Malaysia Airlines lies and cheats: How MAS ruined our Chinese New Year

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.



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!


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?


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.



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.

Comments (242)

  • For gods sake! did you even read? they were trying to check in but found out their seats were given away! countless of “”did they self check in?” whats your point? they couldnt even do that even if they wanted to because THEIR SEATS WERE GIVEN AWAY!!!

  • I can see your stomach fat. Next time take Singapore airlines.

  • everyone is ignoring this fact. enough with the web check in!

  • forward your article to the CEO, if at all he fucking cares. While under carriage policy they can cancel and rebook pax if the flight is cancelled, they should NOT offload pax to do this, its like pushing the fucking problem to someone else! So bloody un professional.

  • How MAS and other airlines can help themselves is to give a partial refund, or at least airline credit, to those who cancel their flights. That way they will know if there are seats available to be resold or reallocated. Right now, i think you can’t get a refund so some people will just not bother to inform the airline and not show up. I’ve blown off seats because i couldn’t make it for whatever reasons and not informed the airline because there was zero incentive to do so.

  • I have to agree JacqMike77. As long you arrive before counter closes, you have a valid ticket,t hey should board you, unless your flight is overbooked. The issue here is, previous flight is cancelled so MAS offloaded passenger too early on on next flight instead of dealing witht he fucking issue of previous flight. They should have tried to place them on another airline if required. Its stupidity to come here and say checking in 90 minutes before flight is suicide, just stupid, that too on a local flight. i do 25-26 flight a year on MH, i rarely check in 2 hours before, its usually between 120-90 minutes. What MAS should have done is close the check in at 60 mins before departure and ONLY then offload pax and give their seat away. this one falls on MAS, some idiot in airport just probably didnt care. Finally you never offload pax with kids.

  • File a complaint witht he consumer tribunal, very simple and cheap, no need a lawyer.

  • Coming from the background of both travel agency and customer service, and based on what you shared and no response from Malaysia Airlines on your ‘ordeal’, my advise to you and your husband is to claim back 50% of the airlines frequent flyer miles. The reasons are, 1, MH should not overbook, this is Wrong. But it is a norm for airlines round the world. 2. MH should inform you straightaway at check-in first. 3. MH should not cancel flight. Cool? Now, I will have to point out your faults. Before Chinese New Year, follow the instructions at 1.5 hour before departure to check in is a huge error. I will advise you to be kiasu, check in at least 2 to 2.5hours before departure. What MH did to cancel the earlier flight is correct. With an inadequate flight and cabin crew, to continue to fly is a safety breach. Do you want the flight that you are suppose to fly at scheduled or alternative timing, to have mishaps later? And I have to inform you and the rest of the readers, redeemed tickets using points are non-refundable. This applies to all airlines. MH have offer you alternative but you did not take them. So, it becomes your fault. So now, what your husband can do, is to be nice and yet firm, to ask, not demand, for 50% of points redeemed. Treat this as a lesson, and be prepared for emergencies. Thanks.

  • It got nothing to do with patriotism. Respect your full support for MAS. For me being a mom to a young kid traveling with MAS was not pleasant either. First, you cant do self check in at the kiosk in the airport or online check in as the ground staff needs to verify the kids ID. Second, when I checked in my stroller, I end up having a bended, scratched stroller plus a missing holder. When my kid puke and I had to hold her puke with my hands, all I get was “what do you want maam”, you can clean in the toilet instead of getting me some tissues (note: I was in biz class) . Thank you for being such a great MAS supporter. I, on the other hand can’t find a reason to do so.

  • Hey Audley,

    My wife got screwed over by MAS during a flight to Japan during early Jan. She was due for a flight to KL from Changi at 920pm (with a transfer at KLIA to KIX at 1150pm). There was some “operational requirements”and they were told that their flight was delayed.

    Here’s where it gets wild.

    They were only told about this issue at 1:50pm: Barely 7 1/2 hours away from the flight to KL. They were told that their flight was delayed from 1150pm to 5.40am. It was too late to make any changes to their scheduled appointments with restaurants and friends. Not only that, because the delay was EXACTLY 5h and 50 mins away, they were 10 min short of getting accommodation. (So convenient HOR), handed food vouchers and sent my wife and her friends on their way.

