Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has had a bad rep over the years. Ever since the sad tragedies that have occurred over the last few years. I’ve always been a loyal customer in using them for flights to and from Malaysia. One of our closest friends has also been quite a loyal customer. I’ve never had a reason to complain. Until now.
We chose MAS to fly to Hong Kong from Kuala Lumpur on our recent trip. The flight there was uneventful as expected. The flight to Hong Kong takes about 4 hours from KL which means you usually get at least 1 meal. The service offered by the on board staff was up to the usual high standards we’ve come to expect from MAS.
Unfortunately the good experience ended with our return trip to Kuala Lumpur. We were due to fly at 8.50am (GMT+8) on MH79. Once we’d boarded we’d expected it would be fine. However we were kept waiting on the tarmac until about 10.30am due to a fault with the plane. We were informed by the pilot that they did not have any of the necessary parts at Hong Kong airport which meant we would have to disembark as the flight was being cancelled. Fair enough as it was definitely preferable to not fly on a faulty aircraft.
However once we disembarked from the plane we weren’t told where to go and had to follow the rest of the crowd thru to the transfer desks. We spent a good 2.5 hours waiting to find out what was happening as there was no MAS staff in sight aside from the 2-3 staff manning the transfer desks who were staff of the airport. This meant that a large portion of the passengers on the cancelled flight (including ourselves) were without food or drink for hours as well as without any meaningful information. It was only after having stood in line for ages that information started to filter through from the front that there were no available flights for them to transfer us onto and they were having to try and persuade passengers on the later MAS flight to let us on.
In our panic I contacted my mother in KL who tried to get thru to MAS to find out what their policy was on reimbursement if we were able to get a flight on another airline. She was faced with varying responses. Some staff said “oh yea sure that’s no problem” whereas some staff said “oh I’ve never heard of that policy before, we don’t think that will be possible”. There was nothing I could glean from social media pages about the cancelled flight either.
Yes sure we were provided with meal vouchers for lunch but it would have been much better to actually provide us with proper information and also clarity about reimbursement and what to do in this sort of situation. Of course it would have been infinitely better if MAS actually maintained their planes so there weren’t issues like this.
We were finally put on the later HK to KL flight which was a relief but considering we were meant to have landed in KL at around 12pm we only ended up landing around 8pm. We were also delayed in disembarking because the plane miscalculated driving up to the gate so we had to wait around for a tow to pull the plane forward. Definitely not the best day for travel.
All in all, our return flight to KL was a complete shambles and the way everything was handled did not fill me with confidence at the future of MAS. If this is the way they handle issues I might use other airlines as others like British Airways tend to treat customers with respect and professionalism when things go wrong.
Service – 2.0
Value – 3.0
Overall – 2.5