Mavcom: 2,340 flight ticket refund cases in 1H20

by AFIQ AZIZ/ graphic by MZUKRI

THE Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has registered some 2,340 ticket refund cases from consumers in the first half of 2020 (1H20) due to flight cancellation resulting from Covid-19.

In its eighth Consumer Report for the period between Jan 1 and June 30, 2020, Mavcom revealed that flight cancellation cases have surpassed the total 384 regular complaints during the period.

Of the 2,340 cases, 2,146 were for refund requests and the remaining were for change of flight dates.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said the flight cancellations were for health concerns and travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

He said this is one of the most challenging periods in the aviation industry.

“Although aviation services are progressively resuming operations, demand for air travel remains far from what it was pre-pandemic.

“While the commission does not foresee a full recovery in the near term, we will continue to uphold our mandate of protecting the rights of aviation consumers nationwide,” he said in a statement yesterday.

According to the report, 99% of the regular complaints were on airlines and only 1% is on airports.

“This is a decrease of 52.6% compared to the same period last year when Mavcom registered 810 complaints,” the regulator said, adding that 90.9% of the complaints were resolved.

The report also indicated that 57.8% of total complaints received from Jan 1 to June 30, 2020, resulted in the airlines reversing their initial decision and producing a resolution that was more equitable or satisfactory to the consumer than what was initially provided.

“This represented an increase of 3.8% compared to the same period last year,” Mavcom said.

Segregated by airlines, Malaysia Airlines Bhd recorded the highest number of complaints per million passengers during the 1H period.

The airline received 44 complaints for every one million passengers it carries. The second and third highest recipients were Malindo Air (32) and AirAsia X (24).

Processing of refunds, mishandled baggage and flight cancellations were the top three complaint categories for airlines as it makes up 51.4% in total.

On the other hand, airport facilities and airport security are the main complaints for airports.

Separately, Mavcom received 490 complaints with incomplete documentation and therefore could not be fairly evaluated.

The commission also received 79 complaints where immediate assessment ascertained that the airline or airport concerned had fulfilled their obligations under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016, hence were not taken further.

In line with ongoing efforts to ensure service quality levels at airports nationwide, Mavcom said they have continued the implementation of the Airports Quality of Service Framework.

“As at June 30, 20 out of 28 service quality elements have been implemented at both terminals of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The remaining eight elements are expected to be completed in 2021,” it said.