Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Is AirAsia's interfering CEO risking passengers' safety? How about we leave the flying to the pilots please, Mr Fernandes.

Another AirAsia accident in just a matter of days. Flight Z2272 overshot the Kalibo runway in the Philippines. Badly shaken passengers had to leave the aircraft using its emergency slide.  

Passengers were taken to the Kalibo terminal where the elderly were given medical assistance. An AirAsia statement cited that, "All passengers are now at a hotel assisted by AirAsia staff", whereas in reality they were simply left in the airport lounge to await their luggage that was still trapped on the stricken aircraft, according to Rappler. Such excursions seem all too common for AirAsia. Our professional pilot advisers cite the likely reason is because Tony Fernandes interferes with pilots, dictating technical flight-related matters to them.  These were some his statements from our previous AirAsia safety expose here.

Tony Fernandes: "My engineers talk to my pilots about how to fly the plane more efficiently, "We went from 80 landings per set of tyres to 180. We showed them how to brake on the runway, how to use the reverse thrust, how they should descend. We burn just 770 US gallons per hour of fuel. MAS, using a similar plane burns 1100 US gallons.

Vikram Khanna - Business Times Singapore - The no-frills CEO, 5th July 2003

Cost cutting is an obsession for Mr. Fernandes, who often oversees operations from AirAsia's tiny headquarters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport . He once suggested that pilots avoid using their brakes as long as possible upon landing. "Friction usually does the trick, so our brake pads and tires last a damn sight longer than most," he says.
Discount Airlines Proliferate - 20 July 2004 Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tony Fernandes: ""I know Malaysians very well," said Fernandes, a native of Malaysia. "If you put a fare low enough, they'll risk their lives," he said, as the crowd laughed."

Tony Fernandes - World Low Cost Airline Convention, thestar.com, 2009

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Our thoughts & prayers for lost AirAsia QZ8501

Our prayers go out to the passengers & crew of AirAsia QZ8501, flying from Indonesia to Singapore. The plane was carrying 7 crew and 155 passengers - 138 adults, 16 children and a baby. It is reported that no mayday call was transmitted before the AirAsia aircraft lost contact.  In an ominous sign, AirAsia prematurely added a 'black' logo to its FaceBook page. 


AirAsia says Flight #QZ8501 had requested 'deviation' from its flight plan.  A leaked air traffic control screen shows the aircraft ended up at 36,300ft and climbing, but ground speed was only 353, far lower than normal.  According to Airways News, "At such an altitude, it should be several hundred kts faster". In light of this 'evidence', speculation across all the Internet's commercial pilot websites is rife that the aircraft stalled. 

This shot from April 2014 shows AirAsia’s ill fated PK-AXC registered Airbus A320-200 in the air near Soekarno–Hatta International. 

In unconfirmed reports, Airplane wreckage has reportedly been found east of Belitung Island in Indonesia, according to CCTV. The information has not yet been confirmed by Air Asia.  Now is not the time to discuss AirAsia's safety record, we simply pray for a miracle today. 

AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Centre available for family of those who may have been on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801. Media are requested NOT to use this hotline. 

                            AirAsia safety issues here & here

                            #prayforairasia #airasia #qz8501

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Airfare Comparison Survey 2: AirAsia Cheap, Nasty and More Expensive Than Full Service Airlines

Breaking News!



Yes, the result of our first quarter 2012 Airfare Survey is in, and two of the world's most renowned airlines, KLM & Qatar, turn out to be cheaper than AirAsia - even before any of its  '+++' extras have been factored in.

Think about that for a minute. A skanky 'cut-price' budget airline - yes, we understand the irony in that label - is more expensive than a number of the best airlines in the world. How can shoddy AirAsia be more expensive?

Once you're hit by a few of those extras - that passengers get for free on any full-service luxury carrier - AirAsia [US$239] skyrockets to well above KLM [US$129] and Malaysian Airlines [US$207]. Still think AirAsia is cheap?


In case you think we're making all this up, all of the Survey airfares were submitted to - and have been independently verified by - Mr Ben Sandilands, Australia's foremost aviation journalist who boasts thirty years of airline observation in the Asia-Pacific. The parameters of the survey are below.

This from Sandiland's 'Plane Talking' regards the Airfare Comparison Survey: "A day before Air Asia X starts its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur flights a valid fare comparisons on the Air Asia Not Me website suggests that the airline will struggle to convince all but the laziest of shoppers that it is consistently cheaper at various value points. That comparison is supported by the screen grabs on the Air Asia Not Me site, never mind its reference to myself."

Why would you fly cattle class when you go 'first'?  Forget about that, why fly with an airline renowned for leaving its passengers stranded? Here's an airline that is insolvent that will not - or can not - refund passengers after deserting them on the French, UK, India and NZ routes in 2011-12.

Remember our 2011 Survey?

A few moppets - probably AirAsia employees - in the Lonely Planet and Trip Adviser forums suggested the 2011 Survey wasn't a fair comparison, that we had conducted it immediately before Christmas when all AirAsia 'cheap' tickets had been snapped up. By that logic, the various full service airlines' cheaper tickets should have been snapped up too, but what the heck. 

