Malaysian joins oneworld – with a Paris and Amsterdam ‘loophole’!

Malaysia Airlines System joins the oneworld alliance today.  And this means that you can redeem your Avios for their flights, as well as earning them by flying on Malaysia.

Let’s start by looking at redemption options.

To give BA credit, Malaysia Airlines flights are already showing on  As usual, when an airline first joins an alliance, there is HUGE amounts of availability.  I saw up to 5 business class seats available, for example.

There are three great bits of news for anyone planning to visit Kuala Lumpur (or indeed Singapore, which is only 185 miles away, airport to airport):

1.  Malaysia Airlines is flying these out of Heathrow:

Malaysia A380

with the London route being the first to receive the A380.  This page shows the very impressive First Class and business class product available, which looks like it could be better than the BA offering.

2.  They are also flying them out of Paris (and 777’s from Amsterdam)

Now, why does that matter?

Well, Paris to Kuala Lumpur is 6,492 miles.  Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is 6,363 miles.  London to Kuala Lumpur is 6,593 miles.  And 6,500 miles is the cut-off between two Avios pricing zones.

Flying out of Charles de Gaulle or Schiphol will cost you 60,000 Avios return in Economy, 120,000 in Business and 180,000 in First.  From London, you need more Avios – 70,000 for Economy, 140,000 for Business and 210,000 for First.

And if that wasn’t enough, you also save on the taxes flying out of Paris or Amsterdam because there is no Air Passenger Duty.  Business Class, return, is £481 of tax from London but just £337 from Paris and £288 from Amsterdam.  And you save 20,000 Avios!

These numbers mean that using a 241 to get Singapore becomes less interesting.  On BA, you’re looking at 140,000 Avios plus £1,000 of taxes for 2 Club World seats with a 241.  On Malaysian, if you start in Amsterdam, you’d pay 240,000 Avios and £576 in taxes, get potentially a better seat and get to save your 241 for another trip.

The A380 will be flying from Paris from March 1st.

3.  Malaysia has a decent route network to Australasia and other parts of Asia

Have a look at the route map and try out prices at  Taxes are high – higher than Cathay Pacific, for example – but availability should be OK.

Earning on Malaysia

BA has also published its earning chart for flights taken on Malaysia.

Take a look here.

All in all, this is a great addition to oneworld.  Whilst you can’t use an Amex 2-4-1 voucher for a redemption on Malaysia, they add a lot of extra flexibility for trips eastwards from London.

And if you do head out to Kuala Lumpur, I can recommend the Four Seasons Langkawi if you’re looking for an excellent beach resort.  Some people, if staying for a week, mix in a few days at The Datai down the road.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

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  1. Phillip says:

    It is very interesting to see how BA is using places like Mumbai, Istanbul and Paris to connect onto MH flights to and from Heathrow. Rather disappointed that for the time being there are neither Business not First class reward seats available at any time in November and December for the KUL-LHR route! There are however to Paris!

  2. I’ve done a bit of searching and can only find MH Economy tickets – perhaps I’m looking in the wrong place?

  3. James67 says:

    Or if you have AAdvantage miles you can have Asia to Europe or vice versa for 52.5 k ow in business with low tax and fees, especially from AMS. Still waiting for AA to load. However, always worth checking MH premium revenue fares as there is sometimes great value on those. Note also the OW double miles promo if flying soon.

    • I forgot to mention the double miles promo! For tickets bought after today only (although that may not be enforced) all oneworld airlines are offering double miles on Malaysia flights from 15 Feb to 15 April.

      Malaysia has historically run some aggressive business class sale fares which book into Z class, which BA treat as miles earning. Would be interesting if these continue.

      I too am keen to see what taxes AA adds. If they are surcharge-free then it is another reason to think about building an AA balance.

      • James67 says:

        Having purchased AA miles a few days ago I have just been stung as a 50% bonus offer has started today. Buying 40k miles for about £850 gets you 60k miles with bonus. Depending on needs this is a great buy.

