I’m not new to taking flights, obviously. I’ve had my fair share of good service and bad service. Years ago, I had terrible service from Fireflyz and I wrote a scathing post about the experience here. I still think it serves them right, and if you google ‘Fireflyz’ my blog post is the second link, right after the Fireflyz website.
Today Malaysia Airlines screwed us over and that’s why I’m writing this post.
We booked flights back to Penang for Chinese New Year for today, 26 Jan 2017. With one toddler and one baby, we didn’t want to take the risk of getting caught in the highway jam. We used our Enrich points to redeem us adults and Fighter’s tickets. Penny is still an infant and we purchased her infant seat with cash. Our flight was MH 1140, scheduled for 11.15 am, from KLIA.
We arrived at the airport at 9.45 am, a whole hour and a half before the flight. Ample time right? Considering that this is a domestic flight and we didn’t even have luggage with us to check in – we had sent our luggage off with my brother in law who was driving down to Penang.
Since Fatty is an Enrich Gold member we went to check in as usual at the Business Class counter.
This is the conversation that took place between Fatty and the counter staff.
Staff: I’m sorry, you checked in too late.
Fatty: Huh what do you mean too late? We’re here 1.5 hours before the flight to check in.
Staff: Yea, because check in is open 48 hours before a flight…. Other people already checked in before you so there are no more seats.
Fatty: So? I’m not late to check in what. And I have my tickets!
Then only the staff sheepishly admitted that the flight had been overbooked, and that she would put us on the next flight, at 4 pm.
I was managing the kids behind Fatty and overheard bits and pieces of their conversation. By the time I came up to the counter, the staff had disappeared, presumably to talk to her supervisor. Waited a bit for her and my blood boiled in the meantime wtf. She didn’t come back so I took Fighter with me and tried to find someone else to talk to.
Counter we were at.
Which had this sign standing next to it. 60 minutes before? I have 30 minutes more! What are you going to say?
I went to another counter and demanded an explanation and got one – the second counter staff explained that an earlier flight had been canceled, and they had put the passengers on our flight, effectively kicking us off our flight even though we had done nothing wrong.
By then, she informed me that the first staff serving us had returned and asked me to go back and talk to her, probably very relieved to get me out of her hair.
We ended up not taking a flight back; instead we went back to get our car and drove all the way to Penang with no supplies – no potty for emergencies in the car, no milk powder, extra diapers or change of clothes. Nothing that we would need for the kids.
Stuck in the car suffering with no space between two car seats because our BIL drove our van back. Thanks to MAS, my shoulders and back hurts from not being able to sit properly for 4 hours.
TL;DR: Here’s what MAS did to us.
1.Gave away our seats to other passengers even though we’ve paid for them and booked us on the next flight, without considering the implication and inconvenience to us. How are we supposed to wait for 6 hours in the airport with two toddlers?! They offered us lounge access – which is useless cos we already have it as Enrich members; this is not a compensation at all!!!
2. Did NOT inform us beforehand so we can change our plans. If we had known earlier we wouldn’t have rushed to the airport so early. As it is, we made our way to the airport so we can be stranded there for the next 6 hours.
3. Did NOT process a refund for us. The counter staff told us it was their policy that passengers who want a refund have to write in and apply. Later when we spoke to the duty manager, he told us that Enrich does not normally refund points, maybe only 1 person out of 100 gets refunded. So we basically have a 99% chance of losing the points that we used for our tickets.
4. Although Fatty told the staff to cancel our tickets and give us a refund, she printed out boarding passes for the 4pm flight anyway before hustling us to the duty manager. In the haste, I just took the passes together with our ICs and passports and it didn’t occur to me until now that she effectively checked us in. EVEN THOUGH WE SAID TO CANCEL. So it becomes our fault now that we did not take the flight.
WHAT THE FLYING FUCK.
HOW CAN THEY KICK US OFF A FLIGHT WHEN WE ARE NOT LATE? HOW CAN THEY SIMPLY GIVE AWAY OUR SEATS LIKE THAT? WHY IS IT THAT THEIR INCOMPETENCY BECOMES OUR BURDEN TO BEAR?
If we were late to check in, I can understand assuming we’re a no show and giving our seats away. But they CANNOT preemptively give away seats like that la FFS. Those earlier passengers sorry dudes but they should be on standby, until we give up our flights. Not the other way round!
HOW CAN THEY ASSIGN A FLIGHT TO US FOR NO GOOD REASON WHEN THE LATER FLIGHT IS SUPER TROUBLESOME AND IMPOSSIBLE FOR US?