"AirAsia +++"

Notice our plus symbols "+++"? That means the AirAsia price - which was already a couple of hundred dollars more than a full-service airline - is not even 'all in'. You still had to choose seats, so you could sit with your family. Of course, you had more than carry-on luggage, so that was going to cost you dearly. It's not a short flight, so you probably needed some sustenance.

For a family of four, we estimate that is going to add another A$1000-1500 to your cattle-class flight. All free, including legroom, on a full-service.

So, we decided to conduct this NEW survey, pricing tickets nine months before takeoff. Presumably this one plays to the strengths of AirAsia, where you have many months to book the 'cheap' AirAsia tickets. And the result?

Those prices at the head of this article, well, they are the prices you get when you book AirAsia early.  AirAsia are already more expensive than full-service carriers. And those fares rely upon their extremely limited promo tickets. It all goes downhill from here. Check again in September! 

Let's try comparing apples with apples. We will level the playing field by showing the airfares to include the 'extras' that AirAsia charge for, but that don't show up in an initial head-to-head comparison of basic fares. Consider that renowned airline, Qatar Airways, is already  cheaper Singapore to Bali than AirAsia, before they start piling in the added extras at hugely inflated prices. Why fly unsafe, badly maintained AirAsia, rather than luxury Qatar?

You've seen the 2011 Survey result for Singapore to Perth at Christmas where AirAsia was easily the most expensive. Ready for another one? It's a choice between British Airways and AirAsia on the Singapore to Perth route.

This time, the only 'extra' AirAsia could slug us with was that we included a suitcase weighing 25kg. So, how does no-frills cut-price AirAsia hit us for additional costs this time around? You'll love it. This is so bad, it's funny.

Firstly, AirAsia passengers must make a stopover in Kuala Lumpur [... so you actually start the journey heading in the opposite direction to your destination], while the British Airways jet is half way to Perth. But the funniest part is that they then charge you extra for the plane change in KL.

Yes, they charge you four separate times for your baggage - once for the leg from Singapore to KL, and then again from KL to Perth, and same on your return. No, we're serious. In the end, AirAsia charge S$120 for something BA give you free. Plus British Airways is easily cheaper than AirAsia overall.

So, as you inconveniently overshoot Singapore on the return journey for another plane change in KL, ask yourself if AirAsia was a terrific idea. British Airways offered you a generous luggage allowance, along with food, alcohol, seating allocation, inflight entertainment and terrific service.

And what is full-service comfort? Is it the free food and booze? Maybe it's the inflight entertainment and extremely spacious seats, or the fact that you chose your seat for free? Maybe it's something as simple as asking for a blanket, a newspaper, or a coloring book to entertain your children. Pragmatists would enjoy the fact that flights arrive and depart on schedule.

Of course, you'd never find KLM cancelling routes and failing to honour refunds after months of passengers going out of their brains. Take some time and read our articles on AirAsia dire financial status HERE & HERE  - which might suggest why the airline is charging like a badly wounded bull.


The independently verified Holiday Airfare Survey was conducted on Friday 30th  of March, with all flight searches being made online 10am - 5PM. In each instance, the lowest economy fare offered by each airline was the one selected and featured in the survey - all fare data was taken from each airline's own website, not from airfare aggregators such as Expedia.com. For all holidays there was a standard departure date of 05/12/2012 and return of 31/12/2012, though the actual arrival and departure times obviously differ among the various operators, departures are strictly kept within 24hours. Screen captures at the base of this article evidence each. The term 'inclusive' means an 'ounce for ounce' comparison with, say, baggage allowances being allotted at the same weight that the full-service airline allocated to passengers for free, or a seating allocation was included. Optional insurance or extras like 'comfort kits' were not included in what were the 'extras' that AirAsia charge for and full-service carriers routinely offer free.

Another piece of regrettably inaccurate, yet ironic, 
AirAsia communication.

The Screen Captured Evidence

Kuala Lumpur - Jakarta 
KLM & Malaysia Airlines Better Value than AirAsia

Kuala Lumpur - Singapore [Budget Airlines]
Tiger Airlines Better Value than AirAsia 

Melbourne - Singapore [Budget Airlines]
Jetstar Better Value than AirAsia

Perth - Bangkok [Budget Airlines]
Tiger Airways Better Value than AirAsia

Perth - Kuala Lumpur [Budget Airlines]
Tiger Airways Better Value than AirAsia

Singapore - Bali [Full Service Airlines]
Qatar Airways Better Value than AirAsia

Singapore - Perth [Full Service Airlines]
British Airways Better Value than AirAsia



Thursday, 15 March 2012

Anti-AirAsia Website to be auctioned for charity

Mahathir punishes Tony Fernandes with old underpants on head ....

It seems Dr. 'Evil' Mahathir bin Mohamad was furious to discover that Fernandes had forgotten to bid on the 'Fly AirAsia? Not Me' blog in the 2012 kids' charity auction. Just when Mahathir's cronies and AirAsia had a chance to bury the anti-AirAsia website forever, Fernandes fumbled and let it slip into the hands of one of his biggest regional airline competitors. We cannot reveal which carrier. It was an anonymous auction in support of charity

Actually, this blog is for sale, and the auction is about to happen .. 

