I’m flying Malaysia Airlines to London – a decision I made after much shopping around for airfares. I didn’t have many options to choose from because I procrastinated about booking my trip. Many of the airlines’ promotions were over by the time I got around to looking for flights.
Some of my friends think I’m crazy. I suppose it’s natural for people to have doubts about flying Malaysia Airlines to London or anywhere else in light of the MH17 and MH370 tragedies. I have to admit that I did hem and haw for a while before booking. I was mainly concerned about the quality of service because of bad passenger reviews on Skytrax. It seems like the airline has been cutting corners here and there. Low staff morale is also highly probable. But here’s why I ultimately chose to go with Malaysia Airlines:
1. Price. I’m travelling during the summer holiday season so tickets are going at a premium. My return flights with upper deck seats on the KL-London-KL legs of the flight came up to less than S$1,200. In contrast, flights on Qatar Airways or Emirates would have set me back by at least S$1,600 (base fare plus taxes). Fares on British Airways and Singapore Airlines were even more prohibitive.
2. Timing. I wanted to arrive and depart in the early morning on specific dates. Only Malaysia Airlines had seats on flights with timings that suited me. In fact, Malaysia Airlines has a pretty good selection of flight timings with short transits in Kuala Lumpur. I hate transiting, so the shorter the transit time, the better.
3. Safety. AirlineRatings.com gave Malaysia Airlines a safety rating of 5/7 earlier this year, which is the same rating given to Qatar Airways. The former’s rating likely got dinged by the two accidents, as one of the criteria used to assess safety is the 10-year fatality record. Malaysia Airlines has also passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) benchmark for global safety management.
4. Destiny. I believe that if it’s your time to die, it’s your time to die. You could be on a flight with a 7/7 safety rating, flying first class, and still die en route. Morbid, but true.
These will be my first flights on Malaysia Airlines in many, many years. I don’t have particularly outstanding memories of previous experiences because they occurred when I was a child, before I developed awareness of what it means to have a pleasant flight. Let’s see how things go.