07 March 2010

Missing the Malaysian Hospitality

Safina

By Safina

I am a regular flyer of AirAsia. Even long before I started working here. But recently, my trip to Dubai, I bought the tickets with MAS, our neighbour. One of the reason was, AirAsia does not fly to Dubai. Bought the tickets 4 weeks before and I was all excited about it. Why? Because its not always that I get to fly with another airline and I was looking forward to enjoy the whole package – the Malaysian Hospitality to be exact and need not pay for the food onboard! ;-) Hey! hey! I am still a passenger, ok!!

Kuala Lumpur to Dubai, on MH160 22nd Feb, seated in ‘Economy class’, we transited for 1 hour in Karachi.Overall, the flight was nice. Nothing to shout about. I managed to make friends with one of the stewardess onboard too. She was the friendliest among all. Sincere, warm smile throughout the flight. And we even bid goodbyes when we bumped into each other at the carousel while collecting our luggage. The rest of the members? Sad to say, even when I looked at some of them, tried to smile and create a conversation, they seemed to be in their own world and too arrogant to return the smile .No doubt they did their job well, by attending to the passengers who called them one after another, quite immediate, however I felt there was lack of warmness in the service.

I returned on 28th Feb on MH157 and it was a night flight. Again, looking forward to it and I was expecting it to be a better experience as I don’t know when I would be traveling with them again.Hey!! its not cheap, ok!! And maybe my expectation was also because of the ‘Malaysian Hospitality’ advertisement that I have seen constantly everywhere. It is seldom that I get to travel with them, so I definitely look forward to it! But this time, I was more frustrated. And also sad. That was the feeling I had.

When a passenger pressed the ‘call button’ requiring assistance, they responded to it only around 15 to 20mnts. And compare to the day flight, there were not many people requiring assistance as most of them were sleeping after dinner was served. Well, I experienced it too. I wanted to purchase a duty free item, had to wait nearly 20 minutes before someone attended to me. Then, when he came over, he asked with a serious tone, without a smile , ” Yes? ” Hmm….that wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

It frustrates me because as a passenger, I was really looking forward to enjoy the Malaysian Hospitality ; and especially after paying such a big amount of money. And being a Malaysian myself, I would like to see the warmness in the service provided. It is definitely sad to see a good airline like MAS is not providing the service up to the standards. Being a Malaysian, I am always proud of Malaysia Airlines as our national airline even if I don’t fly with them.

I believe, no matter where we are, which airline we work for, we must be proud of the job we do and we need to have fun doing it. Because this later will reflect in the quality of work we produce and makes people love traveling with us more!!

Service is a feeling. We need to make people feel good and welcome. Smile. Have fun. Enjoy a decent conversation. Especially traveling with us. And when they fall in love with us, they would definitely return for more.

  • Nur Reza

    Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me why I shouldn’t waste money on them! Brings me back to the time when I flew to Phuket with them, and it was very obvious that Malaysian Hospitality was reserved for foreigners. And when you’re Malay, hell, they expect you to pick up your drink yourself as they shove the tray in front of your face, just ‘cos Malays are supposed to be understanding and accomodating, especially to their own race. I mean, we wouldn’t mind making their job easier, but it was just the way they acted and the look on their faces that said it. Plus they were VERY obviously more courteous to non-Malays, especially foreigners.

  • Ron

    I agree with you That MAS has slipped badly. They are so arrogant.
    I have just emailed their Customer Service to complain.I do not know if I wil get a reply. I came back with MAs less than 1 month ago. The cabin was so hot,not just me, and complaints were completely ignored. I waited 45 mins at KLIA to see a manager. When she came she really was not interested finally took deatails and said they would call me.
    The have not 1 month later.
    MAS has added, I think, 2 extra rows of seats to the economy class making the space the same or smaller Than Air Asia. I expect the less space on air Asia, but MAS is supposedly competing as 5 start airline.
    A just released advertisement by MAS is almost fraudulent as they compare against Air Asia.But they compare different fares.Not honest.

  • Ron

    Just to continue.
    They advertise low fares , MAS that is, but the taxes they ad are amonst the highest in the world.
    Unfortunately Air Asia service is not great either. Recent flight to australia woken at 4 am to be asked to but duty free goods????
    Air Asia is also very reluctant to reply to a complaint, just ignore them.
    With Air Asia it is also always the customers fault.
    The new website all bright, like a face lift, has new make up, but underneath still the same tired old Air Asia.
    DRACONIAN RULES..AND AND AND I still cannot make a booking online within 24 hours of a flight.

  • Din Effendi

    Yeah you are right..I concur with you ‘anonymous’..to them, Malays are considered second class citizens. This is real and not a racist comment, just a non prejudicial opinion from an ex-customer of MAS. Even flying with AA, I can sense a slight prejudicial and racial bias towards me. Face it, that’s the fact.

  • Muneer

    Ron

    I agree with you on the lack of getting a reply from Customer Service or even from Support Team .I have had similar experience , currently two issues that I have been trying to get satisfactory answers for the past six weeks one about the refund of the terminated flt.and the other about the none reciept of RA News without success the Customer Service is extremely slow in their responses.I had received once a reply from a Lady called Ms Mani on to say they are looking at the problem that was 4 weeks ago !!! Come on AA be more efficient if you are to remain flying high which I believe you can do .

  • Malaysia

    Dear Safina,

    Thank you for your feedback. We always appreciate customers who take time to provide us with feedback to help us improve our services. We are sorry to hear about your experience while travelling with us. As you have succinctly highlighted, those in the service industry should always serve customers with warmth. We have conveyed your feedback to our inflight team who will remind our crew of the importance of practising Malaysian Hospitality.

    We look forward to welcoming you on board Malaysia Airlines again.

    Yours sincerely,
    S. Pushpalatha
    Head, Customer Relations Unit
    Malaysia Airlines

  • Safina

    Dear Anonymous – Thank you for supporting us. Do give us consructive feedback from time to time if you find our service needs to improve.With feedback, then only improvements can be done.

    Dear Ron & Muneer – thank you for your feedback. We are aware of these weakness and trying our best to improve on it.

    Dear Din – I agree with you.It is very obvious at times. That’s what make me sad about the service provided.

    Dear Pushpa – thank you for your reply on our blog. Malaysian Hospitality is a BIG thing. Like I said, as a Malaysian, I really want to see this being practised. It is sad when the minority tries to do it while the majority just couldn’t care less.
    Hope to travel with you guys again!

  • David

    Obviously if u take a long haul flight ur feelings will not be right anymore,not to tell tired, frustrated, and for my case my backache will appeared :) especially for moody person like me. likewise it will be the same for the Steward or Stewardess, so fur me I can not expect them to smile or to serve me like king all day long. I am a frequent flyer for Emirates, Gulf Air, KLM & Lufthansa and for you know, none of these flight stewardess ever impress me with their service, but then surprisingly only Asia based airline like MH or SQ that gave me natural service that impress & melted my heart. Never take long haul flight yet with Air Asia, can wait to judge the service without prejudice af course :).

    I am not surprise when Safina really particular with the body & expression of the stewardess cause you working in an airline. keep up…..