Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can't bring extra luggage on MAS for Nepal

I was planning on a trip again to Nepal for Recovery phase, and as there is always a need for more supplies on the ground, I was checking with the airlines whether they can allow me any extra allowances if I were to bring aid like medicine or a tent along.

After booking with Malaysia Airlines, a relatively decent trip at a decent price with 1 stop over, I sent them this email.

Traveling for Disaster Recovery. 

I am going to Nepal for Disaster Recovery and I decided to book Malaysia Airlines. I was wondering if there are any additional allowance to bring aid to Nepal when I fly there on June 15, 2015?

I was simply looking for an answer like, "How much extra allowance do you need?" or "We would allow 5 - 10 kg extra to support Nepal"

This was their reply.

Dear Mr Low,

Greeting from Malaysia Airlines,
In regards to your email below, please be informed if passengers’ baggage exceeds the FBA limits (per class of travel), the excess weight is considered as excess baggage and the relevant charges will apply. The free baggage allowance (FBA) is as follows:
·         First Class             - 2 pieces weighing 50kg in total
·         Business Class      - 2 pieces weighing 40kg in total
·         Economy Class     - 2 pieces weighing 30kg in total
Should you require further assistance or information, kindly contact our Call Centre at 1-300-88-3000 toll-free number within Malaysia or +603 7843 3000 outside Malaysia. We will be glad to assists and serve you better.
Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Linda

Malaysia Contact Centre|
Global Customer Contact Centre|

So even after all the plane disappearance, crashes and mishaps, the decision to support any groups going to Nepal for relief and recovery is still a no?

I am quite disappointed. Well, it just mean that the rest of my team will not fly with Malaysia Airlines from now on.

-- Robin Low 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Its time for Nepal Recovery.

The Nepal Earthquake in April 25 and another big one just weeks apart has left a big trail of disaster. In all, more than 8,600 people died and thousands were left homeless. The future looks bleak to many of them as aid and relief is slow to come and besides losing their homes, many lost their jobs.

The International Response is weak compared to other disasters, and one of the reasons is due to the lack of business interaction between Nepal and other countries. In most disaster relief, the support for donation and aid is spearheaded by businesses and it makes business sense to help business partners recover, but in this land locked nation surrounded by mountains, they do not have much dealings with other countries.

There was a good response during the search and rescue, but the job is not done then. Recovery is like a marathon, and the search and rescue is just the initial phase, and there is still a long way to recovery.

I've written several articles on disaster recovery and relief.

Disaster relief is not just for experts and special teams

What you can do to help Nepal's recovery

The recovery phase is usually forgotten and not supported. Like the Rohingya crisis, Nepal is at the point of inflection. With enough aid, Nepal can be rebuilt stronger and more resilient. Businesses need to be supported to restart and the people can gain employment and get on with their lives.

Without support and with dwindling aid, the survivors will be turned into refugees, leaving their homes to search for jobs in other lands.

I plan to go to Nepal to support the business recovery and get more ground information from the ground. If you wish to support, I'm running a fundraiser here.

Sustainable Nepal Recovery (Nepal Earthquake 2015)

Lets show the survivors in Nepal that we care.

-- Robin Low