Sue Baxalle flies MH130 from New Zealand to Malaysia.

The plane?

A Malaysia Airlines B777-200. Not being a plane-watcher this fails to impress me. What did, however, were the wonders of business class and discovering what I'd been missing out on all my life.

Class? It's definitely classy up front.

Price? This flight was a press famil to Kuala Lumpur, hosted by Malaysia Airlines. You can book these seats for $3651 (economy is $1657 one way).


On time? On arrival at the airline's Emperor Lounge I was told to expect up to an hour's delay, but in the end it was only about 20 minutes late departing.

My seat? 4F, the middle of a group of three at the rear of the front cabin. Deliciously comfortable, with an incredible amount of leg room for this newbie.

Fellow passengers? All well behaved. I was between the other two Kiwi members of our trip, so a good chance to get to know each other.

How full? The flight was not full (at least in Business), so there was room to move around.

Entertainment? Screens pulled out from the arms of the seats - no easy feat - and offered a range of movies, television shows, music and games. I found the choices of movies limited, with no really new releases, but managed to find one to pass the time.

The service? Friendly, attentive and helpful - they knew just what we wanted before we had to ask, such as how to organise the seats into the reclining position and getting the entertainment screen out. The delivery of piping hot facecloths was appreciated, as was their personally serving meals - linen traycloths and all.

Food and drink? First up was a glass of bubbles to toast our flight, then the airline's signature dish of satay, delicious skewers of beef and chicken. Next up, a salmon confit with melon and pear salad, mizuna lettuce and kaffir lime leaf aioli. Just when I though that was a lovely meal, along came the main course - seared monkfish with a potato and leek ragout, broccoli and caramelised onion jus (other options were chicken and oxtail ravioli). This was fine, if less impressive than the satay. The dessert of blueberry cheesecake and fresh fruits remained undiscovered - being about 3am by now, this passenger needed some shut-eye. Fast-forward to breakfast and we enjoyed Malaysian nasi lemak after muesli. An extensive choice of teas and coffees too.

The toilets? Very smart. I loved the dispensers of soaps and lotions, toothbrush sets and grooming kits.


Luggage? Business class is allowed 40kg in the hold and two cabin bags.

The airport experience? Check-in at Auckland was hassle-free. The Emperor Lounge was good, although it was so quiet it felt like an old-style library where talking was frowned upon.

Would I fly this again? Without hesitation.