Monday, July 4, 2022

Protest looms at AirAsia HQ as passengers refuse refunds in voucher, credit form

They say credit and vouchers are of no use to them as AirAsia X does not fly to their current locations.

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A protest is looming at the headquarters of AirAsia as passengers intent on receiving refunds for their cancelled flights continue to reject offers of vouchers or credit, standing firm on their demand for the budget airline to return their money.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, they said that credit or vouchers were of no use to them as there is no AirAsia X service at their current locations.

Malaysian Biasa @ Baisah Jawan who now resides in Gold Coast, Australia, said she needed her money back in order to book a flight to Sabah to visit her sick mother.

“She is 95 years old,” she told MalaysiaNow. “Her health began failing last year, and now she is in and out of hospital all the time.

“I want to visit her as soon as possible given that the Covid-19 situation is coming under control in both Australia and Malaysia, meaning that I can now travel safely.”

Biasa had booked tickets for an AirAsia X flight scheduled to depart for Gold Coast to Hanoi on March 28, 2020, before heading to Sabah on April 1, 2020.

She planned to go to Kuala Lumpur on April 10, 2020 and return to Gold Coast three days later.

“Our flight was cancelled in early January 2020, seeing as all of the flights in Australia were scrapped following the Covid-19 outbreak,” she said.

“But after that, not only did I receive a refund in the form of credit, it was in Vietnamese currency.”

Biasa found this strange as she had paid for the tickets in Australian dollars, forking out A$1,800 or RM5,684 for them.

Due to AirAsia X’s debt restructuring, she was given a voucher for 9,447,284 Vietnamese dong – equivalent to about RM1,792. The rest was given to her in credit form.

“AirAsia has no right to withhold customers’ money when flights are cancelled, just to meet its business objectives,” she said.

Siew Bee Chuen, who resides in Taiwan, said she too had no use for credit as AirAsia X does not fly from Taiwan to Malaysia.

To make matters worse, she said, even the credit that was given to her expired earlier than it should have.

She lodged a complaint with AirAsia about the matter and was told in an email that she would be given vouchers instead.

The email which she shared with MalaysiaNow stated that the vouchers would be good for another five years.

“But it’s only for AirAsia X flights, which limits my options to trips from certain locations,” she said.

“As long as there are no flights from Taiwan to Kuala Lumpur, I cannot use it.”

MalaysiaNow understands that AirAsia passengers still waiting for their refunds are planning to hold a protest in front of the AirAsia headquarters at Red Q in Sepang, Selangor, next week.

“We invite other passengers to join us in this gesture to urge AirAsia to respect the rights of consumers and to give us back our money,” said Teerathpal Singh, one of the passengers planning to attend the protest.

“We have been left with no other choice as the airline company and authorities seem to be ignoring our complaints.”

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