When I landed in Kuala Lumpur at the International Airport (KLIA) after my flight from Kathmandu, I had the option of hitting up either the newly refurbished and reopened Malaysia Airlines (MH) Golden Lounge or the Cathay Pacific (CX) lounge. I had wanted to see both, but in the end just stuck to the MH lounge. The layover wasn’t really long enough for lounge hopping.
The Golden lounge in the Satellite Terminal had been undergoing refurbishment for about a month and the business class side had only recently been reopened. It’s spacious and airy, but I didn’t like it a whole lot. The first class side, which I should have had access to as a OneWorld Emerald was still undergoing its own refurbishments. It was meant to be reopened already, but word from the lounge staff is that another 6-8 weeks is likely. Got to love it when things get done on time, right?
When I arrived around 6:30 am the place was empty. I got on the wi-fi and even though there were less than half a dozen people in the lounge at the time, the wi-fi was so slow it was almost unusable. I decided to check out the food options then. As it was breakfast time, that was what was on offer. There were eggs, chicken rendang, squid sambal, pastries, cereals, toast, sandwiches, cakes, ice cream…But also some grilled tomato (safe), hash browns (safe) and fruit (safe). There wasn’t much fruit though, just a couple of slices of watermelon. I got some hash browns and tomato as well. Not a big deal, I figured I could eat brunch on the plane.
By about 7:00 am the lounge had started to fill up. The wi-fi had gone from really slow, to totally unusable. Everything timed out. Everything. And by 7:15 am, the lounge was so packed that people couldn’t find a spare seat anywhere. It was also so loud that I am certain it would have been quieter in the general departures area downstairs.
Another thing that really annoyed me was again the lack of powerpoints to charge devices. Seriously people, it’s a business class lounge! Business people have phones, tablets and laptops that they want to recharge between flights! They just spent over a month doing refurbishments…Did nobody think it might be a good idea to put in more powerpoints during that process? I ended up seated next to a British family near one of the very few powerpoints, and we just agreed with each other to share it. They had it nearly all the time, but I got my iPad on for a little while to get some juice in it for the flight.
All in all, while the flagship Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge in the Satellite Terminal looks nice, I think it is actually quite poor as a business class lounge. The wi-fi is horrific even when there’s almost nobody using it, it is overcrowded, too loud, it lacks appropriate working facilities, and despite making regular flight announcements, you can’t hear a word they’re saying due to the volume of the PA system being so low. The positives were that they had a couple of vegan food options for breakfast, and a barista. Always give thanks to the man who makes my coffee!