KUALA LUMPUR — April 13, 2018: AirAsia’s special air fares offer today to those traveling to vote in the 14th general elections has triggered a lively discussion in cyberspace.
While some welcomed the budget airlines’ offer, there were also those who were not so positive.
The Election Commission’s decision to set May 9, which is a week day as polling day, had prompted AirAsia to offer fixed fare rates as low as RM99 to encourage Malaysians to vote.
“Because of your overwhelming response to vote for #GE14, we’re launching fixed fares TONIGHT. All fares available on airasia.com #forthepeople,” wrote AirAsia in its Facebook post.
Flight tickets on May 8 and May 9 within the peninsular are set at RM99, to Sarawak at RM120 and to Sabah at RM199.
“Thank you AirAsia for giving these rates to Malaysians who have yet to buy tickets, it’s our national mission to let everyone vote,” wrote Facebook user Ismi Bani, who is among those welcoming the announcement.
However, there were also those who expressed dissatisfaction with the offer and demanded a refund for tickets purchased earlier.
Facebooker Adeline Yeoh wrote that AirAsia should fix the price for all domestic flights on the polling date and refund those who had paid more.
Her Facebook reply garnered 56 likes, suggesting that there were others who shared her view.
Fahmie Kei Basar also criticised the offer by describing it as just a publicity stunt.
“Most of us have already bought our tickets. If we wanted to vote, we can’t be waiting too long. Feels like a PR public relations) stunt more than anything,” wrote Fahmie.
These negative responses however have spurred others to defend AirAsia.
Angie Low, in expressing her disappointment with those who complained, wrote “Come on, the fact that you already have the tickets at hand means you can afford it. Have you ever thought that the promos are really for the people who really want to vote but have no means to do so?”
“So stop whining, move on and do your duty as a citizen of Malaysia who wants change for a better future. #bagibetisnakpeha,” she added in her comment which garnered 550 likes..
Echoing her opinion, Facebook user Lim Shan Yie wrote that AirAsia was not a charity organisation but a corporation.
“When ticket price rise due to demand, people complained. Now that AirAsia has given a great promotion, people still complained.
“It is good enough for them to help reduce fares for this upcoming general election. Say thank you, not complain,” wrote Lim.
In a series of tweet, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said that AirAsia will freeze seats that are not yet sold on May 8 and 9 and put those seats on low fares, while increasing flights on those dates.
“We are going to deploy AirAsia X 330 at times it’s not flying. Revenue team working overtime to get this done. Say thanks to them,” tweeted Tony.