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Sultan Ismail
7th Feb 2006, 01:06
Not sure if this where I want to post this, but as the general comment will be "you have to be joking" it seems the only place.

Last Friday 3 February, MH204 a Malaysian Airlines 747 from Johannesburg to Kuala Lumpur left with approx 300 passengers in "free seating". The decision to do this was taken as the passengers boarded, as I was one of the first people on the aircraft I heard this from the proverbial etc. Never mind that everyone had a boarding pass with an allocated seat.

The aircraft was on a remote stand due to building works at Jo'burg International, no problem there, however at 2.30pm some 20 minutes after scheduled departure, we were bussed to the aircraft.

The decision to offer "free seating" was taken as 2 busloads of pax stood in the South African sun either on the stairs or on the tarmac, and was accepted in disbelief by all. The ensuing chaos and near fights on the aircraft was an object lesson in how to handle a crisis, ignore it.

There is always a reason and in this case it was due to 2 critical breakdowns, a left rear door would not open and therefore the adjacent seating had to be left vacant, and a computer glitch in the seat allocation system which would not allow reallocation of displaced pax, thus "let 'em find their own seats and who gives a monkeys.."

This is the second incident with Malaysian out of Jo'burg that I have experienced in the last 12 months, the previous one was the 10 hour delay in departure as there was no crew for the incoming aircraft.

Route monopoly means that no one (at Malaysia Airlines Towers) gives a toss.