More passengers have come forward to openly express their dissatisfaction with low-cost airline AirAsia X after months or even years of waiting to be refunded for cancelled flights.
One of them, Lui Thiam Fah, said he had yet to receive any refund for 11 flight tickets purchased between June 7 and Oct 14, 2020.
Lui, who described himself as a loyal AirAsia customer, said he had often flown with the airline to visit his family members in Sydney, Australia.
He said AirAsia X had always been his airline of choice for international travel.
“Before all this trouble with the refunds, I would book flight tickets with AirAsia twice a week,” he told MalaysiaNow.
“You could say that I had flown with AirAsia X to nearly all of its destinations. I was a loyal customer.”
But today, Lui feels that his loyalty has not been repaid.
He estimates that he spent about RM2,500 on the tickets, not a sen of which he has seen returned to him.
For him, money is not the problem. His main bone of contention is AirAsia’s integrity and its treatment of its passengers – both of which he now questions.
Like many other disgruntled customers, he tried to communicate through AirAsia’s AVA chat bot, but found it useless in helping him resolve his problem.
“It’s not that I don’t have money,” he said. “I just feel as if my rights have been thrown aside.
“I would take any form of compensation they give me, including credit. But as of today, I have yet to receive anything.”
While Lui would gladly settle for a credit account, other passengers have been urging the airline to explain what is so difficult about refunding them in cash.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, they also voiced confusion about a recent statement by AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail that the company could not provide cash refunds to passengers because of the law.
At the press conference on June 15, Benyamin said that AirAsia X had just undergone a court restructuring process.
Under the law, he said, the company could not give cash refunds to anyone including creditors.
He added that AirAsia X would instead provide credit refunds through travel vouchers as well as a 10% cash payment.
Having received neither cash nor credit, though, Lui has turned to other airlines for his trips abroad.
“This issue has been very upsetting,” he said. “These days, I fly with Scoot Airline or Singapore Airlines.
“I have to stop in Singapore before continuing to Sydney, which is troublesome, but I would rather go through that process.”
Lui said he would only go back to using AirAsia X if the company is true to its word and apologises to the public, especially the passengers who have been troubled by this situation.
Checks on social media found that several AirAsia X passengers in Western Australia had succeeded in obtaining a refund for their cancelled flights.
They said in their posts that they had filed complaints through the Western Australia (WA) Consumer Protection.
When contacted by MalaysiaNow, though, WA Consumer Protection would neither confirm nor deny the claims.
“Consumer Protection in Western Australia took note of the claims related to AirAsia refunds on Facebook,” it said.
“These allegations were not from us, and we will continue looking into this matter while keeping in touch with the company.”
MalaysiaNow is also awaiting a response from the Malaysian Aviation Commission and AirAsia on the statement made by the AirAsia X CEO.