The Worst Airline We Have Ever Flown With (By Far)!!!!!

Review of Paul Mark about the flight Malaysia Airlines between Auckland and London Heathrow on 26/04/2017 in Business
Paul Mark MH / MAS AKL / LHR

1. Malaysian Airlines cancelled our original flight (a common theme) from Auckland to Heathrow so our travel agent (who is also our daughter-in-law) re-booked us on a flight that was SUPPOSED to be departing (or so we thought) at 1.05 p.m. on 25/4/17;

2. We boarded our flight MH-130 and were told that there would be a short delay. However, after 2.30 hours waiting on-board, we were told the aircraft had mechanical problems (cracks in the ailerons I subsequently discovered) and we had to disembark and retrieve our luggage;

3. A shambles ensued. No-one seemed to know what was happening. We were told we might be able to fly out at 10 p.m. that night but just to wait until we were contacted. I told the MA ground staff when we eventually reached the front of the long queue that I knew there was another flight (because a couple of our friends were booked on it) departing at 1 a.m. approx that evening and could they re-book us on that because it was really important that we reached London on 26/6/17. N.B. We had organised specific events with family in the U.K. on 26th. and 27th. April + had booked (and pre-paid) for our (expensive) hotel in London).

We were flying Business Class and we were told quite categorically that there were absolutely NO seats available in Business Class on that later flight.

4. We checked in for our 10 p.m. flight at 7 p.m. and went to the gate at around 9.15 p.m. By 9.45 p.m. there were no lights on in the 'plane and no flight crew! One of our fellow Business Class passengers went to the desk and asked why there were no lights on in the 'plane and no flight crew. He was told that they had only just left their hotel (and that in their experience the Malaysian airlines flight crews were a 'law unto themselves' and were notorious for turning up late and had a 'laissez faire'' attitude to time-keeping.

Eventually the flight crew turned up at approx. 10.30 p.m. and by then I think everyone in the departure lounge had just had a 'gutsful' of Malaysian Airlines and they started a slow hand clap. The pilot turned up about 10 minutes later and was greeted with a slow hand clap and he just waived to everyone with a stupid grin on his face.

The flight eventually left at 11.30 p.m. - 1.30 hours later than scheduled and a total of 34.5 hours later than our original flight should have left;

5. I presume because we had greeted them with a slow handclap our flight attendant was decidedly 'frosty' to us. She didn't give us our 'Business Class' bags and it was only when I asked for them that she produced one for me (but not for my wife). I then asked her for one for my wife and she ‘grumpily’ handed one to her. I noticed that she wasn't handing them out to the other passengers in Business!

6. Once we were in the 'plane, I noticed several empty seats in Business. I subsequently found out that even though we had been told there were no spare seats on the 1 a.m. flight that I had enquired about, that several of the other passengers had actually been transferred onto that flight. We bumped into one couple in the lounge at Kuala Lumpur (KL) who had been on the original flight and they confirmed that they and several others had been transferred onto the 1 a.m. flight despite our being assured there were no spare seats in Business on that flight. There were other empty seats too - people who I assumed had been transferred onto that later flight.

7. When we eventually arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the flight information board showed our connecting flight MH-004 had been 're-timed' resulting in an additional 4 hour delay to our flight from KL to Heathrow - a grand total of 38.5 hours of delay now!

8. Our daughter-in-law had pre-booked our seats so my wife and I could sit together (my wife is a nervous passenger). However, we found that we had been seated apart for our flight MH-004 from KL to Heathrow.

I went to the customer service desk at KL, explained the situation (i.e. that through no fault of ours, or flight ex-Auckland had been delayed and that we had now been re-booked in MH-004 instead of our original flight). I asked for our seats to be changed so we could sit together. The Malaysian Airlines ‘Customer Service’ staff member said there was nothing he could do because the flight was full but to ask at the departure lounge to see if they could do anything.

9. We turned up early at the departure lounge to change the seats and I explained what had happened and asked MA's staff member if she could switch our seats. She was not helpful and it was only when I started to complain loudly that she tried harder. Eventually, we were able to find 2 seats together thanks to some accommodating passengers.

