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MAVCOM Advises Aviation Industry to Take Heed of Consumer Complaints as Air Travel Picks Up
KUALA LUMPUR, 19 September 2022 – The Malaysian Aviation Commission (“MAVCOM”) has published the 12th issue of its bi-annual Consumer Report for the first half of 2022 (“1H22”). The report provides a clear and comprehensive summary of the state of the aviation industry during the course of the post-pandemic air travel recovery period as well as its impact on consumers.
Throughout 1H22, a total of 1,251 complaints were registered with MAVCOM, with 99.1 per cent (1,240) complaints received on airlines while 0.9 per cent (11) complaints were related to airports. This illustrates an increase of almost 8 times more than the 157 complaints lodged within the corresponding period last year.
As a result of MAVCOM’s review of the complaints received, about a quarter of the complaints received in 1H22 saw airlines reversing their initial decisions by providing resolutions that were more equitable or satisfactory to consumers. Overall, 87.9 per cent (1,100) of the total complaints have been resolved and closed.
In addition, MAVCOM also received 1,317 non-actionable complaints, comprising 1,160 complaints with incomplete documentation, 59 complaints where the airline or airport concerned had fulfilled the obligations under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC), 35 complaints that were withdrawn by consumers, 31 complaints that were beyond the scope of the MACPC, 29 complaints that pertained to bookings made through travel agents as well as 3 complaints that were lodged more than a year from the incident date.
Key Highlights of the 1H22 Consumer Report
AirAsia received the highest number of complaints from January to June 2022, comprising 42.1 per cent (527) of total complaints, followed by Malaysia Airlines with 40.7 per cent (509) and Batik Air with 7.9 per cent (99).
For every million passengers carried, Malaysia Airlines recorded the highest number of registered complaints with 199 complaints, followed by Batik Air with 167 complaints and AirAsia with 95 complaints.
Flight rescheduling, flight cancellations, and online booking collectively contributed to 46.1 per cent (577) of total complaints filed.
Datuk Seri Hj. Saripuddin Hj. Kasim, Executive Chairman of MAVCOM, said, “Global air travel saw a strong recovery in the first half of the year, particularly as more and more international borders reopened and travellers took the opportunity to travel abroad in addition to improved domestic travel. Passenger traffic increased from an average of 2.90 million between January to April 2022 to an average of 4.79 million between May and June 2022. Indeed, Malaysia’s aviation service providers should prepare by taking heed of the complaints breakdown observed in the Consumer Report as guidance to further improve service levels as well as address the root cause of prevailing issues. As a proactive measure by MAVCOM, we have also been actively engaging aviation service providers to ensure that these issues are being addressed.”
He added, “Prior to embarking on their respective journeys, air travellers are encouraged to utilise the Travel Advisory feature within the FlySmart mobile app as it provides up-to-date information on global air travel requirements to help travellers better prepare whilst instilling confidence to travel and ensuring a smoother journey. Additionally, MAVCOM is working towards the enhancement of the MACPC to further protect air travellers and in continuing to empower them to exercise their rights.”
The report also recaps MAVCOM’s initiative to champion the protection of aviation consumers through its first-ever international hybrid webinar on aviation consumer protection entitled, ‘Charting the New Frontier: Aviation Consumer Protection Needs Today and Beyond’, held on 28 June 2022. Launched by the Minister of Transport, YB Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong, the webinar tackled current issues head-on and addressed traveller expectations post-pandemic.
Furthermore, the Consumer Report for 1H22 provides updates on other consumer-related initiatives, such as the implementation of 20 out of 28 service quality elements as part of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework by the Commission, as of 30 June 2022 at both KL International Airport and KL International Airport 2. Presently, the implementation phase of the Airports QoS Framework at Subang, Langkawi, and Kota Kinabalu airports is targeted to be completed in stages from the fourth quarter of 2022 onwards.
Additionally, the report covers MAVCOM’s continued efforts to educate and empower consumers through its FlySmart website, social pages, and mobile app, as well as its Travel Advisory feature, which offers quick and easy access to essential information on air travel restrictions and air travel rights.
The Commission closely monitors the challenges faced by the industry resulting from the increase in fuel prices, as well as operational and resource constraints that impact consumers and the industry. To this end, the Commission continues to engage with industry players to facilitate a strong and sustainable aviation sector.
MAVCOM’s Consumer Report can be found here.