If we took the 430 flight, we would arrive in Penang at 530. By the time we arrive home, it would be 7 pm at least. Kids don’t need to eat dinner? Don’t need to sleep is it?
HOW CAN THEY REFUSE TO REFUND US IF WE USED POINTS? POINTS IS NOT MONEY AH?
So basically MAS just cheated us right!? Took our money and never delivered the service. The duty manager told us to write in, but why should we even have to do that!? They caused us this extreme inconvenience and we are further inconvenienced by having to write in to get a refund. Your fault you just freaking give us back our money la! And we won’t even get the refund for sure, according to the duty manager, because they already gave us another option, so it’s our choice to not take the flight.
WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS? IT IS NOT MY CHOICE TO FLY AT 4 PM. HOW IS THAT MY CHOICE? YOU GAVE ME NO CHOICE AT ALL, MAS.
HOW CAN THEY CHECK US IN ANYWAY WHEN WE SPECIFICALLY SAID ‘PLEASE CANCEL AND GIVE US A REFUND????
It is further putting the burden of blame on us right!? Cos then they can say, oh you already checked in ma, means you are taking the flight already. Let me be very clear: WE DID NOT CHECK IN. WE ASKED FOR A CANCELATION AND A REFUND. YOU, MAS, CHECKED US IN WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION.
I cannot believe the utter ridiculousness of this whole scenario. It’s disgraceful, the utter disrespect MAS is showing to us. They blatantly swindled us, then treated us with contempt by assigning a random flight that is at a terrible time for us, and issued no compensation or refund.
And if you think we’re the only unlucky ones, you are wrong. I saw people talking on social media that MAS has been doing this over the last two days to unfortunate passengers. Even the duty manager himself admitted to us that “today is not as bad as yesterday”, we can get the next flight considered good already.
EH SUCK MY NON EXISTENT DICK LA MAS. YOU ARE NOT A BUDGET AIRLINE. You can say, this happens with budget airlines all the time, and yes it does. But the difference is at the price we’re paying, we’re getting service equal to or worse than budget airlines. You are so disrespectful and incompetent and inconsiderate, I cannot.
When MAS went through all that missing plane sagas, we still continued to fly them. Some people switched to other airlines on purpose but we still flew MAS when we could to support them. We believed that those incidents are out of their control and it doesn’t mean that they’re a bad airline.
Now? Don’t make me laugh. To screw us and all the other passengers like this, you don’t deserve my faith, liking, respect. You definitely don’t deserve our patronage. If they were really apologetic and showed effort in trying to refund or compensate us, I could still accept it and move on. Just give me a reason to believe in your sincerity! Sadly, you did not. Thanks for ruining the start to our Chinese New Year. That was really fun.
You got your chance. Now this is my turn. I am going to blow this up as big as I can. I’m going to share this blog post on all my social media platforms and I hope you guys can help me do the same. Send to everyone you can. They cannot be allowed to get away with such cheating and deplorable customer service. If they do, they will continue to do this in future. I’m so angry I’m considering buying Facebook and Instagram ads to spread the word HAHAHAHAH.
Please comment here if you have been screwed over by Malaysia Airlines in this manner this festive season so they can take notice. I am going to lobby for a refund and compensation over the extremely shitty way they’ve treated us paying customers.
Thank you for reading! Sorry my post is so long and ranty.
P/S: Looking at the comments coming in, OMG MAS is horrendous! WTF kind of service are they running!? Duh but I will strongly say PLEASE DON’T EVER FLY MALAYSIA AIRLINES IF YOU CAN HELP IT. People say fly at your own risk, but besides the risk of flying itself, you also have the risk of getting effed over by unscrupulous scumbags so yea.
PP/S: Fatty’s account of this incident here.
UPDATE 7.35 pm, 27 Jan 2017:
MAS reached out to me at 9.30 am today. I just didn’t have time to update until now.
I really appreciate that they have extended contact and tried to make amends! But I can’t help feeling that it’s only because my blog post went viral (thank you so much for sharing it btw!!!). I told them I don’t expect anything besides what I’m entitled to (a full refund) so I’m appreciative.
But I don’t want to be singled out for special treatment because of my blog post. I’m not the only person affected by their overbooking this CNY and I asked if they would make amends for everyone else affected this time. I would ask for everyone else ever wronged hahaha but I think that would be too difficult and too much for them to stomach. One step at a time. Cross fingers for their reply!
Malaysia Airlines have issued a response to my request. See the update HERE.