Malaysia Airlines Responds To YouTuber's Claims That He Was "Bullied" Throughout A Flight
Travel and aviation vlogger Josh Cahill alleged that flight attendants "completely ignored" him after he shared his "uncomfortable" experience on Instagram during the flight.
A German travel vlogger has alleged that he was "bullied" and denied service onboard by Malaysia Airlines' cabin crew after he posted a negative review of the flight on Instagram
Cahill - a frequent flyer who reportedly takes about 150 flights a year - had first pointed out the issues he faced on the flight in an Instagram post he had published midway through the journey
In the post, which was published on the day of said flight on 24 September, Cahill noted that the food was "dreadful" and served on a "sticky and filthy" tray. He also wrote that the cabin crew neglected to fix his faulty in-flight entertainment system.
The issues he encountered were further elaborated in the 20-minute video, where he also revealed that things were already rocky from the get-go
Cahill said his first impression of the crew was that "everyone was extremely unfriendly" and that there was "not a single smile" in the cabin.
"Nobody [on that flight] deserved to wear this beautiful uniform, because I have had greater flights and better experiences with Malaysia Airlines before," he added.
He also expressed his disappointment with the airline, noting that he had a "wonderful flight" just one day before the incident that "shows you what [Malaysia Airlines] is capable of".
Cahill then said that the breakfast served was "anything but good", noting that the food and hot beverage was lukewarm. In addition, the serving tray on which the food was served on was dirty and "extremely sticky".
"I could literally cut squares out of the omelette because it would glue to the bottom of the aluminium tray it was served in," he commented.
Cahill also showed a video of him trying to mix in powdered creamer into his "lukewarm" coffee.
The chain of unfortunate events continued when Cahill decided to turn on his in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, which he soon found out was broken
"I got the screen out and start it, but it was just black for a while, nothing happened. Then it said 'Loading...' for the entire time; I tried pushing all the buttons, it didn't work," he said.
However, despite multiple requests to have it fixed, Cahill said the cabin crew did not do anything about it. He also noted that the plane he was on is a "brand new" Airbus A350, which had only been in service for six months.
"I was very frustrated. I was like, I'm a paying customer and this is nonsense. I can't sit there for 14 hours and just look out the window," he added.
At this point, he decided to pay for in-flight WiFi and proceeded to share his thoughts about the flight on Instagram. Then, according to Cahill, things started going "downhill".
Not long after the Instagram post went up, a purser - "the guy in charge of the Economy Class" - approached him.
"He was standing there, there were two other passengers next to me, and he didn't even say, 'Excuse me, sir' or whatever, He was like, 'Who did you message?' and I was like, 'Whoa whoa whoa, what's up?' He was almost shouting at me," Cahill recounted.
He elected to take the conversation elsewhere, so as not to "get the other passengers involved". After clarifying that he did not do what he was accused of, Cahill said the purser "left, knowing that my in-flight entertainment still wasn’t working and he still wasn’t bothered to do anything about it."
He later found out that the flight's cabin crew were instructed to "deal with [him]" on behalf of the captain. According to a friend of Cahill's, an employee of Malaysia Airlines, the captain had received a message from the airline's Head of Customer Service after the latter saw Cahill's Instagram post.
Cahill believes that when the captain received the message, he "told the cabin manager to deal with it, who told the purser to deal with it".
Cahill claimed that from that point on, the cabin crew "completely ignored" him during service
"No water for me, no drinks, I was completely ignored. It's not very professional. I'm a
paying customer, and I didn't do anything wrong. I just shared my experience as
anyone else can do that on the Internet," he said.
"This is how they deal with criticism, it's unheard of."
The situation came to a head during dinner service, when the purser refused to serve Cahill unless he stopped filming.
Although he had already obtained permission from the airline's social media team a few weeks prior to the flight, he decided to switch the camera off, but had a few choice words for the crew's conduct.
"Did you just realise how bad you performed, that you don't want anyone to see this? I felt extremely uncomfortable, I felt humiliated," he said.
To Malaysia Airlines' credit, the issue was communicated far enough that Cahill was greeted almost immediately upon arrival in London and was brought to meet the airline's station manager
"We had a coffee, and in all fairness, he was a very nice guy and he apologised and he was just wondering what went wrong," he said.
A few days later, he also received several e-mails from the airline's employees apologising for what transpired on the flight, including an apology from the CEO, who later offered to refund his flight ticket.
The travel vlogger ended his video by saying that the airline does not live up to their slogan ('Malaysian hospitality begins with us') and that it is an "insult to the people of Malaysia"
"I used to live in Malaysia myself. I love that country, it's very close to my heart," he said.
"Is this where Malaysian hospitality starts? This is not only an insult to the people of Malaysia, but this is an insult to the entire country of Malaysia, because Malaysia is a country [that’s] all about hospitality and great, warm-hearted people.
"Now, they don’t even care about you, your experience, and how you feel. Apart from one or two people, everybody [at Malaysia Airlines] failed to live up [to those standards]," he added.
In a statement sent to SAYS, Malaysia Airlines said that they are "taking [Cahill's] accusations seriously" and are currently conducting an investigation into what happened on the flight
"We pride ourselves on the quality of our service and regret if the passenger felt standards were below expectations on this occasion," the airline said in their statement.
It added that the crew was "unable to accommodate his request for an upgrade as the aircraft was at capacity in first and business class."
"As soon as we were made aware of Mr. Cahill’s grievances, we contacted him directly and offered a full refund for his journey. We are taking his accusations seriously and conducting a review into what happened."