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AirAsia's website is as much use as its timetable.

Publication: 
Editorial Staff
chiefofficersnet

AirAsia is a superb airline. Its aircraft are well maintained and clean, its crew are great. Yes, its ability to be anywhere near its scheduled departure and arrival times are the stuff of legend - for their persistent failures. It has an ultra-slick website that whizzes through the pages. but it's the website that is the real reason that one has to think twice about booking a flight. That's because so much of it, outside the core part of finding flights, doesn't work. Cheap fares are one thing - but not when buying them is so frustrating. But a failure today takes the biscuit. UPDATED AT END

Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta. AirAsia stretches all credibility over scheduling to breaking point, and sometimes beyond, on this route. For example, a recent CGK>KUL flight was showing as "on time" even though it was almost two hours late. AirAsia is a pioneer in setting extended times between scheduled departure and scheduled arrival, sometimes doubling the time that the flight should actually take. The reason is that it is is increasingly rare for a plane to be on the stand even after it should have left. Passengers are told they must be in the holding room long before scheduled departure (for example, 19:50 for a 20:30 departure). That means, in many airports, they go through final security and are not, then, let back out. There are, in such rooms, rarely toilets, food or even water. And yet, even though the airline knows that its plane isn't where it should be, it persists in displaying an "on time" notice. By the time passengers are loaded, they are tired, hot, fractious, hungry and thirsty and, even then, there is no water to be had until long after take-off and then only when the busy crew can work their way down the plane.

But even than pales when set against the difficulty in booking. Yesterday, this author tried to book flights but the payment system didn't want to work. It was only later, when time was made for another attempt, that payment was effected - but even then not by payment card. Instead payment had to be made by a convoluted system of setting up some kind of direct withdrawal from a bank account. Even that didn't work properly. Once payment was, apparently, completed, this appeared:

"Did Not Connect: Potential Security Issue

Firefox detected a potential security threat and did not continue to 20190516t152440.payments.airasia-paymentbe-prd.appspot.com because this web site requires a secure connection.

What can you do about it?

20190516t152440.payments.airasia-paymentbe-prd.appspot.com has a security policy called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which means that Firefox can only connect to it securely. You can’t add an exception to visit this site.

The issue is most likely with the web site, and there is nothing you can do to resolve it. You can notify the web site’s administrator about the problem. "

An attempt to write to AirAsia support was returned - they don't read such messages, apparently.

"Dear Guest,

We would like to inform that your feedback sent to airasiasupport.airasia.com did not reach our Customer Support Team. Should you require further assistance, please submit a new E-form or contact us here.

Regards,
AirAsia"

That's no use because the mail is in HTML and the links are not visible in plain text mail.

And so, having tried to tell AirAsia that their website isn't working, today an email arrives, this time in plain text, thankfully, asking to complete a survey about the website experience. Goody, I can tell them.

No. Clicking on the link in the email returns the page in this page.

Ah, well. At least there's consistency.

Let's see what how late the Jakarta flight leaves tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: credit where credit is due: Flight AK386 left KUL the following morning, i.e. Thursday - it was pushed back seven minutes before departure time, ran down the runway exactly as scheduled and arrived in Jakarta early. The following Sunday, Flight AK387 left the gate at CGK on time, was held by ATC at the end of the runway for almost 20 minutes (not, then, AirAsia's fault) and it arrived at KUL early.

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