Airlines will be given more time to provide refunds to their customers in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, said the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). Usually, the established time frame for airline refunds is 30 days.
However, MAVCOM did not specify exactly how much extra time airlines would be given over the 30 days as stipulated by the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC). It only said that the refunds should be “as timely as possible on best efforts basis”, with MAVCOM monitoring the airlines’ performance in this spirit.
The commission was responding to a statement from the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) which criticised the authorities for remaining silent in relation to refunds for flights that have been cancelled with the movement control order (MCO) in place.
“To date, airlines operating in Malaysia have indicated a cancellation of approximately 13.6 million seats, or 12.3 per cent of annual scheduled operations,” said MAVCOM in its statement. “The Malaysian carriers have correspondingly received an inordinately high volume of passenger refund requests, which their resources are currently striving to manage.”
“As such, the airlines may take longer than usual to respond to consumers,” continued the commission. “The financial challenges currently faced by the airlines have also coincided with them needing to adopt varying forms of refunds, including cash, vouchers, credit shell or alternatively deferment of travel.”