Malaysia Airlines First- & Business Class Lounge At Kuala Lumpur Satellite CLOSED For Renovation Until At Least Late January 2018

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Malaysia Airlines has completed renovations at their Regional Lounge and now went ahead to close their largest lounges (including the only First Class Lounge) at the Satellite Terminal until the 29th January.

Considering the amount of flights Malaysia Airlines has I’d expect the Regional Lounge to be packed to capacity even though MH advises that Cathay Pacific and the CIP Lounge are available too.

As luck would have it I’m booked on two Malaysia Airlines tickets in this period (one to Shanghai and one to Seoul) where I planned to relax a couple hours at the First Class Lounge which is now pretty much down the drain.

Even though I’m in Business Class I always liked that it’s quiet at the MH First Class Lounge but I highly doubt this will remain the case in the coming months as far as the other available options are concerned.

You can access Malaysia Airlines announcement about the renovation and lounge closure here.

The Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at Satellite will be closed for enhancement and upgrading works from 0000 hours on 12 October 2017 to 29 January 2018.

The upgrading of the Malaysia Airlines’ Golden Lounge is in line with ongoing efforts to improve the overall travel experience of our front-end guests.

The refurbishment will include major enhancements which will give the Golden Lounge a completely new look and feel, a refreshed layout and include improvements to the washrooms and dining areas.

In order to minimize the inconvenience/disruption to our front-end guest and Enrich/Oneworld members, we have secured a few alternative lounges during the closure of our Golden Lounge:

These are all Business Class Lounges and the Malaysia CIP Lounge probably even accessible via Priority Pass. Expecting the worst is probably the best modus operandi here.

To keep expectations in line Malaysia Airlines already warns:

As this is an interim phase, some facilities may not be available at the alternative lounges

  • The Muslim prayer room (Surau) is not available at the Cathay Pacific Lounge and the Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge.
  • Shower facilities are unavailable at the Cathay Pacific Lounge and Malaysia Airports CIP Lounge.

The teams at the Check-In and Transfer counters will be able to provide directions if required and there will be signage at key locations at the airport to direct guests to these temporary lounges.

Facilities available at the Cathay Pacific Lounge are:

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lounge seating
  • Entertainment options including TVs, newspapers and magazines
  • Wi-Fi
  • Workstations and power points for laptop
  • Local calls
  • Lavatory

Facilities available at Malaysia Airport CIP lounge are:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Lounge seating
  • Wi-Fi
  • Reading materials such as newspaper and magazines

I went to the Cathay Pacific lounge many times before to grab a can or two of 100plus (not available at the MH Lounges) and it’s nice. They also have printers which even the MH First Class Lounge does not.

However it’s also small and there is no way it can cope with the amount of eligible guests that I expect to be in the Satellite. Cathay also has flights on their own and is fully within their rights to limit access to the lounge for non Cathay Pacific passengers. I’ve never been to the CIP Lounge so can’t comment on that. In fact I can’t even find a result on google that matches that name.

There is however a Plaza Premium Lounge accessible through Priority Pass (see here) that looks very decent. Maybe I check it out!

Of course this also impacts the value of many tickets ex or via Kuala Lumpur for oneWorld Emerald members since the First Class Lounge with the restaurant is now closed (I wonder if they even reopen it once the lounge is finished considering they only have one flight a day with First Class (to London). You were actually able to have a nice dinner with freshly prepared dishes there, including steak. Not a filet but still it was decent enough for a lounge. With this option gone that puts most airlines on par, including the Star Alliance carriers. Thai Airways has very good fares ex Kuala Lumpur.

Conclusion

Kuala Lumpur Airport is quite large and especially if you have a connection that connects from a short flight to a longer flight operated by one of Malaysia A330 aircraft there might be a long distance in between when changing terminals by the tram.

The Regional Lounge that Malaysia Airlines has is located in the main Terminal right behind immigration and next to the Tram. Since I’ll have a long transit I definitely plan to check it out either way. Would I have known about this two days ago (my fault for not looking earlier but I just saw this by coincidence today) I’d have booked a later flight from BKK to KUL. Oh well, the joy of traveling!

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