0137E: My First Encounter With AirAsia Customer Service

So I had my first opportunity (well, more like reason) to contact the customer service hotline of AirAsia Philippines. You see, back when they launched back in February, I managed to snag some of their "zero-fare" tickets for Tobie, Prince and myself for a nice off-peak jaunt to Boracay by way of Kalibo airport. And given how Air Asia is quite the major player in the regional budget airline market, I was curious to see how they would differentiate themselves from the local carriers.

Although I wasn't expecting to have a chance to test this theory so soon.

Yesterday I was surprised to receive an email stating that my flight itinerary had changed due to some uncontrollable issue. When I clicked on the link in the email to explore my "flight recovery options", I was suprised to see that the options that they were providing essentially meant shaving off an entire day of actual time at Boracay and yet still requiring the same number of nights booked at a resort. Instead of arriving early and staying late, the alternative flights presented had us arriving late and leaving early. I was pretty upset so I decided to wait for the morning to call and explore my options in more detail as opposed to going with the recommendations offered by the website.

When I did call the hotline, the agent stated that only our return flight had to change and departure flight would remain the same. In addition, the fight change involved it being one our later and not the drastic shift from being an afternoon flight to a morning flight. To be sure I had her re-confirm my itinerary and we printed new copies of our boarding passes to be sure. The agent was very friendly and in fact her level of training felt more at par with call centers that cater to foreign markets.

I thought it was all over by then. But it wasn't, strangely enough.

I received a text message from AirAsia Philippines on my way home from work and was surprised to see that it now stated that our flight was an our earlier than the original schedule instead of an hour later. By this point I was prepared to go to war again and made sure to call them us the moment I got home.

This second agent followed a similar call flow, reconfirmed my booking had not changed from the morning versus the text message that I had received. She also went through a number of cross-promotion items that reeked of her trying to hit a higher QA score but I wasn't in the mood to make too much of an issue out of it. At least my issue had been resolved so I let her have her positive score. Again, this felt more like an international call center versus some of the local agents I've dealt with for companies like Cebu Pacific or AirPhil Express.

In summary, I give a lot of credit to their call center - they're doing a pretty tremendous job. However I am still on the fence about how well they've transitioned their online infrastructure from Malaysia over to the Philippines. That seems to leave something to be desired and with luck they'll work out the kinks.

For now all we can do is wait for the actual flight in September and see what their terminal and in-flight service quality will be like. Expect another blog post about that in the future!

EDIT: I received one more text message from AirAsia after publishing this blog post - it has now advised the correct revised flight time for our return trip from Kalibo. You're getting there AirAsia Philippines!

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  1. Sana makasakay na me ng eroplano :(

    1. A lot of your comments on my blogs are about your regrets for things you haven't tried - let's do something about! Make that change!


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