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Refund Requests Continue to Exceed the Number of Complaints in 2H2020

18 Mar 2021


KUALA LUMPUR, 18 MARCH 2021 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) today published its ninth Consumer Report for the second half of 2020, from 1 July to 31 December 2020.
In the biannual Consumer Report, the Commission reported that a total of 428 complaints were filed, of which 99.3 per cent involved the airlines, while 0.7 per cent were on airports. This translated to a 45.3 per cent reduction from 783 complaints lodged during the corresponding period in 2019. MAVCOM highlighted that 98.3 per cent of the 428 complaints were successfully resolved and closed.

Additionally, the Commission also received 1,403 requests for refunds in relation to COVID-19 from consumers. 75 per cent of the total requests were due to consumers requesting for refunds and delays in refunding.

Separately, MAVCOM also received 401 complaints which were non-actionable by the Commission. Out of which, 270 were complaints with incomplete documentation and therefore, could not be fairly evaluated. The Commission also received 24 complaints where immediate assessment ascertained that the airline or airport concerned had fulfilled their obligations under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (“MACPC”), hence no further action was taken. Others were complaints that were not related to the aviation industry, complaints that were beyond the scope of the MACPC or consumers withdrawing the complaint.

The report indicated that 59 per cent of complaints received from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020 resulted in the airlines reversing their initial decision and producing a resolution that was more equitable or satisfactory to the consumer than what was initially provided by the airlines. This represented an increase of eight per cent as compared to the period of 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019.

Segregated by airlines, AirAsia recorded the highest number of complaints of 196 during the half year period. This is followed by Malaysia Airlines (105) and AirAsia X (57) respectively.

For the airlines, processing of refunds, flight cancellations and flight rescheduling were the top three complaint categories, making up 62.8 per cent in total. As for the airports, complaints were mainly concerning the airport facilities and security.

The Consumer Report also reported various other initiatives undertaken by MAVCOM to strengthen and amplify awareness of air travel rights such as the implementation of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework to continuously ensure high service quality levels at airports nationwide. Twenty out of twenty-eight service quality elements have been implemented at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period that began on 18 March 2020. The implementation of all twenty-eight service quality elements at both terminals is expected to be completed in 2022. In the latest global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International (ACI), KLIA was ranked as one of the world’s top 10 airports in the category of airports with over 40 million passengers per annum in 2020.

The Executive Chairman of MAVCOM, Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim said, “MAVCOM is cognisant that the recovery journey of the nation’s aviation sector to its pre-pandemic status will indeed take time. While there are prospects of resuming air travel in the foreseeable future, MAVCOM looks forward to working collaboratively with the relevant authorities and industry players to ensure that aviation consumers rights continue to be protected.”

The Consumer Report is available on MAVCOM’s website at MAVCOM’s Consumer Reports are released on a biannual basis by MAVCOM.

The full Consumer Report is available as a PDF here.