"Threw Us Out Like Criminals" – Customer Claims AirAsia Overbooked & Forced Them Off Plane
Yong said that after she was escorted off the flight, she could not help but burst into tears.
A passenger recently claimed that she and her family were unfairly kicked off an AirAsia plane after their flight from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Mai, Thailand, was overbooked
Facebook user Susan Yong said she booked her tickets in April this year to travel with her mother, her husband, and his parents.
Nothing was amiss until the day of the flight, 19 November, when she tried to check-in at a counter in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) and was told by the staff that the flight was overbooked and another flight would be arranged for them.
Yong wrote that the service counter staff had suggested for them to take a flight to Chiang Mai the next day, but she refused the offer because they had already made car and hotel arrangements.
"The counter then said they could arrange for us to take an 8pm flight that night to Thailand. So I asked, 'Where in Thailand?' and they replied, 'Bangkok'," she said with frustration.
As she was enquiring further, Yong said the service counter staff then suddenly told her that their flight's seat issue has been resolved and asked them to check their luggage in to board the plane
Following the staff's instructions, she and her husband dropped their luggages off and were walked to the boarding gates by an employee.
She said they were also both given hand-written tickets by the service counter, and were told that seats will be sorted for them when they get on the plane.
Yong said everything went smoothly until, again, on the plane, the staff told them that they had no seats because she and her husband's names were on the flight's 'No Show' list.
An air stewardess asked them to wait while she tried to arrange two seats for them.
However, a male staff member suddenly came onto the plane and brusquely told them to leave
"He walked in from a distance and his attitude was so bad when he asked us to get off the plane, I was shocked," Yong recounted.
"You don't have a ticket, please get off the plane now, you can't be here," she quoted him as saying.
When Yong's husband asked for an explanation for the rude treatment, given that they were guided all the way to the plane, were given hand-written tickets, and were also promised seats, the male staff stated, "Didn't you know? Those tickets do not count, we have already explained it to you clearly, please leave now."
Yong said she and her husband were confused and did not want to step off the plane as their elderly parents were already seated inside. They told the staff that they were worried the plane would take off with the three elders without them.
The male staff member then threatened to call security.
As they were unwilling to move, Yong said a security force came to escort them off the plane
"At least six to seven of them with very bad attitudes came and threw us out the plane like criminals. They were very rude and I was so scared. Luckily, we called our parents out in time too," Yong wrote in her Facebook post with two videos showing her family being forcefully removed from the plane by security.
"After getting off the plane, I couldn't speak and burst into tears."
Yong said the airport staff then arranged a flight for them to Chiang Mai the next day and provided them with accommodation for the night.
On the same day, she also received an email from the airline saying that they will credit each traveller USD100 (RM440) in their AirAsia accounts.
However, Yong told SAYS that she did not accept the offer and, after everything that happened, she went to file a police report
"The credits had an expiry date too... If AirAsia had told us about the flight change earlier, we would've been able to make the necessary arrangements," she added on the post that has over 12,000 shares, as of writing.
She hoped that the authorities will better govern airline companies to prevent such incidents from happening again.
SAYS has reached out to AirAsia for verification and comment but has yet to receive a reply.
A report by the Malaysian Aviation Commission found that AirAsia received the highest number of customer complaints between January and June this year: