Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class is supposed to be among the World’s Best experiences. The airline is a one of the few Skytrax 5 star airlines and offers First Class exclusively on their six A380 aircraft that fly between Kuala Lumpur and Paris and London. After the MH370 and MH17 tragedies, I decided I wanted to show the world and my readers that not only is Malaysia Airlines safe to fly, but that their product was truly top notch. Therefore, when I booked my trip around the world for my birthday, I ensured I secured a Malaysia Airlines First Class seat from Paris to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airline A380 First Class Check-in
To my surprise, Malaysia Airlines does not offer chauffeur services for First Class passengers. Many international airlines that offer First Class offer personalized limousine service for their First Class passengers, transporting them to and from the airport in style and comfort. Since, Malaysia Airlines does not offer this service, I opted to be frugal and I took the Paris Metro to Paris CDG and then transferred to the intra airport train to Terminal 1. The entire process took me just over an hour from the Champs-Élysées.
Once at Terminal 1, I found the Malaysian Airline check in counter. Like many airports, there were three queue for passengers: Economy, Business Class and Elites, and First Class and Top Tier Elites including OneWorld Emeralds. There was no one in the First Class line, so I approached the agent and was promptly checked into the flight. The agent verified my documents and then presented me a lounge pass for the ICare lounge. She then directed me towards immigration and wished me a pleasant flight.
To my surprise, this was the end of ground service support, as I was on my own to find the lounge, clear customs and security, and board the aircraft. Unlike TAM which offered a special service agent to escort First Class passengers to the front of security and to the lounge, Malaysia Airlines left me alone to fend for myself. Thankfully I am a season traveler, so this was not an issue. I quickly found the lounge and then when the timing was right I headed to the aircraft.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge, Security, and Pre-Departure
Malaysia Airlines uses two lounges for their Business and First Class passengers in Paris. Business class passengers are invited to the Air France Salon Premiere and First Class passengers use the ICare lounge. I reviewed the Paris ICare Lounge in detail, so I will not elaborate any more. But I will tell you that the lounge is a far cry from a First Class lounge and travelers should not even waste their time visiting it.
After a short stay in the lounge, I headed towards the gate where I had to clear security. Paris CDG does offer a “Fast Track” lane, but airlines have to buy into the service. The Fast Track lane allows premium customers to bypass the security line and save about 20-30 minutes. Malaysia Airlines does not offer this service, so despite flying First Class, I had to wait in line with the masses. I was slightly stressed because I did not budget time for this, but thankfully boarding for my flight was slightly delayed and I made it through security in time to catch my flight.
Boarding Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class is done through one of three jet bridges. As I was the only First Class passenger there was no line and I boarded the plane and was quickly greeted by a friendly women working the door. She greeted me by name, without even seeing my boarding pass and then escorted me to my seat. She introduced herself and then offered me a pre-departure drink. Since Malaysia Airlines does not serve alcohol on the ground, I opted for some guava juice and explored Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class Suite.
While on the ground, the two flight attendants working the First Class cabin brought me Pajamas, menus, a drink menu, and a red gift bag which held my amenity kit and slippers. I promptly changed into my Pajama’s and the attendants ensured the fit was the correct size. While on the ground they kept my drink completely full, and brought me two hot towels. One before the drink service and another hot towel when the cleaned up. After about 30 minutes, the cabin was secured and we started our journey.
cheap noise canceling headphones & me in the MAS PJs (above) Amenity Kit below
Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class
As I was the only passenger on Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class, service was 100% customized for me. The agents checked in on me every 15 minutes and offered me a drink of my liking. They also asked if I would like to dine right away or later on into the flight. I opted to eat then, as I was starting for feel hungry. The First Class attendant took my drink and dinner order and then brought me my first round of 2004 Dom Perignon—which quickly became an entire bottle—and the prawn and duck canapés. When it came time for lunch, the FA pulled out the oversize table and set it as if I was in a 5 star restaurant. The table felt ginormous, but the large size allows for dining for two if and when traveling with a companion.
Service throughout dinner was immaculate, and I couldn’t believe how good the food was! My water and Dom stayed completely full throughout the meal, and I never had to ask for a thing. Between courses the FA checked in on me, ensure I liked what I had ordered, and kept my glasses full. The food was delicious, but my only complaint was despite pre-ordering meals through Malaysia online ordering system, my meals did not make the flight. So instead of enjoying scallops and lobster, I had to select from the inflight menu. Despite this hiccup, the food was impressive, the presentation was top notch, and the flavor profile of the meals were well balanced. I am not a huge foodie, but my palate and stomach were both very satisfied! Oh, and the Malaysian Satay was AMAZING!
