KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 ― After a second social media gaffe since losing two planes this year, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has apologised and removed a poorly-worded tweet on its year-end promotion following a slew of criticism.
The national carrier, whose Flight MH370 disappeared in March and which remains missing, yesterday posted the following message on Twitter: “Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where? Our Year-End Specials might just help! #keepflying”.
Users of the site were quick to draw a link between the message and MH370 that disappeared with 227 people on board, prompting MAS to remove the offending message.
“Our tweet was intended to inspire travellers to explore deals offered. We apologize for any offence caused & have removed it!” MAS replied to Twitter user, Theresa Powell, today on its official @MAS account.
Powell had tweeted MAS yesterday using her @tpowellwow account to say, “probably not the best choice of words for an airline that doesn't know where one of its planes is- just saying #mas370”.
This is the latest promotion by the national carrier that has carried messages indirectly referencing its own deadly disasters that include Flight MH17, which was shot down in eastern Ukraine in July and killing the 289 people on board.
In September, MAS was forced to scrap its “My Ultimate Bucket List” advertising campaign for a competition, following a backlash over the phrase “bucket list” that refers to a list of things to do before dying.
Foreign press like The New Zealand Herald and news.com.au have reported Twitter users criticising the airline over its latest faux pax yesterday.
Malaysian Twitter user Adrian Yeo (@ninoamigo) said on the social networking site that MAS’s tweet was “inappropriate”.
Another user Ahmad Lala (@ahmadlala619) tweeted: “Oh no, Malaysia Airlines has done it again with it's: ‘Want to go somewhere, but don't know where’ ad campaign. Cringe. They just can't win”.
In response to the social media backlash, MAS retweeted Twitter user Jonathan Wong’s @jono_dubs tweet: “Don’t understand all the haters blasting #mas for their promotions? Some people are trying”, and replied “Thanks for your support”.
MAS is currently undergoing a massive turnaround to reverse its billions in losses that were exacerbated by MH370 and MH17.
The national carrier was delisted in August after sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd offered to buy out its minority share for a total of RM1.38 billion to restructure MAS.