This Weblog comes from Mindy McAdams and resides at It's a personal blog and probably not of much interest to anyone but me. You are welcome to read and comment as you like.

September 20, 2004

Air Travel Research

Today I am learning all about KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), such as how to get there. Oh, that's just how to get there from K.L. If you want to get there from Florida ... that's a whole 'nother story.

Turns out there is a law called the Fly America Act (PDF file). Basically it says that if the U.S. government is paying for your plane ticket, you must fly on U.S. air carriers even if the trip is longer, has more stops, or costs 10 times as much as some other airline. The comfort and convenience of the traveler are at the rock bottom level of concern here. The taxpayers' burden also appears to be of very little concern.

I found an article about the act that sums it up pretty well.

So anyway, I could leave from Tampa on an approved U.S. airline, change planes in Chicago, Hong Kong and Singapore, and arrive in Kuala Lumpur 49 hours later.

Or I could use my own frequent flyer miles and fly Jacksonville - L.A. (Delta) and L.A. - Kuala Lumpur (business class!), with a layover (but not a plane change) in Taipei, using Malaysia Airlines. Travel time: 32 hours.

I learned that Malaysia Airlines is a "partner airline" of Delta (not to be confused with a "SkyTeam" member, which is another set of airlines), with which I have racked up many miles. I also learned that in order to "claim my reward" from Delta, I need to book the Malaysia Airlines ticket through Delta by calling (800) 323-2323. I am writing this here because it was impossible to figure this out from the Delta Web site, and I spent far too long trying.

Naturally, Malaysia Airlines flies from the U.S. to Kuala Lumpur. They fly to and from Newark and LAX. There are no U.S. carriers that fly to KLIA (which provides a list of all the carriers that do land there).

Anyway, this has all been quite educational.

I have flown on Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific -- all provided excellent service. I've also flown on several European airlines, and I must say that on any transoceanic flight, the service is really superior on those airlines.

Posted by macloo at September 20, 2004 02:58 PM