On 1st Sept 2017, I had a very disturbing experience with the AirAsia staff. I was taking the flight no. QZ 267 with 7 of my family members heading from Singapore to Jakarta.
We checked-in early and everything was fine until the immigration officer requested from my sister to return back to the check-in counter and ask them to do the necessary as her passport will expire in less than 6 months. My brother and I accompanied my sister to AirAsia counter while the rest of our family went to the departure gate.
At the counter, the person in charge, named Ganesh, said that he must get permission from the Indonesian immigration at Jakarta airport before he allows my sister to take the flight. He texted Jakarta regarding the case and asked us to wait for their response. We waited until it was 30 mins to departure, I checked with him if there’s any update, he said no response yet.
At that moment, my brother and I decided to head to the gate hoping that by the time we reach there Jakarta would reply and my sister will be escorted by AirAsia staff to take the flight with us. On our way in, the immigration officer said the gate for our flight is about to close, we won’t be allowed in unless the counter stamps our boarding passes. We went back to the counter, they stamped our boarding passes then we checked about my sister’s case, there was no update. By that time it was only 15 mins to departure, we wished one of the staff will escort us to the gate to avoid the long checking queues and not cause any delay to the flight. No one escorted us. My brother and I had to run our hearts out to make it to the gate as soon as possible and guess what??
We reached the gate 8 mins before departure to find the gate staff, named Renuka, telling us: sorry we have closed the gate because we “thought” you are not coming. I felt so frustrated, how come the counter staff haven’t informed them?! I told her pls do something, my child and my family are on the plane, we want to fly together. She was so cold and slow as if she is telling us I couldn’t care less. Eventually, the staff offered us 2 options to catch the next flight, either to purchase a new ticket for SGD 106 or to use our original tickets but pay fare difference of SGD 100. It was so silly to hear that especially that we couldn’t fly with the rest of our family because of their lack of coordination communication.
I asked to see the manager they said the manager can’t see me, and “over the phone” he’s only offering us those 2 options. My brother and I paid the fare difference of SGD 100 each and took the next flight. Shocking enough, this flight had 5 empty rows (30 available seats) and the gate closed 10 mins after departure waiting for late passengers. Shocking enough, when we arrived Jakarta and told my family we missed the flight because the check-in staff didn’t inform the gate staff my mother said “they are lying”. It turned out that she gave the gate staff our names, they wrote it down saying they will call for us. No comment.
The staff who handled our case were unprofessional, and they didn’t help at all either before or after the departure although they could. That’s one of the worst experiences I ever had with airasia. The staff were careless, irresponsible, and so unprofessional in their approach.
Facebook Post By: Ahmed Basyouni Saad