Popularly known as “The Pearl of Borneo” or “Pearl of South China Sea”, Labuan is located 8km off the coast of Sabah. Did you know that Labuan is actually made up of one big island – Labuan Island and 6 other smaller islands and all these make up the 92 sq km of this Federal Territory. It is well known for deepwater oil and gas activities, offshore financial centre and of course, as a tourist destination.
With a population of less than 100,000 people, Labuan is a relaxing and peaceful destination for a vacation. It’s listed as one of Malaysia’s Top 10 Islands, did you know that? As an island, surrounded by smaller islands, beach and island activities are aplenty. As a duty-free port, loads of shopping are in order. Seafood can’t get any fresher than what the fishermen bring in every day and it’s relatively cheaper!
Holidaying in Malaysia is made even easier when travelling on Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB). This new national icon, launched since 1 September 2015 aims to enhance inflight experiences and to promote local and regional travels.
MAB has at least 3 flights directly to Labuan daily so travelling there is a breeze. That speaks a lot about MAB’s connectivity in this region. Besides the direct flights, there are also flights via Kota Kinabalu and Miri but of course, nothing beats the direct flights from KLIA.
There are 2 MAB Golden Lounges in KLIA – one in the Domestic Departure hall and another one for international departures located in the satellite building. Passengers flying Business Class on domestic flights are given free access to the Golden Lounge.
Thanks to MAB’s hospitality, I got to experience the Golden Lounge prior to taking the flight to Labuan.
Love the comfortable seating and the relaxing ambience!
Located next to the local departure halls, after the security screening, the MAB Golden Lounge is exclusively for MAB passengers only. I arrived at the airport earlier just so that I could have my breakfast here. There’s a good selection for the continental breakfast spread with an assortment of breads, pastries, cold cuts, cheese, fruits, cereals laid out next to coffee, tea and fruit juices.
I was also impressed with the hot food items: the ever-popular nasi lemak with chicken rendang, sambal sotong with the usual condiments of eggs, cucumber and peanuts.
There’s also a Noodles Station where noodles are cooked on the spot. That morning Prawn Mee and Soup Noodles were the orders of the day. Sitting next to the tall windows, I got to enjoy looking out at the aircrafts while having my breakfast.
That’s my plane to Labuan!
Besides the refreshments, the Golden Lounge also has a host of other facilities for the comfort of MAB passengers. There are shower rooms, massage chairs, reading materials etc to enhance the whole flying experience on MAB.
Flying on their Boeing 737-800, the comfortable flight there takes about 2 hours 30 minutes but can be earlier sometimes. On my recent trip to Labuan, both flights to and from Labuan landed smoothly, ahead of time, too. The seats are in 3-3 configuration in 2 rows and with adequate space in between rows. The famous Malaysian hospitality by the crew was ever present.
Get friendly with Pilot Parker
For my travels, whether local or international, my first choice has always been Malaysian Airlines. There’s always a sense of “belonging” when I fly on our national airline – maybe it’s the familiar look of the crew’s kebaya or their wide welcoming smiles, the super-crunchy delicious peanuts (I always ask for 2 packets! #greedy) or just the intrinsic vibes of being Malaysian.
Despite the spate of unlucky incidents and the challenges faced by the airline in the past year, I’m glad the airline remains strong and their aircrafts are still taking to the skies and #keepflying proudly.
You can make your flight reservations today at www.malaysiaairlines.com
The trip to Labuan was made possible with flights sponsored by Malaysia Airlines Berhad but the opinions are strictly mine.
Look out for upcoming posts on where I stayed – the only 5-star hotel in Labuan and of course I’ll be sharing on “What to do in Labuan?”
Stay tuned 🙂
*Photos without the PureGlutton logo were taken by Ching Yee Sing, the official photographer for this trip.