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Consumers Demonstrate Increased Level of Awareness

20 Mar, 2019


Consumers Demonstrate Increased Level of Awareness
99.6 per cent of consumer complaints resolved by MAVCOM

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 MARCH 2019 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has released the fifth issue of its Consumer Report for the six-month period of July to December 2018. With the release of this report, MAVCOM notes an increase in the number of complaints received from consumers compared to the same period in 2017.

The report presented a 11.7 per cent increase in the number of complaints lodged with the Commission, amounting to 821 complaints. Of these complaints, 810 were registered against airlines while 11 complaints were made against airports.

In addition to the 821 complaints registered with the Commission, there were 573 complaints received which were incomplete and therefore could not be properly evaluated; 139 complaints where the airline or airport had provided a resolution in line with the requirements of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) and was not taken further; and 69 complaints lodged were more than a year from the incident date, beyond the MACPC’s scope or not related to the aviation industry.

Continuing with its high complaint resolution success rate, the Commission resolved and closed 99.6 per cent of the complaints received during the six-month period. The Commission also notes that 55.0 per cent of the resolved complaints involved airlines reversing its initial decision for a resolution in favour of consumers.

In addition to providing a detailed overview of the various types of consumer complaints, the Report also included information on FlySmart, an initiative to educate consumers of their air travel rights. During the reporting period, the Commission launched the FlySmart Facebook as well as Instagram pages, which allow consumers to learn more about their rights in an interactive manner.

A dedicated FlySmart mobile application was also introduced in November 2018, providing consumers with an even more convenient avenue to register feedback or lodge complaints as well as track their complaint status from within the mobile application. Additionally, the mobile application will enable consumers to receive push notifications on travel rights and current alerts.

As part of the FlySmart initiative, the Commission also participated in MATTA Fairs that were conducted nationwide to further advocate consumer travel rights. Also detailed in the Report, were updates pertaining to the implementation of MAVCOM’s Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework along with the respective timelines. As at December 2018, a total of eight service quality elements were implemented at both KL International Airport (KLIA) and KL International Airport 2 (klia2).

Dr. Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, Executive Chairman of MAVCOM, said, “We are cognisant that we are fully funded by passengers and passengers’ interests are always at the forefront in our conduct in regulating the aviation businesses.  As such, protecting consumer rights is an integral tenet of our existence. We see the rise in complaints for the July to December reporting period as an indication of improved awareness levels amongst consumers of their rights. The Commission will continue to drive awareness while educating and empowering travellers through our consumer-centric initiative, FlySmart.”

Key Highlights of the Consumer Report

Malaysia Airlines recorded 413 complaints, representing an increment of 41.9 per cent compared with the same period in the previous year. This was followed by AirAsia with 230 complaints, marking an increase of 36.1 per cent compared with the period of 1 July to 31 December 2017, while Malindo Air registered a 58.9 per cent drop in complaints, with 69 complaints.  

Mishandled baggage, processing of refunds as well as flight delays made up the top three complaint categories. These three categories together contributed to 51.6 per cent of total complaints received.

Complaints on airports decreased by 21.4 per cent during the reporting period with complaints mainly related to airport facilities, airport security and special assistance.

“Aviation service providers should take heed of the Consumer Report in terms of the complaints that are coming in from consumers and aim to improve service levels and fixing the root cause of these complaints, thereby improving their appeal to consumers,” concluded Dr. Nungsari.

The Consumer Report is available on MAVCOM’s website at MAVCOM’s Consumer Reports is released on a bi-annual basis by MAVCOM.

The full report is available as a PDF here.