Aug 05 2010

My extremely bad experience with Air Asia

Published by at 12:11 pm under All,Traveling

Monday morning, I offered to my cousins and my sister to purchase Air Asia tickets to Hong Kong, to attend another cousin’s wedding. I completed my purchase at 1:28pm that day, with status as success by CIMB direct debit. The money was deducted from my CIMB account, and transfered to Air Asia.

In that transaction, I purchased 5 return tickets, with excess baggage and meals on-board.

But when checked the status online, it says “On Hold” pending payment. It was written that the booking will be hold until 3pm+. I thought it could be half-hourly or hourly batch fund transfer, so I waited patiently.

After a nap, I woke up, the booking was gone from my status. Meaning? Canceled! I was furious, coz CIMB account has been debited and transfered to Air Asia, but my booking got canceled.

I called them at the hotline, only automated voice recorder, asking us to write or call their premium line at RM1.95 per minute. WTF, I didn’t make any mistake why must I pay such premium to ask about THEIR mistake? So I wrote to them.

I got this email response:

“Thank you for emailing AirAsia.

Firstly, we apologize for the inconvenience caused.

In response to your email, please be informed to contact our call centre and further verify on your booking status, because we have found it as cancelled booking at our end.

Should you required any further assistance, do not hesitate to contact our call centre.”

I then filed a complaint in email, attaching my CIMB transaction and demanded a refund, since they canceled my booking. At the same time, I quickly went in and book the tickets again. This time, paid by credit card. Immediately I got my itinerary confirmed. Same price, same booking, same guests, same seats, same meal, etc.

One day later, email replied from them, saying that they will escalate to investigate my case (where they took my money and canceled my booking and that I demand a refund).

Suddenly today, I received a notification in email, that my first booking (the canceled one) confirmed and with attached itinerary. Of course they cannot sell me the same seats already, so guess what? In the itinerary, the same price only consist of AIR TICKET. Nothing else! My seats and meals and excess baggages were gone!

Not only that, now I end up with two sets of tickets. Since they said my first booking was canceled, how can they still force me to take it? I could have changed my mind and go with other airline? I just want my fund back.

I hope there is a channel I can lodge my official complaint on. If this is US, I think I can sue for the anxiety they cause me, the interests they should pay for holding my money, etc.

I am honestly FURIOUS!

After sending email without any responses or acknowledgement, I went to their office in Sentral. Queued 2 hours, and then was asked to write an email to get my refund. I was there, face-to-face, yet was sent home empty handed. 这世上还有没有天理啊??!!


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19 responses on My extremely bad experience with Air Asia

19 Responses to “My extremely bad experience with Air Asia”

  1. Lisaon 05 Aug 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Air Asia fare is cheap.. but if you want any extra services you got to pay for it.. in another way, it is such a money-oriented service company. Easy example is the premium call rate lo.. isks! So nonsense.. this should be service line, why should we pay for it. Crazy..!

    Check out TUNE Hotel.. the rate is cheap but if you want extra e.g air con, got to pay for it.. toiletries also need to pay for .. etc.

  2. buffaflyon 05 Aug 2010 at 2:37 pm

    malay mail has a complain section. can’t remember what it’s called exactly. seems to get problems solved. Got to bring it to the press!

  3. samanthaon 06 Aug 2010 at 9:08 am

    Well i have my fare share of complaint about AA too…

    Since this is my first time Air travelling with my 1yrs old toddler
    I’m very particular with the timing, I do not want to wake up
    5-6am in the morning and bath and change my baby.

    So both ways I choose noon time. However 2-3months before
    my travel date. They emailed me stated that they changed
    the travel time from 12noon to 9am++ which means I have to
    get up to packed and check out from the hotel and get to the at
    the airport before 7am+ on my holiday trip. chi sin!

    so i called the hotline no. for few days, all i got is listening to
    the music. If there is no dedicated person to pick up the call
    dont bother to have this free hotline rite??

    only later I found out from my colleague that I have to call
    another premium hotline which charge 1.95 per minute.
    And the service is so good… However I found out that
    they have actually change again my schedule to 11.45am flight.
    and no notice being send to me.

    1st I’m wasted my money to call for nothing. I wonder do they
    want to make profit out of us by doing all this?

    2nd, what if I never called them to find out? I will bringing my
    whole family including my baby, wake up early in the morning
    went to the air and found out about this and stranded there
    for another 2hrs ( provided the 11.45am flight is on time)

  4. rachelon 06 Aug 2010 at 11:25 am

    Complaining via email or phone is uselesss. I rather drive to their office and have it settle there and then.

