On the wings of love…

My nephew and his girlfriend from New Zealand were in town for a few days and on Saturday, I sent them to the Sibu airport to catch a MASWings flight


…to Kuching on transit to Singapore. Upon arrival at the airport, their worst fears were confirmed. The 10.30 a.m. flight was cancelled and they would have to take the 11 something flight – via MAS/Boeing 737 instead.

Delays and cancellations seem to be the order of the day where MASWings is concerned. When Clare flew in one Friday morning from Kuching for the weekend, her 6 something flight was delayed till 7.00 a.m. and when I went to pick her up at the airport, I saw that the flight to Kuching at that same time had been cancelled.

Then, a couple of days later, a nephew of mine (another one) was flying back to Kuching that night after attending his aunt’s funeral in Sibu and the flight was cancelled too…and they put him up for the night at Kingwood Hotel here.

This time around, when I joined them at the counter, after parking my car, there seemed to be a bit of a problem. The MAS personnel, a young girl, was asking for their tickets…and they kept telling her they did not have any tickets. But don’t we all know that nobody uses tickets anymore? She could have been more specific and asked for the computer printout or in their technical term – the booking itinerary.

I confirmed with her that they would be able to catch the connecting MAS flight to Singapore and helped them with the checking-in. When it was all done, I said to her in my sweetest tone, “Thank you very much. Have a nice day!”

As we were walking away, my nephew’s girlfriend remarked, “She’s so unfriendly.”

I replied, “Why do you think I wished her a nice day? That was a very very broad hint!” She probably got the message as when she heard that, she did attempt to smile – in a sort of peculiar and embarrassed manner.

I have often heard of the double standards MAS employees would give to foreigners and locals – no prize for guessing who would be treated a lot better. But these two were from New Zealand and they certainly did not look anything like local Malaysians and yet, it was no better in any way. MAS had not done too well in the recent “World’s Best” awards…and if this is representative of the best they can do, you can imagine that it is going to be downhill all the way, this much I am pretty sure of.

Or is this part and parcel of the so-called “rural air services” exclusively for the very rural Sarawak and Sabah? I just wonder in what way the main towns – Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri would qualify as being rural…and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah as well. Well, as far as the  fares go, they are definitely in no way, rural. Sometime ago, I thought of hopping over to Kota Kinabalu one weekend on MASWings in one of those small aircrafts…and when I checked online, the airfare was over RM500 return. I could fly to KL via MAS on a Boeing 737 for half the price that same weekend and a lot less if I chose to go by Air Asia. Tsk! Tsk!

Rural air services, they call it? Gosh! All of us, rural people, must be very rich to be able to afford that kind of airfares…or should I just put all that down as outright exploitation since they have an absolute monopoly around these parts? As they say, “Power corrupts! Absolute power corrupts absolutely!”

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

27 thoughts on “On the wings of love…”

  1. Foreign MAS personnel you say? That’s weird. Anyways, I absolutely agreed on the first class fares and the 3rd class service we get from MASWing. Blood sucking MAS, things were a WHOLE LOT better back then when AirAsia still rules the E.Malaysia region!

    No, my nephew and his girlfriend are foreigners – New Zealanders, to be exact. The personnel was definitely not a foreigner…unless they’re hiring Myamarese too like virtually every place in KL!!!

  2. sigh..what else is new.. locals are always “sidepathed” but one bad apple does not spoil the whole basket..there are still many who are courteous.. thank goodness… maybe she had a bad day on that day… :p

    But they were not locals – ang moh, true and true…and were not treated any better! For one thing, at least I can say that she is “fair”! Actually, I’ve noticed that the lady staff here are kind of cold and not very friendly…compared to the guys who are usually very casual and unpretentious, very down to earth…and much nicer. That day, there were three counters open – all manned by ladies and the others didn’t look very amicable either.

  3. I like the newer MAS ATR72 airplane a lot. In fact, given a choice, I actually prefer it to the Boeing for the Kuching – Sibu sector. Plus it is usually cheaper. And yes, MAS seems to be less punctual than Air Asia these days.

    It is only cheaper on the Sibu-Kuching route as it faces competition from Air Asia. Not to Bintulu or Miri or KK! Over RM500 return to KK is ridiculous. It’s even cheaper to use Air Asia to Kuching or KL…and fly to KK from there but it is such a hassle. It’s about time they do away with this monopoly thing and let them fight it out! But then of course, I guess they have the interests of certain people to protect…if you catch the drift, like in the case of Malaysia Airports!

  4. whoaa unexpected. so far never encounter such things with MAS yet. 🙂 i hope will not!

    I have had many good experiences flying MAS and I have posted on them before. I only travelled by MAS before, no second thoughts about it…but if things are going the way they seem to be going, I think I will just switch to Air Asia. Not much better…and what a difference in the airfares!

