AirAsia 1Million Free Seats Promotion: Why People Are Not Happy About It..

Posted by Kris | Thursday, November 12, 2009 | | 0 comments »

Everyone like free things right. Especially expensive and "used to be" exclusive things/services like flight tickets.

The recent AirAsia promotion is really a painful experience for alot of people.


The IT system was whacked so bad with huge traffics that the website cannot be accessed until now. You will be lucky if you can even log into your AirAsia account. Not only that , due to the overwhelming load, alot of credit card payment got halted halfway. The part where the website urges you not to refresh or press "back" to load the website as it will cause your payment to be charged twice.

Hell, that happen to alot of people, including yours truly when KnowThyMoney got the shock of his life when there are 3 bookings of the same flight with the same ID. Thus, I called my credit card centre and attempt to cancel my transaction. Even though, the transactions were still pending, the credit card company did not have the power to stop the transaction to AirAsia. They advise me to go to AirAsia and attempt to ask them to do a refund/stop the transaction.

I called the AirAsia's service line to no avail. It was left unanswered. Instinctly , i knew there surely alot of people who is on the same boat as me. I even tried calling the service line for Singapore, and the reply was the number was not in service at all.

I rushed to the nearest AirAsia sales office , in attempt for the refund. Luckily, i was the third person in the line as after a few minutes there were a huge line behind me. :P

The first customer was a young lady that complained like hell to the customer service operator. She kept on scolding her to do the refund and was very mad when told that even though the refund can be done, the "convenience fee" (RM 5 per way for each passenger!!!) cannot be refunded.

It is going to take a 30 days to refund the money back. Thus, the young lady ask the customer service operator whether she can lodge a complained on why the fees cannot be refunded. She bought 2 -way trips for 3 person. (thus the amount was RM30). She say RM30 also money mah... I can see the AirAsia lady getting pissed off. Earlier, on she was pissed off by an older man that demanded a official refund receipt from her. Thus, the next person that was infront of me also got a receipt.

When it was my time, she was already very frustrated also have multiple erroneous tickets at hand that needed refund. And the AirAsia intranet was also sulking at the same time, i was kinda worried that the system will be down for a long time and I was stuck waiting. She was quite defensive and was cursing AirAsia on why they did this type of promotion which results on her heavy workload today.

I cannot blamed her, as she was getting slapped and dished for something not her fault . And there is only 1 personnel manning the counter!!! When i ask for a receipt, i did not get any. But she assured that she managed to reject my other 2 copy of my transactions.

I trust on her word that my money get refunded or else in 30 days i will need to meet her again. In the end, i ended to be possibly the 1st person who say thank you after she finished servicing my problems. I can see a warm and honest smile coming from her. That make me feel good though, as i know in the service line you get hammered like mad by inconsiderate people who think that you are the one causing the problem.

Lastly, my 2cent advice for Tony Fernandes on AirAsia:

1. Improve the IT system to be able to cope with the huge traffic.

2. More personnel resource on the ground to handle the customers' problem. Even though this might be a huge cost to their no-frills business model, it wins customer in the long run and perhaps allow bookings non-online (customers dont mind paying a little bit more if they can get what they want without the sometimes troublesome online transactions). Imagine having duplicates of expensive bookings, that surely going to burn your pocket.

I update you guys if I ever see the daylight of my refund...... T_T