Review: Malindo Air (A Flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore)

Just when I wanted to highly recommend Malindo Air for any flight in Southeast Asia region, I just found out that Malindo has recently changed their policy in terms of free baggage and onboard meals.

So, after my Borneo trip ended, I flew to Singapore with Malindo Air from Kota Kinabalu. And I suppose this was one of the last Malindo flights before they changed the policy. Now that they’ve got a new policy with a few flight options, I’m still going to write a review of my flight anyway.

I’ve also checked the price with each package to compare with my last experience flying with Malindo. So, would I still recommend you to fly with Malindo around ASEAN countries? Here’s the review for this Malindo Air! 🙂

Review: Malindo Air (A Flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore) - The BeauTraveler

About Malindo Air

My flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore with Malindo Air was actually my first time flying with the airlines. Malindo Air has been around for quite some time now, and I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about Malindo even before I flew with them. In fact, one of my close friends is married to a Malindo pilot. So I’ve been quite familiar with the company for some time now.

I first noticed about the airlines back when I was still flying as a flight attendant. It was when I had a layover in Dhaka, I saw a banner of Malindo. At first, I was surprised since the logo is the resemblance of Lion Air, an Indonesia-based airline that is infamous for their delays. 😛

As I did my research on this new stuff I found at the time, it turned out that Malindo is, in fact, a part of Lion Air Group. The name Malindo itself stands for MALaysia and INDOnesia.

This brought me to some suspicious thought about the reason why Rusdi Kirana, the owner of Lion Air Group, is now the Indonesian ambassador for Malaysia. But anyway, let’s not talk about politics now since we’re gonna focus on Malindo now.

Kota Kinabalu from above.

Why I Chose Malindo Air

One thing that makes Malindo Air significantly different than their sister company is their premium service business model. They provide a full-service flight for most of the routes they have. So it is not 100% correct if you think that Malindo Air is on par with Lion Air or other low-cost carriers in the Southeast Asia region.

Because if you want to compare the airlines with the other airlines, it’s more fair for them to go head-to-head with other full-service airlines such as Malaysia Airlines or Garuda Indonesia. At least back then, until now that they’ve changed the policy as their lowest package provided excludes free baggage and onboard meals.

For my flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore, I bought the ticket for IDR 853,571 (around $60 USD) through Tiket.com. That was when all the full-service included along with free 20 kg check-in baggage and onboard meals, which I found such a great bargain!

Review: Flying with Malindo Air

My first experience flying with Malindo Air was actually quite pleasant. I did mobile check-in a day prior to my depature, along with choosing the seat. As if it wasn’t good enough, no one else sat beside me when the senior flight attendant made the PA asking for all ground staff to get off the aircraft.

The aircraft seems to be well-maintained, all the safety demo were also done through videos in the screen in front of our seats. Since I’m not exactly a tall person, the leg space wasn’t a big problem for me as I still got enough space for my legs to rest.

For a short haul flight that took less than 3 hours, I honestly had nothing to complain. 🙂

The leg space, mind that I’m only 158 cm though! 😀

In-Flight Entertainment

I was actually quite impressed by their service in general. In terms of their in-flight entertainment, mine worked well and I managed to watch a few of The Big Bang Theory episodes en route to Singapore. I had already watched it before, but still I laughed so kudos to all the nerds! 😀

Apart from the in-flight entertainment, they also provide us with the in-flight magazine as well as their duty-free booklet, in case you’re in the mood for onboard shopping. Not so bad to kill the boredom, especially when it’s only a short haul flight to Singapore.

They provide in-flight entertainment in every seat of their B737-900ER.

Onboard Snacks and Meals

It took around 2 hours and 30 minutes for the flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore, and during the flight I was served with a complimentary beverage as well as the onboard meals.

I took the morning flight, so the meals served was the breakfast menu. They didn’t have different options for this, but they served us with some kind of pasta along with green tea cake and a cup of mineral water.

To be frank with you, I’m not really the kind of person who would enjoy aircraft meals. I rarely even ate my crew meals back when I was still flying as a flight attendant because that’s how much I dislike the aircraft meals. I’m a bit picky when it comes to aircraft meals.

From all the meals served onboard that I could remember, there was only one meal that I wouldn’t mind to have again: a chicken noodle served by Srilankan Airlines on a flight from Hongkong to Bangkok. However, I’ve changed my mind when I tried the meals on this Malindo flight!

The meals served onboard on my last flight with Malindo.

Surprisingly, all the menu… Both pasta and green tea cake were delicious. I actually liked it, so kudos for that! 🙂

The Policy Changed for Malindo Air, Effective in 2019

I’ve been checking flight tickets from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur as I’m planning to go for a trip with my parents some time this year. And I found out that Malindo Air has changed their free baggage and onboard meals policy.

Instead, they have several packages that passengers could opt based on their needs. The lowest package, Super Saver has no baggage allowance. But if you have any checked-in baggage, you could opt for Value or Flexi package which allows you to have checked-in baggage for 15 and 30 kg. For all business passengers, they are eligible to check in their baggage up to 40 kg as well.

I flew with Boeing 737-900ER en route to Singapore (SIN) from Kota Kinabalu (BKI).

As for the meals and snacks, all meals are provided based on pre-purchase only. However, they still provide complimentary water on flight.

Flying with Malindo Air: Is It Worth It?

For this review, I even checked the comparison for the price on the same route, BKI to SIN, and see the price gap for each package.

For example, there was this Super Saver on the same route for only 228 MYR (around $54 USD). For the same route, the Value package costs 373 MYR (around $89 USD). The difference is around $35 USD for the baggage. I personally think it’s still a great bargain, given the idea that we could at least have the IFE for the flight.

I think I got the privilege to get all the full-service facilities on my last flight with Malindo Air. And I was indeed pleasantly satisfied, I think I’d choose Malindo over any other airlines if I could get a better price for the flight. 

Have you flown with Malindo after the change of policy? Drop your thoughts on the comment section and share with us, cheerio! 😀

2 thoughts on “Review: Malindo Air (A Flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore)

  1. Minumnya aqua gelas gitu yaa, kemarin aku naik Malindo minumnya dituangin pakai gelas plastik gitu tapi riweuh sih karena takut tumpah ngapa w jadi fokeus ke situ sih hahaha. Malindo bagus, cuma aku nggak suka drama delay2nya yang maju mundur cantik. Untung aku orangnya penyabar

    1. beda manajemen meurs, klo terbangnya dari indonesia khan manajemen yang pegangnya satu grup sama lion punya. HAHAHA. klo aku pas terbang ini terbang dari kota kinabalu, yang pegang manajemennya orang malay punya. jadi lancar jaya. 😛

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