REVIEW | Malindo Air Economy Class from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

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Sometime around September 2019, I found myself in need of transport down to Singapore for what would be a short 1 day trip.  Singapore is well connected to Kuala Lumpur, of course, with a large variety of transport options available.  For starters, you could take the train(s) down to Woodlands, or the bus, of which there are countless options. 

For something slightly more comfortable though, there is always the option of taking a flight.

Up to 7 regional airlines fly daily between KLIA and Changi Airport.  One of them is 7 year old Malindo Air, setup as a joint venture between Indonesia’s Lion Air and the Malaysian National Aerospace and Defence Industries (NADI).  It positions itself as a hybrid carrier, a cross between a full service airline and a low cost carrier.  This was quite a new concept in the region then, as airlines were either full service or LCC (Air Asia).

First posted 9 April 2020.  Updated 25 February 2023.

2023 Update: Malindo Air has since been renamed to Batik Air Malaysia.



Buying my tickets

I booked my one way ticket on Malindo’s website. I settled on the 0815 Malindo flight from KUL and paid the promotional Super Saver RM 89.00 fare, which hovered pretty close to the Air Asia average fare for that timing.  This was to be my first ever flight with Malindo.


Departure experience at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

I took a Grab to the airport as public transport was not an option at this hour if I wanted to catch my 08:15 am departure.  I made the slight mistake of waking up late and ended up departing later than I intended, arriving at the terminal by 07:40 am, just 35 minutes before my departure.

As I’d already checked in online and selected my seats, I was able to head straight through to border control, saving myself loads of time.

My flight was due to depart from one of the G gates in the contact pier which is a short walk away from the immigration counters, negating the need to hop on the aerotrain to the Satellite terminal.  As boarding had already started I joined the queue straight away.

An interesting point I noted is that there seemed to be a large number of Indian nationals on this flight to Singapore.  As Malindo operates a pretty decent number of routes to India, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d chosen Malindo for a flight to Singapore via KL.  After all, Malindo’s prices are actually quite competitive.

Malindo operates a fleet of Boeing 737NG aircraft, including then 3 year old 9M-LCD, a Boeing 737-800.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a decent view of my aircraft as the view from the terminal was blocked by the aerobridge.

My seat was 29A, right at the back of the aircraft.  I’d specially chosen this seat because I thought the rear would be sparsely seated enough for a nap.  It seems I picked my seats when most passengers had not selected theirs yet, as the aircraft was filled all the way to the rear.

Pushback and takeoff was on time.  As September was the peak of the haze season, the views out the window weren’t exactly the clearest.  The aircraft windows also seemed to have layer of dust on them, no doubt as a result of the haze, resulting in a doubly hazy view.


Cabin & Onboard amenities

Malindo’s economy seat has 32 inches of pitch, which gives it the best economy class seat pitch among the 3 big Malaysian airlines (Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines have 30″ of pitch each).

Malindo also offers a Business Class with a hard product similar to Malaysia Airlines’s regional Business class.  This is all part of its hybrid positioning, with the idea being that you still get to enjoy some frills despite having paid an LCC-esque price.  Of course, in practice you’ll end up paying more than a typical LCC fare, but still lower than a full service carrier.


Onboard Amenities – Inflight Entertainment

Each seat is also equipped with a 11.1″ entertainment screen. I wasn’t able to test it out as the screens on my row were not working, unfortunately. This meant my only inflight entertainment was trying to get some sleep, as well as checking out the contents of the seat-back pocket.


Onboard Catering

Malindo operates with a hybrid service model, and its catering reflects that fact.  Passengers are able to pre-purchase a selection of meals when checking in online.  Alternatively, there is also the Buy On Board (B.O.B) option, which sells a decent variety of snacks and drinks at the usual inflated prices (RM7 for a Maggi Cup).

As this was a short flight, I opted to purchase a very expensive chicken flavoured Maggi Hot Cup noodles as my having overslept meant I had to skip on breakfast on the ground.


Arrival at Singapore Changi Airport

Our approach path took us on a routing south of Singapore, flying over Batam, then over the Pengerang refinery complex in Johor, and then a left turn to line up with runway 20R.  The views would have been better with a clear window of course.

Malindo utilises Terminal 3 at Changi, with our aircraft parking at gate A17, at the southern far end of the terminal.

Due to the distance I opted to take the Skytrain to the arrivals area.  It was my first time using Terminal 3 and I thought it looked pretty good.

With no luggage to collect, I made my way straight to the airport’s MRT station for a ride into town.


Final Thoughts

I was actually quite happy with my Malindo Air flight to Singapore.  The seat was quite comfortable and there were none of the delays Malindo is apparently famous for.  I certainly wouldn’t mind flying with them again.

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2 responses to “REVIEW | Malindo Air Economy Class from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore”

  1. […] come up to Singapore just a day earlier by flight, I opted for a cheaper and slightly more accessible mode of transport back to Kuala Lumpur.  […]

  2. […] come up to Singapore just a day earlier by flight, I opted for a cheaper and slightly more accessible mode of transport back to Kuala Lumpur.  There […]

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