These IRONMAN Malaysia triathletes will not be able to start the race without their bikes which have been delayed. (Malaysian Digest)

A number of triathletes arrived in Langkawi yesterday for the IRONMAN Malaysia happening this Saturday, only to find their bicycles missing upon arrival. These triathletes will not be able to start the race without their bicycles which have to be checked into the race venue today in Langkawi.

Passengers affected were on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights to Langkawi International Airport, and were stranded at the airport since 12pm on Thursday

“I arrived in Langkawi at 12.30pm on board flight MH1438. Our bags showed up but our bikes have not showed up. It was not normal luggage so I paid extra money for my bike to get on that flight and flew in business class, yet my bike did not show up.” a business class passenger, David Miller said.

The American lamented how he had been waiting 30 minutes in line, where they are being told by airport staff manning the desk to fill up a baggage claim form so they can retrieve their bikes.

(Malaysian Digest)

Passengers were notified by staff that their missing bikes will be sent to their respective hotels upon arrival, but were frustrated that they were not given a timeline, nor was there a final resolve. Apparently, passengers on other airlines had no issues getting their bikes.

Cyclist Awangku Ezlyman who flew on the same flight called it “ridiculous” that passengers were made to lodge a report and manually fill up the forms for the airline’s mishap.

“It is unacceptable as this is a major event in Malaysia and MAS should have pre-empted the management of the airport, and anticipated an influx of passengers at this time,” said the frustrated KL-native who had waited over an hour.

“There are only two airport staff manning the desk and they are not doing anything to resolve this when there are professional athletes arriving for this race. Many are waiting for their bikes and this has created a backlog for other passengers as well,” he added.

The passenger who flew economy class also shared he feels saddened that his first IRONMAN experience, came off to a bad start because of MAS’ incompetence.

The IRONMAN Malaysia is the most anticipated triathlon race held on Langkawi island. The race will take triathletes on a 3.9km swim at Pantai Kok, followed by a 180km bike ride around the island twice and ends with a 42km run along the airport towards the finish line at the Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort.

Read more on Malaysian Digest.