Jan 13, 2017

Taiwan Travelogue: Long Gone Prestige of MAS (7 Nov 2015)

When I was a kid, MAS was a prestigious national aviation carrier. Over time, I learned that despite MAS's established presence in Malaysia, the company had struggled to meet its bottomline. Slowly it crept into the limbo of premium airline and low cost airline.

I believed it was all for good reasons. My last trip to Siem Reap with MAS was pleasant by all accounts. Competitive fares, free baggages, free flow of wines, juices and peanuts made it more desirable than AirAsia. In consideration of the long flight time to and fro Taiwan, I decided to go with MAS.

On 8 Feb 2015, I made a return flight booking for my mom and I to Taipei for about RM1,000/pax. Flight time 1.35am.
On 6 Oct 2015, to my dismay, MAS had cancelled initial 1.35am flight, and reallocated all passengers to 9.25am flight.
On 7 Nov 2015, my mom and I arrived at KLIA at 7.33am. Few hours went by before we were informed that we were denied of boarding, along with 30 more poor souls, as the 9.25am flight was overbooked. We could either choose for full refund or be placed on a transit flight to Taipei. Having booked all hotels, we took the transit flight.

View @ MAS Domestic Golden Lounge
As the transit flight to Kota Kinabalu would be 2.05pm, MAS gave us some coupons to dine outside the departure hall before admitting us to MAS Domestic Golden Lounge at 10.30am.

Being a first time in MAS Domestic Golden Lounge, it was an unexpected experience. Food and beverages were served at all hours so we could fill our tummies whenever we were hungry, though it was not great. Bored we were but at least we had comfortable seats to rest on.

Mom @ MAS Domestic Golden Lounge

Me @ MAS Domestic Golden Lounge
In the MAS Domestic Golden Lounge we hung around before we boarded our transit flight to Kota Kinabalu at 2.05pm.

Meal served on the way to Kota Kinabalu
Meal was provided onboard, though it was no better than what we had in the lounge.

View @ Kota Kinabalu Airport
By 5.30pm, we arrived at Kota Kinabalu airport, before boarding our flight to Taipei at 5.40pm.

Meal served on the way to Taipei
Finally, we were heading to our destination. It was a tiring long day to us. We were not hungry when the meal was served but we stuffed ourselves with the salty meal anyway.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
9pm marked the time we arrived at Taipei. By then, buses to Jiufen was no longer available. Contemplating between staying a night in Taipei and taxi to Jiufen, we decided on the latter. We checked into the hostel we booked and took all the time we needed to recuperate from the physical and mental exhaustion.

No words can explain how distraught I felt. From an airline which I would incline to take for long haul flights, I now have second thought.

Long gone was the prestige of MAS.


  1. Walaowei... that's one bad experience! Did you get yourself a travel insurance? I think you can claim a certain amount for the flight delay...

    1. My travel insurance did not cover if there's a replacement flight. Which travel insurance you know cover such delay?

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