Counting stars…

Five stars, they say…but based on what I experienced when I flew to Kuching with my daughter last weekend, I don’t think I would give them one even.

Let’s look at the boarding…

MAS boarding

…to start with. People always say that MAS is short for “Mana Ada System?” (Where got system?) and looking at how they handled the boarding of the passengers for the flight, I simply could not disagree.

They certainly have a thing or two to learn from that budget airline. Prior to boarding the aircraft, they would call for those travelling with children and passengers over 65 years old and they would get them to queue in front…along with those in the hot seats and then the passengers in the back rows of the aircraft followed by those in the front. When it is time to board. they would get everybody to do so in a very systematic manner. I find that this works very well despite the fact that there are some passengers (sitting at the back) who would use the front staircase even though they have been specifically told to use the one at the back. Ah well! That is no fault of the airline staff, obviously.

In comparison, that morning, even before any announcement was made, the moment it was indicated on the TV monitor that boarding would commence, everyone rushed to the door…and nothing was done to rectify the chaotic situation and the ground staff looked so unfriendly that I did not even dare to voice my discontent for fear of being bashed in the face by that female officer on duty.

I finally got my turn to board and as I approached the plane, I was quite disgusted by the sight of the stewardess happily flirting chatting with the pilot or co-pilot who was standing at the door leading to the cockpit…when she was supposed to greet everyone who came on board with a smile and a greeting. Gee!!! Is this the world’s No. 1 cabin crew? All right…I guess the people voting would be those on the international routes and these domestic flights are mere training grounds for the newbies…though some of them looked quite old, clearly too old to be new brooms, I’m sure.

As I proceeded down the aisle…

MAS Boeing 737-800

…to my seat, No. 26 at the back, cold stone-faced statues stood by the side as I walked past, not a smile nor a greeting, nothing at all. I was beginning to wonder whether I had caught them on a bad day and they just had a good ticking off from their superior, hence, the foul faces? Just as I was about to get to my seat, the stewardess nearest to it smiled at me and said, “Good morning, sir. Welcome aboard!” Lo and behold!!! A miracle! She speaks!!! Ok…ok…let’s be fair! At least, ONE of them was friendly and courteous enough…but it was just too bad that she was grossly outnumbered and that would not be enough to save the day.

Drinks were served on the flight…but we were not given any peanuts, not that I wanted any – I used to love the ones from Tong Garden but the current ones are simply too hard for my liking. I saw one passenger asking and he was given ONE packet, Considering that it was a full flight, they would have saved quite a number of packets of those that I hear one can buy quite cheap at some shop somewhere in Kuching. Thankfully, the flight home was quite empty and the crew members were a lot friendlier…and yes, we were given peanuts with our drinks.

Now, some of you may have noticed that we were flying on their pretty new aircrafts, the Boeing 737-800…equipped with the tv monitor at the back of every seat, thank God for small mercies! The safety briefing was pre-recorded so we were spared from having to endure their horrendous command of English that stuck out like a sore thumb in the announcements they made. The briefing is in Malay though so I wonder how those not proficient in the language would be able to understand what is being said. Perhaps they should consider including some English subtitles in the video presentation for the benefit of visitors from abroad.

Incidentally, you can watch a movie if you like but of course, a 35-minute flight is way too short to watch anything…and besides, it would have to be a “silent movie”, I’m afraid, as you will not be given any headphones to use. LOL!!! Using the remote control, I did manage to get a movie started…

MAS - movie

…and before we got to the opening credits, it was time to land.  Can anyone guess what movie that was? Come, let’s have a bit of fun! If you’re the first one to give the correct answer, I will send a prize down your way.

Anyway, getting back to the post proper, I do think that the airline people should pull up their socks and work on improving themselves in any way they can for it is quite obvious that there are things that are not quite right and need to be rectified before they get any worse. Considering especially that they claim to be a five-star airline and THE national career some more and yet they do not live up to the name, ain’t that a miserable shame, an utter disgrace to our nation, don’t you think?

Author: suituapui

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

38 thoughts on “Counting stars…”

  1. I miss their Tong Garden peanuts, very nice one. And enjoying a glass of juice with it during my domestic flight from KLIA to Kuantan. Never gonna forget it…

    You get that flying KL to Penang too, I think…but on flights to East Malaysia, you get meals, the whole works.

  2. Hopeless at movies! But heck that boarding was madness! Its like a flashback to mini bus days of KL:P

    …or at LCCT. Not much better there. Air Asia here was like this when they first started but these days, the ground staff are doing a really good job. Certainly a whole lot more impressive.

