Bangkok: Malaysia Airlines tried to appeal to travelers’ sense of adventure in a year-end promotional campaign.
“Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where?” the airline wrote Thursday on Twitter.
A day later, it apologized for the tweet, which has been removed, after some users of social media questioned the effectiveness – and taste – of the post by an airline still reeling from the disappearance of Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean this year.
One woman suggested on Twitter it was “probably not the best choice of words for an airline that doesn’t know where one of its planes is.” Another said she was not sure she wanted to be on a flight, “going somewhere but don’t know where.”
Search crews continue to scour a vast area of seafloor off the coast of Australia, the presumed location of Flight 370, which left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, but took an unexplained turn with 239 people onboard and disappeared.
Malaysia Airlines tweeted Friday that its promotional message “was intended to inspire travelers to explore deals offered.”
It was not the first time that the airline’s promotions have brought on snide criticism. In September, the company initiated a marketing campaign in New Zealand and Australia titled, “My Ultimate Bucket List.”
The campaign invited would-be passengers to submit lists of the destinations they most wanted to visit and offered the possibility of winning tickets. But the name of the competition, inspired by a list of things to do before you die, or “kick the bucket,” prompted complaints that it was in poor taste coming two months after another of the airline’s jets, Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 people onboard.
The airline, which on Friday announced that its financial losses have deepened, has sought to lure passengers with a variety of promotional messages and campaigns on social media.
It has been tweeting a series of what are meant to be inspirational aphorisms, promising “the possibility of better things ahead is greater than what we leave behind.”