Focus View
Timely for Mavcom to protect consumer rights
None | 02 Mar 2018 00:30

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) is finally planning to take tough measures to ensure consumer rights are protected when using the services of local airlines. That’s the right move for consumers have been taken for a ride for far too long.

By making airlines more accountable, consumers can now hope unprofessional actions by airline operators will soon come to an end. Operators may be upset, but consumers will be beaming with joy.

On Feb 27, Mavcom released a public consultation paper for proposed amendments to the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC). Broadly, the amendments to the MACPC are intended to ensure minimum service levels in terms of disclosure, non-discrimination against disabled individuals, rights of air passengers, compensation for lost baggage, compensation for flight delays and cancellations.

The proposed amendments, if passed and included in the MACPC, will bring great relief and comfort to consumers who had had to put up with flight delays, cancellations, lost or damaged baggage all too often.

One amendment includes deducting processing fee for the processing of passenger service charge (PSC) refunds. Mavcom says most airlines have been charging consumers from RM15 to as much as RM300 as processing fees, which is tantamount to profiteering at the expense of consumers!

If the amendment is approved, passengers who do not proceed with their flights will be entitled to full refunds. Another proposed amendment stipulates all refunds must be remitted within 30 days from the date of request.

Airline operators also have to inform passengers a week in advance of retimed flights and cancellation of flights (due to route cessation) one month in advance, if the amendments are approved.

It is heartening that Mavcom is taking such measures to ensure consumer rights are protected. Airlines need to improve their service level and not take consumer rights lightly. Kudos to Mavcom! Go ahead and amend the MACPC as proposed.

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