AirAsia / incorrect information given led to no food and water for 17 hour journey


I was on a 17 hour AirAsia flight from Colombo to Melbourne (stopping off at Kuala Lumpur for 5 hours) that left on the 1st October 22.55 and arrived on 2nd October 10.10. The flights were AK46 and D7212.

I left Colombo in the evening, having eaten dinner and drunk water in the airport, but did not purchase any on the plane. After the flight from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur, I attempted to buy water in Kuala Lumpur airport but realised they only sell cups (not bottles), and as I had an 8 hour journey and had not had any water during the journey, I decided to wait until I got on the plane and buy more water than a single cup. However, I was not carrying any cash (of any currency), only a debit card, which I realised may be an issue on the flight so was prepared to either take cash out in the airport or just buy a cup of water. I went to the gate and asked the woman at the gate who worked for AirAsia whether I could buy food and water on card and she said yes that would be fine.

When I boarded the plane I asked for multiple bottles of water (as you only stock very small bottles) and some food, but when I tried to pay with my card I was told you only take 2 specific types of credit card, while I only had a debit card. I explained that the woman on the gate had not told me that only credit card was accepted, but she said there was nothing she could do.

I was very frustrated, because I had been travelling for 9 hours without eating or drinking and knew I had an 8 hour journey ahead of me where I would not be able to eat or drink anything. I was feeling very dehydrated and ill.

2 hours later I decided to go and explain my situation to a different member of staff, and asked if it would be possible to pay on card when we landed, and she also told me that this was not possible and there was nothing she could do. When I said I would be making a complaint, she gave me a small cup of water (to last the remainder of the flight) and told me to please sit down and she would see if there was anything she could do. 1 hour later she came and offered me her crew meal, for which I was grateful, but told her I did not want to accept it as it was not her fault, it was the fault of AirAsia for not informing me the correct information at the gate. She gave me the meal anyway, which was meatballs and as I am vegetarian I could not eat it. By the time I landed I was extremely lightheaded and feeling unwell, and obviously the 8 hour flight was not pleasant at all having eaten nothing for 17 hours and drunk nothing but this small cup of water.

I am horrified that I was made to go through this ordeal, and that the staff were not willing to offer me anything complimentary from AirAsia to make up for their own failings. If AirAsia are going to uphold a strict policy of not allowing anyone to bring their own food or drinks on board, they must ensure that customers are able to purchase food and drinks. I will not be flying with AirAsia again as I believe the customer service policy is unethical, and would only feel the issue was resolved if I am offered a full refund of my flight. If this is not offered then I will be posting this review publicly. I sincerely hope it can be resolved.

Oct 25, 2017

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