Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Malaysian Airlines horror story

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine and was horrified at ordeal he experienced flying Malaysian Airlines.

First off, my friend is an Australian. He recently married a lovely Chinese Malaysian lady and now have a son bearly 10 months old. They now live in Malaysia. On his recent trip to Melbourne, he had requested for the seats right up front which supports a baby Bassinet. Anyway, Airline policy states that you cannot actually book those seats, but under normal circumstances, if you are with an infant, you will be placed in those seats. On the way over, the flight was full and the ticketing person was NOT at all accommodating. However, they still managed to rearrange passengers so that my friend and his family got those seats. But not until they actually boarded mind you. But that's not the real drama.

The real shit happened on their return flight. Once again, during check in, the Mas Ground manager was most arrogant (an Australian himself mind you). He insisted that my friend shut the hell up and just take the seats given. No discussions. My friend was still patient, once he got on the plane, the steward didn't even want to listen to his request and simply pointed to rear section. Ok, so they are almost at the second last row, a stewardess, probably on her monthly women's cycle, told my friend to take his seat as he is blocking the aisle. "How is my wife suppose to get in her window seat and in any case, who am I blocking? everyone is seated.". At this point, the stewardess, said in Malay, "we have another rude white man". Unlucky for her, my friend understands, having lived in Malaysia for years, and told her not to be rude. This angered her even more and she stormed off to tell the chief steward. Next, the rude Ground manager from before came on board only to shove a printout, "Look sir! YOU DID NOT REQUEST those seats, and you are WRONG, sit down and stop being an 'unruly' passenger!". Further dispute arose when my friend tried to call his travel agent, at this point, the manager threaten to throw him off the plane for using a mobile on a plane. Next thing you know, airport security came on board, and said he had to leave the plane on the orders of the Captain. Obviously, details were not disclosed to him, just simply that there was an unruly passenger on board.

At the terminal, four police officers were waiting. After explaining that all he wanted was a seats for his baby, even the police found no reason this has happen to my friend. In fact, the police also were confused as to why this was all happeing to my friend. Then the manager came out and cried out "why haven't you cuffed him?". He shoved my friend a boarding pass for a later flight (9 hours later), and said "why don't you write a letter of complaint if you are unhappy!". Meanwhile, my friend's wife was crying all the way back to Kuala Lumpur. Even the other passengers where also left confused. She was told that the ground staff would help her on her arrival at KLIA. Not even. She had to carry the son, 3 carry-on bags, and collect the luggage that included a golf set, ALL BY HERSELF.
At no point did my friend raise his voice, swear or threaten anyone throughout. He is not even a tourist and is considered to be a Malaysian resident. And yet, something like this has happened to him. If was me, I would have lost it, long ago. My friend has written a 5 page letter of complaint, but I doubt he will get compensation for this. A free one-way fight to Tibet, maybe, then again would he fly Malaysian Airlines again? If he can help it, NO.

Malaysians have still a lot to learn about customer service. I do not think these Airline staff realize how their actions effect how tourist view our country. They are the first people, foreigners come in contact with, and WE should always put our best foot forward at all times. 2007 is suppose to be Visit Malaysia Year, and we definitely are not prepared for it. I think there are many that don't know, don't care, or worse, know, but could not give a rat's ass about it. Malaysian Airlines have gone from one of the top 5 airlines in the world to dead last in my book.

What a crying shame. But judging from stories like these, I don't think they care.


Adam said...

SOOOO typical that the flight attendant say something bad in Malay... so sad that is the norm. Im surprised to hear bout the rude aussie though.. guess its contagious ....

Anonymous said...

MAS busuk... they need a lesson in speech and manners!

- t

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