The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has stepped up to remind airlines that they should not fail to refund affected travellers for flights that were cancelled due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) is concerned with the plight of affected consumers who have been inconvenienced due to the pandemic and the unprecedented circumstances it has created,” said the commission in a statement. It also added that as a matter of principle, airlines should refund these customers with the amount equivalent to the cost of the ticket at the time of purchase. This includes taxes, charges, and fees prescribed for optional services that have been purchased.
MAVCOM further emphasised that airlines need to be reasonable and fair in determining the manner of refund. “The manner of refund should place the affected consumers in a similar position at the point of purchasing the ticket, which would be in the best interest of the airlines and affected consumers,” it clarified.
That said, MAVCOM acknowledged the ongoing steps that airlines have taken thus far to accommodate the requests for refunds by consumers, and it also encouraged them to keep up the good effort. Additionally, the commission clarified that it will continue to perform its duties under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 (Act 771) and the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 to balance the rights of affected travellers and the sustainability of the aviation industry.
Last year, MAVCOM had came out to say that airlines will be given more time to provide refunds to their customers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, beyond the usual time frame of 30 days. This is due to the high volume of passenger refund requests as well as the financial challenges faced by the airlines back then.