Today I got a Reader Question about one of the frequent Malaysia Airlines Business Class specials where a reader has a possible change and wanted to know how to approach it.
Many tickets are in fact changeable but they often come with penalties and require the original booking class to be available which can be tricky especially with these super deal tickets.
Hi John and Sebastian, two weeks ago I got two Business Cl tickets on Malaysia for my girlfriend and I from Bangkok to Shanghai. I might need to change the date on the ticket and push it a few days back. Any idea if this is at all permitted and how much that would cost? Thanks -JIM
Malaysia Airlines Business Class offers usually book into Z class so that means in order for the flight to be changed even and just having to pay the change fees your new, desired flight would require Z class to be available as well.
On top of that, if you change the ticket before the first sector is flown and the cheap fare is no longer available then the ticket will price at a higher price and you have to pay a fare difference on top of the change fee.
Example: Last week I flew Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur-Denpasar and two days before I went ahead and changed to the 9am morning departure compared to the 12:25pm midday flight I had before. The original fare was still available (on sale) so the only fee that was due was a 2000 THB change fee.
The thing with Malaysia Airlines is that their website is really horrible as far as reliable operation goes (pretty much as the entire airline) and there is no guarantee the online rebooking via ‘Manage My Booking’ is going to work properly. You might have to call the airline or your OTA if you booked through a site such as Expedia. I usually tend to book with Malaysia Airlines themselves.
After the first segment is flown the airline will be able to rebook you no matter where you originally booked but likely not online. After a trip has started there won’t be a repricing either, only the requirement of the booking class being available.
Rebooking the flight is technically easy and in the readers case for the cheap Business Class ticket ex Thailand only carries a 2000 THB fee. MH however often zeroes out their Z class inventory and that’s where the issue remains: Finding a day where it’s actually available.
I suggest using Expertflyer and comb through the desired dates to be prepared with the information. Don’t rely on what the telephone agents tell you because the quality of many Malaysia Airlines employees can be rather dismal as far as knowledge and motivation is concerned. The only way to fight against this is to know your stuff.