Monday, September 04, 2006


Terminal. Those on Flight AK6305 had their patience tested to the limits yesterday. The plane was supposed to depart Langkawi for KL at lunch yesterday but by dinner time they were still there.

When Air Asia told them that a "substitute" plane would fly them out at 10.30 pm, a friend decided that he had had enough. He didn't want to risk spending the night at the terminal and he didn't want to quarrel with the ground staff about another RM10 meal voucher.

So he bought a Malaysia Airlines ticket and was in time for supper at home.

This wasn't his first delayed flight with Air Asia but his worst. "A 10-hour delay on domestic is too much. That's the last time I'll fly Air Asia. "

This friend had earlier demanded what "technical problem" the aircraft was facing. A staff later told him it was a "pressurisation valve malfunction", whatever it was.

I have a feeling Kamarudin Meranun, the pass-the-buck Air Asia CEO, will find someone else to blame, somehow.


  1. Anonymous11:45 am

    It is funny how suddenly flight delays become a news item.

    While many say "if you fly budget, you get budget treatment lah", I cannot agree. Why? Because is my 6 experiences flying with AirAsia, it has only been delayed once. In my many more experiences with Malaysia Airlines, I must say that it has been delayed very few times. (Note: I treat delays as over half an hour. Most flights I take, on ANY airline, has never taken off at the prescribed time. 9:20 becomes 9:25 in terms of the first jolt when the plane reverses on the tarmac).

    I must say though, that a 10 hour delay is exceptionally rare. And that's exactly what it is. Rare.

    If you ask me, they were only looking after the safety of passengers. If the plane had a malfunction, it should not fly. Period.

    Of course, the maintenance of the aircraft then comes into question. If AirAsia can prove that the malfunction was indeed exceptional and not due to improper maintenance, then everyone should just move on.

    You got your meal vouchers and packet drinks. So enough already. A little bit of patience - especially in rare cases like these - goes a long, long way.

  2. Anonymous2:00 pm

    I've flown AirAsia 11 times this year; to KB, Jakarta, Bali and Chiangmai. Four of the flights were delayed by more than 2 hours. Another 4 flights were delayed by more than an hour. Two flights were on time and another flight was delayed by 5 hours (to KB). AirAsia used to send sms when there's delay but they are not doing that anymore. Complacent?

  3. Anonymous2:55 pm

    IF delays gets too often, the airline suck.(Budget or no budget)

    Hye when did airasia started giving packet drinks and food voucher? THey never offered anything (not even plain water for the 3hours delay in macau.

  4. Anonymous3:58 pm

    Dear Rocky!

    My name is Rusdi Mustapha.

    This is to Amir Mahmood Razak: Your are my nephew and do not be an apologist for Air Asia as previously me and your auntie Marion had suffered with this budget airline and that was from Kuching to KL a delay for about five hours. Since when have you becoming a PR person for Air Asia. And do not, repeat, do not be to condescending in your tone as the rakyat had suffered and all they give us is just bisquits, kit kat mineral water and a ten ringgit voucher. Imagine having to pay the differences in the food at the food court in Pulau Langkawi.

    This is how it happened, the flight was scheduled to leave at 21.50pm on Sunday, on flight AK6305. An announcement was made to some techninal problem, we said okay we can wait for a short while. then the flight was delayed over and over again until we were told an alternative plane is coming in from Bandar Seri Begawan to KL then to P Langkawi around 10pm at night.
    Then we were forced to take MAS not because we could not wait but because the luggages that was taken out of flight AK6305 were taken to the baggage pick up area where passengers were given the chance to take out their necesary items such as sweaters or toiletry or what ever from their luggages. However, these luggages that have been opened should have been re-scanned by Air Asia staff but instead the passengers were allowed to open their luggage and repack them and not rescanned. A bomb could have been put into these luggages than reboard to the alternative flight. When told about this breach of security the policeman guarding the terminal was also angry with the Air Asia staff for allowing passengers to come out of the departure hall through the security checkpoint then to walk out side then to walk through the baggage pickup area. Two breach of security and Air Asia is courting danger by not being progfessional. I will not board a plane if the security is breach. On top of that one of the staff had accidentally said Air Asia policy allows a lapse of six hours before considering for an alternative aircraft. To this I say Air Asia you had better get your shit together before an accident happens.
    I am angry and my wife is angry and hundreds of others are also angry.
    So Amir you had better apologise for being insensitive to alaysians who are flying Air Asia in good faith. No my nephew, this 10 hours delay is not rare it has happened before and again do not be Air Asia apologist. Malaysia Airport Berhad you had better investigate this serious breach of security at you airport!

    Rusdi Mustapha

  5. Anonymous4:26 pm

    It appears that I know the offended passenger on the delayed AirAsia flight. He called me to relate his experience, and I must say AirAsia can't keep mum on the issue he told me. According to the man, the reason he took a Malaysia Airlines flight was because there was a security breach; the baggares that were off-loaded from the plane were not re-scanned! Now, in this day and age of conspiracy theories, surely AirAsia should have known better. Anything could have been put into the bags when they were not in the plane. Looks like budget fares also mean budget security? Malaysia Airports must also be clear about this - what is the SOP in this case? In an unrelated case, my friend and I were traveling to Singapore in the days immediately following the scare at Heathrow last month. And without my friend realising it he took his cigarette lighter on-board to Singapore, despite the checks at KLIA. So? How did that happen? Answers anyone?