        For example ow business beteeen Europe and se Asia can be had for 52.5k miles plus minimum taxes if avoiding BA and UK departure. An even better redemption value is 60k for a Europe to India return in business for 60k availing of very low tax and fees, and full flat bed seats on AY.

        Purchaseing just 10k miles more for about £200 more opens up ow F on my first example and 15k more rtn F in my second example. This promotion can easily make it worthwhile to purchase full miles needed for a redemption, especially on the very expensive North America to Europe routes. So for those without any AA or other miles its a great opportunity to experience long haul premium profucts at relatively low cost.

  4. Thank you Raffles for your blog/’reminder’, and so I got meself THREE J one-ways from CDG to KUL early-ish July for 180K Avios plus £599.10. Had wanted to use the 2for1 but like you said this is way better.

  5. This is awesome news, I would love to try out their J product. Shame there is no OW connection from EDI to either of those cities, but I suppose could be easily done with KLM/AF.

    The Sheraton in KL is also awesome and very inexpensive.

    • As is the Hilton, which shares a building with LeMeridien and has the advantage of being opposite the station where the airport express train arrives. Lots of very nice hotels, actually – although the Mandarin Oriental, nominally the poshest brand in town, is I think still badly in need of a refurbishment (one that is difficult to justify given KUL’s low room rates).

      • I did a couple of nights in the Hilton, and it felt a bit characterless to me. Cool rooms though with sliding walls and what not. Can’t believe how cheap 5* hotels are in that city.

  6. gagravarr says:

    I flew with Malaysian over Christmas in Y, and their on-board staff were excellent. Friendly, helpful, always coming round with drinks and snacks. I was much less keen on their customer services and a few of their ground staff, but as long as you don’t have problems you ought to be fine!

    If you do fly in Y on their A380, try to get a window seat on the top deck. The window seats have large lockers next to them which you can put all your stuff in for easy access, and you can spread out a bit over them too, made for a great flight

  7. This is perfect timing – I plan on heading to Malaysia this year! But I’ve only redeemed through before, so could someone help me on how exactly to book one of these Malaysia Airlines A380 flights with Avios? I’ve tried the “oneworld partner search” strategy Raffles mentioned in his airBerlin series but is showing me LHR-SIN flights from London in economy. If I plug in AMS-KUL or CDG-KUL then it tries to take me via HKG and then to KUl on CX. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

    • Since got updated (which was after I wrote that airberlin piece) it is automatic. Search for LHR to KUL at and the Malaysia flights will automatically show if available. Same with CDG and AMS. What date, roughly, did you want, and what class?

  8. Thanks Raffles. I was being a complete idiot… I was using the main BA flights search, not the “Book Flights with Avios” search inside Executive Club. Schoolboy error. I will post this tip on my SE Asia forum and tip the hat to your blog. Pulau Perhentian, here I come!

    • G Grimes says:

      ..anyone having issues with booking Air Malaysia on
      BAEC..using AVIOS
      Looking to go CDG to Brisbane in Oct 2013 and it shows availability…everything seems fine till verified payment page..
      Then no matter what card I use it falls over..
      Called BAEC they say they can see no availability and its
      “Teeting troubles..” damn frustrating

  9. Does the 777 from AMS really have a First Class cabin ?

  10. Chun Kuo says:

    Hi I just booked a flight from Syd to Kul yesterday. Do you recommend any accommodation for a 22hours layover?

    • The Hilton / Meridien complex by the airport train station downtown is a decent bet. The light railway which will take you across the city goes through there as well.

  11. Weird one: try and book in 1st from CDG to KUL in October and it gives Econ in Malayan outbound and for return on Oct it gives JAL Biz to Tokyo and then JAL1st to CDG.
    Fare is 100k avios and 369 tax.
    Try and book one way KUL to CDG via Japan and the fare is 130,000 avios and about 250 tax.
    So book KUL-CDG in Biz/First and then the return in Y at a later date and you can just throw away the Y!

