A new definition of ‘on time’

I was browsing the local paper today and two items caught my eye. One was a full page advertisement by Air Asia promoting a new ‘On Time Guarantee’. According to the ad, Air Asia will provide you with a RM200 gift voucher “if we keep you waiting”.

However, underneath in smaller type are the words: “For flight delays exceeding 3 hours only”. And then when you read the fine print below that, you discover that it is “not applicable for delays due to circumstances beyond our control such as bad weather, air traffic control, airport closure or acts of God”.

Putting aside the issue of whether you would be in a position to challenge Air Asia saying that a flight delay was “due to circumstances beyond our control” (a common phrase that you hear when airlines announce flight delays) I was quite intrigued as to how Air Asia could get away with defining a flight that left three hours late as ‘on time’.

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