo Air – slightly more expensive than AirAsia, with reasonable baggage allowance, IFE and meals

Since I had been wanting to try out Malindo Air given its full service carrier proposition and budget carrier pricing, I went ahead with this choice. Moreover, it’s been some years since I’ve stepped foot in KLIA, so I didn’t mind the 4-hour layover.

Malindo OD808
Singapore (SIN) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Sunday, 5 February
Depart: 1720 hrs
Arrive: 1820 hrs
Duration: 1 hour
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800

The flight was departing from Gate B5 at Changi Airport Terminal 3, which was quite a distance from immigration.

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Boarding gate

The plane had beautiful batik-inspired livery on its tail, a good way to exhibit its Malaysian-Indonesian heritage.

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B737-800 with batik-inspired livery

Business class seats at the front of the plane looked really spacious and comfortable. These would have given me 42″ seat pitch, extra recline and a foot rest, but the economy seats were perfectly serviceable for the short hop between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

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Comfy business class seats

Economy seats have a very generous 32″ seat pitch, comparable to most full service carriers, but do not come with IFE screens for this short flight. The mood lighting of the Boeing Sky Interior gave the cabin an added cosiness.

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No IFEs on the short flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

Refreshments were served as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude. Passengers were offered a choice between orange juice and water, as well as a small piece of cake.

The FAs were rushing through the service, as they only have roughly 10 – 15 minutes to serve the entire plane before they had to collect the trash and prepare for landing. This resulted in some spillage of the drinks as they were serving, but this is understandable given the extremely short time-frame.

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Small piece of cake for the short flight

The flight attendants maintained their smiles and composure throughout, and were generally friendly and warm.

Before I knew it, the plane began its descent almost as soon as it reached maximum altitude and we were in KLIA within the hour.

I won’t be writing much about the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo since the experience is largely similar to my short hop from Singapore to KL, but this flight had individual IFE screens.

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Individual IFE screens from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo

Do note, however, that the media library on Malindo Air is quite dismal, as I counted about a dozen films at most. Given that their flights don’t usually exceed 4 hours, I felt that this is perfectly acceptable.

If you are afraid of being bored on the flight, do bring along reading materials or your own entertainment devices.

Anyway, the late night flight departure timing of 10pm meant that most passengers were having some shut-eye after supper was served. I had a pretty good nasi briyani but don’t have a picture of it to show here.

The interesting thing about this flight was that there was a sizable group of Buddhist monks traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo, and I was seated between them as they were spread out across a few rows.

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Overall, the generous 32″ seat pitch, 30kg baggage allowance, complimentary food and drinks, warm and sincere service as well as its competitive fares make Malindo Air a compelling option for shuttling between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other regional destinations.

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