    Over? Not yet. They had to spend almost 6 hours lying on seats that weren’t meant for resting only to find out that boarding STARTED at 550am. So they held out on giving accommodation despite knowing full well it was scheduled to that time.

    All this while they weren’t even half apologetic. Sorry no choice.

    NO CHOICE? If they didn’t lie to my wife about the accomodations I would have let this slip. And if something was stopped because of operational requirements, does it mean you guys don’t know your operational requirements? Or someone never pay the bribe for the flight scheduling?

    My wife ended up missing 2 appointments with friends and a restaurant booking of a very famous restaurant (you had to book 2 months in advance) because of their infuckingcompetency.

    Blow it up girl, make them pay. I’m rooting for you.

  • Lame story ~~yawn~kind of expected..Indonesian?

  • Sometimes they do that. Mostly on flt that is overbooked by the airlines. They give the option to transfer to next flt voluntarily and in certain situation and time involuntarily..haha..

  • Too bad…it happened to SIA too..bummer right?

  • Hi fourfeetnine, I’m sorry this happened to you and your family(especially with the wee ones) on CNY but I have to say this whole post is blatantly petty.

    Yes, MAS did not do a good job in regards of customer service with their ‘tidak-apa’ attitudes but you can’t blame the airline for your lack of ingenuity to provide for your kids in any situation. Frankly, being bumped off your seat with another flight on the same day isn’t the worst from heaps of stories – posted below – of their inconvenient incidents with MAS but still not something MAS couldn’t compensate.

    Sort your beef out directly with Malaysia Airlines instead of mindlessly inculcate your readers. I empathize your frustration but you could have taken this case with grace; seeing you’re a quite well known social media influencer. Yet, this blog post screams bimbotic ah lian.

    Bombard MAS’s customer service email for your refund. Airpoint is still credit you’ve earned, Rooting for you!

  • Seriously? How is this got anything to do with patriotism? Is criticism of a product that is barely fit for purpose unpatriotic? Is one’s patriotism measured by how much incompetence you can put up with? If criticising incompetence and unprofessionalism is unpatriotic, then what do you consider the actions of those who mismanaged MAS in the past? Those who took what was once the pride of Asia and drove it into the ground? How would you interpret the actions of those who stole repeatedly from the airline? Those who deliberately slowed down work to ensure they earned overtime? They are the ones that created the carcass. Then they ripped it apart until there wasn’t any meat on it and moved on. They are the unpatriotic ones. Those like the writer of this blog and other blogs that draw attention to the failings of companies such as Malaysia Airlines are the true patriots because they care and by voicing their opinions believe something will be done about it. Because it is broken and to fix it you need to accept it’s broken. That’s the starting point.

  • Well if you don’t realize there are many people who disagree with Najib’s wrongdoing too.

  • Hi Audrey

    I just checked in online last week travelling with an infant. I think MAS changed their rules because I remembered last time (maybe last year) I could not check in online too when travelling with infants.

  • Hi, I just checked in online last week travelling with an infant (economy class, domestic flight). I think MAS changed their rules because I remembered last time (maybe last year) I could not check in online too when travelling with infants.

  • Thts the whole thing…some people just dont get it..yes you can get cheaper tix to London with Emirates as compared to MAS…of course you can, considering its a flight with a layover..and MAS is a direct flight hence the price…I had bad experience with Emirates too but I just didn’t care..of course it pisses me off at some point but yeah..I just need a flight which can get me from point A to B..thts it can happen to any airlines..the problem with Malaysian is tht…bcuz it’s MAS so they wud overreact…don’t understand the SOP but acting like they do..

    I just don’t know what is so hype about Emirates…other than having multicultural crews what else? typical Msian wud look up on these people as long as they are foreigners…I nvr consider Emirates crews as the best definitely not the worst but yeah…MAS crews are…deffo the best..

  • Coming from the loyalty business, I beg to differ. Payment and loyalty are two separate things, which you therefore cannot compare 1 to 1. Payment is a number, whereas you cannot quantify loyalty. If you take into account the frequency of flight to earn said point, a customer flying on a “redemption ticket” should be worth more than an ad-hoc customer, even if said ad-hoc customer pays full price.

  • Hi,
    So sorry that you had to go through this but when you’re flying during peak season then you do have to ensure you perform online check in ASAP.

