Day 1: Malaysia Airlines CBR-KUL

Flying as a part of any trip is pretty easy; turn up at the airport, wander through security, be tested for explosives, sit about, get herded onto a plane, sit about, get herded off a plane and emerge from the casino like environs of the airport in a new locale.

If only it really worked out like that.

Leg 1: CBR-MEL

For me every international flight involves taking a short hop on one of the two domestic airlines (Virgin Australia or Qantas), deplaning, scurrying from a domestic terminal to international and going through the same motions again.

For the flight to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines had me riding with their Oneworld Alliance partner Qantas.

As I’d been able to select the departure timing from Canberra I had very consciously made sure I selected flights to Melbourne on Qantas that utilised their jet service, these tend to fly on schedule irrespective of the Canberra weather and also make the journey a little quicker than the Dash-8 or ATR72s do.

Unfortunately over the months between me buying the ticket and the flights happening my seats were bumped to the bug-smasher.

This left me sitting in Canberra Airport for quite some time – eating up precious minutes I had to transfer to International in Melbourne.  At least I was already checked-in for the flight to KUL so they’d at least try to find me.

As it turns out I was “this close” to missing the flight to KUL!

If you’ve ever had one of those “tight” connections you’ll know the fear that floods through your body as you hear your name being butchered via the airport PA.  In my case I had made it through security of the International terminal and had just entered the twilight zone of Duty Free.  While I may have been walking briskly at that point I broke into a run to the farthest reaches of the terminal to present myself to the staff at the Gate.  10 minutes to boarding, and if I had’t run, I probably wouldn’t have made it!

Leg 2: MEL-KUL

With the crazy rush over and my heart slowing to a more sedate pace I quickly snapped a picture of the Boeing 777-200 that was to be my ride to Kuala Lumpur.  Grabbed a bottle of water and waited 10 minutes to board.

My seat, 12A, was comfortable enough without being generous in the allotment of space.  Without a doubt it’s an economy class seat but it doesn’t feel like being crushed into cattle class like some can.

Once flying the weather was largely clear with only a few minutes of bumps and thumps of turbulence.

The inflight service was efficient and friendly – a generous meal was served along with enough beverages to meet my needs.  Some may feel that the beverage service is not generous enough but I did see other passengers requesting and receiving additional drinks over the flights duration.

On the Ground

The end of every journey is the wait for baggage, the queues for Customs/Immigration and finally emerging into the destination.  Here I tend to find Kuala Lumpur International Airport to be pretty good.  There’s plenty of space so you don’t feel crowded in, and even the longer walks through the terminal are appreciated after the flight.

As one of the worlds best airports it does a good job of being efficient and welcoming, without many of the annoyances that can be found elsewhere.


Malaysia 2015: Dates for Formula1 Set

Since taking the time to book my ticket through I’ve been watching for further deals and trying to get ideas together for what to do when I’m not at the Formula1.  It’s been a while so I figure it’s time for an update on where my plans are at.

Caterham Formula1 2014 Malaysia
Formula1 2014 – Malaysia Caterham

Formula1 Race Dates Announced:

The sticking point to further plans was the lack of a set date for the Malaysian Formula1 race.  Yesterday this was finally listed on as being the 27th to 29th of March 2015!

Other News:

What else has happened?  Well One of my flights has been changed by the airline, resulting in re-issuing of my ticket.  A process that’s gone smoothly enough, and I’m reasonably certain it won’t be the last change.

Next Steps:

I’ve yet to book accommodation, the next step is really for Tickets to go on sale!  I’ll book my tickets with Sepang Circuit directly when they’re released.  For the 2014 Formula1 Race this occurred in late October and an excellent early-bird discount was offered.

In 2014 I missed out on the super early bird and instead bought at a 25% discount in January.  I only bought an single ticket, but for 2015 I’ll use the higher discount and get two tickets giving me more flexibility to move around during the race.  (although I may have managed to occupy some other zones during the 2014 race I don’t want to “risk” it again).

Making some other plans!

Legoland Malaysia has opened the Star Wars exhibit and the Kampung Mini-Land so I’m going to have to head back to Johor Bahru for these, but that still leaves me with the need to find other things to do.  Please leave me some suggestions!