Ms Radhika Iyer-O'Sullivan was one such victim of poor service by MAS when she was seated next to a hostile passenger during a flight from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur.
The cabin crew were unfortunately nonplussed (and I'm being kind here) as to what course of action to take, in what I would personally regard as a reasonably simple situation.
Someone who writes in as 'Former MAS Frequent Flyer' agrees with me. In fact, his assessment of the situation was identical to mine.
MAS royally screwed up when they didn't immediately remove the hostile and aggressive passenger from his seat immediately upon the first signs of a temper tantrum.
They went on to exacerbate their mistake when they eventually moved the victim instead of the aggressor. And not to Business Class, which they claim was full on that flight.
Business Class was full?
That's something I wouldn't believe for even a second because on an international flight (say, Dubai to KL) I deduce that the aircraft would probably have been an Airbus A330 which has over 40 seats in Business Class.
Let's be conservative and assume it was the smaller variant, an Airbus A330-223 which has a seat configuration of 0 First Class, 42 Business Class and 187 Economy Class. Ref: 229 (-/42/187)
Frankly, I find it rather hard to believe that all 42 seats would have been taken, and you would too, if you only knew how much Business Class costs.
So they didn't relocate her to Business Class. Instead a flight attendant took her to "the kitchen", of all places!!
Now there are no kitchens on airplanes; what she was referring to is probably the galley.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is no place for a traumatised passenger. And neither is coke and water the solution for soothing frayed nerves.
I think this situation occured because the cabin crew were not adequately trained on what to do in situations like this. As the victim was non-confrontational, they insensitively opted to "resolve" the matter by the easiest way possible: sending her away.
I am surprised there was no sky marshall on board. Such a hostile passenger should have been handcuffed to his seat for the safety of ALL other passengers on board, not just Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan.
Evidently, MAS does not have much regard for its passenger safety. It should because it is, afterall, a national carrier and Malaysian reputation is at stake.
I checked its blog and found only a whinging response saying that the aggressive and hostile passenger was a Malaysian and describing how shocked the cabin crew were at his behaviour.
Read further and you will find even more disturbingly lame excuses.
Do you know what Malaysia Airlines offered as a service recovery? A miserable 25% discount off her return flight. At this point, I just had to send them a piece of my mind.
I am appalled to hear of such poor service by MAS. At no point in time should Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan have been removed instead of the hostile passenger. In fact, the situation should never have been allowed to escalate to such a point.
You obviously have poorly-trained staff with a severe lack of quick-thinking and problem-solving measures. I am even more disturbed to hear that the only measures being taken are a miserable apology and a 25% discount on the return flight ticket.
Do you seriously expect Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan to patronise MAS after such deplorable service? I have flown MAS a number of times for business purposes when I had no say in the booking of the ticket, but you can be assured that the next time I am booked on MAS, I will flatly refuse to travel on it.
I don't know if they will publish it as they do moderate their blog. Probably not, if they want to maintain the pleasant facade of a stream of satisfied customers.
But do you know what I really think Ms Iyer-O'Sullivan should do?
While I'm not a fan of legal action because so many lawsuits have reached the threshold of frivolity (especially in the USA), I personally believe she should sue their pants off for causing such trauma through their insensivity and incompetence.
Perhaps being relieved of a substantial amount of cash would spur them to provide better service to their customers in future.