MH delays

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  • Cloud-9

    The Re-Boarding.

    MP and I made our way to gate 32 and were met by a very long snaking queue.

    We approached the man on security and ask if J passengers needed to queue also. Yes. Not a separate queue? No.

    My outlook on long queue when boarding planes is that the plane generally won’t go without you, and so we sat down for ten minutes. Eventually MP felt the need to queue. After another ten or twenty minutes I suggested we try the security man again, and made another request of him. This time he acceded to my request and just nodded to the belt and told me to put my bag on. I rushed over to get MP and -just as he had realised we were winning – another queue hosted by a very important looking MH employee, attired in a golden jacket, opened.

    We asked if it was for J passengers: no, just women and children.

    (But when boarding the original flight, J pasengers had been permitted to board with them?) It was not worth pointing this out, and we hastened to our friend on security and were soon seated in our original seats.

    MP requested the ubiquitous guava juice and got served water! It really wasn’t his day…


    The Flight

    We departed KL at 1600, nearly 7 hours late. The satay was served with alacrity, and more than the standard 3 sticks per person was given out.

    Bearing in mind this was now a night time flight, I requested an amenity kit. Alas, they – along with menus – had not been loaded. It was assumed that everybody had taken them from the aborted flight – even though no mention was made of the necessity to do so upon disembarkation – and lugged them round the airport for 6 or 7 hours.

    The meal followed soon after, and then we bedded down for the night. A chicken croissant was served toward the end of the flight, and we eventually arrved in MEL at 0055.

    The CSD thanking us for our custom, etc and wished us a pleasant stay in Melbourne.

    And that was it. No apology or mention of the delay. The script was king.

    Passport control was quick, our luggage arrived with little delay, and even a friendly customs officer chatted to us as we made out way into the night at 0120.


    Dear all,

    I am sorry to read of the experiences you have had with Malaysia Airlines recently, I am happy to speak/reply to anyone that would like to discuss these items in more detail with me. Each and every customer is important to Malaysia Airlines and to me personally, my e-mail is [email protected] and please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Best regards
    Adrian Keating
    Malaysia Airlines
    Regional Manager, UK, Ireland & Europe.


    Many thanks for posting on here, Adrian. Good to know these things are seen. Perhaps you would reply to the email I sent you at that address two months ago? The subject line was “Could we have a chat? Not very happy UK Enrich Platinum”.


    Good morning JH_1234.

    I have had a check and I can’t find the e-mail. Can you re-send this morning and include your phone number and I will give you a call?

    Many thanks


    Thanks Adrian – sent.


    Interesting thread, and I am glad to see that MH have monitored BT πŸ™‚

    I have recently made claims against MH for delays resulting from late arrival of the LHR-KUL flight which caused me to miss the onward (same ticket) connection to HK. These have been rejected, although MH have (somewhat) helpfully explained the reason why, which is that the law is currently unclear. On this topic:-

    It is asserted above that EU261 applies – that may not be true for two reasons:
    (a) It appears that the onward flight suffered from technical difficulties. *IF* these are outside the scope of an airline’s normal operations it *may* fall outside EU261 although it is established case law that this is unlikely. More particularly, however…:
    (b) It is as yet not ENTIRELY clear that EU261 applies to journeys of more than one sector where a later sector is on a non-EU airline and originates outside the EU. In this instance, unless I have misread the thread, it doesn’t appear that the delay occurred on the LHR-KUL flight, rather on the KUL-MEL flight. The question is, therefore, whether EU261 applies to the entire journey (taking LHR-MEL via KUL as one journey) or only to the ex-EU sector (LHR-KUL).

    Emirates have been contesting this latter point although in a slightly different context – whether a delay on the first (ex-EU sector) which causes a passenger to miss a connecting onward flight, resulting in arrival at the ultimate destination beyond the time limits, triggers EU 261 compensation. Emirates are arguing that the sectors should be looked at separately and that although they are liable for delays on the ex-EU (first) segment), they are not liable under EU261 for further delays resulting from missing the onward flight. They have lost this point in the Court of Appeal in England (and have also fallen foul of the UK aviation regulator, the CAA) but there is an appeal now in front of the European Court. IF they succeed, it seems unlikely that EU compensation will be available in the circumstances described above in this thread since the EU rules won’t apply to the delay on the onward flight.

