Flight test: Malaysia Airlines business class

Aircraft Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-400.

Route Sydney to Kuala Lumpur.

Class Business, seat 11K.

Seat pitch and width 58 inches between seats and 23½ inches between armrests, with a bed that reclines to a slight (nine-degree) incline.

Seat configuration 2-2 on the top deck, 2-3-2 on the lower deck for a total of 41 business-class seats.

Luggage allowance Checked-in luggage up to 30 kilograms and one carry-on piece up to seven kilograms.

Scheduled flight time Eight hours, 30 minutes.

On-time performance A few minutes early taking off and we land half an hour early.

Aircraft condition Upstairs business class is in good nick - it's clean, neat and the upholstery has no signs of wear and tear.

Lounge access The lounge in Sydney is small, comfortable and uninspiring but does a good noodle stir-fry. The lounge in KL is a knockout.

Comfort The seats are comfortable and can be adjusted to a seemingly infinite number of positions. I'm tall (192 centimetres) and have plenty of room to stretch out when my seat is reclined.

Service Friendly and attentive. On the rare occasion I have a query there are plenty of smiles and patient explanations.

Console/entertainment The fold-out 26-centimetre touch screen is easy to use and has a great selection, including language lessons. It's 15 minutes into the flight before the system is working.

Food and beverages There is a choice of four mains for lunch, although two have run out before I get to order. I load up on the delicious satays for entree instead. The standout meal, however, is a lamb and rosemary pie, served later for dinner. The champagne is by Bruno Paillard and there is plenty of juice and water on offer.

Amenities A natty toiletries bag with a swag of goodies, including socks, brush, toothbrush, mouth wash, hand sanitiser and mini Clarins products but no eye mask or ear plugs. There is also a light quilt and comfortable pillow.

Flight frequency Malaysia Airlines flies from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur 14 times a week. The fare is $4802 return, including tax.

Online malaysiaairlines.com.

Tested by Antony Lawes, who flew courtesy of Malaysia Airlines.