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.


  1. If it was me, I would have given the staff at the counter a piece of my mind. Remember the nurse who stole my parking lot at UM and got a loud shot from me? Haha. I would have done the same to the idiots manning the MAS counter.

    This is Malaysia. I hate to say this but this is us. We judge people by their appearance. I always make it a point to dress up when I travel on flights because it makes a whopping difference. I will usually be very courteous and will make an attempt to greet them first - because I have that thing called education - but if they step on my toes and make me feel less than important, they will have to deal with the 'Datin' in me. Haha.

    AirAsia is better in informing their passengers of changes. When I went to Sabah and they had to cancel my flight back home, they made a few attempts to get in touch with me. When I told them that the new flight they've put me on was not convenient for me, they quickly offered me another one.

    Boo MAS!

  2. Anonymous16/3/09 19:47

    yah boo MAS. happy hols Jarod!

  3. Now i feel like making complaint just because of your mistreatment. and the Higher ranked officer should be sacked with immediate effect.

    i have encountered numerous unfriendly idiots at the front line of customer service. Sigh. What can we do to educate these ppl to be courteous and honest with their attitude towards others? So dissapointed at some Malaysian at so many level especially customer service. Like Sawi said, these guys should be given our piece of mind, but not after we got what we wanted, no?

  4. That was a very bad situation.If it happen on me, most probably my tears will be flowing down like a river....

  5. oh suddenly i feel ashamed of malaysian CS. tbh, i was so shocked when i 1st arrived here (brisbane) where they gv us 1st class CS. i love it here. but yes, i know how bad it is in msia. owh. jarod, plz complaint.

  6. Anonymous17/3/09 20:26

    soooo double standard. what if, i have left my lugage and wear nothing but worn-down clothes. haish. how can they get 'best cabon crew' award if the staffs behave like this? if this happen again. don't forget to inform the star newspaper. this will be a hot topic to be discussed.

  7. Agreed. Boo MAS.. support Air Asia.. weee!!~~

  8. such an unfortunate event!

    but im glad you are home safely and will be coming down to KL this Friday. it has been such a loooong time since u last saw 'Datin'.hehehe

  9. Trish:
    I was surprised to be treated in such a way by MAS.
    The should have been professional like AirAsia has always been.


    Customer service is almost non-existent in Malaysia...
    Sometimes you think that the sales assistant is there as a theft preventor.

    yeah... exactly!

    Brisbane service is international standard...
    When you go to places like Philippines you will get 1st class treatment...
    For real.

    I guess the people who vote in these competitions are ppl who can afford better seats & therefore get better treatment.
    Common people like us see the 'other' side of Malaysian Hospitality.

    Sometimes MAS can be cheaper than AirAsia...
    At that time, boo AirAsia & support MAS...

    It's been a long long time...
    I'll be taking AirAsia on that one by the way...

  10. Appalling!tsk tsk. Thank you for complaining J, because I think you speak out fer most people there. :) x

  11. OMG. really this is happening? and u're alone? oo..i would have cried if i were in ur shoes! T_T seriously, u've done agood job by informing MAS about this and hopefully dat guy/officer will be scolded or given cuti tanpa gaji for a few months! haha. serves him right.

  12. WOW!

    salute lah u jarod.

    dont forget to tell us the reply that you got.

  13. i never really like to use mas airline especially for long flight because most of the time they are really rude. that's why i always use singapore airline as they give better services. even the price are almost the same so who cares right?

  14. Me:
    I'm more than glad to exercise my consumer muscle!

    Now that you have learned from my experience, I hope that you will not cry anymore!

    I got the reply in 2 working days.
    Will share it now.

    Actually, I'm pretty impressed with MAS on international flights.
    They are not as rigid with baggage weight & carry-ons.


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