Monday, 25 November 2013

Malindo Air's online booking

I got more than a little upset early this morning. The problem was with Malindo Air, you see, that upstart airline which was set up earlier in the year to muscle into the low-cost budget travel industry now being dominated by its big brother, AirAsia.

I don't mind the competition as long as the flying customer does not suffer from any lack of service. I've already flown into Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia, Firefly, and Malaysia Airlines before, while my family has used Berjaya Air. Therefore, I thought it would be timely for me to use something new for this weekend's trip.

The attraction of Malindo Air is that the passenger can choose to buy tickets for flights that land at either the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (Subang) Airport. For this trip, it makes little difference to me since my daughter could pick me up at either the KL Sentral (if I land at the KLIA and take the express train into the city) or the Subang Airport itself. But I chose Subang because it was close to her home.

My problem with Malindo Air was that their website was terribly slow and lagging last night. I should have heeded the pre-warning signal hours earlier when I tried to book my ticket through my iPad. Despite the 15-minute buffer time that Malindo Air had given people to key in their details and get charged through their credit cards or direct bank debits, my transaction had timed out. Luckily, a quick check with my bank showed that nothing had been charged to my account.

I should have left it at that and relooked at the other options, such as AirAsia. I wouldn't have minded landing at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and take the bus-train combo service down to KL Sentral but I really wanted to try this new airline. So never mind, I would try again later.

Which I did, at slightly past midnight. This time, I decided to sit at my desktop to do the transaction. I'm a firm believer that a cabled connection from desktop to router would be so much quicker and more stable.

I was wrong with their website yet again. My session still timed out but I could have sworn that I did not use up the whole 15 minutes of online time. And unfortunately this time, my credit card had been charged with this transaction. Feeling peeved and angry, I telephoned Malindo Air but an automated voice said to call back at nine o'clock in the morning.

I was about to do so just now when I noticed a fresh message in my inbox. A new message from Malindo Air which confirmed the success of my transaction and which included the flight details. Okay, so I know now that my transaction went through successfully but because of the connectivity issues at the airline's end, it had caused me some hours of mild anxiety. Let's face it: sometimes it is not about the amount but rather, all the frustration of not knowing the outcome of what you have done.

With this problem now resolved, I am really looking forward to flying this new airline come Friday. Let's see how they measure up to their big brother's service.

[UPDATE: My web check-in on 29 Nov 2013 proceeded without a hitch, although their server speed was still slow. And until I checked in, I didn't realise that Malindo Air was also using the ATR72-600 for their flights between Penang and Subang. Nice....]

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