Consumer / Flight Delays and Cancellations

Flight Delays and Cancellations

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, your airline will most likely need to provide you with compensation to help you get your travel plans back on track. Depending on the nature of the delay or cancellation, this may include:

  • meals, telephone calls and internet access (for delays of 2 hours or more);
  • hotel accommodation and transport (for delays of 5 hours or more or when a stay becomes necessary); or
  • a full refund or alternative flight (if your flight is cancelled).

The only exceptions occur during “extraordinary circumstances” including security risks or extreme weather which the airline could not have known would happen.

If you believe that you have not been adequately compensated, lodge a formal complaint with the airline operating the flight before contacting MAVCOM.

Illustration 1 – Flight delay

Ali purchased two separate tickets from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur from ABC Airline and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore from XYZ Airline. His flight with ABC airline was delayed for 8 hours. Due to this delay, Ali missed his connecting flight with XYZ Airline to Singapore. Is Ali entitled to compensation and care for his missed connecting flight to Singapore?

  • ABC airline is only responsible for Ali’s flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur. As the delay was more than 5 hours, ABC Airlines is responsible to provide Ali with the following:
  1. Meals, limited telephone calls and internet access (where available);
  2. Hotel accommodation (where an overnight stay becomes necessary);
  3. Transport between the airport and the hotel (where necessary); 
  • Since Ali holds a separate booking with XYZ airline to Singapore, ABC Airline will not be responsible for any consequential costs related to his travel arrangements for his connecting flight.

Illustration 2 – Flight delay

Hani holds a single ticket from Penang to London with a transit in Kuala Lumpur with ABC Airline. Her flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur was delayed for 3 hours. As a result of that, she would miss her connecting flight to London. What is Hani entitled to?

  • ABC airline is responsible to transport Hani to her final destination (London) as she holds a single ticket with ABC Airline from Penang to London. As the delay was caused by ABC Airline, it is the responsibility of ABC Airline to accommodate Hani on the next available flight to London at no additional cost.
  • In the meantime, Hani is also entitled for meals, telephone calls, internet access (where available) and accommodation (where an overnight stay becomes necessary).

Illustration 3 – Flight cancellation

Ali’s flight from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur with ABC Airline was cancelled. ABC Airline offered him an alternative flight the next morning as that was the immediate available flight, or a full refund of the ticket. Ali found the alternative flight unsuitable and decided to purchase another ticket with XYZ Airline. Can Ali request ABC Airline to pay for the ticket purchased with XYZ Airline?

  • Rescheduling of flights are inevitable in the airline industry for various operational circumstances. However, the airline is obliged to provide sufficient notice as well as provide the first available alternative flight or a full refund to affected passengers.

  • In this case, ABC Airline had offered an alternative flight or a full refund to Ali. Hence, ABC Airline has fulfilled its obligation and is not liable to pay for the ticket purchased with XYZ Airline.

For more information, please refer to the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) – Part III, Paragraph 12: Air Passenger’s Rights – Flight Delay and Cancellation.

You may also refer to our short animated video below on this topic: