Do NOT fly with Malaysia Airlines. Ever.
This story starts about six months ago when after a lot of humming and hawing I decided to visit my friends in Kathmandu and have another go at hiking the Himalaya. Last time I’d spend more time reading books than actually getting off my butt and walking, never hiking more than five kilometres before calling it a day. This time I’m getting stuck in. If I can actually get there. Checking with a number of airlines quickly confirmed that Malaysia had the cheapest fares by far. I gave them my credit card details and they issued a ticket.
About three months later I receive an email from Malaysia Airlines that the timing of my flights has changed and that rather than having a connecting flight I would now have to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the night. Okay, I can live with that. Then I looked a bit closer at the new itinerary they had sent out and noticed that they only changed one section and had forgotten to amend the connecting flights. So now, Lo and behold my flight to Kathmandu left Kuala Lumpur before my flight from Auckland has arrived. That can’t be too hard to fix right? So so wrong!
I rang the Malaysia Airlines ticketing centre which is run from Fiji and spoke to a pleasant gentleman who only took fifteen minutes to work out what was wrong and informed me I would have to buy another ticket. I pointed out that Malaysia Airlines had changed my flights so I wasn’t at fault and they would have to bear the cost themselves. He took my phone number and said he would ring me back in the next thirty minutes. Nothing happened.
I waited two days and called again. This time a lady answered the phone, she was a bit quicker on the uptake and decided that they needed to reissue my ticket. This could only be done by the office in Kuala Lumpur and they would email it out to me. I waited another two days, Nothing happened. I emailed them and ignoring everything that I wrote they send me a copy of the same itinerary they had emailed out previously.
I didn’t wait two days, this time I rang Fiji again and climbed in the poor bastard that answered the telephone. It took almost an hour but after a lot more arguing on their part and swearing on mine, they issued a correct ticket. Case closed? Not so fast!
Fast forward to a week before my flight and I get “Invited” to bid for an upgrade to business class. I sit on it for a day then think why not and put in a low ball offer thinking I’ll never hear from it again. Colour me surprised as my offer gets accepted! A new ticket arrives and all looks well. At the appointed hour I arrive at the airport. Business class counter, no one in line, looking forward to reading a magazine and having a coffee in the lounge. The look on the face of the check-in person tells me different. “can you please go to counter 51, you don’t appear to have a ticket” Well actually I not only have a ticket I have a boarding pass as well! I printed it out at home before I left. Nevertheless, I trudge off to counter 51. Obviously the supervisor’s desk. She checks all the ticket numbers and tells me I’m not booked on any flights today. Looks at my boarding pass, checks some more numbers and rings Fiji.
Steam starts coming out of my ears. It turns out that somewhere, somehow they have deleted my complete booking from the system. Fiji puts her on hold. I am entertaining dark thoughts about the seven pits of hell reserved for Malaysia Airline executives. An hour later they have finally reinstated my booking, my luggage gets loaded and I head off to see if I can still get a coffee in before we depart.
At least they didn’t loose the plane.