Malindo Air has came on board few years ago and is fast rising to be one of the most popular airlines in Malaysia.
Note: This is not a paid review- what I am sharing below is from my personal experience, having flown using Malindo a number of times within these past few years.
Here are reasons why I love to travel using Malindo Air:
1. Free baggage allowance
For international travel, you are usually allowed a free check-in luggage of up to 30kg (same like MAS). Sometimes when you are booking with other airlines like Air Asia, the fare may appear much cheaper but it does not come with luggage. The moment you add in the luggage cost, the cost may be more expensive or almost the same as flying with Malindo. When that is the case, I would always choose Malindo (unless the price difference is really huge) due to perks offered by the airline below:
2. In Kuala Lumpur, it departs from KLIA instead of KLIA2
I’ve always preferred KLIA to KLIA2. Probably due the fact I am more used to KLIA and there is a shorter walking distance within the airport to the departure gate. KLIA2 no doubt have a larger area to shop but usually when I am at the airport, my intention is far from shopping. Also, KLIA2’s departure gate is notoriously far and is quite a walk. Previously Malindo Air departs from KLIA2 but decided to move to KLIA which really made me very happy.
3. Option to check in & drop luggage at KL Sentral
Most of the time, I take the ERL from KL Sentral to the airport. Hence when Malindo introduced the option to check in via KL Sentral, it is a relief for me to be able to check-in and drop my luggage at their check-in counter at KL Sentral. Note: In order to check in via KL Sentral, you must arrive minimum 3 hours before the flight. And you need to purchase the ERL ticket as proof before you are allowed to check in at KL Sentral (the same applies if you are checking in to MAS or Cathay Pacific).
4. A customer service number to call
Malindo Air provides customer service line (03-7841 5388) which is not 24 hours but at least enable us to speak to a human being to check on something or make last minute changes. I have called Malindo Air’s service lines a few times to make some inquiries and have always been happy with their staff’s courtesy.
5. Overall good services from their air stewardess and air steward
On board, the service of MAS airline steward and stewardess are hard to beat. No matter what the company is going through, their staff are so well trained and courteous. I had only one bad experience (out of all the times) with their customer service on the phone but all their on ground staff and crew display high level of professionalism. I see similar services by Malindo staff and air crew as well.
Sometimes at KLIA, they placed a free copy of newspaper for their customers to take to read while waiting to board the flight. I appreciate it because when I travel overseas and meet some Malaysian friends (who miss home dearly), I can pass the copy of the paper to them to read.
6. Free water and a small snack on board
Yes, you may say ‘hey, this is nothing’. But to me, it is a big deal… just like the free baggage allowance – it is a nice gesture and made me choose them.
Each customer is given a small pack of water (100ml) and a small snack (usually a small pack biscuits) on board (after take off). At airports, we all have to dispose our water and liquid. After entering Immigration, a bottle of water is so expensive. Malindo Air is considerably a budget airline.
I feel it is a nice gesture from the airline to provide a small token to all their passengers. A small pack of water to quench one’s thirst and a snack for the hungry one. I once got their pineapple biscuits which I find to be delicious (but did not see it being sold locally). My friend found it at Makro in Thailand and ended up buying the bulk of it back because the biscuit was delicious.
7. Free entertainment on board
There are a wide variety of movies and music in multiple languages (English, Malay, Indonesia, Tamil, Chinese, etc) to select. No doubt you cannot expect the current blockbuster being offered…. however there are some nice selection of movies that would make the hours pass by quickly.
8. Able to charge your phone/tablet on board (USB port)
Malindo Air allows their passengers to charge their mobile devices on board even in economy class. Each seat is equipped with USB port to enable the passenger to charge- however you must have your own USB cable. I have heard that Air Asia does not have that option on their economy section.
When I travel within Malaysia or to Thailand, I would compare the fares from 3 main airlines: Malindo Air, Asia Asia and MAS. I check against the Traveloka app, then confirm against the mobile apps of the 3 airlines.
Generally there are fewer flights from Malindo compared to other airlines. Hence the timing may not be the one you want. Usually if I travel to Bangkok I would take their 4pm flight (I had always preferred to take flight departing at 1pm-2pm but I can adapt). They only have about 2 to 3 flights daily to Bangkok compared to MAS and Air Asia that have many flights.
Malindo do have seats under promo fare and I do receive a number of notification from them on upcoming promotions. As with all trips, in order to get cheap tickets, the trip would need to be planned early and preferably during off peak.