I was in Kuching International Airport last Saturday, when my flight bound for Sibu was cancelled due to technical problem.
It was an early 6am flight and upon embarking, the steward announced that there were some technical issues and we need to disembark.
Actually most of us, if you ask are happy to disembark any aircraft that were deemed unsafe. We are all thankful that you have the checks done properly.
We waited at the departure gate. There were a good mix of passengers, some are better dressed, with sophisticated gadgets, presumably frequent travellers. There were also some young people likely students going home for holiday. But my eyes were looking at a group of three, curious-happy-looking old men, with many big plastic bags and they looked like from the interiors.
Then, about 10 minutes later, I saw some of the better dressed passengers went to the counter and went off with a green slip of paper.
I went near to ask what was that. Turned out that they were asking for Breakfast Vouchers.
I then went to the counter to ask if I could get one as well. The man over the counter smiled and gave me one. I asked if they are giving this to everyone in the flight that has been postponed, they node and said that these are given on request.
I felt that this should not be the way, should it?
Everyone flying in that flight paid for their tickets and it is only right that they are treated the same.
The fact is that we are living in this world whereby the only way that you will get your entitlement, is that you must know of your entitlement. However, these entitlement are not widely advertised.
Saddening isn't it?
Back to the story, I went to the three old men and they only speak of Iban language. However, my very limited Iban has not failed me, and I am able to communicate to them that they can get the free breakfast coupon for "Makai"
That flight to Sibu at 6am were canceled and all passengers were made to fly the next day. However I noted some of the well dressed people are no longer there. I hope the airlines are not granting them a seat in the subsequent flight due to their persistence and that they were early in request.
Because I knew for sure the three Iban elders would not press for one.
Malaysia Airlines, or the subsidiary Mas Wings, should realise that it is not all about cutting the cost to the mininum. The East Malaysia, particularly some parts of Sarawak are only accessible by air, and there is no other good alternatives and you play an integral community service.
And above all, treat all that flying with you, equally.