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I take a tour of the Malaysia Airlines A350-900 aircraft

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Malaysia Airlines invited me down to Heathrow last week to take a tour of their new Airbus A350-900.

I am hoping to do a proper review of Malaysia Airlines in the next couple of months, but for now you’ll have to do with this brief overview.

If you want to know more, there is a special A350 section on the Malaysia Airlines website which you can find here.

Malaysia Airlines is not usually ‘front of mind’ for people who are travelling to Asia and beyond and who want to earn Avios and British Airways tier points.  Cathay Pacific, yes.  Qatar Airways via Doha, yes.  Malaysia Airlines is, along with Japan Airlines, SriLankan and Royal Jordanian, one of the oneworld partners we seem to forget about.

Malaysia Airlines A350

This is a mistake.  Malaysia Airlines has recently switched its A380 fleet for brand new A350-900 aircraft on the London Heathrow route and the product looks very good.

I put together a short video, see below, which shows you around the cabin in detail.  Here are the three options:

Business Suite

First up is Business Suite.  Until recently this was First Class, but a push back against First Class by local Government officials led to the rebranding.

Malaysia Airlines Business Studio

There are just four seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.  The seat is an interesting design, with the IFE screen right at the back, quite a way from your head.

Malaysia Airlines Business Studio

Business Suite is no longer available for Avios redemptions.  You could book it when it was branded First Class but this is one of the casualties of the rebranding.  What you can do is book Business Class with Avios and then enquire at check-in for a cash upgrade, which will be in the region of £500-£600 each way I was told.

Business Class

Business Class consists of one small cabin of 35 seats.

The layout is a mix of 1-2-1 and 2-2-1.  On the ‘A’ seat side you only have solo seats, alternating between ‘next to the window’ and ‘next to the aisle’.  This is allow your feet to slot under the seat in front when the seat is reclined.

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

In the centre block, you always have two seats.  As the seats face fully forward – this is not a herringbone layout – you are nearer to your neighbour than you would otherwise be with, say, BA’s new Club Suite.  The middle block is best for couples whilst solo travellers are better taking a window seat.

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

On the H/K side of the plane, there is a mix of two seat rows and one seat rows.  The solo seats are ‘throne’ seats, in the centre of the row with storage areas on both sides.

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

Here is a view looking forwards which lets you see the footwell and IFE screen:

Malaysia Airlines Business Class

Economy Seats

Economy is not a big focus on Head for Points, but I wanted to point out one thing.  As you can see from the image below, the front three rows of Economy seating are a different colour.  This is because these are extra legroom seats.

Malaysia Airlines A350 economy class

There are 27 of these.  This is how much legroom you get:

Malaysia Airlines A350 economy class

Here is the smart thing.  Because these are standard Economy seats at the end of the day – just with extra legroom – you don’t pay any additional Air Passenger Duty.  One of the reasons that Premium Economy is always noticeably pricier than Economy is that it attracts the same Air Passenger Duty as Business Class and First Class.

This isn’t a problem here.  You get Premium Economy legroom but an Economy seat and service.  The upside is a saving of around £100 on Air Passenger Duty compared to calling these rows Premium Economy and upgrading the food, IFE etc.

Finally, just because I could, I went into the crew rest area.  Six crew members can sleep in here at any one time.  As well as the three berths at the front of the picture and the two to the sides, there was an additional one behind me.  You can see more in the video.

Malaysia Airlines A350 crew rest area

A video tour of Malaysia Airlines A350-900

I shot a short video showing the three cabins – click the image below to view it.  If you can’t see it, click here to visit the Head for Points YouTube page.  You can also subscribe to our channel via that link.

We’re hoping to bring you a full review of the Malaysia Airlines A350 in a couple of months.   In the meantime, click here to see the official A350 section of the Malaysia Airlines website.

I also visited their lounge in Terminal 4 as part of the same tour, which was a very pleasant surprise.  My review of the Malaysia Airlines lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 is here.

