Monday, 20 May 2013

Extending Malaysian Hospitality in a Guest’s Time of Need

It’s all over the newspapers and social media today that Malaysia Airlines and Tourism Malaysia office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, came to the rescue of a young Malaysian mother and her baby after they were denied boarding their original flight on another carrier from Ho Chi Minh (SGN) to KUL on Saturday night 18 May 2013. The baby was suspected of having chicken pox.

By answering an urgent call for assistance the following morning from the Tourism Malaysia office in Ho Chi Minh, our Malaysia Airlines team led by Area Manager Saigon Nur Hayati Aziz Rashid quickly pooled efforts to help.

Just like how you would help a family member in distress, Malaysia Airlines stepped up to the plate to help and get Izan Suhaila Mohd Ali, 36 years old, and her 14 month old daughter, Maryam Sofea, certified as fit to fly, and get them home to Malaysia as soon as possible.

Call it genuine care; call it Malaysian Hospitality; call it CAN DO!
According to Nur Hayati, “I received a call from the Director of Tourism Malaysia Vietnam Office at 11 am on Sunday informing me about the plight of Puan Izan Suhaila and her 14 month old baby, Maryam Sofea.”

“I made it clear to Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysian Embassy of our policy that guests needed to get documentation from a medical doctor in Ho Chi Minh to certify that the baby is fit for travel. So long as this was done, we could accept them on our flight.”

“The odd part was that Tourism Malaysia could only manage to get an appointment for tomorrow (ie Monday) morning. This would have meant further expense to Puan Izan and her family.”

“Through the help of one of our staff, Station Engineer Nor Arzaley Abdul Rahman, whose wife is local Vietnamese, we managed to get an appointment at 2.30 pm today (Sunday) with their regular doctor who attended to their children at the same clinic.”

“Our staff went to the hotel to pick up Izan and her baby, and bring them to the clinic. The doctor checked the baby and confirmed that she was no longer contagious. That it was already more than the incubation period and that the black spots are actually just dry scabs. After the doctor’s check-up, at 1510 hrs we sent the family back to hotel to check-out as they wanted to return home today.” The family paid Malaysia Airlines for a single journey SGN-KUL for 3 adults and 1 infant.

“Our flight MH759 yesterday was full, actually already overbooked by 1, ie at 145pax. However due to the aircraft operating that flight had 150 seats in Economy, we quickly arranged for the family to get on that flight, so that they would not have to spend another night in SGN and incur more costs.”

“As we reached airport at 1550 hrs, our Airport Operations team had all the necessary documentation ready to ensure a fast check-in. We also assigned 1 ground staff especially to escort the family through Immigration & Customs. This was important as there was a query on the immigration stamp in their passports due to the previous day’s incident. All went smoothly, and Izan and family managed board our flight MH759 and departed SGN for home at 1640 hrs.

The Malaysian Embassy in Ho Chi Minh has also expressed its gratitude to the Malaysia Airlines team. “The Government of Malaysia registers its appreciation to you and your team in extending the national service to the Malaysian in distress. Your organization's immediate action and intervention will be duly recorded and reported. My highest appreciation to your goodself in providing the necessary solution to this issue. Thank you”, wrote the Counsel General Shazryl Eskay Abdullah.

Kudos to the SGN team! The strong teamwork and initiative, on a weekend, by the SGN team to act beyond their normal duties is to be highly commended. Those who are involved in this incident were: Nur Hayati Aziz Rashid (Area Manager Saigon), Nor Arzaley Abdul Rahman (Station Engineer SGN and his wife), Abdul Halim Zaki Shaarani (Station Manager SGN), Le Thi Thanh Ha (Customer Services Assistant SGN) and Au Kim Chi (Reservations/Ticketing Head SGN). Commendation also goes to Selvadurai Sinniah for his support in giving the SGN team empowerment to assist the family.

Kudos to the SGN team! You made all of us in Malaysia Airlines proud!

By, Nor Zalida Ahmad, Strategic Communications

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