MH370: Families were not informed via SMS alone, says MAS

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines did not notify family members of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 via text message alone, but spoke to them over the telephone and met them in person.

In a statement, the national carrier explained that the text messages were only an additional method of communication.

"As the Prime Minister said, respect for the families is essential at this difficult time. And it is in that spirit that we informed the majority of the families in advance of the Prime Minister's statement in person and by telephone.

"SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families."

Claims that passengers' families were only notified via SMS of the downed plane resulted in an international uproar, with foreign news outlets and observers criticising the move.

Netizens also took to Twitter and other social media sites to lambast MAS for their perceived tactlessness and lack of compassion.