The airbus A380 is a beautiful aircraft but the configuration for the MAS A380 was most inappropriate if compared to the A380 of other airline. The upper deck of the A380 of Emirates, SIA and other airline is exclusively for First Class and Business Class.
The upper deck has two huge toilets which could easily accommodate ten passengers in each of them. Airbus must have constructed these huge toilets on the upper deck of the A380 exclusively for First Class passengers as they are paying a huge premium to travel.
Under strange circumstances, the little Napoleon in MAS was allowed to reconfigure upper deck of the A380 into Business Class and Economy Class without much thought. The First Class cabin is on the lower deck right below the staircase. The toilets for the First Class passengers are of the same size as the toilets in the Economy Class. The First Class Cabin has no exclusivity because the crews and passengers in the upper deck had to walk through the First Class cabin if they want to the Economy Class at the lower deck.
So much for the re-configuration of the MAS A380. It is hoped that the top management of MAS should consider to reconfigure the remaining four of its A380 otherwise MAS will no doubt lose out on its share for the First Class passengers as they would definitely feel that they have been short changed.
Yours truly was on MAS MH002 to London on 24-8-2012. The standard of food was horrible if compared to other premier airline like Emirate, SIA, American Airlines and others. Perhaps this sorry state of affair must be due to the lope sided 25 years exclusive catering contract that MAS had to sign with LSG Sky Chef Brahim’s Sdn Bhd, which is closely connected to the brother of the former PM, YAB Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is now the Advisor of MAS.
Under the said lope sided catering contract, MAS had to pay about RM280 million yearly until 2026. If this lope sided catering contract is not re-negotiated or terminated, it will not be easy for MAS to recover.
In other airlines, slippers are given to its First and Business Class passengers once the aircraft is airborne. But not for MAS. The Passengers had to request for it because MAS flight does not carry enough numbers of slippers for its passengers. On MH002 on 24-8-2012, it carried only 20 pairs of slipper and there were 55 Business Class passengers.
Was this part of cost saving? No one would blame MAS for cost saving but it must not be done at the expense of its passengers.
Cost saving could be done through other ways like plugging the leakages. For example, advance notice could have been given to its passengers of flight delay due to the known causes a few days before. Yours truly was on MH003 on 3-9-2012 and the flight was supposed to take off from Heathrow at 12 noon and it was delayed until 3:55 pm.
The delay was due to the problems of hydraulic leaked and faulty auxiliary power unit which is supplying electricity to A380 on the ground. These faults had already been detected in KLIA. There was already of about 12 hours on 2-9-2012 which was a day earlier. Yet, MAS ground operation did not see it fit to give advance notice to its passengers on 3-9-2012 which has resulted great inconvenience to its passengers and on top of that MAS had to give out a £15 voucher to each of its Economy Class passengers.
Yours truly had been reliably informed that there was a full load economy class on the said MH003. Assuming that full load was 500 passengers, it would have caused MAS a total lost of £7,500 (500 X £15) which is equivalent to RM35,000! This was the type of cost that MAS should be thinking of saving and not on matters that involve convenience to passengers like slippers and other customer services.
MAS could have easily avoided incurring RM35,000 and gained tremendous goodwill with its passengers by sending out e-mail and/or sms as MAS already knew of the inevitable delay.
It is hoped that the top management of MAS would look into the above matters and take the appropriate actions if recovery is its main objective. Disciplinary actions should be taken against the head of ground operation for sleeping on the job by not giving advance notice to passengers of known inevitable delay !