Friday, 17 April 2009

AirAsia - Cheap but Troublesome

I've been a fan of AirAsia since it started operations. However, my views of AirAsia has gone down the drain these couple of days.

Now don't get me wrong here. I adore AirAsia because it offers me an opportunity to fly cheaply and I think Tony Fernandes is one hell of an entrepreneur with strategy and foresight.

However ...

Story 1

My friend DM was down in KL recently. After KL, he was scheduled to continue his travel to Hong Kong, and I convinced him to use AirAsia, which he did.

After saying our goodbyes at the LCCT, I took the limo back to my apartment. Along the way, DM called to say that his flight got delayed. I was not surprised since it was raining cats and dogs.

When I reached my apartment, DM called again.

I was surprised to see his name blinking on my cellphone cause he was supposed to be on the flight by then.

"Wah ... so fast reach Hong Kong, ah ???" I thought.

Apparently after 10 minutes in the air, the pilot detected something wrong with the plane and turned back to LCCT !!!

DM told me it's the shortest flight he ever took in his life and I laughed at him. But despite DM kutuk-ing (condemning) AirAsia for its poor services and all, I still defended the airlines simply because it's a Malaysian airlines (not being disrespectful to the national carrier). Must fly the Malaysian flag mah ...

Yesterday, I had my dose of bad experience with AirAsia. Read Story 2.

Story 2

I was looking forward to my trip to Manado from 1 - 5 May. Angie and I had booked our flight way ahead in September last year for RM412 per person (including return Skybus from KL Sentral to the LCCT).

We already had a draft itinerary planned out to make use of the precious 5 days of glorious holidays. Our itinerary included snorkeling with the rich marine life of Bunaken Island and climbing Mount Lokon, which is a volcano!

However, yesterday I received an sms from AirAsia:

"Urgent! AirAsia flight AK432 from KUL (LCCT) to Manado on 01 May 09 is now cancel and moved to 02 May 09 (1550 hrs). We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

WTF !!!

First of all, 1 May is gone cause we'll only be leaving on 2 May. And with a flight at 3.50pm, we'll reach Manado late in the evening when it's already time to go to bed. So that's 2 whole days totally wasted!!!

For people like Angie and I who find it hard to take time off, this is ONE HELL OF A BAD NEWS !!!

Now since we've only got 3 days in Manado, it looks like we'll have to cancel our climbing escapade to Mount Lokon. What an utter disappointment !!!

When I told DM about this, he said, "I told you so".

He told me that apparently there's also a low-cost airlines in Europe called Ryanair that operates as shitty as AirAsia.

Today I received another sms from AirAsia:

"Urgent! AirAsia flight AK433 from Manado to KUL (LCCT) on 05 May 09 has been retimed later at 8.05pm (2005 hrs). We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

The original flight was supposed to be in the morning. But now since we'll be reaching LCCT late in the night, looks like I'll have to take leave the next day, which could be saved for other better things. One screw-up after the next !!!

I've never had an encounter as bad as this with AirAsia. And at publishing time, the airlines have not offered any compensation yet. But I hope they do cause they're gonna have many unhappy customers if they don't, especially those who have booked and paid for their hotel, tours, etc.

Damn you AirAsia !!!


Anonymous said...

Air asia is launching flights to taipei in july!Yahoo!
Regardless how bad their services are(MAS no better),air asia made our dreams come true nevertheless

Salt N Turmeric said...

yup it sucks but thts the price you pay when traveling budget airlines. at least airasia's ticket is cheap. unlike airlines here, full price but still shitty service. i believe tht when u choose budget airlines, you must have a flexible schedule.

that said, i hope you wil get some kind of compensation from them.

Julie Lim said...

Anonymous - I agree that AirAsia has made many dreams come true. But they need to buck up on their services. Then everything will be alright.

Salt & Turmeric - I didn't know that some airlines in the States charge full fare and yet ofer shitty services. Teruk man like that!

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