Saturday, July 2, 2022

The principle of refunding AirAsia flight tickets

Consumer rights must be respected and protected but there are certain quarters who do not appear give two hoots.

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Passengers in Malaysia whose AirAsia flights were cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic should be entitled to a refund of the airfare and not categorised as creditors.

They paid for a service – their respective flights to be taken to a destination. The service was not delivered as the flights were cancelled due to safety and operational requirements.

With bookings of flights done online and the airfare paid using either a credit or debit card, the refund should be credited back to the card used to make payment.

It is unethical for the airline to hold back the refund. Offering a credit with validity over a period is not justified.

As the pandemic heightened, airlines around the world were left with no choice but to cancel flights at short notice leaving thousands stranded.

It has been two years since passengers started requesting for refunds.

The silence of the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry on the issue is shocking.

As the government agency responsible for looking and helping to resolve consumer problems with merchants, its silence raises questions as to who the passengers have to turn to.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission’s failure as the regulator for economic and commercial matters related to civil aviation to compel the carrier to refund the airfare rubs salt into the wound.

Mavcom’s claim that it is negotiating with the carrier for passengers to receive their refund with no outcome after two years only reveals that it is just hot air.

The passengers should not be misled but told exactly what the situation is.

Foreign carriers have honoured their commitments to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled.

I was booked on a flight to Singapore on Feb 15, 2020, and Beijing on March 3, 2020, on the same airline.

The refund for both flights was credited to my corporate expense credit card within the stipulated period of 90 days.

Flying will never be the same.

Some people may not want to fly again for fear of being stranded or even falling sick.

So what happens to the refund due to these people or those who may die during the credit validity period?

It is not the amount that is involved but the principle that matters.

It is a sin to keep money that should be rightfully refunded to those concerned.

Malaysia has been in the limelight on the international front for the wrong reasons.

This is another issue for the foreign media to add to the list.

Consumers continue to be on the receiving end despite there being laws in the country,

Consumer rights must be respected and protected but there are certain quarters who do not give two hoots.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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