FLIGHT REVIEW: FIREFLY FLIGHT 3662
Airline | Firefly
Flight | FY3662
Route | Penang – Singapore
Gate | A1
Aircraft | Boeing 737-800
Registration | 9M-MLF
Class of Travel | Economy
Seat Number | 22A
Are you on the hunt for a pocket-friendly airline that offers amazing service without skimping on comfort and convenience? Look no further than Firefly! With its vibrant orange and yellow livery, Firefly’s planes are hard to miss, but it is not just their colorful exterior that makes them stand out.
Flying on Firefly’s inaugural flight from Penang to Singapore was an incredible experience that I simply couldn’t miss! As a first-time flyer on an inaugural flight, I was filled with anticipation and excitement, and I’m thrilled to say that Firefly exceeded my expectations. Their dedication to providing an affordable and hassle-free travel experience was evident from start to finish, and I can’t wait to spill all the details in this review.
Firefly is back at Singapore Changi Airport
Back in 2018, Firefly Airlines took its leave from Singapore Changi Airport bidding adieu to the bustling terminal. This was part of a deal made back in 2014, which saw the Malaysian carrier agreeing to transfer all its operations to the newly opened Seletar Airport. However, things took a dramatic turn shortly after Firefly’s move to Seletar Airport, as the airline did not receive approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to make the transition from Changi to Seletar. The reason cited by Firefly was “regulatory concerns affecting Firefly’s safe operations into Seletar Airport”.
Despite this setback, Firefly made a triumphant return to Seletar Airport in April 2019, only to be suspended again in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the aviation industry. But after a two-year hiatus, Firefly has come back with a bang, reinstating its flights to Seletar Airport from Subang in June 2022. This is yet another significant milestone for the airline, as it continues to bounce back from the challenges of the pandemic.
Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) has taken yet another step towards reviving air travel, with the return of Firefly’s jet operations from its hub in Penang. As part of the airline’s post-pandemic recovery initiatives, Firefly now operates the Boeing 737-800, offering flights from Penang to Johor, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu.
But that’s not all – from 26 March 2023, Firefly will also be operating two daily services from Penang to Singapore’s newly refurbished Terminal 2 at Changi Airport. So, if you are planning a trip to Lion City, you can now enjoy the convenience and comfort of Firefly’s services to get you there. Below are the flight details for your reference.
FY3662 1000 PEN – SIN 1140
FY3663 1240 SIN – PEN 1415
FY3664 1835 PEN – SIN 2015
FY3665 2115 SIN – PEN 2250
Firefly’s network of destinations is expanding rapidly, and now includes Singapore Changi Airport! With this latest addition, Firefly currently operates a total of eight flights to Singapore, including 6 daily flights connecting Subang and Seletar operated by Firefly’s ATR72-500 as well as 2 daily flights connecting Penang and Changi operated by Firefly’s newest Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
So, whether you are flying in from Subang or Seletar, or arriving from Penang or Changi, Firefly has got you covered. With a wide range of flight options and top-notch aircraft to choose from, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a stress-free travel experience.
The booking process with Firefly
The process of booking my Firefly flight was quite effortless. As Firefly operates from both Seletar and Changi Airport, the website prompted me to select my departure airport and also reminded me that my flight would depart from Changi. Although the website’s design might not be the most modern, it was user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Firefly offers four distinct fare classes, each with its own benefits and costs. Saver is the most affordable and comes with a standard 7kg carry-on baggage allowance. Plus, Extra, and Flex fares offer additional perks such as extra baggage, hot meals, seat selection, flight changes, and Enrich Points, but at an additional cost.
Comes with standard 7kg carry-on baggage.
Comes with whatever “Saver” fare offers with additional 20kg checked baggage, hot meal, standard seat selection, and Enrich Points
Comes with whatever “Plus” fare offers and permits a 1x flight change.
Comes with whatever “Extra” fare offers with 2x flight change, all seat selection, priority baggage, check-in and boarding, and insurance.
Firefly, like any other airline, provides the option for passengers to select their preferred seats after selecting their flights and filling in their credentials. Travelers can choose from 3 seat categories – the “Desired Seat” which offers extra legroom at a cost of 45MYR (~S$13.45), the “Preferred Seat” which is located near the exit for hassle-free and quickly exist cost 35MYR (~S$10.50), and the “Standard Seat” which costs 10MYR (~S$3).
Based on the fare class you opt for, choosing the “Plus” or “Extra” fare entitles you to a free standard seat selection. On the other hand, the “Flex” fare allows you to choose any seat of your choice without incurring any additional charges.
Once you have picked your seats, Firefly gives you the option to add some extra checked baggage but beware, it might cost you a pretty penny. You can add up to 40kg, but prices range from 60MYR to 180MYR depending on how much you want to lug around.
