cc Tony fernandes
On 2nd July 2014, I was taking an Air Asia flight AK 700 from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, for a day trip on business. As I reached the airport at about 630 am, I was met with Mohammed Shairul at the check in counter who took about 3 minutes to check me in. As he handed me my boarding pass, I realised that I had left my Iphone in the taxi that had just dropped me off. What a disaster!
I asked Shairul if I could borrow his phone to call the taxi company.
The minutes that followed were nothing short of a class act.
Shairul stood up from behind his desk, and asked me for my taxi receipt, dialled the number on his phone and started logging a complaint. While he was on the phone, I asked him if we could call my phone as well and see if we could find the taxi driver. So, while on the call with the taxi company he walked across to his colleague at the other check in counter, picked up her phone, asked me for my phone number and dialled it himself. The taxi driver picked up my phone on the other end. Shairul asked him for his location and to come back to return my phone. Apparently the cabbie had a flat tyre and said he could not drive back to drop the phone off. I heard Shairul plead with him for a while (all this while he was simultaneously talking on the other phone to SMRT- the taxi company) and then understood that the cabbie was at the taxi queue in Arrivals (one floor below, across a large airport). He hung up the phone, looked up at me and asked me to wait right there (he also looked at the clock, realised that I have about 20 minutes to board) and he sprinted to go retrieve my phone. As promised, he was back within 7-8 minutes with my phone, handed it to me, informed me that he has let SMRT know that the phone was found –and wished me safe travels!
As a leadership consultant I spend many hours in the day coaching and building teams with senior clients on executive presence and dealing with ambiguity. But it was a delight to see this behaviour first hand and handled so beautifully. What really stood out for me was that
Kudos to you , your team and Air Asia. Mohammed Shairul saved me a huge business deal that day and for that I will be always grateful.
Good luck Air Asia and hope you continue to soar!
Co Founder and CEO
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.