Malaysia Airlines started operating under their new name MAB (Malaysia Airlines Berhad) on September 1st 2015. On the same day, the carrier closed their own Golden Lounges in Singapore and Perth.
The move, undoubtedly a cost cutting measure, means that passengers will now be directed to partner or contract lounges at these two airports.
A few days ago I wrote about the new operations of Malaysia Airlines (access the article here) and following the news it seems like this went smooth without any hiccups as far as their operations or IT are concerned.
While browsing the website (access here) I noticed the announcement that the Golden Lounges in Singapore and Perth are being closed effective September 1st 2015.
I find it funny that Malaysia Airlines calls this a ‘Service Improvement’ when their own lounges are ceasing operations. They might be right though. I have used the Qantas Lounge in Perth before and it was a standard International Business Class Lounge but decent. In Singapore I visited the small Golden Lounge many times, it was ok but really nothing special. Not sure if the adjacent Premier Lounge is any better though, I never facilitated that one before.
I’m sure Malaysia Airlines has done the math with this move. Especially the lounge in Perth must have been a money burner for their one flight unless they had agreements with other airlines to use the Golden Lounge and reimburse MH for these visits. Singapore is difficult to say because MH has plenty of flights every day. Still, the concession at Changi Airport must be pricey and on top of it all the maintenance, staff and catering costs can probably just as well be invested in a straight out ‘per passenger’ fee for the Premier Lounge.
This will for sure save Malaysia Airlines quite a bit of money. Even though they now have to pay partners for each customer who visits the lounge, keep in mind that some eligible passengers never even go there due to whatever reason such as arriving late at the airport.
Keep in mind that as part of oneWorld you are entitled to use any other available oneWorld Lounge corresponding with your status or class of service. Singapore for example has a British Airways lounge as well which is pretty nice. You have to change the terminal for that one though and that’s probably not worth the effort unless you have a very long layover.