    Most airline sells more than 100% seats as they aren’t sure if those who bought flexi tickets will change their mind at a later date. Every airline uses a different buffer while I believe MAS has a higher buffer as compared to Emirates or SIA.
    The biggest difference is how they handle the situation and in Malaysia they bump you to the next flight or reroute you. This happened to me in Melbourne (with MAS) as well BUT they offer me an option of whether to take the next flight at night and get AUD300 compensation + reimbursement for transportation should I choose to go to the town, but I insisted to take the original flight.

    Upgrading is also subjective to the airline and usually they would prefer to upgrade paying customers and perhaps solo travellers. In order to upgrade you they need to provide at least 3 seats hence not possible with their more profit oriented management.

  • Oh really? Yea they’ve never allowed before, it must be a new ruling.

  • OMG that is so insensitive. >< Sorry to hear about this and hope your complaint gets addressed.

  • I do get what you’re saying but that doesn’t negate the bad service. If everyone rushed to check in as early as possible, whoever is unlucky enough to be slow by a few minutes will still lose out. This is not a fair or acceptable procedure. The proper way should be to close the check in counter at 60 minutes before, THEN start bumping off passengers.

  • Yea native Malaysian. Lol.

  • Thanks for sharing this Katrina. Useful info for future traveling but definitely not with MAS. Cheers.

  • What Beez said. Booking me on the next flight is NOT compensation. I don’t see how your bad experiences invalidate mine. I’ve had bassinet seats denied to me too despite booking infant seats with bassinets in advance – would it be appropriate for me to tell you, so what? That happened to me too, so don’t complain your situation is not that bad.

    I took the tickets “in haste” because she passed everything to me together and rushed ahead of us to find the duty manager. We rushed after her to keep up. I already admitted on my blog I shouldn’t have done that — is mentioning this again your way of appropriating blame?

    I could have gotten to the airport earlier, but I was still NOT LATE. That doesn’t justify the way the airline handled my case.

  • Thank you!

  • You are exactly right! I do find it ridiculous that some people place the responsibility of showing up the earliest to “confirm attendance” on the passenger when we have the rightful tickets.

  • Is it cheaper??? last year yes I can get around 3K return for emirate but i bought it many months earlier. last month I wanna buy last minute ticket to heathrow but emirate reach 7K. MAS only 5K.

    Emirate economy class is just fine. MAS is better. But since Ive experience its business class, I like the privacy given by their seating design on emirate more compared to MAS. but definitely MAS is more spacious in business class which is a very good thing.

    Hahaha, it is fine to make complaints on airlines. It is just typical malaysian to outrage on social media more than complaining directly to the company. I also did that a lot but with no intention in viralized my post. just sikit-sikit je meluahkan perasaan di facebook. Things happens. Plus it just not fair when bulat-bulat said only MAS did this when actually it happens a lot globally.

    Why kita dh xheran with low-budget airlines if they did this because it happens very often like everyone knows how bad they operate. But when one small goodness happens with this low-budget airlines it will be considered as miracles. Such as no delays, wow miracles. alhamdulillah. hahahaa.

    But yeah things happens. There must be a reasons why this is happening. just take it positive

  • I’m not sure why you felt you had to include personal attacks on me but there you go.

    Just because my bad experience is “not the worst” does not invalidate it. I’m super baffled by your stance to be honest. By your logic, only people who get it “the worst” have the right to complain. Lol. No wonder companies have no incentive to improve.

    Please, I’d like to know how I’m “mindlessly inculcating my readers”? Maybe I “brainwashed” them until they suddenly invented all these unhappy customer service incidents they are posting about on FB and comments? If people had no reason for their complaints, my blog post wouldn’t have gone viral.

    Read the comments. So many have tried to “sort their beef out directly with MAS” and failed. I’m glad I have provided a platform so people can finally be heard and no longer be swept under the proverbial carpet.

  • LOL. There’s no need to be so vulgar. Oh trust me, I’m very grateful I’ve got hands. And I wasn’t complaining about what I had to go through, I was merely saying what I went through and I didn’t write a very vulgar post about my experience because it happens. Maybe fourfeetnine should also be grateful that she can travel? Some people don’t even get to leave their tiny town. Since we’re going to the whole being grateful we’ve got stuff route.

  • Go to MAVCOM at and make a complaint. I think this one is related to your situation.

