For three years, Aiman Md Uslim fought for a ticket refund from budget airline AirAsia X, a struggle which ended in frustration and disappointment.
Aiman, from Shah Alam, Selangor, bought six tickets for RM4,149 on Nov 3, 2019.
The tickets were for a flight to South Korea, scheduled to depart on Oct 17, 2020.
After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, Aiman decided to cancel the trip on March 12, 2020, just before Putrajaya imposed the movement control order which closed the borders and brought travel to a halt.
He was offered a refund in the form of credit in an email sent by AirAsia X on April 8.
"But I didn't want credit, so I told them that I wanted to be refunded in the form of the original payment," he said.
On May 19, AirAsia X told him that his refund was still being processed as the airline was dealing with a flood of similar requests from other passengers.
After waiting for more than two years, Aiman lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) on June 6, 2022.
Ten days later, he was credited with a refund in the form of travel vouchers.
Frustrated with the development, Aiman filed a claim at the Small Claims Court on March 17, 2023.
The hearing was held at the Sepang Magistrate's Court on April 17.
"AirAsia X had no representative, so I submitted all of the details and an immediate decision was made in my favour," Aiman said.
But his joy was short-lived as AirAsia X then filed an application to set aside the decision under the company's restructuring restrictions.
AirAsia X previously said it had received approval from 99% of its creditors for its debt restructuring process on Nov 12, 2021, before the proposal was approved by the High Court on Dec 16, 2021.
The next hearing of Aiman's case was held at the Sepang Magistrate's Court on June 8.
There, the court accepted AirAsia X's application to set aside the initial decision, leaving Aiman with his refund in the form of travel vouchers.
Fed up, Aiman gave up on pursuing his case, vowing never to use AirAsia X's services again.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he said he had had high hopes of recovering his money after reading about Nagendran, a fellow AirAsia passenger who succeeded in getting a cash refund through the same procedure in 2021.
"The most frustrating thing is that AirAsia X did not discuss with its passengers before implementing the restructuring process which allows it to decide not to return our money," he said.
"This is unfair. They can take my money just like that. But the travel vouchers can only be used for flights with AirAsia X.
"What if I want to use the services of another airline? Of course I won't be able to."