10. We eventually arrived at Heathrow 38.5 hours late, late at night on 26/4/17, having had to cancel our plans with our family (and forfeit money we had paid for our hotel room).

11. Just so you are aware of Malaysian Airlines track record of maintenance problems, approx. 1-2 months before our flight ex-Ak, another MA flight had been delayed by 48 hours approx. because of mechanical problems. While we were away on our trip, we read of yet another MA flight was delayed in Ak (mid- May) by approx. 30 hours because one of the tyres needed replacing and a replacement tyre had to be flown down from KL. I am just astounded that there was no other tyres available in NZ for their 'planes!

Also, these 3 incidents are just what I know have happened in Ak – I can’t believe New Zealand is the only country where this is happening. The odds are that NZ is not unique and this could be a sign of systemic problems at MA with their 'plane maintenance? It was vigilant Air NZ ground staff/engineers who picked up these problems - not MA ground staff/engineers in KL!

Also, while we were queuing at Ak airport after we had been disembarked from our 1 p.m. flight, we were talking to some other passengers who said the same thing had happened to them 2 years before (so this is not a recent problem).

12. Now for the return trip.........................

We were originally booked on MH-1 departing Heathrow at 9.45 p.m. on 2/6/17. However, once again, MA decided to cancel this flight for some reason.

We had originally been booked on BA-567 flying into Heathrow from Milan arriving 7.55 p.m. (which left us with plenty of time to connect with MH-1 at 9.45 p.m.

However, because MA had cancelled the MH-1 flight on 2/6/17, we were forced to spend an extra night in Milan (at our expense) and had to be re-booked on BA- 573 arrive LHR at 11.45 a.m. on 3/6/17.

Because of the 10 hour delay, our daughter-in-law checked with Malaysian's NZ rep that their Business Lounge would definitely be open so we could relax there while we waited for our flight that evening. Their rep confirmed that it would indeed be open.

13. However, when we arrived at LHR at 11.45 a.m. on 3/6/17 we found the door to the lounge locked! No notice on it - just a locked door.

All the other lounges were open but not Malaysian Airlines one!

14. I then walked around the terminal trying to find a MA employee to come and open up the lounge but there was no-one around.

I then went to the airlines service desk and waited in the queue only to be told when I got to the front that he was just an agent for them and that he couldn't help.

I also visited the information desk but they said it was nothing to do with them and to take it up with MA when I eventually got to speak to a human being!

This person also said in passing that all the other lounges are open all the time (during business hours) and that the month before, MA had to give passengers food vouchers to buy food at the airport because there was no food on their flight! Unbelievable.

15. I had asked their agent how I could complain and he told me to do so on MA’s web-site.

With hours to 'kill' I did so while we were waiting in the terminal public area at Heathrow - only to receive an automatic acknowledegement from MA that their business hours were Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (and this was Saturday 3/6/17)!

By Friday 16/6/17 I had still not received a reply to my complaint.

16. Eventually, other people started turning up for the Business Lounge surprised to find the door locked.

The door was eventually un-locked at 6 p.m. (6.25 hours after we had arrived). I complained to the woman manning the reception desk but she said there was nothing she could do and to take it up with MA head office.

17. I didn't bother checking our seat numbers on our boarding passes at that stage because I knew my daughter-in-law had pre-reserved our seats.

However, when we got to the departure lounge, I thought I would double-check just to be sure. The woman at the gate said we had been seated apart again. I asked her to change our seats so we could sit together.

She said she had done so but when we got on the 'plane, I found our new seats still had us seated apart! Unbelievable.

I then had to start asking other passengers if they would mind changing seats so we could sit together and one of the other passengers agreed to.

18. When we arrived in KL, I went to MA's customer service desk to complain about what had happened at Heathrow. The woman I spoke was the only employee of MA who appeared to show genuine concern.

She was very surprised (and appalled) that the Business Lounge at Heathrow was not open. She said with a long wait like that MA should have put us up in a hotel if they couldn't offer us a Business Lounge that was open. I said to her "well that's all well and good but who was I supposed to speak to in order to try and sort that out?".

