"Malaysia Airlines has uncovered a ring involving some senior executive who have been enriching themselves by upgrading thousands of Economic Class passengers to Business Class every year, denying the financially-strapped national carrier of much-needed revenue.
Last year alone this syndicate let go over 50,000 upgrades without getting prior approval from those authorized to do so. I am not sure how they made money from "selling" these upgrades or if they were in cahoots with travel and tour agents, but by end last year the malpractice had cost the national carrier more than RM200 million in lost income!"
My family used to travel quite frequently with MAS, we were all member of their Enrich loyalty program, but somehow or the other, we almost never received our airmiles in our accounts. Our travel agent would key in our names and membership numbers, I would check the names and numbers, at the counter they would check the names and numbers and at the gate and immigration they would again check the names. Surely so many people couldn't be wrong?
I filled in lengthy claim forms, submitted them to Enrich and would get finally the miles back months later. This happened again and again, after which I was fed up and wrote a letter to the head of Enrich. I was phoned back by a lady who apologized, and asked me the details of the last holiday so she could help me claim back the miles. However, I was not interested to go down that path again, I wanted her to tell me what exactly went wrong, so that we could prevent that from happening again. She didn't give a clear answer, I handed over the data and months later I received the miles.
In the mean time we found out that other people had similar problems getting their miles, they were used to claim back the miles afterwards and wait a long time for them to appear on the statements.
The next trip with MAS the same happened, we received no airmiles. I wrote again a letter to the head of Enrich, and suggested there might even be fraud involved, those airmiles are worth quite a lot of money. I was phoned back by the same lady, she was 100% sure there was no fraud involved (not sure how anybody can be 100% sure), again she could not explain what actually went wrong, and again I finally received my miles much later.
This happened a few more times after which my family decided that enough was enough, we changed to Singapore Airlines, and not a single mile was ever misplaced by them.
I have been in the IT industry for about 30 years and I can't believe software systems can be that bad that a huge amount of the allocations go wrong. It should be relatively easy to trace down and correct the error. Including the testing it should not take more than a few days, a fraction of the time needed to proces all the air miles claims forms MAS must have received.
The article of Rocky Bru sets me thinking, is it possible that our unclaimed airmiles somehow or the other ended up with other people who used them to upgrade their tickets?