  6. Anonymous5:09 pm

    By the way Uncle Rusdi, no I am not the PR for AirAsia, but there were details that were missing in the original post.

    I'm sure it was a tiring experience, and in the spirit of Malay culture, I seek your forgiveness if it offended you. (Speaks volumes when you consider the world may see this apology!!)

    Pepatah Melayu berkata; dah terhantuk baru nak tergadah. My advise is if AirAsia piques you (this is the second time for you), then it's time you exercise your consumer rights.

    Choose the other airline (no I am not now the spokesperson for MAS). ANd pressure AirAsia for transparency on the incident AND the baggage security breach issue.

    Bulek air dek pombotong, bulek manusio dek muapakat. Elolah kito bomuapakat.

  7. Anonymous5:17 pm

    I took an Air Asia Flight from Penang to Bangkok on July 21st 2006. The flight was delayed from 10.30am until 4.00pm. All I got was a packet of fried rice with 2 pcs of chicken meat. Missed the exhibition which I am supposed to visit.

  8. Anonymous5:41 pm

    As good business practice, and to be fair to all, I feel that delayed passengers deserve a free ticket in lieu of lost time. Mind you, 10 lost hours can mean a lot to some people. The government must be fair to the passengers: flight operators must stick to their ETD, or risk compensating the passengers. That will keep them (the operators) on their toes!

    BTW, baggage is already a plural word, there is no such thing as "baggages".

  9. Anonymous6:42 pm

    Air Asia --dont be complacent. Tony Fernandez -- you did a good job forming and building up Air Asia so that everyone can fly -- YES! but... brother. perhaps your people down the line are not as committed as you are. or, they are sabotaging you.
    Don't make light of complaints from passengers. Unless you are telling us that flying air asia,is flying budget, and flying budget means we have to take all these problems. Or as the angryman said -- "all this shit". That aint on, man.
    Dont go down the way of many airlines --- some airlines go down because they are badly managed, some because of poor service, others because of both.
    Many people used to NOT mind the no-frills of AIr Asia. First-come first-served basis. Because, the low price was worth the no-frills.
    But, if service gets worse and worse. And if Air Asia seems not to care, I think its about time to have another budget airline.

  10. Anonymous7:10 pm

    I must say I sympathise with Saudara Rusdi' plight. Having been a journalist for so long, he is not a newbie in terms of air travel. But flying on Air Asia is always a risk. Certain commentators were talking about lack of maintenance, and I wouldn't rule that out.

    Aviation is a highly regulated industry, and even a simple bolt is documented and maintained properly and on time. However that's not what I heard happening in Air Asia. I hear they even cannibalise other aircraft just to get a part! Well that's... budget... operations... I guess.

    My point is, don't be thrilled too much with the fares. Peace of mind is better substitute...

    And Amir, aren't you a journalist too? You should be more objective! Try flying budget operations in the US and Europe and you know what I mean. Their service levels beat Air Asia any time.

  11. Anonymous1:44 am

    Mata Pena,

    I thought, and believe still, that I was objective in the first post.

    Note that I qualified my entry by using MY OWN experience as my gauge. For both carriers.

    I also OPINED that 10 hour delays were rare; again, based on MY experience. I also noted that if a malfunction had occured, then the question must be raised on whether it was due to improper maintenance or a genuine case of part malfunctioning.

    And given that the facts of the case - pertinent ones like the security breach - were omitted in Rocky's post, my OPINION was therefore flawed. I corrected this upon knowledge of the fact, and even requested answers.

    I have not had the benefit of flying other LCCs, so again MY opinion is based on MY experience.

    How objective is this:

    However that's not what I heard happening in Air Asia. I hear they even cannibalise other aircraft just to get a part! Well that's... budget... operations... I guess.

    What one hears may not be the full story, as exemplified here.

    Ada MATA tengok, ada telinga dengar. Tapi gunakan PENA dengan betul.


  12. Anonymous12:42 pm

    I was on an Air Asia international flight, came to the airport early to check in on the return flight and the flight kept on delaying.

    I was at the airport at 4 pm and boarded only at around 11 pm. I arrived to LCCT at the wee hours i.e. 3 a.m. of morning and had no way to get home unless I take a taxi. So we camped at the airport, which suprisingly was full of ppl sleeping around, definitly not a sight I want to show foreign tourist.

    My foreign guest had told me, "Next time, my friend, we travel by MAS." Thanks, Air Asia, you make me look really good by making the travel a simple flight a nightmare. That will be my last flight with AirAsia for sure.

    On the positive side, my friend now prefers Malaysia as a holiday destination.

  13. Anonymous11:36 pm

    For those who think that 10hrs delay by Air Asia is rare, the best records comes Malaysia Airports Bhd.Airport will have good accurate records.Airports have no vested interests to protect either airline. Records will show Air Asia 10hrs delay has happen many times compared to MAS.
    By the way,recent events now will also show that the present Govt prefers AA instead of its own GLC MAS.I wonder why?