I also told her that despite our daughter-in-law pre-reserving our seats that didn't seem to matter and that why should people bother to pre-book seats if MA are only going to ignore it. She asked to see our boarding passes for the M-1 flight we had just got off. They showed us as being allocated Seats 12G and 12K. She said "that's strange because on my system, you should have been in 12A and 12C"!

Eventually, we arrived in Auckland - exhausted by the stress and hassles we had experienced with Malaysian Airlines

The impression I have of MA now is that they are cutting costs to the 'bone' but that is impacting their maintenance and customer service (e.g. closed Business Lounge at Heathrow).

19. This has been our first experience flying Malaysian Airlines and, as you can imagine, at the moment we are appalled at what we have experienced flying with them. We travel overseas regularly and over the years, we have flown with many airlines around the world (normally Business Class).

I can honesty say this is the worst experience I have ever had with any airline. Not just MA’s maintenance problems etc. but also the disinterest from most of their staff and agents.

I complained to our daughter-in-law when we got back and she spoke to a couple of the MA staff here in Auckland and they said to refer my complaint to them. However, we have been back for almost 8 weeks now and
I received a ‘lame duck’ response from Malaysian Airlines almost 8 weeks after I had submitted my complaint. Parts of their response looked like they had just ‘cut and pasted’ bits of it from responses to other complainants so I won’t bore you by posting it here.

Suffice to say, Malaysian Airlines response was merely a continuation of their normal “nothing I can do” ‘Malayse’ (pun intended).
(apart from a supposed ‘flurry’ of e-mails between MA staff 3 weeks ago) I have had no reply or apology from them re. my complaint!

I am very surprised at their treatment of their 'Business Class' customers - I expected a lot better frankly.


1. Malaysian Airlines cancelled our original flight (a common theme) from Auckland to Heathrow so our travel agent (who is also our daughter-in-law) re-booked us on a flight that was SUPPOSED to be departing (or so we thought) at 1.05 p.m. on 25/4/17;

2. We boarded our flight MH-130 and were told that there would be a short delay. However, after 2.30 hours waiting on-board, we were told the aircraft had mechanical problems (cracks in the ailerons I subsequently discovered) and we had to disembark and retrieve our luggage;

3. A shambles ensued. No-one seemed to know what was happening. We were told we might be able to fly out at 10 p.m. that night but just to wait until we were contacted. I told the MA ground staff when we eventually reached the front of the long queue that I knew there was another flight (because a couple of our friends were booked on it) departing at 1 a.m. approx that evening and could they re-book us on that because it was really important that we reached London on 26/6/17. N.B. We had organised specific events with family in the U.K. on 26th. and 27th. April + had booked (and pre-paid) for our (expensive) hotel in London).

We were flying Business Class and we were told quite categorically that there were absolutely NO seats available in Business Class on that later flight.

4. We were woken at 2 a.m. on 26/4/17 by the night manager of the hotel to say that we had been re-booked on a flight that left a 10 p.m. In my bemused state, I asked what the time was now. She said it was 2 a.m. I said, "oh no, so we have missed the flight". She said "no, I mean 10 p.m. tonight (i.e. 26/4/17)".


5. We checked in for our 10 p.m. flight at 7 p.m. and went to the gate at around 9.15 p.m. By 9.45 p.m. there were no lights on in the 'plane and no flight crew! One of our fellow Business Class passengers went to the desk and asked why there were no lights on in the 'plane and no flight crew. He was told that they had only just left their hotel (and that in their experience the Malaysian airlines flight crews were a 'law unto themselves' and were notorious for turning up late and had a 'laissez faire'' attitude to time-keeping.

Eventually the flight crew turned up at approx. 10.30 p.m. and by then I think everyone in the departure lounge had just had a 'gutsful' of Malaysian Airlines and they started a slow hand clap. The pilot turned up about 10 minutes later and was greeted with a slow hand clap and he just waived to everyone with a stupid grin on his face.

