Tuesday, April 14, 2009

best LCC; airasia

Dear AirAsia team,

I thank god for AirAsia because you have allowed us to travel without spending extravagantly on flight travels.

Over the years, you have ferried us all back and forth our home and travel destinations and yes, there were happy times, but there were also days when we just suffered.

Did you know that a lot of us have resigned to the fact that when “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. I too, have on many occasions, told friends and family, “Don’t complain so much lah! Next time, fly MH or SQ if you want to complain so much!”

But you know what? In all the years that I’ve been traveling on AirAsia, I have loved you guys. Delayed flights? Luggage battered upon arrival? Poor service from ground crew and flight attendants? Yes, I have experienced it all. But hey, I get to travel for a fraction of the price, I guess I can still live with this.

But let me ask you this dear Tony –
Are you happy that this is the perception of the public – that since we are paying you peanuts to travel, you can therefore be like monkeys?

AirAsia’s vision and mission says otherwise. Your values too. One of it clearly states that you want to provide guests with the choice of customizing services without comprising on quality and services.

Pardon my French, but what services? You have non-existent Customer Service, emails to Guest Support are NEVER answered. In fact, I know of many people who have sent you emails, but NOT ONE had their emails replied. How’s that for your values on ‘not compromising on quality and services’?

Now here’s my real problem. I had made a booking some months back for a trip to Manado, Indonesia.

Departure: KL-Manado for Sunday, 31 May
Return: Manado-KL for Friday, 5 June

Then, one morning in April, a little bird informed me that there have been changes for flight schedules to and from Manado. I went into your website to check on my booking, and much to my horror, found out that my itinerary now reads - 31 May (KL - Manado), and 6 June (Manado - KL)

The drama of course, doesn’t end there. You must screw us even more! Turns out, the flight from KL to Manado for 31 May has also been cancelled!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure you have your reasons for canceling flights. This is not the reason I’m writing.

I have a list of questions here, and God only knows that AirAsia does not practice Customer Service, therefore, I doubt I will be receiving a reply from anyone.

1) Why do I have to find out about my change in itinerary in this manner, i.e. by accident?

2) Why didn’t AirAsia inform their passengers about such changes? I have given 3 contacts – home telephone number, mobile number and email address.

3) When I called AirAsia to verify this fact, your Call Centre personnel said that I did not get the notification because my phone number is invalid – it read (on his system) +6016-35 XXXX instead of +6016-35X XXXX like on the itinerary which I had received after making my booking. One digit less he said. Why the discrepancy and lies?

4) The cancellation of the flights meant a CHANGE OF DATES altogether, not just delays by a few hours. When do you plan to inform your passengers about this cancellation, since it will affect their accommodation bookings and transfers? 72 hours before flight departure?

5) I got a call back from your Guest Support team (woah, am I the first in history?) who apologized and then said that we have not been informed of the cancellations because AirAsia is only right now informing passengers regarding April changes and cancellations. May’s flights’ are still being ‘queued’ in the system. Then see Point 3. WTF is going on?

6) Guest Support informed me that I am allowed to change BOTH flights at no charge. “Call our Booking line, quote your confirmation number, and you will be able to change both flights,” she said.

7) Why is your booking system, the system of an airline which recently won the Best Low Cost Carrier award, so backwards? Your Call Centre employees (between our group, 15 passengers, we must have EASILY spoken to more than 10 different call centre staff) were completely ignorant about the 31 May cancellation despite Guest Support confirming with me that we can change it easily. We had to insist for them to probe deeper as they kept saying that a change of flight will incur a RM75 charge. Needless to say, we were right.

8) You mean to say your passengers now have to inform you Call Centre staff about flight cancellations?

9) Do we look like monkeys to you?

Dear Dato' Tony Fernandes, I don't know much about the business world. Global economies, or what's happening on KLSE or Wall Street? Nope, not interested, don't want to know.

But I do know one thing, that I truly respect you as an entrepreneur. You had my respect leaving your job at Warner and then embarking in the commercial aviation business and brought AirAsia up from zero to what it is today. I've said it earlier, and I'll say it again - I love AirAsia. And I love what you are doing for us.

But please, I'm requesting, nay - BEGGING YOU - please, please don't let a bunch of moronic front-liners ruin what you have built. And oh, you gotta do something about that system of yours dude.

Posted by Doreen at 12:25 pm