Dom & Shrimp & Duck apps
Satay (above) & set up for dinner (below)
Caviar, seafood lasagna & dessert
Throughout the flight, service was spot on! My drinks were always full and the FAs checked on me at appropriate time interval. After the first meal service, I made my seat into a bed and fell asleep for about 5 hours. When I woke up, the FA promptly noticed, and inquired if I was hungry or wanted anything more to drink. I ordered some noodle soup and another drink, sat up and enjoyed another movie.
two different cheese & snack plates
Full breakfast/lunch service was served again before landing, and like the first meal service it was a production. Lots of hot towels, full set up, and delicious like the first meal! Everything was nearly perfect.
Signature Drink (Above) & Nasi Lemak (below)- absolutely AMAZING!
Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class Suite
Malaysia Airlines currently only offers First Class service on the A380 as they have retired their fleet of 747s. First Class is comprised of 8 First Class seats on the forward main deck. Each suite is partially enclosed in a 1x2x1 configuration. Suites in the middle cabin are ideal for couples, whereas those along the fuselodge walls are perfect for those traveling solo. Although each suite is not private, the seat is far enough back, that you cannot see other individuals around you. On the day that I flew, I was the only one in the First Class cabin, so this was a non-issue, but regardless, I feel as though even if the cabin was full I would have enough space and privacy.
Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class suites are truly massive! Although they are not private rooms like the Etihad First Class apartments, they are quite large. Each suite is nearly 7.5 feet by 5 feet and each large chair reclines into a bed that is 7.25 feet (87 inches) by nearly 3.5 feet (40 inches). The armrest lowers when the chair is in bed mode, making for an even larger, wider sleeping space. Although there is no mattress pad, the seat is very comfortable as both a recliner and a bed. The additional blankets and pillows are high quality and extremely comfortable. Not once while laying down did I think to myself that I was on an airplane.
Bathroom amenities above & Stairway to business class below
our route to Malaysia – notice we avoid all conflict zones
The suite is comprised of tons of little gadgets to control the seat. Each remote controls a portion of the seat and the large 23 inch LCD TV. There is power and USB plugs to keep devices running, and a huge granite table nestled into the side console. Just be careful as the table it’s spring loaded! The suite has more storage space then I knew what to do with it, featuring cubbies under both arm rests, the ottoman/guest seat, a personal closet that my roll aboard fit into which also had hangers for clothing, and more. As the First Class cabin has an open design concept and does not offer overhead storage, the First Class suite is large enough that all personal items can be close and within reach throughout the flight.
The A380 is a great aircraft and although Malaysia Airline doesn’t offer a bar or inflight showers, their product and service is top notch. I would highly recommend the A380 First Class experience on Malaysia Airlines. My only complaints would be, if Malaysia Airline is going to offer a chief on call service, they need to actually be sure to fill the orders and stock the aircraft with customers request and ground service needs a massive overhaul. Otherwise, the suite, inflight service, and drink selections are top notch. MAS First Class offering is impressive.
First class suite as a bed & tons of storage space around the seat
Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class Summary
The Malaysia Airline A380 focuses on functionality and practical use with a higher density layout over luxury and amenities. Although some A380 offer inflight Bars (Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, Korean) and shower suites (Etihad & Emirates), Malaysia Airlines A380 offers large semi-private suites and basic amenities which are comparable to other widebody aircraft. I was happy with the offering, but nothing about the Malaysia Airlines A380 suite, service, or amenities are mind blowing. That is except for the sheer size of the A380! For a 5 star airline, it’s somewhat sad and surprising that Malaysia Airlines didn’t do more with their aircraft.
As far as the entire experience goes, I would say the flight attendants, food, and service were among the best in the sky. By the time I flew this route, I could only compare it with TAM, as I had otherwise only flown First on a three cabin aircraft on American Airlines between LAX and JFK and TAM First Class between MIA and GRU. Yet looking back, I would say the service was even better than Cathay Pacific’s in-flight service in First from Hong Kong to LAX. Then again, this can differ greatly depending on the crew. The biggest short coming of Malaysia Airlines is their ground service and lounge options in Paris. From the terminal to the lounges they used, there’s nothing “First Class” about the experience
Overall, MAS is a great airlines, and when traveling long haul from Europe, Malaysia Airlines should not be over looked. Malaysia Airlines food and service were among the best I have ate on a plane! Despite the airlines recent financial performance, the airlines is not cutting back on service (at this time). Malaysia Airlines A380 First Class from Paris offers an experience like no other once in flight.
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