Tuesday, December 02, 2008

"MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality"

One thing that Malaysian Airlines is very good at is . . . inconsistency.

Like many other Asian airlines, monitoring of hand baggage rules is very haphazard. On many MH flights I have seen passengers carrying on bulky and heavy suitcases, and when they find they won't fit into the overhead lockers, or are too heavy to lift, the crew run around trying to find spaces in various storage lockers to accommodate the oversize bags (at least Malaysian don't pile them up on seats at the back of the plane like some CIS airlines do).

But that wasn't the case today - at least not on my MH flight to Manila. When I got to the gate at KLIA to board my flight, I found about 170 people queuing in front of me. The queue was moving quite slowly and when I eventually got to the front I found out why.

The MH ground staff were weighing any bag that looked oversize and a fierce looking female supervisor was shouting at passengers: "You, take out 5 kg. You, take out 3 kg."

Some of the passengers were protesting, but to no avail. I heard her say to one man: "You take out, you fly. You no take out, you no fly. You got three minutes - so do it now!"

People were on their hands and knees around the gate struggling to take things out from their luggage. I don't know what they were doing with the items they took out as I was traveling light and was ushered quickly through.

But as I turned back to look at the chaos around the gate, with the supervisor still barking orders at the hapless passengers, I was amused to note an advertising sign behind her that said "MH stands for Malaysian Hospitality."

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