  5. i agree with you…sometimes i thought these subsidiaries of MAS should at least provide a better service compared with their budget counterpart (namely airasia)

    i think its not only for mas wings, the other subsidiary of MAS (fireflyz) is also prone to delays. the other day we booked a flight from Penang to KL at 9pm, when we reached the check in counter, the lady asked me whether i received any sms. i was puzzled and she said oh actually your flight was delayed to 12am! i was outraged and she said you may change it at the booking counter to the 11pm flight.

    so i thought ok la..11pm is still earlier than 12am…we went to the counter and changed and checked in for the 11pm flight. when we were inside the boarding hall, they announced that our flight has been delayed till 12am!!! again, the people went and complain and they finally relented and agreed to push the flight to 11pm again. i dont know what kind of crap service they are providing!

    Ya…the sms thing! I’ve heard of such cases where they claimed they sent a message but none was received. In the case of Air Asia, when they sms you regarding delays and retimings and what not, you will surely get it. My nephew’s flight was cancelled and they were never informed via sms, email or whatever. They only found out about it when they got to the airport. Penang-KL…you should take Air Asia. There are so many available flights. Over here, we do not have much of a choice really!

  6. Some things in the world are just for rich ppl.

    Ya…if the service and everything is value for money, I would not complain. That was why all these years, I only flew MAS within the peninsula and and between KL and Sarawak, nothing else. I was very happy with everything even though it may be more expensive. But now that it is so terribly lacking on all counts, I might as well fly the cheap airline – Air Asia which certainly seems to be getting better and better in terms of everything.

  7. Kinda ironic that the service industry doesn’t train their staff in the right aspects. It’s sad that we don’t have much choice when it comes to airlines .. competition would be a great service-improvement-incentive …

    Especially for us here in Sibu. If we want to fly eastwards to the other towns or to KK, Sabah, there is only ONE airline. Believe you me, many would rather take a bus these days – more reliable, more comfortable (especially when they were using the dilapidated Fokkers!!!) and at times, even faster than taking a plane!!! This is absolutely ridiculous!

  8. Mana Ada Standard bah… hhaha. Mas Wings probably thinks they’re doing us Sarawakians a favour by flying these “rural” routes. Anyways, MAS really sucks nowadays…. forever delayed. Air Asia being a Budget airline is so much better. That day i was doing last minute ticket changes at the Air Asia counter in KIA and the guy at the counter really went all out to help me get it done. His shift ended at 6pm but he stayed on till 7pm cos he was waiting for clearance from KL office to approve the change. And he still managed to smile all the time. Thumbs up!

    Ya, I’ve flown Air Asia a couple of times now…and frankly, between Kuching and Sibu, why bother to fly MAS? It’s the LCCT that I do not like which is really the pits!…And unlike at Kuching, they have common check-in at the counters – anytime, you can check-in and the airport is a whole not nicer. Can’t blame the airline though…they wanted to build their own airport but it was not approved. Obviously some people are trying to protect certain individuals with big fat pockets….

  9. yeah that explained very well the budget airways are getting more demand now 🙂

    Precisely! Why pay more…when you are not getting better…and more often than not, getting worse?

  10. Hmm, I know very little, probably nothing about airlines thingy. But I think AirAsia are a lot better 🙂

    Right now, it doesn’t seem there is much of a difference…

  11. Oh dear, that’s so unfortunate. I have yet to encounter any of such sorts and hope NEVER to encounter them! sigh.. ppl at the counter should be more friendly.. smile more. If I were there, I’d paste a smiley sticker on her 😀

    Yes, sometimes you really wonder whether we owe them money or what, whether we have to kowtow to them to beg them to do us a big favour and render us some help!!! They forget that we are the ones paying…and we are the reason why they have a job!

  12. Budget airline, service also budget….LOL!

    It is NOT a budget airline! If it had been a budget airline, then we might have to put up with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. What to expect from budget airlines? But this is MAS…and the fares are not cheap! I wonder if this deterioration has got anything to do with them moving that Sarawakian away from the airline to take care of other matters.

  13. OMG – you will get her in trouble when the the boss read this blog.

    I certainly hope so. All the snooty ladies at the counter need a good talking to. What kind of “golden service” is this? I wonder who’s the airport manager now… If it had been one of our old friends, I would have gone to talk to him myself.

    1. Yes, she should get into trouble for attitude! Otherwise get out of the service industry!

      Indeed!!! Already the flight had been cancelled and a whole lot of problems with immigration clearance and connections and what not would arise, and you gended up with one unfriendly girl at the counter attending to you – that was really the pits. Luckily, we were civil enough to stay calm and collected. I can imagine other more aggressive passengers losing their cool and blasting her head off.

  14. hahahha…hope that young girl really get your “hint”, sometime some people just buat bodoh.

    They need more ” courtesy training”!!

