PETALING JAYA – Photos showing AirAsia baggage handlers “kissing” an array of check-in items have gone viral on social media and left netizens tickled.
This comes after a recent incident when the budget airline was heavily criticised for mishandling of bicycles by ramp staff.
Facebook user Mohd Amir Izzat posted 20 photographs of the airline’s baggage handlers appearing to kiss the luggage of passengers with smiles on their faces, The Star Online reported.
Mr Mohd Amir said it does not matter how heavy a piece of luggage is as it will be handled with “kiss and care”, in a playful take on a Facebook video showing AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes telling his staff to take extra care in handling check-in luggage.
“Please look after bags better, OK? Every day I got someone e-mailing me about bags,” Tan Sri Fernandes said in the video, according to the New Straits Times.
“Don’t throw the bags anymore, kiss the bags,” he stressed.
The airline was panned for the poor handling of the bikes on a flight from Kaoshiung, Taiwan, to Kuala Lumpur, when ground crew were caught tossing baggage believed to containthe bikes off a ramp during unloading.
Facebook user Fen Lim, who owns at least one of the bikes, uploaded the video on March 21 and wrote: “Thanks AirAsia.. you broke my bike. This was filmed while we were still seated in our flight AK171 from Kaohsiung to KLIA2.”
On Sunday (March 25), Mr Fernandes shared a photo on Instagram of its baggage handlers “kissing” the bag and commended their actions, The Star reported.
“Our Allstars bouncing back. From adversity comes strength. It only takes one or two bad apples to spoil everything. But it takes a team to take the knocks and come back stronger with humour and pride and be the best,” he said.
He added that he was proud of his “Ramp All Stars” staff.
In a comment on the Instagram posting, a user by the name huatgohyong wrote: “I hope this kissing is not just for show, to be posted on social media. Rest assured my next trip on AA (AirAsia), I will be looking forward to witness this kissing!!!”
Another user, philliphiew, said: “Just hug will do, kisses will spread germs. I need an antibacterial spray!”
AirAsia chief executive officer Riad Asmat had earlier offered his apologies for the rough treatment of the bikes and said stern action would be taken accordingly.
As a gesture of goodwill, the low-cost airline said it will be waiving all fees to transport bicycles for April.