Thanks to the Malaysia Airlines team for arranging the tour.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (61)

  • MAY L LIM says:

    Is the Business Suite with a door?

    MH non sale but promo price RM 3,100 or £600 for KUL to PVG return over many dates

  • Phillip says:

    I highly recommend a true window seat over a “throne” seat! So much more comfortable for sleeping. Having tried both, you get more upper body space when sat in the throne, but the true window seats are far better for sleeping!

  • CV3V says:

    A lot of people in Malaysia choose to fly BA over MH thinking BA will be the better product, which i wouldn’t agree with! The MH product is good, that said my worst business class flight was with MH on an old 777 with the angle lie flat seat, and the seat belt sign turned on for almost the entire flight – which was completely ignored until it came to asking the attendants for a hot drink and being told it was too dangerous.

  • darrenf says:

    I flew MH back in 2015 – redemption to KUL from CDG is cheaper than from LHR not only in cash terms due to taxes, but Avios too (it’s just under 6500 miles).

  • Baracus says:

    I flew the MH A350 LHR-KUL-LHR last year. It is a big step up from the seat on their A380 but I found the seat controls are very touch sensitive and also located very close to the area where your arm naturally rests.

    It is therefore very easy to inadvertently with small arm movements when eating or reading to move the seat, switch on the lights or start the massage / lumber function. While this seems a minor inconvenience there is no where else to rest your arm so it becomes very wearing over a 10 Hour plus flight. I found it really annoying.

    • David says:

      Couldn’t you put a pillow or blanket between your arm and then control panel?

    • JG says:

      +1. Also no air vents over centre business seats (have gone for the spacious appearance rather than extra overhead luggage space). Otherwise all was good KUL-LHR in August.

  • Mike says:

    When I saw the title this morning I was hoping somehow you had earned avios and tps on your promotional visit! That would be exceptionally cool if they’d ticketed you somehow.

  • Dave H says:

    Just flown Malaysian DEL-KUL-SYD and return. The DEL legs were on tired regional 737’s, but the SYD legs were on the 950 and 330, found the 950 to be the better flight. Their menus seem a little lacking, you could pre book reasonable mains, eg steak, fish but onboard it was more snack items eg pie or toastie, decent wine choice though and the satay to start is good. I would recommend a decent meal in the lounge before boarding.

    No issues with TP’s and Avios, 140 per sector in business.

    The business suite looked good, we were offered an option to bid for an upgrade but didn’t bother, it did seem to get you first lounge access though.

    • Dave H says:

      PS, visited the Amex lounge in Syd and had a pleasant couple of hours.

  • Lumma says:

    I always think that the window seats on business cabins like this with the seatmate look quite claustrophobic compared to say Qatar’s old 2 2 2 business class.

    Looks impossible to get out of without disturbing the aisle passenger if they’re sleeping in bed mode.

    And also, how come BA is always criticised for “8 across business class” when this is essentially 9 across?

    • Julian says:

      Totally agree that these solo business suite products do look very anti social indeed and seem to reflect the fact that nobody now seems to get on a long haul flight in business class hoping to strike up a beautiful new friendship with one of their fellow passengers.

      So all a far cry indeed from the days depicted in the PanAm series shown on BBC Two only three or four years ago.

      • Lady London says:

        I liked that series too, Julian, I was sorry it did not get another run.

    • Rob says:

      It’s 4 or 5-across! BA is clearly 8-9 across.

      • Lumma says:

        Surely the width of the seats are the same?

      • Mike says:

        I beg to differ.

        If you look at the footprint these seats take up, their width is roughly the equivalent of 2-4-3, i.e. the addition of the seats in two rows, given that each seat’s cubbyhole is the console of the seat in front.

        (I concede it’s “roughly” 2-4-3 because the cubbyholes are narrower than the seats, but so is the footstool area in the current Club World and everyone agrees that it’s 8-across, 2-4-2. Same applies to Iberia and all staggered and alternating configurations, they’re not a “true” 1-2-1 setup.)

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