After checking out from our room at Hilton Sentral, Kuala Lumpur at the unGodly hour of 0615, we made our way to Kuala Lumpur Sentral train station where we would take the KLIA Express to KLIA. The hotel was nice enough to provide us with a van to help make the trip around the corner -otherwise it would have been an inconvenient trek around the complex with 5 heavy bags in tow.
One of the benefits of taking the KLIA Express is that you can check your bags through to your final destination at the train station. Initially, Malaysia Airlines were the only carrier to offer this service, but in recent times, we have seen other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Etihad signing up to this awesome service.
The check-in counters are divided into a singular counter for First Class/ Business Class and two counters for Economy. Even at this early hour, there was a queue forming for both the premium and economy counters although we arrived early enough that the wait was not too long. If you are travelling with a lot of baggage, be sure to take advance of the free porter service at the station although I am sure they would appreciate a tip.
With our bags checked through and boarding passes in hand, we made our way to KLIA. Clearing immigration and security was once again a breeze (Heathrow take note) and before long we were at the lounge tucking into some breakfast. As today we will be boarding our plane from the airside terminal, we made use of the Malaysia Airlines Regional Golden Lounge instead. For first time visitors, the entrance to the regional lounge is actually quite well hidden with very poor sign posting so look for the money exchange counter immediately after you have cleared security.
The regional lounge is a lot smaller than the main lounge located on the satellite terminal but I actually prefer it as it is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The food served is the same for both lounges including a noodle bar serving cooked-to-order noodles. However, as this was breakfast, we would of course indulge in more of their signature Nasi Lemak. Alongside the usual condiments, there are two different types of curries available – a mild chicken rendang and a spicier squid sambal. For me, the squid sambal wins hands down.
The lounge offers excellent views of the tarmac although most of the planes on this side of the airport are Malaysia Airlines.
Soon enough, boarding was called and we made our way to the gate. We would be flying on board another 737-800 today.
Today’s flight would be 3 hrs 50 minutes. Although food was offered for this flight, we both declined as we had stuffed ourselves at the lounge. Of course, given that we were flying on my birthday, we had a couple of glasses of Champagne.
Soon it was time to make our descent to HKIA. The weather was very good and thus we could enjoy the beautiful views. No matter how many times I fly into Hong Kong, I never get sick of these views.
HKIA in sight, we made a smooth landing with a short taxi to our gate. There wasn’t much of a wait getting off the plane and I was promptly met by one of the Mandarin Oriental representatives on the jet bridge who would escort us through immigration and baggage reclaim and onwards to our limousine transfer where fun times awaited us.