In April this year we were to fly Air Asia (I know…I know…) from OOL to SGN via KUL.
We were transiting only, in SGN and then flying to Phu Quoc island which is in a special economic zone and does not require a visa. I researched prior to leaving, and as long as we were transiting through either SGN or HAN and not leaving the terminal, we did not require a transit visa.
We were issued all onward tickets at OOL, however we somehow managed to lose our son’s ticket from KUL to SGN. We arrived at KUL early after our overnight transit, and stood in line for an hour to have a new ticket printed for our son. When we were finally served we were asked to produce our visa’s to Vietnam.
I explained that we did not require them and why, and the desk attendant asked us to wait aside while he made a phone call. He continued to serve other people and made us wait 50 minutes until his phone rang again. He finally called us up and said they had never heard of this, and we could not board the plane without Vietnam visas.
After arguing back and forward we were sent to ‘complaints’ line where we waited for a further hour with our tired, hungry 1yo baby only to be have exactly the same thing happen. By this time our flight had closed and we were stuck in Malaysia.
We didn’t have much spare cash so we couldn’t buy more flights, so we decided to stay in Malaysia for the fortnight as it was visa-free also.
The day prior to returning to Australia, we spent the best half of a day waiting in queues at the Air Asia office in KL city, trying to ascertain if our homeward flights had been cancelled. It turned out that they HAD, as we had not boarded the plane to SGN. They were able to tell us this, but couldn’t help us any further and said we needed to go back to the airport and wait in the ‘complaints’ line again and see if they could help us.
We arrived at the airport at midday the following day, giving ourselves plenty of time for our 8pm flight. This time I had printed off every piece of information I could find on the net so that they had it in front of them in black and white. After an eternity of waiting in queues with a tired baby, the SAME WOMAN served us. She pretended not to remember us, read the documentation, muttered here and there to her colleague in another language and finally apologized for the ‘mix up’. She printed tickets for us to return home that night and couldn’t get rid of us quickly enough.
When we got home I emailed Air Asia complaints, waited the 30 days and surprise, surprise…no response. Nada, nothing. Not even an acknowledgement.
My question is, where do I take it from here? Who is the governing body that they will take notice of? Also, as this incident happened in Malaysia (where Air Asia’a HQ is), do I need to contact the authority in Malaysia? The tickets were bought and paid for in Australia. We do not have the money to take them to court.
Thanks for reading this very long winded account and for any advice you can offer.