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More Raya plans out the window after AirAsia reschedules flight

Mohd Dahlan Mohd Noor, who planned to return to his home town with his wife and son, will now arrive only on day one of Raya itself.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
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Passengers wait outside their boarding gate as an AirAsia plane sits on the tarmac at the Kuching International Airport.
Passengers wait outside their boarding gate as an AirAsia plane sits on the tarmac at the Kuching International Airport.

An AirAsia passenger is afraid that his plans for Hari Raya are out the window following the airline's move to cancel and reschedule his flight without his consent. 

Mohd Dahlan Mohd Noor planned to return to his home town of Kota Bharu in Kelantan with his wife and son on April 19. 

Reluctant to take chances, he booked the flight on April 23 last year, forking out RM141.96 for the tickets. 

On March 8, though, he received an email from AirAsia informing him that the two-way flight had been pushed forward to April 22 – the date that Muslims expect to celebrate the first day of Raya this year. 

He said AirAsia had cited "operational issues".

"We bought tickets for April 19 because we wanted to go back early to make all of the necessary preparations," he said. 

"Now suddenly the flight has been changed to April 22. This means we will arrive at our home town in the evening on the first day of Raya. It doesn't make sense."  

Dahlan was given the option of changing his flight date free of charge, but this is of little help since AirAsia has no other flights between April 19 and 21. 

Buying new tickets with another airline will cost him another RM3,000 to RM4,000.  

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Dahlan said he had yet to submit an application for a refund as he was still weighing his options to get back to Kota Bharu before April 22. 

He also bought tickets to Kota Kinabalu on a flight that was supposed to depart from klia2 more than four hours after his return flight from Kota Bharu on April 24. 

He had been banking on this margin of time to check in his luggage and catch his breath before boarding his next flight. 

"But I've been told that this flight has been rescheduled as well – it's been pushed forward to 6.35pm," he said. 

This leaves him less than three hours between flights. 

"I'm going to be rushing for sure to get everything done."

About a year ago, MalaysiaNow reported a similar experience by AirAsia passenger Yadawwiyyah Samani, who was forced to celebrate the first day of Raya in the car after her son, Abdullah Aiman Abdul Ghaffar, was unable to board his flight home to Johor from Kuala Lumpur.

When contacted by MalaysiaNow, Yadawwiyyah said she had yet to receive a refund for the RM104 she spent on the flight scheduled to take off on May 2 last year. 

"Nothing. It looks like I burnt my money," she said. 

"I feel sorry for those who spent thousands but haven't gotten their money back either. This is an unethical way of running a business." 

MalaysiaNow has contacted AirAsia but has yet to receive a response. 

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