Travel vlogger Josh Cahill was having such a bad flight experience, he simply couldn’t wait to post about it. This, as it turns out, would come back to haunt him when it became obvious the flight crew had all read his post — with hours to go before they reached their destination.
Cahill was flying from Kuala Lumpur to London via Malaysian Airlines, a 14-hour flight made no easier by a broken entertainment system, poor seating, and bad food. The vlogger, who has a sizeable following on YouTube and Instagram, couldn’t help but express his frustration seven hours into the journey.
He posted to his Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
I’m only halfway through my flight to London and I can already say that this is the most disappointing flight of the year. Very unfriendly crew (where did the amazing Malaysian hospitality go?), broken inflight entertainment (asked the crew to fix it and they never got back to me) which leaves me 13 hours without entertainment, dreadful food served on a sticky and filthy tray and on top of that I was probably assigned the worst seat on that plane… sorry @malaysiaairlines but this was/is a really poor performance. Stayed tuned for the full review, soon on my YouTube! However, Malaysia will always be my favorite country ????????❤️ . #gotravelyourway #avgeek #aviationgeek #instagramaviation #businesstraveller #instaplane #aviationlovers #luxurytravel #businessclass #aviation4u #firstclasstravel #airlinegeeks #aviationdaily #aviationdaily #aviationblogger #bloggerlife #youtuber #joshcahill #malaysiaairlines #mh04 #london #uk #malaysia #kualalumpur #nightmare
“I’m only halfway through my flight to London and I can already say that this is the most disappointing flight of the year. Very unfriendly crew (where did the amazing Malaysian hospitality go?), broken inflight entertainment (asked the crew to fix it and they never got back to me) which leaves me 13 hours without entertainment, dreadful food served on a sticky and filthy tray and on top of that I was probably assigned the worst seat on that plane… sorry @malaysiaairlines but this was/is a really poor performance. Stayed tuned for the full review, soon on my YouTube! However, Malaysia will always be my favorite country ????????❤️.”
Unfortunately, perhaps because he tagged Malaysia Airlines, it soon became clear the workers on the flight had all read Cahill’s en-route review. Flight staff reportedly confronted him and denied him water while serving it to the rest of the passengers:
“After the captain was informed mid-flight by the (airline’s headquarters) about my post they asked me why I would post and complain. They started ignoring me then, wouldn’t offer me any water when the crew came around. They then told me I should stop filming or I won’t get served anymore.”
Wow. Bad service quality can happen, is probably the exception on @MAS and it can be corrected. But bullying or abuse (and tbh childish tactics you described) while you’re still in the air with them and under their care and responsibility is an absolute no.
— Alex Duggleby (@alexduggleby) November 21, 2018
When he arrived at his destination, however, a corporate representative met him at the gate to make a formal apology for his experience. Since then, Cahill has received several “template” emails trying to make things right. One even came from CEO Izham Ismail.
Cahill believes he knows why the airline made such an effort to make things right:
“I think it was clearly to prevent me from getting more footage and create a bad review on my YouTube channel. I had a rather disappointing flight with Jet Airways earlier this year and the video was watched over one million times and I guess they are afraid of bad review from me. I have had bad flights obviously, but that I was denied service and told off, that has never happened to me before. I also have never heard of a similar case.”
Having been their gold frequent flyer i have also experienced childish bullying by crew when for example i asked for a drink(coke) 'too early'(bus class kul lhr!) The crew were pathetic and rude and only behaved when i mentioned contacting media. So well done.change will happen
— Topcat (@kondonlondone) November 22, 2018
There is this "if you don't like it, don't fly with us" attitude. And yes, it starts with the CEO. But I would suggest these problems only started recently since Khazannah took over.
— Avtar Singh (@aman_avtars) November 21, 2018
Well I think you did the right thing by voicing out your opinion. Customer experience is very important in the hospitality industry and if any airline does not follow that then all the best to them !
— Nikita Gupta (@guptaniki16) November 23, 2018
Twitter users were flabbergasted that Cahill had been treated so rudely.
Embarrassing! At least be professional enough during the mid-flight. Did MAS expected him to give a good review after what happened?!? As a Msian myself, I’ve been through bad customer service from MAS https://t.co/uB4pZPBaG8
— mawar (@mawwaarrrrr) November 23, 2018
There are many Malaysians out there still defend Malaysia Airlines after Josh Cahill’s experience. Nahh I won’t. I defend MH from criticisms most of the time but situations like this, the airline really need to learn from it
— Andrew Leong (@LYTeffect) November 22, 2018
I sent an email to Malaysia’s Minister of Transport with ur video attached. Hopefully he reads that email and watches the video. I feel that if the government of Malaysia isn’t aware of this, the same incident might happen again to anyone. Probably the only way for MH to improve
— Andrew Leong (@LYTeffect) November 20, 2018
Malaysian Airlines issued a statement, saying:
“We pride ourselves on the quality of our service and regret if the passenger felt standards were below expectations on this occasion. As soon as we were made aware of Mr. Cahill’s grievances, we contacted him directly and offered a full refund for his journey. We are taking his accusations seriously and conducting a review into what happened.”
Not surprised at this also had my worse flight with @MAS on Heathrow-Kuala Lumpur; wrote a comment to the airline but got no reply; cabin crew not attentive, broken entertainment, v little food, no drinks unless requested; I didn't see the crew for 4-5h in a 13h flight… https://t.co/cnwLnCuR99
— Alfonso L. Montero (@A_LMontero) November 25, 2018
I wouldn't ever fly with you again even if you paid me to fly with you.
— Andrew Carter (@AussiePunter32) November 26, 2018
As a frequent flyer — about 150 times a year — Cahill is a fairly reliable judge of good flights and bad flights. But he still had to learn one important lesson: wait until you’re back on the ground to start calling out the flight staff.