Malaysia Airlines (MAS) had asked passengers for their ultimate bucket list of destinations they want to visit in a contest supposedly aimed at attracting people to book their airlines.
A somewhat chilling message was unknowingly sent by MAS when it announced a contest which the company dubbed as My Ultimate Bucket List.
The mechanics of the said contest is for the passengers to book MAS flights from Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2014. After booking their flight, they will list the top destinations they would want to visit. Twelve individuals with the most creative lists are entitled to win return economy class airfares from Australia and New Zealand to Malaysia or 16GB Apple iPads with retina display.
With the mystery of the missing MH370 still unsolved and the pending investigation on MH17, the name of the contest sends chill to the bones.
A bucket list is "a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying," according to a verbatim definition from the Merriam-Webster.
Realising their mistake, all information, press release and advertorials for the contest were believed to be taken down by MAS from the internet, TIME observed.
Before the contest became controversial, Regional Senior Vice President of MAS Lee Poh Kait said that it was launched to encourage customers to dream about their ideal destinations and bring back trust in MAS.
"We are committed to regaining the confidence of our customers and the industry as a trusted five-star carrier," Kait said.
Around this time, MAS had also announced its introduction of an 11 per cent commission for travel agents who could book passengers from Australia in cabin classes until Sept 15; Spring Sensation deals from which tickets can be bought from as low as $495 for a return economy class airfare to Kuala Lumpur; and You Can Weekend tickets, starting from $557.
It seems that MAS could only do so much to thrive.
On Aug 27, the airline announced that 186 of its crew had left their jobs in the first seven months, following the MH370 and MH17 tragedy.
"Following the MH17 incident, there was a spike in crew resignations but the number has now decreased to acceptable and routinely expected levels. Many cited 'family pressure' as the reason for their resignation due to the MH17 and MH370 tragedies," MAS said in a statement.