The flight eventually left at 11.30 p.m. - 1.30 hours later than scheduled and a total of 34.5 hours later than our original flight should have left;

6. I presume because we had greeted them with a slow handclap our flight attendant was decidedly 'frosty' to us. She didn't give us our 'Business Class' bags and it was only when I asked for them that she produced one for me (but not for my wife). I then asked her for one for my wife and she ‘grumpily’ handed one to her. I noticed that she wasn't handing them out to the other passengers in Business!


7. Once we were in the 'plane, I noticed several empty seats in Business. I subsequently found out that even though we had been told there were no spare seats on the 1 a.m. flight that I had enquired about, that several of the other passengers had actually been transferred onto that flight. We bumped into one couple in the lounge at Kuala Lumpur (KL) who had been on the original flight and they confirmed that they and several others had been transferred onto the 1 a.m. flight despite our being assured there were no spare seats in Business on that flight. There were other empty seats too - people who I assumed had been transferred onto that later flight.

8. When we eventually arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the flight information board showed our connecting flight MH-004 had been 're-timed' resulting in an additional 4 hour delay to our flight from KL to Heathrow - a grand total of 38.5 hours of delay now!

9. Our daughter-in-law had pre-booked our seats so my wife and I could sit together (my wife is a nervous passenger). However, we found that we had been seated apart for our flight MH-004 from KL to Heathrow.

I went to the customer service desk at KL, explained the situation (i.e. that through no fault of ours, or flight ex-Auckland had been delayed and that we had now been re-booked in MH-004 instead of our original flight). I asked for our seats to be changed so we could sit together. The Malaysian Airlines ‘Customer Service’ staff member said there was nothing he could do because the flight was full but to ask at the departure lounge to see if they could do anything.

10. We turned up early at the departure lounge to change the seats and I explained what had happened and asked your staff member if she could switch our seats. She was not helpful and it was only when I started to complain loudly that she tried harder. Eventually, we were able to find 2 seats together thanks to some accommodating passengers.

11. We eventually arrived at Heathrow 38.5 hours late, late at night on 26/4/17, having had to cancel our plans with our family (and forfeit money we had paid for our hotel room).

12. Just so you are aware of Malaysian Airlines track record of maintenance problems, approx. 1-2 months before our flight ex-Ak, another MA flight had been delayed by 48 hours approx. because of mechanical problems. While we were away on our trip, we read of yet another MA flight was delayed in Ak (mid- May) by approx. 30 hours because one of the tyres needed replacing and a replacement tyre had to be flown down from KL. I am just astounded that there was no other tyres available in NZ for their 'planes!

Also, these 3 incidents are just what I know have happened in Ak – I can’t believe New Zealand is the only country where this is happening. The odds are that NZ is not unique and this could be a sign of systemic problems at MA with their 'plane maintenance? It was vigilant Air NZ ground staff/engineers who picked up these problems - not MA ground staff/engineers in KL!

Also, while we were queuing at Ak airport after we had been disembarked from our 1 p.m. flight, we were talking to some other passengers who said the same thing had happened to them 2 years before (so this is not a recent problem).

13. Now for the return trip.........................

We were originally booked on MH-1 departing Heathrow at 9.45 p.m. on 2/6/17. However, once again, MA decided to cancel this flight for some reason.

We had originally been booked on BA-567 flying into Heathrow from Milan arriving 7.55 p.m. (which left us with plenty of time to connect with MH-1 at 9.45 p.m.

However, because MA had cancelled the MH-1 flight on 2/6/17, we were forced to spend an extra night in Milan (at our expense) and had to be re-booked on BA- 573 arrive LHR at 11.45 a.m. on 3/6/17.

Because of the 10 hour delay, our daughter-in-law checked with Malaysian's NZ rep that their Business Lounge would definitely be open so we could relax there while we waited for our flight that evening. Their rep confirmed that it would indeed be open.

14. However, when we arrived at LHR at 11.45 a.m. on 3/6/17 we found the door to the lounge locked! No notice on it - just a locked door.

All the other lounges were open but not Malaysian Airlines one!

