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Friday, July 18, 2008

MAS woes

I am still thinking whether I should share this story with everyone out there on my recent experience with MAS.
Being an Enrich member, I have recently logged on to their website and submitted a lengthy report of my experience with their airlines on my business trip to Bangkok.
All I can say is, MAS disappointed me really badly and I am not so keen on my our own nation's airlines which boast of carrying the Malaysian Hospitality.

I am not setting up a blog post here with the intention of bashing up a brand but to share my own frustrating and dissatisfied experience with the service of something which I paid for.

To cut the long story (or ranting) short, let me tell you what happened last 2 weeks on my short business trip to Bangkok on which my company booked me on a noon flight to our neighbor.
I arrived at the KL International Airport in good time; a 2+ hours ahead to check in early as I usually do since this is an international flight after all.
Upon arrival, I proceeded casually to the announcement board to identify my check-in counter and imagine my horror/amazement when I read that my flight was cancelled!

I was like, "WHAT, since WHEN was my flight cancelled???"

Okay, calm and I strode coolly to the supposedly check-in counter to inquire about my flight.
Special note to this ground crew, Mr Amir who was equally surprised by the news himself, he took the trouble to check with all the staff and escorted me to the counters to inquire about the flight status.
He explained that he will have to book me on another flight with Thai Airways and my flight will be delayed to an hour later.
Alright, that was news enough for me!~

I was nevertheless, disappointed but thanks to the kind Mr Amir, I was calm by the real hospitality shown by this staff.
However, the hospitality stops there as I was left in the dark not knowing the reason they cancelled the flight and MAS did not even bother to explain nor apologize over the cancellation!!!

Can you imagine that?
What kind of service and hospitality attitude is that?
Coming from a nation of courtesy and tradition, you would at least expect a public announcement or apology but none, I can tell you, I waited there for 2+ hours and not hearing any single announcement on my flight.

Next, I had to re-arrange all my pickup from the airport with my hotel in Bangkok due to my delay and I also need to call up my India and Thai colleagues regarding my schedule as they were expecting me for a discussion and of course, meeting.
No one could assist me with that...it got really exhausting, and worse when the reception was unclear.

Never mind that, I was also told that upon arrival in Bangkok airport, I need to proceed to the MAS counter to re-confirm my return flight due to my flight re-shuffle.
I was like, HUH??
It seems that when they changed and booked you on a different airway, you need to check you return flight again because they do not know how to do so!

How logical is that?
Okay, FINE...nobody offered me any explanation anyway, I am left to do my own "research" like a university student.
After landing an hour late, I rushed to the MAS counter in the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport which I found after asking around.
**The ground staff in that Thai airport also fell short of my expectation; or I was just plain unfortunate to meet those unfriendly ones*

I was relieved to find the MAS counter; and I joined the queue.
It wasn't long before I waited for 30 minutes and the queue didn't budge.
There was only 1 single counter with 1 ground staff there!
And the guy in front of the queue took up 30 mins!!
I was the fourth in line....how long do I need to wait???

After waiting like forever, I finally got to the counter.
Thankfully, the staff was courteous and friendly and she helped to re-confirm my flight electronically, after which, she added a note, "You will need to call up our office tomorrow (departure date) to re-confirm your flight, thank you"

WHAT? Again?
I thought this was done electronically??
GOSH, what kind of system do they have??

On top of that, it started raining so heavily outside and when I reached the hotel, it was almost late evening. No more shopping nor meeting with my colleagues.
All our plans were ruined.

Now proceed to the Part 2 of the story, which was my departure.
I arrived at the airport early again and proceeded to check in.
I asked the ground staff at the check-in counter regarding complaints and he directed me to the reservation counter (which I went the day before) upon checking me in.
Again, I had to wait for like, forever!

And when it was finally my turn, I was really annoyed by the male ground staff on duty at that reservation counter who didn't lift his head when he talked to me.
Where are his manners, I wonder?
And what got me was when I asked him politely on the procedures to lodge a complaint, he just told me to get back to KLIA in Malaysia and go to the counter there.
I continued to ask him, what will be the procedures following the complaint.
He didn't lift his head again and just huffily repeated that I must go to KLIA.

That was one lousy service attitude and you wonder why customers complain about them?

I was really upset with their service; how hospitable is that when your customer has a tiring flight and no explanation whatsoever of assistance to the customer.
Also, they don't seem to care at all!

I have always been a SIA customer; a KrisFlyer and I was opting for MAS as well, due to it being my nation's airlines.
Being patriotic, I changed my view and was hoping to try them out (furthermore, my company selected them as one of our preferred airlines anyway).

However, I am definitely disappointed after this incident and also, FYI, one of my friend boarding MAS airlines also had his flight canceled last week without any explanation.
Seems like it's such a norm for MAS to cancel their flights without notice nor apology several times a week.

My confidence level in MAS: Very low!
One thing for sure, I seriously have doubts in booking another MAS flight despite their current RM0-RM9 promotion when my fully-paid flight also got canceled just like that.
I shall opt for a different airlines when I go for my next business trip...I do not want to have another nightmare!