Malaysian Airlines: Incorrect infant add on

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Jan 25, 2020
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Hi,

This is a three year old matter, I wonder if it's worthwhile pursuing anymore.

I was booked on Malaysian Airlines to fly return Melbourne, Australia to Chennai, India. Couple of months after my ticket was booked, I called up MA call center to add my infant to the ticket. My son didn't have his passport and Visa ready at the time of me booking the ticket and MA had advised at the time of booking, that I can call up later and add the infant to the ticket.

While booking my infant in, the MA agent did everything right including adding him and booking a bassinet for the infant. But most importantly, didn't issue him a ticket. I was aware that there 10% fare to be paid for the infant, when I asked he said, there's no charge. I was surprised but being my first time booking an infant, I believed his words. Shortly afterwards, I received the amended ticket to my email, which clearly showed my infants name, dob, and that he's allocated a bassinet. It didn't occur to me to check that, there was no eticket number next to his name.

fast forward to the day of the flight (just days before Xmas 2016), we reach the airport and are denied boarding because infant doesn't have his own ticket. They are unable to issue one at the check in counter and I'm asked to call the call center. While we're on the phone, the flight is getting closed and was clearly overbooked. call center, won't issue the ticket without an "investigation". So it's clear we can't go on that flight. MA asks if we want to go "without" the infant!! We refuse and later find out we were marked as No- show for the flight.

We head back home, hoping to get us on next available flight. Long calls with MA, results in them admitting their mistake. They offer to rebook us, but only if we pay the fare difference ( they were waiving the reschedule n non show fee as a "Goodwill"), which is double the initial amount we paid. If we didn't want to accept, only option was for me to pick up a credit voucher from Kuala Lumpur airport. And we were not going to KL unless on our transit on ma. Therefore, both options were not acceptable to us. The call center supervisor told us this is best resolution as they've seen cases like this, and if I don't accept, don't accept anything else to come through. We decided to see our options.

We booked new tickets on Singapore airlines and travelled. I pursued this for over 6 months, writing to every executive I could contact but received no reply. We lost $3000 in original ticket fares. And paid $5000 in new tickets which were booked to fly around Christmas.

Australian customer advocacy group couldn't take up the case as it's outside their jurisdiction. We haven't flown MA since and probably would never. Is there anything I can do?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
The only thing I can think of is obtaining a lawyer and suing MA. If you don’t have any consumer laws in Australia that would cover a situation this far out.

Did you contact your credit card company at the time to file a dispute?
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,453
4,214
113
the United States
I see multiple things happening here.

First, when you knew your were not going to make the flight, you decided not to cancel, which resulted in the no-show. Once that took place, they are not bound to refund the fare. And when booking the new flight for you, they rightly quoted you the fare difference. In your favor, they were supposed to issue a ticket for your infant, which they admitted they did not.

If you have not reached out to the contacts we have, I recommend you do so now. This would be my recommendation for the email:

I am writing in the hope that you can assist me with an issue I faced in December of 2016. I realize this is old, and I thank you for your time and consideration.​
  • While booking my infant, the MA agent added him and booked a bassinet (total price of $3,000)
  • We received the amended ticket, which showed my infant's name, dob, and that he's allocated a bassinet
  • It did not occur to me to check that there was an eticket number next to his name, which there was not
  • On the day of the flight, our infant was denied boarding because he didn't have his own ticket
  • They were unable to issue one at the check in counter, and enough time elapsed that we became a no-show
  • After some long calls with MA, they admitted their mistake but could only offer us the fare difference
  • We considered all our options, and eventually chose to return on Singapore Airlines as MA was not longer viable
We believe a fair resolution would be a refund of the $3,000, as it was MA's failure that caused us to re-book​
Hopefully, you have not reached all of the ones we list and can find a sympathetic ear.

Some do's and don'ts when writing
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite, as that increases the likelihood of success
Do not attach files - their email system may discard your email before anyone reads it
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level in the company contacts shown here: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/malaysia-airlines/
Present a brief summary (list) and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Two things that are problematic — 3 years has passed — and the contract of carriage says it is under Malaysian law and all disputes will be in Malaysia.

This was an absolute mess by the airline —but aside from recommending writing to contacts I do not what else to suggest
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,248
10,032
113
San Francisco
No reason not to follow VoR's advice and write to whomever you haven't contacted yet. $3K is a lot of money. It would be good to mention why it's taken you so long to deal with this, so you can then admit that it's your fault. Airlines seem to approve of people not accusing them of everything and taking responsibility for whatever. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
 
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