'Fly AirAsia' Website For Sale.
 A Ceasefire for Charity. 

Since 2007, the hugely popular website has strung together over 60 investigative articles that have lambasted AirAsia, highlighting its lack of maintenance, safety, governance, pricing, and ethics in particular, but generally making sure that people were aware of all AirAsia's sins.

The AirAsia exposé website is read by hundreds of regional customers each day. And for the right price - money that goes directly to underprivileged kids across Asia - it could be yours. We hope it's not AirAsia's. 

We have already had a number of anonymous emails from parties interested in bidding. Following our last email push today, and any extra registrations at airasianotme@yahoo.com we can begin. VIP, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO TWITTER VIA AN ANONYMOUS ACCOUNT. THEN 'FOLLOW' US ON OUR TWITTER ACCOUNT - HERE. This is imperative if you wish to bid at auction.

Of course, if this Anti-AirAsia opus falls into the wrong hands upon the auction, it will disappear and never be heard of again. If one of AirAsia's competitors purchase the consumerist website, however, it will forever be a major thorn in their Marketing Department's side. Here's our philosophy ...

Our group, the 'Causeway Co-op' Committee was unanimous in our decision to auction the website to the highest bidder and donate the US$500,000 reserve price, or more, to charity. Yes, it's not going cheap - but the charities can never have enough. We are very happy with our decision. With the sale complete, and the charities far better for it, our members have avowed to cease all activity against AirAsia and its affiliates. We're done. Not even articles about engines falling off poorly maintained aircraft? 

Finito. Our lips are sealed. Someone will have to pay to fill our shoes. 

Have we gone soft on AirAsia? It's pretty clear that at least one brand would prefer the site to disappear, whilst a handful of others would like to see the website stay around forever. Let's just say that all parties will be extremely keen to to get their hands on this hot anti-brand website property. We will never have anything but contempt for AirAsia's Management and the bent politicians; however, we are prepared to call a ceasefire for charity.  

Of course, whether it's a ceasefire or WW3 all depends on which anonymous buyer purchases the website via our lawyers. Hell, we'd like to see the website get bigger and bigger with a bit of money behind it. Tony Fernandes must be shitting himself as he recalls all the puerile comments he made about his competitors. As our motto goes, "Don't get angry, get even!"  

We've all been working on this site since 2007. That anti-corruption commitment has led to a website that is content and keyword rich and boasts SEO as sticky as fly paper. And doesn't Google just love 'Fly AirAsia? Not Me'. Try a few 'AirAsia' search terms, especially those for safety, and we are atop of all the international searches from Australia to Malaysia, America to England.  That brings us an average of around 200 individual hits per day - and occasionally up around 600 per day when we get featured in International newspaper websites - which is a lot of eyes, leading to a huge amount of word of mouth. Of course, that is the tip of the iceberg, as there is our incessant 'contribution' to all of AirAsia's social media efforts including FaceBook and Twitter, and regular postings to over a dozen of the world's most influential travel websites. Talk about a thorn in your side.

Why are we selling? We could adopt any number of plans that we had in store for AirAsia, including further safety exposes, advertiser boycotts and far reaching social media campaigns, but we decided 'Save the Children', 'Free the Slaves', 'International Rescue Committee', and others are more important than the safety of a planeload of thrifty AirAsia customers. In spite of our spiteful demeanor, once we step down from our consumerist anti-AirAsia role, that will be the last you will hear from any of our team.

One wag asked us what will happen if we don't reach the reserve, to which we reply that we would be so bitterly angry that we will keep harassing AirAsia 'til the day we die. We're pretty young!  So, that's a long time.

Accordingly, we would like to thank all our team of tireless 'Causeway Coworkers', you know who you are; all of our contributors over the years; our beloved 'moles' within AirAsia and in Government -  and all of our fans who have spread the word about AirAsia's sins. Thank you very much. It is fans like you who managed the miracle of putting us on Page #1 of Google for a search of 'AirAsia' in Malaysia. As any marketeer knows, it takes SEO Gods [ED: We used the 'G' word, team] to reach this absolute SEO pinnacle. We appear just below AirAsia, but above their FaceBook or Twitter pages.

If you need further information, or making a bid to our lawyers over US$500K, please contact us on airasianotme@yahoo.com via an anonymous email address and we will give you details of the auction. As we mentioned, this is an anonymous sale - neither the seller or buyer will be aware of the others identity. One will leave with the the new URL and all the website content, plus the keys to our Blogger, YouTube and Twitter account, the other will have a big party for all of its faithful staff and donate the rest to children in need.  Who'd have thought it'd all end like this? Bye bye.

We really liked this comment posted here -

"Marvelous idea of taxing companies for their ill-deeds, it's a bit like polluters buying carbon credits. I like that a bad brand can support worthy charities, albeit unwillingly. If the blog suddenly disappears, at least we will know why ... and that countless kids will have benefited. Love it. 
Bye bye, 'Fly AirAsia'"

Anonymous reader.