A350-900, BUSINESS CLASS, LONDON HEATHROW-KUALA LUMPUR
This was the inaugural flight of one of Malaysia Airlines’ new A350 aircraft on the London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur route
The A350-900 has four new first class seats, 35 business class seats, and 247 economy class seats. First class is in a 1-2-1 configuration at the front of the aircraft. There is then the larger of the two business class cabins (22 seats), then a galley, and then a further, smaller business class cabin of just 13 seats which is where I was, in a window seat in the middle of the cabin – 10A.
The seats are all standard in the sense they are the Thompson XL Vantage seat. The cabin has quite a few quirks in its layout, not least the 1-2-1 and then 1-2-2 configuration of each row.
The seat colour is grey, and the cabin itself is quite neutral. There are blue duvets and seat covers at the seat.
The seats have differing storage space, depending on where you sit, but all have full automation with pre-sets for sitting, relaxing or sleeping. There is a power point in the seat for EU, US or UK plugs, and, of course, wifi on board, which costs US$20 for the entire flight.
It’s rare to have such a selection of seats in business class that have such varying qualities. It isn’t just a question of which seat is near the washrooms or galley and so likely to be disturbed. Nearly every seat on this aircraft is different, from the window seats, which alternate their position being either close to the aisle or more secluded.
In the rear cabin the best seats are 9K, which is a throne seat with storage on both sides, then 10A, which is a window seat but with the side table between it and the aisle. For the seats in the centre of the cabin, these have alternating side tables, so one passenger loses the table while the other gains it. In the back row – row 11, it’s slightly more equitable, since both of the passengers lose out and have to make the best of it by sharing a centre console.
The meal was served without any fuss, and since I wanted to work, I liked the way the flight attendants were ready to take the tray away as soon as I had finished.
At seat 10A I had sufficient room that when the food was served I could place my laptop back into my bag at my feet and eat, while still keeping my various devices charging on the side table along with the drinks. In between courses, which are brought separately, I could get the laptop out and continue to work, placing the tray on the side table and the devices in the locker to one side of the armrest. This was important because I had work to do, but I also wanted to eat so I could then relax and sleep for the maximum length of time.
Once the meal was finished and I’d done my work, it was around midnight and time for sleep. The seat reclines fully flat, and also comes with a seat cover, which you hook over the headrest before reclining the seat to keep it in place. There is also a small pillow and a blanket, almost duvet-like but not too thick.
This is a very good business class with delicious food that raises it above many competitors. It’s difficult to make a comparison with the A380 because it is so different.
Left: A350-900 business class seats