    BT/Alex McWhirter/Tom Otley – Apologies if I have missed this but I don’t recall seeing anything about this very important legal situation on BT – perhaps you could weigh in and consider an article on this topic??

    PS I am going to self-report this thread to bring it to the moderator’s attention

    Tom Otley


    We can certainly commission an article on the subject.

    As you’ll be aware (and judging from your post!) it’s a complicated subject.

    We have posted articles about it in the past but can commission another…

    Your rights under Reg 261 explained


    Tom Otley

    … with regards to your point about onward connections, as you say, it’s is currently waiting for the courts to decide.

    Airlines ‘wrongly withholding compensation from delayed passengers’

    “The CAA believes that passengers on a multi-leg trip should get compensation if they miss a later flight because their first flight was delayed.
    But some airlines, including Emirates, argue that if the second leg did not start or end in the EU, they are not liable to pay out – even if it was their delay which causes the passenger to miss the second flight.
    Earlier this year the CAA announced that it would be taking enforcement action against five airlines, including Emirates, for not giving passengers compensation for delayed flights.”

    Two cases brought by passengers who were denied compensation by the airline are also due to be heard by the Court of Appeal at the end of next month.

    Five major airlines face legal action for refusing to pay passengers for flight delays

    This piece has a quote from Etihad…

    β€œThe issue of a non EU airlines’ liability under EC261 for a delay due to a missed connecting flight outside of the EU is currently subject to a case that will be heard by the UK Court of Appeal. Etihad Airways will, of course, abide by any decision of the Court of Appeal.”


    Just to follow-up on Adrian’s and my posts above. I had a really very good meeting with him today, and found him to be keen to listen, and to make sure problems are resolved.

    We talked at length about Malaysia Airlines’ plans for the future, and it does sound like there are some very exciting things happening. I imagine it may take a while before noticeable changes filter through to the customer experience (we probably shouldn’t underestimate the enormity of the task they face behind the scenes) but there are deep structural changes in progress and, assuming they come to fruition, the results should be impressive. The ambition certainly seems to be there, at the highest levels.

    Obviously the proof of the pudding etc… But for now I’m encouraged and reassured. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and will stay loyal. They retain their place as my favourite airline πŸ˜‰

    (Incidentally, re emails going unanswered, it does rather sound like a flaky email system sending large volumes of mail to junk may have been to blame. Somewhat comical but at least now apparently fixed.)


    JH_1234 as you say, the proof is in the pudding, as a regional player they are the worst performing and an airline I avoid, they cant get their act together to get an aircraft from KUL to SIN, who knows what will happen long haul… And just to the point of long- haul I flew them some months back as they were the cheapest to the UK, is that what they aspire too, cheap and nasty because currently they are?


    [quote quote=821185]is that what they aspire too, cheap and nasty because currently they are?

    I have to say I disagree, or at least, my experience has differed from yours. Certainly I’ve had my share of problems with Malaysia Airlines, mostly relating to their (lack of) communications and handling of irrops, but in general I’ve been impressed with the in-flight experience. I’ve always found the cabin crews and in-flight service to be, at best, superb, at worst, still pretty good, especially on long-haul. On short-haul I don’t recall any major issues beyond a few minor delays and one unacceptably tatty 737 that I sincerely hope is already on it’s way to the big parking lot in the desert, or at least relegated to whatever their shortest route is… Back on long-haul, the A380 is a lovely aircraft to fly on, and aside from a few too many broken seats recently, I’ve had no real problem with the hardware, and none with the software. The J seat has a bit of a design flaw re the tray table, but that’s easy to fix once you know how (use the seat-raise button…). Back in the day there were a few delays caused by, as I understand it, a design flaw that made it a little too easy for baggage handlers to bump their high-lifts into a cargo door panel – hopefully they’ve now been trained to avoid that πŸ˜‰ More recently there have been some cancellations for unscheduled maintenance, which I believe affects all A380 operators, not just MH. From my point of view, good to see them being sufficiently safety-minded that they’d rather take an aircraft out of service, and deal with the disruption, than wait for the next scheduled maintenance.

