The already struggling airline company offers a new promotion, but is it too soon to call this thing the “Ultimate Bucket List”?


Malaysia Airlines has a new contest in hopes of gaining more positive attention. Only one problem, it’s titled the “Ultimate Bucket List.”

Now for anyone who doesn’t see the issue, let’s review the reasons that Malaysia Airlines has been in our headlines.

On March 8 of this year their airline flight 370 went missing while traveling from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport. It is believed that the plane went missing in the Southern Indian Ocean and that all 239 passengers were killed.

Following the tragedy, on July 17, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine. All 298 passengers aboard were killed.

These two separate events not only caused heartbreak and dismay for the families and loved ones involved but also major trouble for the company’s future.

Now, roughly two months later, the company has launched a new promotion.

The new promotion offers free round trips to Malaysia from New Zealand and Australia. This is definitely a way to try and gain traction as a reputable airline company.

The issue with this unfortunate event is its title. The name of the promotion, “My Ultimate Bucket List,” is inappropriate due to the airline’s recent history.

In July following the second incident, investors took action by selling their stock. The S&P 500 index dropped about 0.7 percent in the hour from 11 a.m. to noon on July 17.

We could venture a guess that a promotion that insinuates things you may do before “kicking the bucket” might be deemed inconsiderate to the families of the passengers killed on flights 370 and 17.

What would possess a company with an already tarnished reputation to do something in such bad taste?

Sadly, all we know is that the company had approved the title as it was a common phrase used in the countries where the promotion was being run.

The good news out of all of this is that the contest has officially been renamed, “Win an iPad or Malaysia Airlines flight to Malaysia.”

While this title isn’t as appealing it certainly strays from offending anyone.

In their statement, the airline explained: “The competition had been earlier approved as it was themed around a common phrase used in both countries. The airline appreciates and respects the sentiments of the public and in no way did it intend to offend any parties.”

While I sit and ponder how they thought an inappropriate death reference would go over well, let’s hope that for the sake of the airline they look into hiring a really good public relations team.

By Molly Carver

Molly Carver is Social Media Editor for MBU Timeline and news anchor for MBU Timeline-Broadcast. She is majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Journalism. After graduation, Carver plans to find work with a boutique public relations agency where she can utilize her passions for writing and strategic planning.