20kg of checked baggage – 60MYR (~S$18)
25kg of checked baggage – 80MYR (~S$24)
30kg of checked baggage – 130MYR (~S$39)
40kg of checked baggage – 180MYR (~S$54)
If you are packing some sports gear, they have got you covered too, but it is going to be an extra 50MYR (~S$14.95)
Pre-ordering Hot Meals
And what’s a flight without some in-flight grub? Firefly offers a range of pre-order hot meals that will surely satiate your hunger. From tasty Nasi Lemak to scrumptious Chicken Rice, you’ve got 8 different options to choose from starting at just 8MYR (~$2.40). The Kids Meal is a steal at only 15MYR and serves up chicken sausages, scrambled eggs, and a hashbrown for the little ones. Don’t forget, all meals come with a bottle of water.
Checking In & Boarding at Penang International Airport
I arrived at the airport well in advance of my scheduled departure but discovered that Firefly’s check-in counter would not open until two hours before takeoff. Despite the short queue, it took me nearly 25 minutes to check in and receive my boarding pass.
Once checked in, we proceeded through immigration, which was surprisingly empty as compared to that at check-in, and then to gate A1. To my dismay, there were no festivities or gate hold room activities for the inaugural flight connecting Penang and Singapore Changi Airport, so we relaxed at Starbucks before boarding.
Boarding began promptly, starting with families with young children and infants, followed by passengers in Rows 16-30 and then passengers in Rows 1-15. Despite being an inaugural flight, the plane was relatively empty with just over 100 passengers onboard. Much to my delight, I even managed to snag an empty seat next to me!
Flight Experience with Firefly
Today, I have the pleasure of boarding a 12-year-old Boeing 737-800 bearing the registration 9M-MLF. This aircraft, formerly operated by Firefly’s parent company, Malaysia Airlines, was acquired by Firefly in April 2022 and underwent reconfiguration to become an all Economy cabin with 189 seats in a 3-3 configuration. The aircraft features Malaysia Airlines’ previous Economy class products, 17 inches wide with a 29-30 inch pitch, perfect for short-haul regional routes. you will also notice the drop-down inflight entertainment screen with channel and volume controls on the armrest. However, the IFE and controls do not work so do not bother trying to operate them. It is also worth noting that this aircraft is not equipped with the Boeing sky interior and still has fluorescent lighting, creating a warm and cozy cabin atmosphere.
Let me tell you, this service onboard Firefly was absolutely incredible and might just be the best service I have ever experienced. From the moment I stepped onto the aircraft, the inflight manager greeted me with a warm smile and led me to my seat. But it was not just the inflight manager - every flight attendant I encountered greeted us with enthusiasm and a smile that made us feel at ease and welcomed.
Inflight Meal & Service
Once we took off, the Firefly crew got down to business and started dishing out those inflight meals. I pre-ordered the Nasi Lemak Pandan with Chicken Rendang for only 13.90MYR (~S$4.20) which was a total steal, and boy was it worth it. This has got to be the best Nasi Lemak I have ever tasted on a flight.
The rice was on another level - fragrant, rich, and infused with pandan. And get this, they even served half a half-boiled egg, some ikan bilis, and chili sambal, plus a hefty serving of chicken rendang that packs a punch. The proportion of rice-to-rendang ratio was spot on, and although the chicken was slightly dry, the rendang sauce more than made up for it.
If I had to nitpick, I would say they could have given me more chili sambal and ikan bilis, but overall, the meal was amazing. I highly recommend the Nasi Lemak or if you are feeling adventurous, try out the Penang Nasi Kandar with Chicken or Chicken Rice. Firefly definitely knows how to satisfy their passenger's cravings.
But wait, there’s more. The inflight manager even took the time to ask me how my meal was and if I was enjoying my flight. That is some next-level customer service right there, especially for a low-cost carrier like Firefly. Kudos to them for going above and beyond!
Arrival at Singapore Changi Airport
We made an early arrival at 11:10 am, 30 minutes ahead of schedule, but were disappointed that the inaugural flight of Firefly did not receive the customary water salute to welcome it back to Singapore Changi Airport. However, as we disembarked the aircraft, the ground staff were waiting outside the aerobridge to hand out delightful goody bags from Firefly and Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Firefly’s bag included a charming keychain, a brochure of their routes, another keychain shaped like the delectable local dessert called “kueh” and Merli the Merlion plush toy. On the other hand, the STB’s bag contained a pen, a luggage tag, and a foldable umbrella.
Moreover, a mini cake-cutting ceremony was held for Firefly and Changi Airport Group (CAG) staff, which was a peculiar but fun way to celebrate the inaugural flight at Changi Airport and not at Penang too. Overall, it was a memorable and enjoyable experience that made us feel welcome in both Singapore and Firefly.
What an adventure it was for me to embark on my maiden inaugural flight. Although I had envisioned a grand celebration upon our arrival in Singapore, it was still an unforgettable journey for me as one of the early birds to touch down in Singapore on Firefly’s debut flight from Penang. I must say, the exceptional service and delectable inflight meal left me with nothing to gripe about. Without a doubt, I will be flying with Firefly again and I strongly encourage all of you to seize the opportunity to fly with them as well.
Inflight Service | 10/10
Inflight Entertainment | -
Meal Service | 10/10
Seat | 7/10
Aircraft Cleanliness | 9/10