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Malaysia Airlines will this week convert its first class lounges to Business Suites lounges and add a Platinum room to its flagship Kuala Lumpur first class lounge, as part of the airline's radical rebranding of its Airbus A350 and A380 First Class as Business Suites.
While the inflight Business Suites experience is essentially the same as first class, the lounges available to Business Suites passengers will vary from airport to airport. Here’s what you need to know ahead of your Malaysia Airlines Business Suites flight.
Malaysia Airlines Business Suites flights from Kuala Lumpur, London
At Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow - where Malaysia Airlines operates its own business class and first class lounges – the current First Class Golden Lounges will be rebranded as Business Suites Golden Lounges from December 12 2018.
The name is confusingly similar to that of the Business Class Golden Lounges, but the Business Suites lounges will be reserved for passengers departing on Airbus A350 or Airbus A380 flights in Business Suites (formerly first class) and continue to offer the same à la carte dining, extended wine list and other niceties as before.
The Business Suites lounge will also welcome Oneworld first class passengers departing from the same terminals – such as British Airways, in the case of flights from KL to London – along with Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers such as Malaysia Airlines Enrich Platinum, Qantas Platinum and Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond.
Malaysia Airlines' Kuala Lumpur Business Suites Golden Lounge will also see its little-known First Class Suite reborn as the Platinum Suite from December 12.
Tucked away at the rear of the KL lounge, this cosy private room has always been confusingly named, and that's going to continue – because despite the Platinum signage, it's not available to Platinum-grade frequent flyers.
The Platinum Suite is exclusively for members of Malaysia Airlines' Enrich Platinum Plus tier – an invitation-only level designed for VIPs.
Those high flyers will enjoy a private lounge-within-a-lounge offering tarmac views and an adjoining private bathroom and shower.
Malaysia Airlines Business Suites flights from Sydney and elsewhere
In airports where Malaysia Airlines uses the lounges of its alliance partners – such as in Sydney, where Malaysia Airlines passengers use the Qantas lounges – things will work a little differently.
Business Suites passengers will join their business class fellows in the the Qantas business class lounge, with the same rule applying to the likes of Tokyo/Narita airport (where Business Suites passengers use JAL's Sakura Lounge).
This comes about because technically, Business Suites isn’t 'first class': so when fronting up at partner airline lounges, your access will be the same as any other business class passenger.
Of course, Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers can continue to visit Qantas and Oneworld first class lounges prior to all Malaysia Airlines and Oneworld flights, so if your wallet wields a Qantas or Enrich Platinum card – or something even shinier – you’re all set.