Sunday, March 15

MH is Malaysian Hospitality... NOT!!

I wrote this letter & sent it to MAS during the weekend.
I wonder if I will get a reply.
~~~

I am a frequent flyer domestically & internationally. This year itself I will be making more than 15 flights. I am also unbiased with my choice of airline. I choose my airlines based on the best flight time or price. However, on long distances I admit I prefer MAS for extra comfort & reliability.

I respect the efforts of MAS in giving the best value & at the same time still maintaining its high standards. I am also very appreciative of its efforts in improving customer service which is truly lacking in our Malaysian culture. Thus, the coining of the term MH or Malaysian Hospitality.

Sadly, yesterday I was let down by the MH check-in staff at Sibu airport. I arrived at 3.30pm for my 5.10pm flight to Kuching from Sibu. As I was in Sibu for work, I was very much looking forward to returning to my family in Kuching for a short break before heading to KL.

I was dressed very plainly in a t-shirt, shorts & slippers as it was a hot day. The airport was almost empty & very quiet. I walked up to an empty check-in counter, greeted the officer, handed him my IC & proceeded to load my bag onto the tray.

The first thing the officer said to me was “Where are you going? Kuching?” I replied, “Yes, 5pm flight.” Then, he returned my IC & told me that my flight was cancelled. There was no smile or any friendliness. There was also no explanation for the cancelled flight. It was as if he expected me to walk away.

I had to ask him for an explanation. I was told that the flight was actually moved to an earlier time in the morning. Obviously, I was not informed. If I was, I would not have been there at that awkward moment. I also had to ask for the time of the next flight & if I could be placed on it. He told me that the flight was almost full & I had to step aside & wait at a corner for a higher ranking officer to come. I was shocked but there was nothing else I could do so I quietly obliged.

I waited at the corner for 15 minutes. I used that time to call my family. I also used that time to observe the officer. Who did not pick up any phone to call for the “higher ranking officer”. I felt like a fool. An angry fool. I also felt like a beggar. When I could not wait any longer, I returned to the counter & asked when the officer would come to see me. I was told that the “higher ranking officer” was having a “tea break”. I was blown away with that answer. I did not know what to do.

I was just about to return to my corner when the officer at the business class counter, who was there the whole time & had absolutely no business class guests to attend to, suddenly decided to help me. He asked the younger officer for my reference number &, after some persuasion, proceeded to help me obtain my seat. It was from this officer that I found out that MAS informed me about my cancelled flight via an SMS which I did not receive. After a few minutes of typing, he handed me my boarding pass. I got a grunt for my thank you.

As you can see, any human being who gives you business would feel deeply disappointed at such an encounter. I was not greeted at the empty counter. I was not provided the help that I needed by someone sitting on a comfy chair who had nothing else to do but watch the drama. There were no embarrassing smiles or expressions of regret for any inconveniences caused. Where is the Malaysian Hospitality you have promised?

I have faced cancellations & delays with other airlines. Every one of them apologised for the inconvenience & automatically put me on the next flight. I did not have to put myself through confusion & embarrassment. Even officers of low cost carriers are trained to do this. Why are officers of MAS so aloof & indifferent to their guests? Please improve on your Malaysian Hospitality.

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