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Sunday, 7 December 2008

A Series of Flight Cancellation and Delay

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was one of the best airlines in the world a decade ago but the services provided has been deteriorating since, even more so when the budget airlines came into play and the price hike in fuel.

On November 30th, 2008, I woke up at 3 a.m. in the morning to get myself ready for flight MH2547 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Kuching at 6 a.m. I reached the Kuching International Airport just a few minutes before 5 a.m. and waited in the queue for check in. The gentleman at the check-in counter had taken much longer than usual to clear his check-in procedure and the ground staff was giving a lot of explanation while running up and down between the check-in counter and the ticket office. I overheard something like the flight was 'rescheduled.'

When it was my turn for checking in, I got the confirmation of my flight being 'rescheduled' to 2:30 p.m. on the same day! How can a flight be rescheduled to six and a half hours later? If they were honest with me by telling me that the flight was cancelled, I won't be as agitated. Even more so, I was supposed to take this flight to Kuala Lumpur for my connecting flight MH141 to Brisbane at 9 a.m. So, I definitely missed the flight to Brisbane and they ground staff ran up and down the check-in counter and the ticket office to see what they can do to bring me to Brisbane on another flight. However, there was no flight into Brisbane until the next day, and I decided to go to Kuala Lumpur on the next available flight MH2507 at 11:05 a.m. and see what I could do to arrange my flights so that I could get into Brisbane earlier.

When I was on board MH2507, a flight stewardess came to me to see if she could help me on my problem of missing the flight to Brisbane. She told me that there was a night flight to Sydney that I could take and then transfer to a domestic flight to Brisbane from there. I would say that was quite a useful piece of information, and she asked me to go direct to the transfer counter at KLIA to arrange for my flights following her suggestion.

In fact, the ground staff at KLIA had re-booked a ticket to Brisbane for me on the next day but I wanted to reduce the hustle of my hotel and bus ticket booking in Brisbane and Toowoomba that I had made beforehand. So, I wanted them to follow the flight schedules suggested to me by the air stewardess. That took me more than 20 minutes at the Transfer Counter just to get my flight booking done! They offered me free meals at the Concorde Inn that is in the middle of nowhere but I declined. I would rather be on my own expenses to KL city centre to spend the whole afternoon.

That's still not the end of the story. When I was at KLIA again to board flight MH123 to Sydney scheduled at 10:40 p.m., I found out that there was a delay of one hour! So, I quickly go to the Transfer Counter again to see if I would miss the connecting flight from Sydney to Brisbane, and I was told I would! I quickly asked them to book me a later flight that I could take.

At the boarding gate, I saw a very desperate Australian asking whether his plane flying him to Sydney was going to show up. He was already stranded in Kuala Lumpur for the third day as his flight into Sydney was cancelled for the past 2 consecutively days.

My flight to Kuala Lumpur was 'rescheduled' and probably his flight was 'rescheduled' too, but mine was six and a half hours later and his was 72 hours later! Should I consider myself lucky?

I think MAS is trying to cut cost nowadays by cancelling the flights that have low number of passengers and consolidate them into other flights. I thought this only happens for the budget airlines but MAS is also doing it now! What is the difference of MAS and the other budget airlines nowadays? Why do we need to pay 2~3 times for the same service of a budget airline?

MAS is doing this at the expense of the passengers schedule and convenience, which only a budget airline would do. So, if you are flying MAS next time, be prepared to be stranded somewhere in favour of the airline's cost saving. MAS claims MH as Malaysian Hospitality, but I would say it is More Hassles!


Yun said...

Omg... It really happened to MAS!!! I still remembered last time (2006)I took my flight to Brisbane then to Auckland.. It seems alright.. all things jsut satisfying and without any delay!
Wow.. MAS really need to check over its strategies before it losses all its faithful customers!!!
Enjoy your stay!!! Cheers ^-^

Anonymous said...

if they are cancelling the flight on passengers expense really because they try to cut cost, at the very last minute, then it is very very unethical of them..

having said that, a fren told me when his flight was delayed, he received sms from air asia on the notification.
not a good news but causes less distress situation. i wonder if such thing exist with MH..

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