15. I then walked around the terminal trying to find a MA employee to come and open up the lounge but there was no-one around.

I then went to the airlines service desk and waited in the queue only to be told when I got to the front that he was just an agent for them and that he couldn't help.

I also visited the information desk but they said it was nothing to do with them and to take it up with MA when I eventually got to speak to a human being!

This person also said in passing that all the other lounges are open all the time (during business hours) and that the month before, MA had to give passengers food vouchers to buy food at the airport because there was no food on their flight! Unbelievable.

16. I had asked their agent how I could complain and he told me to do so on MA’s web-site.

With hours to 'kill' I did so while we were waiting in the terminal public area at Heathrow - only to receive an automatic acknowledegement from MA that their business hours were Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (and this was Saturday 3/6/17)!

By Friday 16/6/17 I had still not received a reply to my complaint.

17. Eventually, other people started turning up for the Business Lounge surprised to find the door locked.

The door was eventually un-locked at 6 p.m. (6.25 hours after we had arrived). I complained to the woman manning the reception desk but she said there was nothing she could do and to take it up with MA head office.

18. I didn't bother checking our seat numbers on our boarding passes at that stage because I knew my daughter-in-law had pre-reserved our seats.

However, when we got to the departure lounge, I thought I would double-check just to be sure. The woman at the gate said we had been seated apart again. I asked her to change our seats so we could sit together.

She said she had done so but when we got on the 'plane, I found our new seats still had us seated apart! Unbelievable.

I then had to start asking other passengers if they would mind changing seats so we could sit together and one of the other passengers agreed to.

19. When we arrived in KL, I went to your customer service desk to complain about what had happened at Heathrow. The woman I spoke was the only employee of MA who appeared to show genuine concern.

She was very surprised (and appalled) that the Business Lounge at Heathrow was not open. She said with a long wait like that MA should have put us up in a hotel if they couldn't offer us a Business Lounge that was open. I said to her "well that's all well and good but who was I supposed to speak to in order to try and sort that out?".

I also told her that despite our daughter-in-law pre-reserving our seats that didn't seem to matter and that why should people bother to pre-book seats if MA are only going to ignore it. She asked to see our boarding passes for the M-1 flight we had just got off. They showed us as being allocated Seats 12G and 12K. She said "that's strange because on my system, you should have been in 12A and 12C"!

Eventually, we arrived in Auckland - exhausted by the stress and hassles we had experienced with Malaysian Airlines

The impression I have of MA now is that they are cutting costs to the 'bone' but that is impacting their maintenance and customer service (e.g. closed Business Lounge at Heathrow).

20. This has been our first experience flying Malaysian Airlines and, as you can imagine, at the moment we are appalled at what we have experienced flying with them. We travel overseas regularly and over the years, we have flown with many airlines around the world (normally Business Class).

I can honesty say this is the worst experience I have ever had with any airline. Not just MA’s maintenance problems etc. but also the disinterest from most of their staff and agents.

I complained to our daughter-in-law when we got back and she spoke to a couple of the MA staff here in Auckland and they said to refer my complaint to them. I eventually received a ‘lame duck’ response from Malaysian Airlines almost 8 weeks after I had submitted my complaint.to them at the beginning of June. Parts of their response looked like they had just ‘cut and pasted’ bits of it from responses to other complainants so I won’t bore you by posting it here.

Suffice to say, Malaysian Airlines response was merely a continuation of their normal “nothing I can do” ‘Malayse’ (pun intended) where they just 'hid behind their fine print' .

Interestingly, when I have told the many people (both locally and overseas) I have spoken to about our experiences with Malaysian Airlines, most of them have been appalled but some have said “well what did you expect flying Malaysian Airlines”!

I only wish I had spoken to them before we booked our flights with them.

General
Overall rating
1 / 5
Value (price + quality)
1 / 5
On the ground
Check-in and boarding
1 / 5
On board
Costumer service
1 / 5
Food
3 / 5
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By Paul Mark, about Malaysia Airlines, , close to Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Posted online by admin, 53 days ago, view original version
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