    Hey, i just receive a call from Bank, propose some medical insurance to me, i told her i am not interested, she still bla bla bla, i told her i am not interested, then she said “thank you, and have a nice day!” AHHAHAHAHA

    I’ve had my share of problems with some bank people…but the one I go to now…near my house – they are all so very nice, will go out of the way to help…and greetings from everybody whenever I enter – feel like VVIP!!! That’s what service should be like, especially when they claim that theirs is GOLDEN! Tsk! Tsk!

    1. of cos treat u like VVIP la, if you withdraw ur money they have to tutup kedai. hahahahaha

      Aiyor…where got so rich? Or do you mean they have so little money in the bank…so kesian!!! LOL!!! If they see me, wearing torn faded t-shirt, drooping pants (rubber waistband already longgar), worn-out Japanese slippers and carrying my tattered Kiew Brothers paper bag – they’d probably be worried that I am there to rob the bank. LOL!!!

  15. double standard sumore …if she is rude to me, habis lah her….anyway, this small airliners seems not realiable…cancel and delay flght always

    Wah!!! You so fierce kah? Garangnya…. Hahahahaha!!! Well, this wasn’t a small airline – it was MAS, just that the cancelled flight happened to be its subsidiary’s, MasWings.

  16. I must say I’m very impressed with the air asia premium lie-flat bed. Very comfy and also very friendly crew onboard. Too bad they don’t fly New Zealand, STP or u can consider this as an option as well.

    I hear they may fly KL-Auckland sometime next year. Hopefully, it will be soon…so I can fly over often.

  17. Never been to any aeroplane…shame! Shame!

    Well…sometimes our reputation is dented by the “Select” few.

    I wouldn’t say “few” really – the ones here all seem quite unfriendly. When a flight has been cancelled, they should be apologetic…and smile a lot – at least, it will make people feel better.

  18. When I saw on the TV that my flight was ‘CANCELLED’ I went to the ticketing counter and the girl still had the cheek to ask with a puzzled look, “Har? Cancelled? Really ar, let me check…” and kept clicking at her computer (dunno really check or play games lar 😛 ) And then she mumbled something loud enough for me to hear and got my blood boiling: “…or you missed your flight…?” Before I opened my mouth to screw here right there and then, she quickly stood up and said: “wait, let me check first.” and went off. Nasib baik for her lor.

    That was at Kuching airport – so it certainly looks like they’re not much better over there. Thankfully, your flights back from here were o.k. or else you would a double dosage of such incompetency!!! Tsk! Tsk!

    1. Summore still dare to ask me: “Did you update your contact number?” when we asked why MAS never inform earlier. I was like, WTF my contact number never changed what!

      Yalor…ever since I knew you, you had that same number (and I’ve never changed mine either!)… Pink Cotton had the same experience. I wonder if that is the standard excuse – you did not get the sms that we sent, so don’t blame us! They’ll be pushing the blame to the mobile phone service providers next (the same way the credit card people always blame Pos Malaysia for late or non-delivery of bills!!!)…

  19. I am quite angry over my experience this morning. I was booking a KL-Sibu ticket online through maybank2u but got hung half way. I even got the reference number and I tried to call MAS office and was told that “tiket tiada lagi. Fully booked.Tak payah cuba lagi!!” So instead of RM154.00, I bought the ordinary ticket(not through “Get-the-deal”) at RM292.00. However, now I just feel free and enter the MAS website and find that I am cheated by the personnel! I still find the ticket at the fare of RM154.00 in “Get-the deal”!!!!

    Omigawd!!! Why did you call MAS office? You mean in Sibu…or the KL one handling matters pertaining to online bookings? Have you made the payment? Gosh! The original booking may have already been confirmed and the payment charged to your credit card. You have to call to confirm that the booking has not been made and they have not charged it to your credit card…before making any alternative booking. Oh? So they have cheap fares to KL, right now? Will go and check it out…

  20. I did not know MASWings still exists! I thought it was disbanded. Yeah, totally agree with you on the double standards regarding on where you’re from. But we get preferential treatment in certain countries too! Alas, all worse than ours. 😉

    It does. It has taken back the so-called rural routes…squeezing us poor East Malaysians dry with the very expensive airfares and it looks like they will just cancel the flight according to their whim and fancy (when there are not enough passengers)… It’s very easy for them – they’ll just say there is a technical problem. Period. 😦

  21. Nowadays people prefers Air Asia over MAS. Less hassle! Cheer up!

    I think Air Asia has improved by leaps and bounds. No complaints about the airline…just the LCCT in Sepang – that godown!

  22. it’s funny that the domestic flights is more expensive than international flights. Sometimes you can fly to Singapore on Mas for less than that!

    It’s because it is the only airline flying Sibu-Bintulu-Miri-Kota Kinabalu (and God help you if the flight stops at all the towns on the way – will take HOURS!!!) Exploitation in the highest degree! On the other hand, Sibu-Kuching can be very cheap sometimes…because Air Asia is also flying that route. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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