Written on: 14/11/2010
I was wondering after my last Air Asia flight, why they were awarded as the world's best budget airline in 2009 and 2010 already. In what terms can they be better then the European ones. I have had numerous flights on European budget and on the Air Asia too. Just cant imagine that their unkind, unfriendly customer service can fly them to the top. I can hardly bring up any trouble free encountering with the Air Asia from my memories. Probably I was just unlucky that almost all the time their flight was delayed. For me 3 out of the last 5 times. Bizarre. Whenever i try to order food on the plane, they are run out of it already, or just not having it. They keep putting my partner and me on the other side of the aisle. 3 out of 5 times, strange, particularly when there are empty seats. Their customer service in Thailand is basically a joke. They dont listen to me and try to shake me off quickly, and my case never been solved. I had to make a cancellation, as floodwaters engulfed our destination, Hat Yai. The aiport was operating, the town was under 1-3 metres high water. And their only suggestion was when calling them, no cancellations, sorry. The second was, that they have big trucks there, so I was able to get into the town. This was the funniest point of that conversation. The lady on the phone was not aware of the situation in Hat Yai just kept saying no problems at all. Unbelievable really. After a pointless 30 mins talking to these people, we ended up no chance to change our direction. I was ready to change destination and was willing to pay the margin. For them a paid, but empty seat is more important then giving a chance in emergency situation to make changes and not saying to satisfy a customer is not their policy definitely.
Next morning we went to the airport to find out what to do, and what happened was, they had to cancel their flight. Probably no one wanted to fly into that disaster zone. Having negotiations with 2 different staff at the airport, took at least 30 mins, they contacted the head office, and got us waiting for another 30 mins. After a boring hour they generously offered us to change destinations and could use the price of our ticket. As it was 800 baht (roughly 20 pounds) that was not a big help again as the cheapest option was over 5000 baht on that day. Funny. So we ended up paying an extra 3000 some hundreds to fly somewhere else, thus also that was more expensive then booking a shorthaul Thai Airways ticket in advance. And we had another booking what we lost as well, because we couldnt make our way to Hat yai. We didnt get the chance to get the other flight changed.
Finally I managed to find out how to make an enquiry about this, sent by e-mail, got a auto-generated response, that i would be contacted within 5 days. Never happened of course. Their policy is basically, the no cancellation once u have paid for the flight. These matters never happened with me when flying in Europe. Of course there can be problems occured everywhere, but for sure, I will try to avoid to make any bookings with the Air Asia if there is any other passable way.