  • I’m sorry you feel like this is a personal attack. Your incident is as validated as other cases. What I’m trying to say is that you didn’t need to blow it out of porportion.

    I understand that you want everyone’s voice (and yours) to be heard and you have the platform to seek justice but there are better ways to do it. From your post, it seems like you have not reached out to MAS before sorting it out on social media. Doesn’t always end good on the internet and you’re up against the big boys (and they are a bunch of wankers)

    Maybe my words have been too harsh for you but I’m on your side. These are just my 2 cents but yknow, fuck it.

  • She did not buy business tickets, being an enrich gold member allows you to check in at business counter even with economy tickets, which is what she intended to do, so he has a point ☝️

  • Lucky you Crystal!

    I almost missed my flight to HKG on Dec 23 because good ol’ MH decided to NOT INFORM me of a schedule change! FYI, I bought my tickets in Aug, and i later found that the schedule change occurred in Sept. But heck, I got no emails, no calls, no SMS whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. And that’s not the worst — when I checked my reservation on the MH website the flight itinerary that was shown was still based on the old schedule. Bizarre!

    If it’s not because I had an epiphany that urged me to call MH’s customer service about a week before my departure, I would NEVER have known that my flight had been rescheduled to an earlier time…and by earlier I mean almost 2 HOURS EARLIER!


    WAY TO GO, MH!

  • That’s why I don’t fly MAS or Firefly, I know they suck. Airasia is copying them. Now you can try to fly Malindo Air.

  • That doesn’t mean they can bump off passengers as they wish.

  • Blame yourself. Ignoramus.fool.

  • Syzyzgy …. you are an insensitive fool.

  • Your blind patriotism is confirmation of your ignoramus fool status.

  • You and your najob stupidity lah.

  • He don’t differentiate between patriotism and good business ethics.

  • Ya….. bad business ethics from the Airlines.

  • IMHO based on the story and facts written here, I would say MH is at fault here. If it was true that they gave up her seat because MH itself had to accommodate passengers from the previous cancelled flight, this is very wrong. In this situation it should not matter if they had status, on a redemption ticket, paid ticket or whatever form of ticket (besides staff standby ticket or standby ticket) to have been removed from the flight.
    The correct way to do this is for MH to make another arrangement for the passengers from the cancelled flght without disruption confirmed passengers and ASK for volunteers for the flight with appropriate compensation.

    IMHO, MH was too cheap here and the staff was too lazy to deal with the situation correctly.

    I am very sure that these rules are stated in the IATA rules and should have been followed. Therefore a very poor showing from MH in my opinion especially during the festive season. MH should have been more responsible in this situation than to leave them in this situation and what’s worst checking in someone when it’s clear instructions has been given to cancel the flight and refund them the points or money. Such a joke that at the hub of the airline no appropriate form or procedure is in place for such situations. My own experience of writing in to MH is like sending your letter/request to an infinite black hole.


  • When they kicked out the mat Salleh, all the little napoleans starts to float their heads up….same as before that mat Salleh comes.

  • Ya. This is not a lottery to see we wins the seat….. lol.
    It is unethical for any common industry to inconvenience customers with bad practices.

  • It is good to be grateful but don’t encourage bad business ethics of the Airlines.

  • Being grateful I can travel and being upset due to bad customer service are not mutually exclusive.

  • Hi Audrey,

    Hubs, the baby and I had to go through the exact same thing this morning!

    We redeemed our Enrich points for the tickets as well, paid cash for the baby. And if anyone thinks we’re at fault for not checking-in online, please know that the website WOULD NOT allow us to check in online. Couldn’t even find our bookings because we redeemed points for the tickets. We had no other choice but to go to the counter. And it was an early morning flight. Expect us to go to the airport at 3am with a 9 month old baby issit? (So annoyed with commenters who think we purposely tak check in online, why didn’t go airport early. Have you seen the line at KLIA MAS counter? Go early pun take forever, how early nak pergi airport?)

    The only reason we didn’t kick up a fuss was because we didn’t wanna hold the line. But believe you me, we will file an official complaint.

    I know overbooking isn’t something new with airlines. But I agree with you, MAS isn’t a budget airline. But I believe the new CEO came from a budget airline background? Maybe that explains the new shitty system?

Write a comment