My time in Delhi was just too short but I have to get this show on the road again so after a very pleasent stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza I made my way to Delhi airport early.
The taxi ride was, again, entertaining and a little scary all at once with cars just drifting rather aimlessly from lane to lane, hooters blasting with drivers apparently oblivious to anyone else yet everyone rather miraculously avoiding each other.
On arrival I made my way directly to security fully expecting to be let through to wait in the lounge. It felt like all of Delhi was leaving and everything was rather chaotic at the security desk. Then I saw a sign… “Business Passengers”… ah, priority lane and it was empty! I was rather knocked back when the security officer refused to let me through. I had checked in online and had an electronic boarding pass and they only accepted paper ones. I tried, without success, to find somewhere to print my electronic copy only to be told that they wouldn’t accept that either… it had to be one printed by the check-in desk. Check in opened in an hour so off to Costa for a coffee!
At the allotted time (4 hrs before departure) I checked in all the way to Tokyo, collected my ITC Green Lounge invitation and trotted off to security for the second time. It is strange how everything is done in paper form when India is such a technologically advanced country with many centres of worldwide renown for computer excellence.
ITC Green Lounge
This lounge is very small indeed. In fact, it is just one room with a small bar in one corner and a small food station at the end. All the chairs are the same and there is very little space. The hot food on offer was excellent… needless to say, I had curry! I don’t have a lot more to say except that the staff were friendly and helpful.
(No pics – Sorry!)
Flight Delhi – Kuala Lumpur – A330-300
Boarding was quick and easy and I was greeted soon after getting seated with a choice of orange or apple juice or water. No champagne! Then I read the menu and although the food choices looked good there was no mention of any alcoholic drinks… was Malasia Airlines a “dry” airline? Then I was handed an addendum to the main menu with chanpagne, wine and spirits – YAY! There was a normal drinks service once airborne but not before.
On getting to my seat I was struck by how much nicer it was that the A330-300 I flew on the day before. Firstly it was much newer but more than that, it had more storage, the seats were more comfortable and there was mood lighting! Differences between airlines of the same aircraft.
The seat is the best business class seat I have sat in. I had plenty of storage in the little cupboard to the side but there was storage under the screen and to the side of my head for specs. Then there was that screen… wow! It had to be at least 17″ and it looked massive. It this is the way it is going for in flight entertainment systems then bring it on. Having raved about the seat I am sure that the new British Airways Club Suite, announced yesterday, will trump it, and I am sure that there is much better out there on airlines I have never flown, but for now this is pretty good.
Service on board was excellent with the crew working hard to make sure we had everything we wanted. Champagne was regularly topped up without the need to ask and the food service was quick and effortless.
The food was absolutely top-notch and, in my opinion, would have held its own in any good quality restaurant on the ground. It started with satay; a Malaysian favourite (I had 2 servings – well they offered!). Then Mutton Raga followed by Gulab Jamun, a particular favourite of mine when I can find it in the UK. Once again, I cannot stress too much how good this was.
I don’t think it is too over the top to say that this is without doubt the best flight I have ever taken and I have to say that it makes British Airways look old-hat, dated and out of touch. Perhaps the new A350-1000 aircraft, due to start this year, and the new Club Suite, will redress the balance.
Kuala Lumpur Arrival
Disembarking I found myself a bit lost. There were lots of signs but none to “transfers” or anything similar, nor to the Golden Lounge which was where I was heading. After 10 minutes wandering around I found a Malaysian Airlines information desk and they gave directions.
The Golden Lounge is big with a centre service area with a chef cooking station and a proper coffee bar and this is where I am now. My flight to Tokyo leaves in a couple of hours so time for breakfast I think!
PS I have since arrived in Tokyo so more tomorrow – I am knackered!
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