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'Only AirAsia': International travellers vent fury over slow refunds

They say they experienced cancellations with other budget airlines as well but received their money back almost immediately.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Passengers wait outside their boarding gate as an AirAsia plane sits on the tarmac at the Kuching International Airport.
Passengers wait outside their boarding gate as an AirAsia plane sits on the tarmac at the Kuching International Airport.

An AirAsia passenger from Germany has resolved to respond to every Twitter post that the low-cost airline makes until he receives a refund for the flight tickets he purchased for several hundred ringgit some six months ago. 

Felicity Wilcox, a UK citizen living in north Cologne, said he had paid €103 (about RM480) for a flight from Luang Prabang, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand, scheduled to depart on Aug 30, 2022. 

He booked the tickets on June 23, 2022, and was told a month later that the flight schedule had been changed. 

Wilcox decided to take AirAsia's refund option for those who do not agree with flight schedule changes. 

"I took the refund option as I was worried about missing my next flight in Bangkok," he said. 

"Then I bought new tickets with Lao Airline. I was told that the refund process would take 14 days, but I have yet to receive my money back."

Wilcox said AirAsia then sent him an email informing him that the company did not guarantee the period of time within which he would get his money refunded. 

It was then that Wilcox chose to take the matter to social media, deciding to respond to every tweet AirAsia made from September last year onwards. 

He also made a series of complaints through AirAsia's chatbox AVA in addition to emailing the company, but today, he is still waiting for a solution. 

Wilcox also took the matter up with Mavcom or the Malaysian Aviation Commission, but was told that the problem was beyond its jurisdiction as the flight route was not within the country. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he said he had experienced 10 flight cancellations with another low-cost airline, adding however that none of these was an issue as his money was refunded almost immediately. 

"It's not so much about the amount of money I paid. It's more about AirAsia's unethical behaviour," he said. 

"I will only stop responding to their tweets after they give me back my money, and not in credit form." 

For Elvi Yuliani from Singapore, however, the money she paid was in fact the main issue. 

Elvi forked out S$1,327 (about RM4,328) for flight tickets to Semarang, Indonesia, buying them through the AirAsia website. 

Her flight was supposed to depart with Batik Air on Oct 6, 2023 and return eight days later. 

However, she later received an email from AirAsia informing her that the flight had been cancelled. 

"I emailed them, and I sent messages to AirAsia staff on LinkedIn. I left comments on AirAsia's Facebook and Instagram and lodged complaints with Mavcom, authorities in Singapore, and my credit card company.

"It's been five months now, and there have been no developments," she said. 

Elvi also purchased tickets with another budget airline for a flight that was eventually cancelled as well. 

But like Wilcox, she received her money back within two days. 

MalaysiaNow contacted AirAsia but has yet to receive a response.