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Strike three for once-loyal AirAsia passenger

Mohd Faiz Mustaffa has been struggling to get an explanation for why the first leg of his round-ticket flight has been cancelled, but not the return trip.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
3 minute read
Passengers queue at the AirAsia ticket counter at klia2 in Sepang in this file photo.
Passengers queue at the AirAsia ticket counter at klia2 in Sepang in this file photo.

A once-loyal AirAsia customer is thinking twice about using the budget airline for future trips after enduring three flight cancellations in the space of just two years. 

Mohd Faiz Mustaffa's flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bandung, Indonesia, was scheduled to depart in November. 

However, it was scrapped by the low-cost airline and, according to him, without any concrete explanation. 

Faiz, an engineer working in Singapore, booked three round-trip tickets on July 14, paying a total of RM1,948.

The flight was supposed to depart from klia2 on Nov 23 and return on Nov 26.

But Faiz was informed through a text message and email last week that his flight from klia2 to Bandung had been cancelled. 

The email simply stated that the flight had been cancelled due to "operational issues". 

"I was confused because only the flight to Bandung was cancelled," he said, referring MalaysiaNow to a screenshot of his flight details. 

"The flight from Bandung to klia2 still says 'confirmed'."

According to Faiz's plane tickets, the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bandung is AK 416 while the return flight is QZ 173.

Until today, he has been unable to reach anyone at the company and has instead been doing his best to resolve the issue through AirAsia's AVA chat bot. 

"When I enter the reservation number, it clearly states that the flight from klia2 to Bandung has been cancelled, but not the return flight," he said. 

"I'm very confused. I've tried dealing with AVA, but the system is only capable of answering certain questions." 

Faiz is still trying to get in touch with someone from AirAsia. 

He is also worried about what will happen next as he has not received any further information about his flight cancellation, including whether he will be given a refund. 

This is not the first time his AirAsia flight has been cancelled.

Two other flights booked with the budget airline following the onset of Covid-19 were also cancelled, although in those cases he was made to understand that this was due to public safety concerns. 

"So I continued to trust in the airline," he said. 

"I got these tickets to Bandung on a promotion. But this flight was cancelled, too, even though the country is supposed to be transitioning to the endemic phase."

For him, the question is why AirAsia bothered promoting those tickets only to end up cancelling the flight. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Faiz said he had used AirAsia's services since 2013. Describing himself as a loyal passenger, he questioned his treatment by the airline and insisted that the company refund him in cash, according to his original payment method. 

"I paid in cash, so my refund should be in cash too, not credited to an account on the AirAsia app," he said. 

Elsewhere, Swiss passenger Uwe Guenther who had planned to fly from Bali to Labuan Bajo said the airline contacted him last week, offering to reinstate him on his original flight after his experience with the airline was highlighted by MalaysiaNow.

He was also offered a refund for the money he had spent on his flight tickets. 

Guenther, a civil engineer from Zurich, had previously questioned AirAsia's move to re-sell the tickets for his cancelled flight at a higher price. 

He bought six tickets with AirAsia in March but was told in July that the flight was cancelled due to the familiar refrain of "operational issues". 

"AirAsia phoned me from Malaysia and promised me a refund," he told MalaysiaNow. 

"The person on the phone promised me a confirmation email as well, but this has not yet arrived. He even offered to fly me on Aug 18 but I told him that I will never fly with that airline again, and that I have bought tickets with other airlines, in any case."

MalaysiaNow has contacted AirAsia about these two cases but has yet to receive a response. 

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