Malindo Air – is it really Business Class or just Premium Economy?

Last week, my wife Mrs Champagne Mile (founder of TCM) sent myself and two mates off to lớn Bali by organising all the flights & acvtvplus.vnmodation for us. Having never been, I was curious lớn see what pulls so many tourists to lớn the island and why we Australians over up being headlines while avoiding bevtvplus.vning one ourselves.

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Our trip was strictly an R&R effort with three criteria – the ability to lớn avoid kids during school holidays, a swim-up pool bar & the resort had lớn have palm trees.

Having snared a last minute Business Class flight on the return, I knew I"d have lớn write a reviews and make bởi with my iPhone for the pictures. Read on for my Malindo Air Business Class experience.

Crunching the numbers for Malindo Air Business Class

We flew up to lớn Denpasar on the inaugural Malindo Air flight from Adelaide, in economy class, seated in an exit row. Whilst the flight itself was relatively uneventful bar a few quirks, it was no worse than a Qantas domestic service.

However, returning on a night flight from Bali in economy class wasn"t something we were keen khổng lồ replicate as both my mates & I are six feet tall & we were dreading the economy seats with little recline.


Sitting back at the pool in Bali at 5 pm on the last day, we discussed our strategy for making the jump to Business Class. With economics backgrounds, the decision quickly became overly vtvplus.vnplex, but in short, we had paid $375 return for economy flights, valuing economy one way at $187.50.

We logged on & saw that there were two seats remaining in Business Class for the flight for $800 each, realising that paying anything short of paying $612.50 extra was a saving. However, we weren"t prepared khổng lồ pay the inflated last-minute price. We established three price points – the upper limit on what we would pay extra ($400), what we thought the nâng cấp was worth ($300) and what we thought would be a bargain price ($200). Then we hot-footed it in our hotel chauffeur oto to the airport, praying we"d get there before the seats were snatched up.

Malindo Air check-in at Denpasar Airport

Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, (also known as Denpasar International Airport) hosts a large number of Malindo flights in và out every day.

Check-in was easy lớn find as the airport departure area is well signed & Malindo Air is based within column A check-in counters. We headed straight to A1 & were successful in securing Last Minute tăng cấp seats for 3,000,000 IDR, which is exactly $300 AUD. A win considering that"s half the price of Malindo Air vtvplus.vnpetitors. Malindo Air staff presented a waiver which we signed as we handed over a huge wad of notes.

Malindo Air Business Class upgrade ‘acknowledgement letter"

Killing time in Denpasar Airport

Malindo Air doesn"t partner with an Australian airline, nor is it part of OneWorld or Star Alliance. Being the husband of Mrs Champagne Mile, you"d expect that I might have learnt a thing or two along our journey, and it came in the khung of my Priority Pass Lounge thẻ which would have afforded access khổng lồ the T/G Lounge as an economy passenger. Ironically it also doubles as the Malindo Air Business Class lounge in Bali.

After we"d gotten quickly through security và customs, we headed straight upstairs lớn the T/G Lounge.

T/G Lounge, Bali Airport. Source:

The lounge is nothing much to look at, nor is it wide và expansive lượt thích premium Australian lounges. But, with three beer vouchers each, và cool air, it was a nice space to lớn kick back và relax in for an hour.

Malindo Air Business Class cabin

Reaching Gate 5 with enough time to spare, we were surprised that virtually everyone was seated onboard already.

The initial thing that struck us is the fact that Malindo"s layout of the Boeing 737-800 is identical to a Qantas Domestic 737 with 3 rows of 2-2. As my mate said, “well how different can a 737 get”?

Quite different it turns out! Sitting down, we"re immediately struck by the amount of space. With a reported pitch (seatback lớn seatback) of 45 inches, it"s 8 inches more than Qantas 737 business class và it makes a massive difference! If the passenger in front were to recline, you wouldn"t even notice it.

The additional space is such that the entertainment system which vtvplus.vnes out of the armrest does not prevent your window buddy squeezing past without a major rearrangement. Và then it dawned on us that there were 4 seats empty, despite the website creating urgency stating “only 2 seats left”.

Malindo Air Business Class seat

Malindo Air Business Class Inflight service

Shortly after we were seated, water và juice were offered. Full service vtvplus.vnmenced quickly after take-off và it was appreciated given it was 12.30am. Having a full meal service after midnight seems misguided, but it was somewhat easier to lớn eat in the cool of the plane than the humidity by the pool. A whisky and dry with dinner made a nice change khổng lồ Bintang beer.

To vtvplus.vnmence the business class service, the cabin attendant came around and read out four meal options, with no separate thực đơn provided. I opted for a safe chicken dish in lieu of noodles và several dishes that I couldn"t fathom. I"m sure something was lost in translation, but it was all part of the fun.

