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Is AirAsia really low-cost?

November 23, 2017

Writer says AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes should respond to allegations of RM2,000 ticket from Sandakan to KL, and address other issues with service as well.


tony-fernandes-bung-moktar-air-asia-1By TK Chua

I refer to the news report, “Fernandes slams BN MP who ‘never stops complaining’ about AirAsia”.

Earlier, Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin complained that the low-cost carrier had charged a customer about RM2,000 for a one-way flight from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur.

Following this, Deputy Transport Minister Ab Aziz Kaprawi told the Dewan Rakyat that the government would act on Bung’s complaint to prevent profiteering.

I notice that one’s reputation and image are most important. I wonder how the complaint would be handled if the complainant was not Bung.

I also notice the cunningness in Fernandes’ response to the complaint.

When the complaint came from Bung, I think the public was less sympathetic. Bung is known for making outlandish and uncalled-for remarks. Thus, genuine and pertinent complaints made by him could be interpreted or taken lightly.

As for Fernandes, I think he must first address whether the complaint was true. Was it true that a one-way-flight from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur cost RM2,000, peak hours or otherwise? He must first confirm or deny the complaint.

Why bring up the role of AirAsia in providing connectivity to East Malaysia over the past 16 years? I am sure the situation has changed. If there were no AirAsia, other airlines would have filled the void.

Secondly, I agree that airport charges have some bearing on air fares. But in this case, did it warrant a RM2,000 one-way flight from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur?

Thirdly, why did he bring other ministers into his arguments with Bung and Ab Aziz Kaprawi? He was praising these ministers for travelling with AirAsia, but was he speaking on their behalf? Did the ministers really say they were happy with the fares and services provided by AirAsia?

Low-cost carriers are supposed to provide lower fares out of efficiency and cost savings. Does AirAsia really provide lower fares if we add in all the hidden costs and the “discriminatory” pricing?

Even klia2 is designed to exploit poorer travellers. One should try to fill up a bottle of water from the water fountain after the security check. To fill up one bottle would probably take five minutes because the water oozes out from the water fountain. My question is, why? Why can’t we fix the water fountain? I sincerely hope this is not a ploy to force travellers to buy water from AirAsia during the flight.

Tony Fernandes should not just complain about airport charges. He should also highlight the lousy services provided by the airport, particularly at klia2.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.


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