by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
THE latest amendments to the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) 2016, which would take effect on June 1, require airlines to publish the final price of airfare for flight tickets both at the point of advertisement and time of purchase.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) will implement the changes to the code, which would have a direct and positive impact on consumers.
“The MACPC contains guidance regarding passenger rights. Since its first implementation, Mavcom has obtained much feedback from consumers and these changes in the MACPC are a result of such feedback and consultations with aviation players in Malaysia.
“I am very glad to note that the amendments will further enhance and protect the travel rights of consumers,” he said in a statement issued last Friday.
Meanwhile, Mavcom executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi said the amendments will better safeguard the welfare of travellers and raising overall service levels in the industry.
“This is in line with Mavcom’s role in protecting consumers’ rights as defined by the Mavcom Act 2015,” he said.
According to the updated MACPC, airlines must disclose the final price of airfare including the base fare, all airline-incurred charges, government-imposed taxes and fees, fees prescribed under any written law and fuel surcharge.
This eliminates hidden charges — such as card payment charges and administrative fees — while optional charges checked by customers should also be displayed and included in the final price at payment point.
Subsequently, refunds should also be reimbursed to passengers within 30 days from the date the passenger requests for a refund. The same duration of time is given for cases when tickets were purchased from a travel agent.
The amendments include a refund to consumers on passenger service charges, taxes, fees, as well as charges prescribed under any written law for both refundable and non-refundable tickets.
Airlines are also only permitted to charge 5% maximum processing fee if the ticket is non-refundable.
Airport operators are also required to display the MACPC clearly for customers’ reference. In addition, all airlines are required to inform travellers on their travel rights via all platforms.
The updated MACPC also includes wheelchair service provisions for persons with disability; disclosure of terms and conditions at the point of purchase; and airlines’ responsibilities to ensure its staff or handling agents have adequate knowledge of the Protection Code.
The amendments to the MACPC was gazetted on May 10.
The code first came into operation on July 1, 2016, to provide a guideline on consumer rights and complaints processes, as well as penalties on non-compliance.