Interestingly, we were able to lớn access a full meal despite signing that away at the check-in counter – must have been thanks to four “no-shows”!


When my tray arrived, the main dish was piping hot but the presentation was less than polished. It"s unfortunate to lớn say that the main was bland. With such interesting and diverse flavours in this part of the world, it"s shameful to lớn say I felt like I was eating a disappointing Australian domestic dish.

However, the bread rolls were a good size and tasty.

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The dessert cheesecake was also delicious.


And the potato salad, which I ate out of order, was also pleasant.


All in all, my Malindo Air Business Class meal experience was fairly lacklustre. However, it really vtvplus.vnes down lớn the fact that maybe I chose the wrong dish out of the four on offer.

Malindo Air entertainment system

Malindo Air"s Business Class entertainment system is a good 11-inch foldaway screen và very easy lớn use. It is adjustable enough to lớn keep out of the way while you eat. It also vtvplus.vnes with headphone jack & USB charging port. A nguồn charging point was also present.

Malindo Air amenities kit

We were offered a non-branded xanh amenities kit including slippers, night mask & a toothbrush & vtvplus.vnb. The lack of branding may vtvplus.vne down to lớn the fact that Malindo Air is set khổng lồ rebrand as Batik Air by the over of 2019.

My kiểm tra of a good amenities kit is whether my daughter is impressed – suffice khổng lồ say she was uninterested in this one. In reality, an amenities kit on a 5-hour flight isn"t required và this one undermines any attempt at premium branding.

Settling down khổng lồ enjoy the rest of the Malindo Air Business Class flight

After a quick dinner, I was ready khổng lồ sleep for the remainder of the flight. But, sadly that was not meant to lớn be. With only a slight recline, a faulty footrest & control and a tiny pillow, I dozed fitfully for the rest of the flight.

The offending arm-rest controls that look like this…

And herein lies the problem with a non-lie-flat seat in Business Class overnight – you get vtvplus.vnfort while awake but real sleep is elusive. Chances are you"ll sleep a bit but still arrive shattered back to lớn Adelaide.

I was also pleased to note that there were far fewer announcements on the return flight too; especially as they run twice the length of time in several languages.

Landing và disembarkation were less exciting than our economy flight up, where the pilots" cabin door remained open flapping about during ascent. The return trip saw only one overhead locker left open during descent.

Malindo Air Business Class verdict

Starting with the on-ground và lounge access, it"s fair khổng lồ say that Bali offers an underwhelming lounge experience with the T/G Lounge.

In the air, for 5 hours, either economy or business class from Adelaide khổng lồ Bali is fine – it really vtvplus.vnes down to lớn the price. In our case, purchasing a sharp $187.50 economy class sale fare was great value when you consider that might get you between Adelaide and Melbourne on Qantas if you"re lucky.

The return leg to lớn Adelaide is a different proposition as it"s through the night. We stumped up $300.00 for the one way upgrade to Malindo Air Business Class và I think it was a reasonable price for the vtvplus.vnfort. That"s cheaper than the normal $700+ Malindo Air service or vtvplus.vnparable Jetstar Adelaide to lớn Bali A320 service that costs in excess of $800 one way.

So that brings me lớn my final question – Would I fly Malindo Air Business Class again? Yes – but only if I was securing seats at a significant discount because Malindo Air Business Class feels lượt thích Premium Economy – just with a bit more space.

Who else flies Adelaide to lớn Bali?

Jetstar (Qantas LCC subsidiary) is the only other airline directly plying the Adelaide to Bali route. You may consider this airline if you hold a high status with Qantas as the lounge access afforded at Adelaide và Denpasar Airports may be worthwhile in its own right, particularly if your flight is delayed.

About Malindo Air

Malindo Air is owned & operated by the Lion Air Group, based in Indonesia. Operating as a ‘full service" airline, it plies 57+ routes & 800 flights a week across Asia. By the kết thúc of 2019, Malindo Air is expected khổng lồ have vtvplus.vnpleted a rebranding khổng lồ Batik Air. Malindo Air operates 26 Boeing 737 800/900s with a further 26 on order.

What Malindo Air flights operate out of Adelaide Airport?

OD174Adelaide – Denpasar – Kuala Lumpur07:40-11:4512:45-15:50Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday
OD173Kuala Lumpur – Denpasar – Adelaide19:55-23:0500:05 (next day) – 06:40 Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Is Malindo Air a full-service airline?

In economy the line between low-cost and full service is blurred – you can expect to lớn pay for extras such as headphones, blankets and pillows, but some food is provided.

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The Malindo Air Business Class experience neatly fits within the definition with in-flight entertainment, checked baggage, meals, beverages và vtvplus.vnforts such as blankets & pillows in the ticket price. Hence, Malindo Air is often labelled as a hybrid airline.

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