    • Andrew Grant says:

      Amazing! I’m currently in Manila and have just changed my travel arrangements to try Malaysian.
      I’m now stopping off in KL for 3 days the week after next. I was able to book flights in business from MNL to KUL and then another a few days later from KUL to LHR. Staying in the Hilton as well.

      Looking forward to my first flight on an A380 and in business!

  12. To celebrate Malaysia Airlines joining the oneworld alliance, Iberia are offering double Avios on all flights with Malaysia Airlines in all classes.

    “Buy and take your flights from 15th February to April 2013.” It’s not that clear when this promotion starts or ends. One assumes that if you book today (3rd Feb) and fly on 15th Feb you’ll be awarded double points.

    It’s likely that other oneworld members will be running the same promotion – BA Executive Club haven’t made any announcement yet.

    • It’s an alliance-wide promotion – the purchase date doesn’t seem to matter, just the travel date. See

      • Just read the following on One Mile At A Time:

        To celebrate all OneWorld carriers are offering double miles for travel on Malaysia Airlines between February 15 and April 15, 2013 (for tickets bought today or later). Here’s American’s version of the promotion, for which registration is required.

        Malaysian are also making it ‘registration required’, Iberia aren’t and BA usually keep things simple. Important thing to note it’s always important to read the small print, as the same promotion can vary slightly airline to airline, it’s worth the time to make sure you’re getting whatever bonuses are on offer.

  13. paul longstone says:

    Newbie here looking for advice, this MH sounds like a good possibility for my future travel, uk to BNE, At present am G elite on AirNZ but have 200K avios. Should I try for status match on BA or QF or ?, any recomendations please? Thanks paul

    • I assume you live in the UK as you mention you have Avios? If you’re based in Australia / use an Australian postal address then currently you can only join QF’s programme, based in the UK then you can only join BA’s Executive Club.

      You’ve got nothing to lose by getting in touch with Executive Club; mention that you’re a regular traveller looking to switch your upcoming flights to BA, have G Elite status and would like to request a status match. Attach proof of current status – copy of card or latest statement.

      • At the moment, Australian’s cannot join the Executive Club. This was part of the deal with Qantas – all Australasians had to join the Qantas scheme. However, as the Qantas joint venture expires on 31st March when their tie-up with Emirates begins, logically Executive Club should open itself to Oz members.

    • BA does not status match, and I have never seen a QF one either. However, you can get Cathay Pacific Gold status for free if you get the Amex Platinum charge card, which gives you all the benefits of BA Silver (inc lounge access) except for the additional baggage allowance.

      And, at the end of the day, if you always fly in Business then you don’t really need status.

      • paul longstone says:

        Yes QF said no thanks to Status match, another Q, is it me or is it the search on BAEC really annoying, when you look to book AND upgrade with Avios the page only looks at the single dates you enter and NEVER gives the availability across the week like it does when you simply want to book with Avios, or am I missing something? THXS

  14. ..OK been trying for days now to book CDG to BNE with AVIOS flying Air Malaysia…the large amount of availability shown on the BAEC site bears no relation to actual availability…called BAEC and they say there is no availability showing on their systems..
    They may be “testing” the system they tell me…for the past 5 days..
    WTF..highly frustrating being guinea pigs..dont show ANY availability if that is in fact the case..
    No one at BAEC knows when the glitch will be sorted…shoddy..

    • paul longstone says:

      Hi ive looked for similar bookings and found the same, also tried buying and uprading with avios but it never shows any availability and never shows across the week only on the date entered, should it?
      thxs paul

      • No, partner airline flights do not show on the week view. You need to click each day.

        • paul longstone says:

          Ok, but is there a better way of searching? Ive spent hours changing the date 1 day at a time trying to buy and upgrade with avios. Using the explore map seems to search for straight redemptions better and finds limited availability, but cant buy WT+ and go up to CW that way? thxs PL

        • You can cannot use Avios to buy and upgrade Malaysian flights