Malaysia Airlineson-line booking

OK, we have all done it! Terms and Conditions flash up and we press accept. For most software installs and social media sites, we have little choice but to accept (if we want the product). However, it is worth exercising some caution when making online bookings with airlines. Most airlines will make their cancelation policies clear in their Fare Rules, however the clarity with which they do this varies quite significantly. Singapore, QANTAS and others have simple, easy to read pop-ups that detail these Fare Rules. Others, in this particular instance Malaysia Airlines have Fare Rules that are basically nonsense, convoluted and badly formatted English that seemed to be designed to confuse the customer and be open to interpretation (in their favour) by the airline.
Take this (unedited - copy from website/eticket) cancelation policy from Malaysia Airlines as an example;
17.1 note - general rule does not apply changes any time charge gbp 100.00 for reissue/revalidation. note - changes ticket reissue - rebooking / rerouting after ticketing- a. gbp100 plus fare difference where applicable b. child discount does not apply. fees/charges not applicable to infant. in the event a ticket is reissued to a higher fare the change fee and rules of the new fare will apply. however the refund rules of the original fare apply irrespective of the refund rule specified on the reissued fare.
-------------------------------------------------- change fees may differ if modification is made online via manage my booking
-------------------------------------------------- cancellations any time ticket is non-refundable. note - cancellation/refund before/after departure- once ticketed non refundable including yq. partially used ticket is non-refundable. -------------------------------------------- ticket is non-refundable in case of no-show. note - no-show- once ticketed non refundable including yq.
Back story for me was that I was making a booking on line and had difficulty going through the credit card security authorization process (forgot my password). This necessitated re-entering data several times until I got a credit card authorized. Only when I printed out my eTicket did I realize that I had booked the wrong month (March instead of February). Tried to call KL office, was put on hold with a wait time of 20 minutes (on an international call). Tried to call local office in UK, no support on weekend. Eventually got through to Malaysian Airlines Cancelation Office in London, but was told that the ticket I had purchased was non-refundable. I read the Fare Rules when I was making the booking, but to be honest they were so badly written I found them incomprehensible.
Lesson learned; if you can’t understand the Fare Rules, don’t book! Stick with an airline that publishes these in language you can understand.

Feb 09, 2015

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