Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tommy Emmanuel!!!

wow wow wow!!!!! jem and faye treated vin and me to watch tommy perform at DBS Auditorium earlier tonight cos they couldnt make it. quotes from people after the concert:

'He is a genius!'

Vin and me were so impressed that we bought 2 CDs!!!!! Yes! the ever-so-thrifty Vincent and Jean!!!!! can you imagine how good he was????? he was one with his guitar, had so much passion for his art, loves God, and is SO FUNNY!!!!! in korea, he was asked what should the audience expect from his show and he said 'jokes with some songs in between'... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... aiyah maybe i didnt bring it across funnily enough, but we had a fantastic time tonight!!!!!

wee and faye, jio us with you the next time he is here in SG!!!!! ^_^

Monday, October 12, 2009

NEVER take United Airlines!

Original flight was UA896 on 13 October 2009 SIN-HKG. However, the flights are now changed to MH602 and MH072. We are totally disappointed with how UA handles flight cancellations due to the below events:

1) 12 hours before time of flight, we receive an email stating 'Please note that our flight UA896 on 13 October 2009 from Singapore to Hong Kong is cancelled due to Mechanical.'
a) Due to Mechanical? What do you mean by this? Given that this has affected our plans tremendously, can more effort be made to at least explain in greater detail and in proper English?
b) Does UA have so few aeroplanes, such that there is no workaround to ensure that customers travel plans are not affected?
c) Why is the notification only 12 hours before time of flight? This gives customers no choice but to accept what you have planned, as we are unable to cancel the flight and book another flight, given the last minute notice.
d) There was no call from your SG office to personally apologize for the change, explain matters, and offer the solution. What if we did not check our email? It would be a rude shock when we arrive at the airport and realise that we would have no time to change our appointments, resulting in us missing the appointments. This not only ruins our schedules but those that were to meet us.

2) The flights that were protected for us were for Malaysia Airline.
Deciding to use United Airlines as our carrier was based on a few factors:
a) Timing
- We spend less than 4 hours travelling and it allows us to reach in the late morning. We have already planned our appointments. With just an abrupt and unclear email informing us of the delay in arrival time, how does United Airlines expect us to make up for the lost time and money?
b) Reputation
- United Airlines has a better reputation in terms of service staff, reliability of aircraft and quality. Malaysia Airline is a carrier that we would never consider nor want to travel with, thus this decision made on our behalf is rude and uncalled for.
- Our colleagues did forewarn us that UA has a bad reputation, but we chose to believe in the brand. However, this first time experience confirms the negative opinions of UA and we would not want to take our chances with UA again. This would also serve a lesson to our relatives, friends and colleagues as well.
c) Direct flight
- Changing from a direct flight to a flight that has a stop over is a bad decision. We dislike flying and it is made 2 times worse when we have to endure take off and landing 2 times in just half a day.

Why was an airline of a lower tier chosen? Furthermore, from direct flight to a flight that has a stop-over? Simple business sense says that if you are unable to meet an obligation to a customer (in this case in terms of timing), you compensate upwards instead of downwards. Changing to Singapore Airlines, which flies direct, would be the best alternative. In UA's bid to save as much costs as possible, it has caused its future revenue stream to drop drastically, due to the lack of focus on customer service.

3) No customer support
- When we read the email at 630pm, 3 mins after it was sent to us, we called UA SG office immediately and was informed by an automated response that the operating hours are till 530pm, and the office is only open from Mondays to Fridays. If we need assistance urgently, we need to call US/Canada and calling charges will be incurred. Why is there no 24 hour support when flights are happenning 24/7?
- If the office closes at 530pm, earlier notice should be given to all customers so that we can at least call to enquire what happened and what other alternatives we have. By not allowing customers to have this basic level of support (not even mentioning that calls should be initiated by UA instead of by the customers), it is a clear situation of 'take it or leave it', with no customer committment, that is stressed on UA's website.

This whole episode is a traumatising experience. Instead of preparing for our trip tomorrow, we wasted time trying to cancel the tickets and book another airline so that we can meet our appointments, trying to contact UA personnel to understand the situation with no avail, and typing this email to express our disappointment.

The basic service that we expected from United Airlines when we booked for the tickets is not rendered. We expect our fares to be fully refunded. Appreciate your response as soon as possible.