    That said, dealing with disruption has traditionally not been their strong point, and certainly on-the-ground has never been as good an experience as in-the-air. Customer Services has largely been woeful, which I suspect has been due to a lack of procedures and staff not being empowered to be proactive. As an example, I once had a LGK-KUL flight cancelled, well in advance, that left me re-booked on a later flight that departed LGK after my subsequent BKK connection (on the same ticket) was due to depart KUL – it took a ridiculous amount of time and pain to get that resolved (by switching me to an earlier flight ex-LGK, which should have been the obvious solution in the first place).

    But following my meeting with Adrian, I do feel reassured that the right structural and cultural changes are being put in place to make sure the ground / back-office experience improves – time will tell, of course.

    Incidentally, one of the unfortunate side effects of BA’s switch to Buy-on-Board was apparently the overnight demise of their catering company, also used by MH, which of course led to some challenging logistical issues trying to cater the next morning’s A380… Food vouchers all round, I gather – it would be ironic, I suppose, if they were M&S πŸ˜‰ (I didn’t ask!)

    I do think it’s fair to say it’s make-or-break time for Malaysia Airlines. If they get it wrong over the next year or so, they’re finished. But if they get it right I honestly believe the potential is there for them to return to being a world leading airline. I’m willing to give them a chance. I hope others might do the same, because when they’re good, they really are very good. Your mileage may vary, of course (bad pun very much intended! πŸ˜‰


    JH_1234 thanks for your considered response, I can understand that maybe they have not had the rub of the green in your eyes, and maybe they are trying on Long Haul to become a better airline, but I have not seen that here in Asia, they really are becoming the joke airline.

    What amazes me and to the crux of the matter and you have obviously been to KUL there are 2 airports side by side, a brand new one almost exclusively used by AirAsia and then there is KLIA 1 which is almost dysfunctional.

    AirAsia and MalIndo another LCC have bastardised MH’s local markets and they are losing revenues and footfall because of the proliferation of the LCC’s, their only saving grace was their Long Haul timetable and even there they lose out to AirAsiaX to Australasia and we all know the issues on their 380 services (now exclusively London)

    I really would be interested to understand how they can turn things around, their competition is not SQ or CX or JAL its the LCC’s that ride roughshod over their home base ……


    Agreed, I too look forward to seeing how they do it πŸ˜‰ My sense is that it’s not about competing with the LCCs but rather appealing to a different demographic, rebuilding a premium brand and charging premium prices accordingly (as an aside, the replacement of the A380 with the A350 on the London route will reduce capacity by 46% so I suppose it’s inevitable that prices will increase, although the product will have to be superb if they want to charge more than a small premium over the cost of flying indirect with the ME3 et al). But I also sense that Malaysians have (or want to have) a huge amount of pride in their national carrier and would willingly be won back over if the offering is right.

    I partially agree with you re KLIA1. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s dysfunctional, but it does leave something to be desired, although those bits are largely outside the airlines’ control. Personally I find it a reasonably decent airport, easy to transit through, and it rarely gives me any problems. To be fair, I often get escorted through immigration and security (perk of Enrich Platinum status) but even when I don’t, I rarely find the queues overly long or slow. I rarely have checked baggage, but on the occasions I have, it has usually arrived reasonably promptly – I have learned to expect a 30 minute or so wait from a long-haul flight, so I pop into the lounge for a quick shower and breakfast before proceeding through. My main concern with KLIA though, which I’d rather not say too much about on a public forum, is their seemingly lax attitude to security.

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