The best seats in Business Class on Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A330

By John Walton, May 10 2011
The best seats in Business Class on Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A330

Travelling with Malaysia Airlines on the Airbus A330? Australian Business Traveller has recommendations for the best seats to select on your journey.

The plane

Malaysia has three types of A330, and each has a different layout, with 36, 42 and 44 business class seats respectively. Its newest A330s are just a month old.

The airline uses the planes to fly from Brisbane and Perth to Kuala Lumpur, plus onwards to a dozen or so Asian destinations across the continent from Beirut to Osaka.

It's a two-class configuration, with Business Class at the front of the plane and Economy to the rear.

The Business Class cabin

Business Class sits at the front of the plane, and is contained in either one or two cabins, depending on the plane.  The row number of the first row changes too -- it's either 1 or 4.

Every plane has the same layout across the cabin, though, in a 2-2-2 configuration. (For the uninitated, that means seats A & C are by the left hand window, then an aisle, then seats D & G in the middle of the cabin, then another aisle, then seats H & K on the right hand side.)

The seats differ, with the most modern (in the picture above) having brand new lie-flat angled sleeper seats with in-seat power and a USB charging socket, while other older models have fewer features.

The best seats on the plane

Since the row numbers vary across the different planes, we'll explain how to find the best seats regardless of their number by looking at the seat map when selecting your seat.

Pick seats a couple of rows back from the front of the plane. (That'll be either rows 2 or 3 if the plane starts with row 1, or rows 5 or 6 if the plane starts with row 4.) Being slightly further back will deaden the sound from the galleys and lavatories ahead of and behind the cabin.

If you're travelling solo and don't have a strong preference for a window, pick one of the centre aisle seats D or G, which each have aisle access and don't have any other passengers clambering over you.

The worst seats on the plane

Avoid the back couple of rows of business class, and the last row in particular. There's likely to be more noise, especially since the first row of Economy has the bassinet crib positions for infants. There's also a galley and/or lavatory to the rear of Business on every plane.

Next week: Business Class on Thai Airways' Boeing 777.


John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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