  3. Star Trek or Superman?I know can’t be Gravity becos the movie is so new. If I win won’t mind the instant kampua from The Kitchen 😉

    All the way to Oz? *faints* Hey!!! You just made your own – bet that will be a whole lot nicer. All you need would be some lard, fried shallots and chio cheng. I’ve yet to go and check out this place in Sibu that they say makes chio cheng – the light soy sauce sold at the supermarts aren’t the same and probably that’s why our homecooked kampua isn’t quite there…

  4. Haven’t flown for a while. Maybe their 5 star rating is for international flights. You know lah, they try to impress the Mat Sallehs while we local domestic flight passengers are not “worth” any pampering. Is that Star Wars? Those cloaks remind me of Darth Vader 🙂

    Not necessarily so. I think this is a localised problem – one involving the ground staff at Sibu airport…and never mind, domestic or international, there will be a few black sheep – just your bad luck if you bump into any of them. Some of them are actually very nice like one guy on our flight home. I liked how he handled those recalcitrant passengers with their handphones on prior to taking off – he should have been a teacher, great disciplinarian…but otherwise, he is very friendly, very nice.

    Nope, that wasn’t Star Wars! 😛

  5. The last time I took MAS flight was years…. years ago. End of this year I’m going to KL, and it’s gonna be the first time for Amani. I thought I’m going to take MAS because I think Air Asia is not convenient to choose especially when we’re with a toddler. You know, extra luggage… ‘catching and fighting’ with kids… lol. What about Malindo? Is it better than MAS?
    Any clue for the movie guess? I think it was Thor. The lightning looks like a scene where his hammer coming from the space. ehehe…

    Good guess, but sorry…you do not win this time. 😉

    They say Malindo is good…if it flies. They may cancel their flights anytime they like.

    Air Asia is fine too these days…with all the hidden charges thrown in, just that going through LCCT with a toddler may be quite taxing especially when they always park their aircrafts at the other end…and I think you’ll have to use the stairs down from the departure lounge…and up onto the aircraft in Kuching as well.

    Everything was fine at Kuching airport so you should not have a problem flying MAS.

  6. Haven’t been on MAS since hubby retired. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can get MAS tickets much cheaper than AA. Last time when there were seat no number allocated in the budget airline, it was exactly the same scenario as seen in the 1st pix but now I do agree they have a systematic way.

    They have that at Kuching airport too? Didn’t fly AA that day, should have! That little extra effort is really very good. They should do the same at LCCT – there, they do not bother getting the passengers ready for boarding so once the announcement is made, there will be this terrible mad rush – the same at MAS here that day.

    Ya…have to keep checking their websites – sometimes, we may get really good bargains – with the 30 kg per passenger for checked-in luggage…and meals if to KL, it is worth paying a little bit more even…not forgetting, there is no need to climb up and down the stairs and no need to walk one mile from the aircraft to the door into LCCT. Really hate how they would park soooo far away and having to walk all the way on a hot day.

  7. My experience with MH have been quite good so far. My experience with AK? another story 🙂 Malindo’s not bad. I quite like it.

    My guess for the movie….Elysium?

    That’s what they say about Malindo, nice…but with the cases of cancellations (and I hear it is hard to get a refund), I wouldn’t dare take the risk. AA is fine these days…not like when they first started – or at least, those few times that I’ve used it, I quite liked it…except for that LCCT godown bit. Waiting for the new airport to open.

    Sorry, nope. Wrong guess. 😉

  8. When i saw the word Five Stars, makes me think of the company that provide coaches to Malaysia, kakaka….

    Is that the name? I think there’s a Malaysian company too – KL-Singapore or KL-Penang. I hear they’re pretty good.

  9. Hahaha, I just wrote a post of KLIA, and now I read this, what a coincidence and I did feel some of that fact you’ve face in this flight too!!!

    Even though I almost watched every movie in the cinema, but still I can’t guess what movie is that, it’s just sky picture lo!!! =]

    Oh? Gotta check out your post then…

  10. HAHAHAHA Mana Ada System LOL, another great one would be BATA shoes = Buy And Throw Away xD

    …which is very true of their shoes these days, wouldn’t last 3 months. In my younger days, we wished they would spoil faster…so sick of wearing the same shows year in, year out – so very lasting.

  11. Huh really got 5 Stars kah? Sorry not convincing enough, Bananaz cannot beleaf so googled..tadaaa…aiya only LONG HAUL First Class 5 Stars the rest Biz & Eco class 4 Stars. For SHORT HAUL 4 Stars only ish ish ish.

    That’s what they claim mah…they’re a 5-star airline, not the cheap one. I guess that applies to their international flights only. 😦

    1. No guess its onnlyyyy 5 Stars for First Class Int’l Flight and the rest are all lompat oops empat Stars.

      The flight out…no star, the one coming back, ok lah…can give two, lots of room for improvement. 😦

  12. You were counting stars and so confused seeing and expecting 5 Stars service and wonder it was before or after watching the movie ~ *Star Wars* in the plane that confused you even more.

    Nope, already said that it’s not Star Wars. 😉

  13. All the while thought it’s like what you said *copy & paste* [They certainly have a thing or two to learn from that budget airline. Prior to boarding the aircraft, they would call for those travelling with children and passengers over 65 years old and they would get them to queue in front…along with those in the hot seats and then the passengers in the back rows of the aircraft followed by those in the front.] Sometimes paxz are to be blame why need to rush to get to the plane? To jom a place by the window seat or sit right under the fan ooops sorry too long a time never take flight for donkey years guess nowadays aircraft no more got use fans but aircon.

