AIRLINES have continued to outpace their airport counterpart in terms of complaints filed as reflected by the Malaysian Aviation Commission’s (MAVCOM) biannual consumer report.
Segregated by airlines, AirAsia recorded the highest number of complaints of 196 during the 2H 2020 period from July 1 to Dec 31, 2020.
“This is followed by Malaysia Airlines (105) and AirAsia X (57) respectively,” MAVCOM pointed out in its ninth consumer report for 2H 2020. “For the airlines, processing of refunds, flight cancellations and flight rescheduling were the top three complaint categories, making up 62.8% in total.”
As for the airports, complaints were mainly concerning the airport facilities and security.
More broadly, the 2H 2020 report noted that total of 428 complaints were filed, of which a staggering 99.3% involved the airlines while only 0.7% were on airports.
Nevertheless, this translated to a 45.3% reduction from 783 complaints lodged during the corresponding period in 2019.
Of the 428 complaints highlighted by MAVCOM, 98.3% of the complaints were successfully resolved and closed, according to the commission.
Additionally, the commission also received 1,403 requests for refunds in relation to COVID-19 from consumers. Of the number, 75% of the total requests were due to consumers requesting for refunds and delays in refunding.
Separately, MAVCOM also received 401 complaints which were non-actionable by the commission. Of these complaints, 270 came with incomplete documentation, thus could not be fairly evaluated.
Another 24 complaints were received where immediate assessment ascertained that the airline or airport concerned had fulfilled their obligations under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC), hence no further action was taken.
Others were complaints that were not related to the aviation industry, complaints that were beyond the scope of the MACPC or consumers withdrawing the complaint.
The biannual report further indicated that 59% of complaints received during the July 1-Dec 31, 2020 period 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 by the airlines.
This represented an 8% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
“MAVCOM is cognisant that the recovery journey of the nation’s aviation sector to its pre-pandemic status will indeed take time,” commented MAVCOM’s executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim
“While there are prospects of resuming air travel in the foreseeable future, MAVCOM looks forward to working collaboratively with the relevant authorities and industry players to ensure that aviation consumers’ rights continue to be protected.” – March 18, 2020