24 November 2021
Netizens have taken to social media to slam what they described as “absurd” airfare prices from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching during the Christmas period.
They compared the flight prices to London from Kuala Lumpur and claimed that it was cheaper to fly there than flying to Sarawak.
Among the critics was Sape artiste Alena Murang, who had planned to return to Kuching on Dec 24.
“Trying to get the best flights to Kuching (from KL) for Christmas and was shocked at these prices!” she said over her Instagram account.
“After including add-ons and KLIA transfers, safe to say we might as well be flying to London.”
She posted photos of online bookings for a return trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching departing on Dec 24 and returning on Jan 3 involving three different airlines – AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air.
The prices were RM1,900, RM1,552 and RM1,346.88, respectively.
Murang subsequently tagged AirAsia as well as its co-founder,Tony Fernandes, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air in the same thread. She also tagged caretaker Sarawak transport minister Lee Kim Shin on Facebook over the issue.
“If you knew how many tears were shed by all the Sarawakians who couldn’t return home last year because of the lockdown … please have a heart.
“On behalf of all Sarawakians, those working outside of Sarawak and those waiting for their loved ones to come home, please reduce the prices or at least give us a logical explanation for the prices.”
Another netizen, aboy@aripfredo, compared the online booking on the Malaysia Airlines website for Dec 25, with the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching costing RM1,499.18, and the Kuala Lumpur to London route RM1,469.
“Christmas di London jak kita (might as well spend Christmas in London),” he said on Twitter, asking Malaysia Airlines to explain and that Sarawakians are “watching”.
Aysha Ridzuan said it was cheaper to fly to London from Kuala Lumpur than to Kuching, demanding the national carrier also explain. “Make it make sense. Absurd,” she said.
Following that, aboy@aripfredo seemed to have got a response from Malaysia Airlines, which replied that the prices are “dynamically set based on demand and availability”.
“Prices may vary depending on the dates and times selected. We would recommend that you search on a different date combination to obtain your preferred fare,” the airline said.