    The ground staff can refuse to let anyone board until everyone follows the instructions and queues up properly, let the flight be delayed, teach them a lesson. If the budget airline can do it, why can’t they do the same?

    1. Oh just realized nowadays no more free seating got allocated seat number already and no point rushing to jom your favorite seat. No one gonna steal your seat, window or aisle seat is according to seat number & plane would not simply take off immediately. If that is the case then just wondering why the rush?

      What I know is some, they have seats at the back…and then they stuff their bags in the overheat stowage in front, no need to carry all the way. Really bad attitude. If I find any bags in the one above my seat and it is full, no more space for mine, I would just take it out and throw away…

  14. Those days when going on package tours always would remind the tour leader at the airport before group check-in Bananaz wanna a window seat and right under the fan one and all the time wishes granted. So nice one got wind flowing out from the fan but cannot see the fan maybe they clever hide the fan above the ceiling.

    I always ask for an aisle seat…as I would always bump my head while getting in and out of the window seat.

  15. Recently just came back from Shanghai on Tues by MAS with a slight different scenario. Five minutes before boarding time they make the announcement (sorry not sure any special attention mentioned for seniors and children) and all paxz young and old would automatically line up at the Boarding Gate. Eco class on the left and Biz Class on the right. After they cleared all Biz class paxz follow through by Eco class no rush at all.

    It’s ok at KLIA as well…and that day, at Kuching airport too…just here at Sibu airport – no proper queue, as long as you can get ahead…

  16. I didn’t know MAS stands for Mana Ada System? Haha xD
    To me, MAS always is a better choice of aircraft, I mean I have taken MAS several times and so far, I have no complain about it.

    The movie, hmm, my first guess is Armageddon but I guess Doreen has got it right? So it’s Man of Steel?

    Will reveal the answer soon… 😉

  17. Don’t you know that MAS going to bankrupt soon? How much debt owed by the company?

    There’s always the cheap airline, so no worries!

  18. I still like MAS. Next year I fly back with MAS, three of us, I only paid RM 324 nett, including 90kg of luggage, with on board food and depart from KLIA, why not. If can, I try not to fly with AA, after you add a bit here and there, it almost the same price as other airlines.

    Yup, those hidden charges…especially when you go back KL with a lorry load of goodies from Sibu. Hehehehehehe!!!!

  19. It has been a long time since I traveled by MAS… many years back.. cannot recall which one too… hahaha… I think it is the Kuching trip… Ok, about the movie, took me a few minutes to recall the title.. Jedi… Star Wars??? Looks like it…. Good to have some fun guessing in our posts.. I will continue to do it too… 🙂

    You’ve been to Kuching before? You should make a trip there again, very different now. Get your son to fly from Singapore…and you from KL and if the timing is right, I can join you all from here. Worth a visit…wished we could have stayed a little longer that day, so little time. 😦

  20. But Tiger Airways in-flight meals have to pay, cos it is budget airlines, meals are not included, cost S$10 per meal.

    That’s what you should expect when flying on a budget airline – you pay for everything, all the hidden costs…but the choice is yours.

  21. STOP PRESS:
    Yes, the movie was…Man of Steel.
    Congratulations, Doreen Seow. Will email you for your mailing address and your prize will be on the way shortly.

    P.S.: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
    Please kindly be informed that comments with fictitious names and dubious email addresses will NOT be entertained and will be duly delegated to SPAM. Don’t bother – you’re just wasting your effort and your time.

  22. Well I must say that is a cool looking photo when you stepped on the plane even tho it wasn’t a 5 star or even a 1 star experience that you had

    Brand new, I guess… Photo was taken from my seat.

  23. Like it or not, the MAS is somewhat better than AA if we can book a good deal. I flew MAS to Shanghai and the food & movies were superb plus the landing & take off hours were perfect. I was glad that I didn’t book AA which landed at 11.30pm and took off at 7.00am!!! The difference was mere RM200 but i could save on my hotels with longer stays and bigger seats & leg rooms. I know I praise them till the skies. I will fly AA to China soon and had to pay extra RM400 for 2 Hot Seats! @#$%

    The new MAS Boeing isn’t all that spacious, small seats, same leather upholstery…and I can’t turn in the toilet – have to go in…and reverse out when done. AA is pretty good now – the few times that I’ve flown using the airline – it’s the LCCT that I cannot stand. Will certainly use them more once KLIA2 is ready. Usually, I will pick based on airfares…and also timing. MAS only flight back to Sibu from KL is 8.50 in the morning, kind of early. Going is 11.30…and that’s just nice!

  24. ok after reading this post, I m a bit weary now… hehehe… let’s see what happens in Dec when I board this airline…. lol…

    Where to? International is fine and even between east and west Malaysia. The domestic routes here are used as training grounds for the new brooms…but unfortunately, they do not seem to sweep very well. 😦

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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