Air Asia / poor ground service by air asia
I had a bad travel experience with air asia yesterday 8 may 2009 from langkawi to kuala lumpur lcct then to singapore.
My bad experience started off with air asia rescheduling my flight langkawi to kuala lumpur (kl lcct) (ak 5327) from 1415 hrs to 1530 hrs. fine they have informed this 4 days in advance but I have a connecting flight from kl lcct to singapore (ak 709) on 1740 hrs which I need to reschedule that flight my self. air asia do not provide connecting flight service. the only thing they could provide is you may request for flight change if there is retiming done by air asia. anyway I had made a big mistake in the first place by choosing air asia as my flight to langkawi from singapore. I should have check malaysia airline (mas) and I found out that mas provide a direct flight from singapore and langkawi with slightly extra cost. so I went and change my flight after checking in to langkawi-kl flight at air asia sales counter in langkawi airport. at first the sales girl asked me to pay change fees for rescheduling my flight to singapore but I keep fighting that this is not my personal option to change my flight, it is air asia fault.in the end one of the supervisor came out and advised the sales girl to change my flight without any fee eventhough there was a different advise given by another supervisor from their office. yes I did manage to change my flight to singapore but I have lost like 45 minutes to argue and wait for that changed itinerary and me and my wife had to skip our lunch because of time lost. we managed to have a quick refreshments at starbucks and rush off to boarding gates with my 6 months old baby + stroller + my wife's vision/pyrex fragile cooking wares + it was raining before we board into the flight.
Then, after boarding I realised that I have left my mobile phone at the security scan point and I have informed the lead stewardess. one of the stewardess ran to the scan point and nothing was found. the lead stewardess advised me to do report at lost & found counter once I arrived in lcct. air asia flight attendances are good and they are competent in what they are doing but the ground services are terrible. after I reached at the baggage claim area, I went to the lost and found counter and the only thing that I got from the air asia guy at the counter is malaysia airport board (mab) phone number in kl and he asked me to call them for langkawi mab contact number myself. he did not even ask for my contact number but I left my contact number on a piece of paper teared off from used enveloped. so I did call both mab and thank god langkawi mab called me back and said they have found my mobile phone. mab langkawi had requested me to get permission from air asia kl to request air asia langkawi bring my phone via next flight to kl but the office just said in malay "air asia do not carry any valuable item on board on behalf of the passenger and air asia do not want to bear any responsibility of carrying those items" full stop!!! no solution no alternative. at that point I realised air asia stop servicing you once you claimed your baggage. strict policy, can't bend some rules to cater customer's special request. then I deal with mab myself and luckily the mab officer in langkawi named "mohd azwan bin jamaludin"is kind enough to courier my phone to my home address. thanks encik azwan.
Then after checking in our baggages for kl-singapore flight (ak709) and had our lunch/dinner we went straight to boarding gate and again we had problem at the security scan point. the security told us that we need to get air asia tag for the umbrella that we are carrying on board. we didn't get that warning in langkawi and the check in counter girl in langkawi told us that the item is fine to carry on board and it is not a sharp object. we thought of just leaving that rm27 umbrella that we bought in langkawi but the security told us that it will be just 2 minutes to run and get the air asia guy sitting at departure gate to tag our umbrella. fine I went down and that guy was not there in his post.in the first place, that air asia guy should have detected our umbrella without tag before we go in and now he left his post without replacement. I went straight to the check in counter and ask for the tag. after that I realised I am already late for the flight and we went straight to the boarding gate. guess what?!! the door is closed and we are 5 minutes before the flight departure time. they wont let us in anymore and I told them that my wife was inside the departure hall and she did not hear any last call announcement. for those who are travelling at lcct just be careful I guess because of the immigration checkpoint is one level up from boarding gate you might not hear any last call anouncement. I didn't fight for them to open the door so I asked for the next flight to singapore ak 717 on 2050 hrs but air asia ground staff had asked me to go back out collect my baggages at international arrival and go buy new ticket through a-z procedures again. what??? we are carrying 6 months old baby and you do not have other option to make my life easier that night!!! in addition, one of the air asia ground staff just said to us "that umbrella caused you delay". so you are not giving any solution but you are giving some rude comment. what a nice customer service!!! I did not catch the name of that air asia staff and he disappeared before we board in for our flight but he is really rude and I saw the way he treated another passenger with rude malay language. we really want to get his name and write in this comment but he is lucky this time round. I keep asking for other alternatives and at last they allow me to purchase the ticket from the gate and they will arrange for the baggages. as it is a budget airline it will cost me another rm430 for new ticket. fine I did not have anymore energy to fight over another ticket and my family are tired, I just swiped my card for the new ticket.
After 30 minutes purchasing the tickets, they announced that flight ak 717 to singapore is delayed from 2050 to 2225 hrs. god please what I have done wrong this time. air asia could delay my flight 1 and half hours and make me stuck in lcct but they could not open the gate that was closed 5 minutes before the departure time. life is not fair!!! where is the principle "customer is always right". fine there are safety rules and policies that we have to follow but that does not mean we do not deserve a good service from budget airline. I am a malaysian and I am proud with air asia's success receiving "world best budget airline" title but if air asia do not fix their customer service, air asia will not go far in this worldwide carrier business and your title as the world's best budget airlines willl be over soon. please train your ground staff properly because they are also your company's front image that communicate directly to your passengers not just your fancy website!!!
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