  5. suzetteon 09 Aug 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Gosh! I just came back from AA office… and got sent home – asked to write email!!

    This is ridiculous. Called, got IVR asked to email. Email reply asked to call. Went F2F said call no use must write email. Email sent few days no reply, no acknowledgement.


  6. Lisaon 09 Aug 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I think better write to their Chief Executive , Dato Sri Tony Fernandes! tony@tonyfernandesblog.com

    Good luck, Suzette :)

  7. suzetteon 10 Aug 2010 at 9:47 am

    Lisa, thanks for the email address. I emailed to him, to 3 of his email addresses that I could foster.

    Press would be my last resort…

    CIMB was kind enough to help me follow up, but I think as a result of their follow up, they reinstated my first booking (instead of refunding). That’s why CIMB called me yesterday and told me that Air Asia claimed they have solved it (what a lie) and gave me my booking already (what a convenient ‘solution’). So I won’t trouble CIMB any more – guess it is between myself and Air Asia now.

    BTW, surprised that CIMB really followed up!! Better impression of them now. They called me twice since I lodge my complain, whereby no acknowledgement from Air Asia at all.

  8. Lisaon 16 Aug 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hi Suzette, how was the issue? Got it settled already?

  9. suzetteon 16 Aug 2010 at 10:59 am

    Lisa: Thanks for asking. I emailed Tony Fernandes, and he forwarded to someone immediately (so efficient!). They informed me my refund is in the queue, will take 30 days to cash back. I am waiting and see… Until the day I receive my money, I won’t have any relief. :p

    Thanks for encouraging me to write to him! :)
    It really works, as in getting ‘real’ human people to respond, to at least get the attention on this case!

  10. Lisaon 16 Aug 2010 at 11:12 am

    Great to know that it helps.. :)

  11. [...] my extremely bad experience with Air Asia? It has not completely resolved [...]

  12. johnon 20 Sep 2010 at 3:51 pm

    i had bad experience before with airasia. so what I did was I went to Consumer Tribunal in Putrajaya. Soon Airasia lawyer called me and after a few days Airasia refunded me the ticket price, 100%.

  13. suzetteon 20 Sep 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Haruki: Ya, I’ve flew with them before as well, and nothing happened, until this incident. :(

    John: Really? Did you go personally there? I emailed to the same, but no response. I guess they don’t take email enquiry…

  14. Widaon 26 Jan 2011 at 2:56 pm

    what’s the outcome of this case? seems like we need to be careful of airasia direct debit..

    just did some googling -> consumer tribunal ->


  15. suzetteon 26 Jan 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks Wida. This has finally been resolved, they have refunded me. The process was painful and long, and I really doubt if it would happen without contacted the company’s CEO. What a shame to them.

  16. Daisyon 01 Mar 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Same thing happened to me today.and I supposed this happened because they can’t get direct debit cleared on time like credit card.But still I freaked out because on CIMB transaction it says “successful”,it even came with your booking num etc.but when I logged in to Airasia site to check my booking it’s gone.
    So how long exactly you waited from the day you made payment via debit including that cancelled ticket scenario claimed by AA to the day you finally got your first booking+travel itinerary?
    I am anxious and sick of calling both AA and CIMB call center.

  17. suzetteon 01 Mar 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Daisy, did you double pay like me? It took me a few months to get back my first payment, but the second payment with credit card I proceeded with. All fault was caused by the first booking, and that the poor customer service (email) that informed me that the first booking was not successful and that I was advised to re-book (hence the double payment).
    Hope you can get back your money soon. Check out the other comments here, they gave some leads on the CEO’s email address, which was the key to help me get back my fund!! @_@

  18. Daisyon 01 Mar 2012 at 10:05 pm

    That is what I have to face;waiting for refund which I know is going to take long time.I wonder they supposed to improve the service as your case was 2 years back and it is still happen nowadays!crap.not counting time waited on phone that we pay for just to listen to music.and yes when I logged in back to see the booking status it is gone!though payment had been made and it was successful too.if this is the case why do they venture offering such service(direct debit) that they can’t even keep up with.such a hassle.
    If let say I am not getting any respond,might as well contact the tribunal.
    and yeah emailing the CEO.do you happened to have his email address?

  19. suzetteon 02 Mar 2012 at 8:20 am

    I have contacted Tony Fernandes and he directed me to 2 other persons. I’ll PM you all their contact. 2 years has gone, don’t know if these people are still at their same position or not. No harm to try out, if they are still with AA, hopefully they can still direct you to the right person.

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