Netizens laud passenger who returned a stolen blanket to Malaysia Airlines after 9 years

PHOTO: Instagram / @kay_abdul

It took nine long years, but a pilfered (and very used) travel blanket was returned to Malaysia Airlines by a passenger who even left a note expressing regret over the minor dishonesty nearly a decade ago. 

Though in all honesty, the airline probably will have no use at all for a ratty old blanket that’s been missing for nine years. But hey, it’s the thought that counts. 

In an Instagram post last Friday (Jan 17), @kay_abdul posted about "something sweet" that happened on flight MH156. According to the MAS leading flight steward, a crew member brought his attention to a neatly-wrapped package left behind by a passenger following a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to King Abdulaziz International Airport. 

“As usual, we’d conduct inspections in the cabin after passengers leave to make sure that they didn’t leave their belongings behind,” said the steward, Kamarulzaman Abd Karim, to Harian Metro

It turned out that an anonymous passenger wanted to return an airline-issued blanket from 2011, and even apologised for taking it home. The included note didn’t contain a name or a contact number. 

Here’s what the note read:

"Sorry… I was dishonest in the past. I took this blanket. Around 2011 if I’m not mistaken. Today, I am returning it. 

I apologise and I hope that you’ll forgive me for using it all this time. By the way, it’s my favourite blanket…

I’m sorry once again, MAS…"

Kamarulzaman noted to Harian Metro that he felt moved by the act — especially since it’s been so long since the blanket was taken. This, on top of how it’s quite common for passengers across all airlines to take home the provided flight blankets as a sort of souvenir. 

Fellow Malaysians were similarly inspired to also return their looted MAS blankets. 

"I’m still using it. I don’t know if my mum asked for permission to take a blanket back home to Sabah because we have a lot of them." PHOTO: Twitter screengrab
"Accidentally took one too, looks like I have to return it." PHOTO: Twitter screengrab
"Hope they'll forgive me for taking a blanket home when I was around four to eight years old, I really love the blanket and now it's my precious, please forgive me MAS" PHOTO: Twitter screengrab
"I accidently took an MAS blanket too in my schooldays, probably around 2004. Didn't know that we couldn't take it out. I wanted to return it but didn't know how. Hope MAS forgives me please. #malaysianhospitality" PHOTO: Twitter screengrab

Though some folks might be confused about why anyone would bother to do so after nine years, it makes sense when you realise the context. Having alighted at the Saudi international airport, it would mean that the anonymous passenger is going on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a journey which would see the Muslim pilgrim perform cleansing rituals in Islam’s holiest sites. 

Nine years it may have been, but it’s never too late to atone for past sins. Even for something as trivial as bringing home an airplane blanket. 

ilyas@asiaone.com