05- 12- 2022 09:15 AM
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) must take action against all airline companies that fail to deliver on their promises, said Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) president Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason (pix).
He said consumers pay for a service and expect the provider to deliver on it.
“In the current situation, AirAsia passengers are upset that they did not receive the service they were promised.
“This forced them to fork out more money through additional costs such as taking late-night taxis.
“Mavcom must be more aggressive in taking action against all such companies since passengers have been victimised.”
Marimuthu said the response given by the company was not proper, when the problems could have been avoided.
Kuching member of Parliament Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen said the excuses given by AirAsia were unacceptable and Mavcom should hold it accountable, to protect the rights of consumers.
“While safety and security of planes and passengers are of utmost importance, the company should have anticipated this.
“If the airline was aware that it had insufficient planes, it should not have offered all those tickets to be sold to the public.”
Yii said that since the airline knew it could not meet the demand, it should not have allowed the tickets to be sold, causing much inconvenience, delay and even economic loss to the public.
“In my view, it can be interpreted as a form of ‘misrepresentation’ if consumers purchase tickets for a certain flight at a certain time, but get rescheduled to another time.”
Yii said he received complaints from customers who booked their tickets online and within a few hours received an SMS that their flight had been rescheduled.
“Mind you, the flight is in two weeks and they already knew it would be delayed.”
He asked why AirAsia continued to sell tickets if it could foresee the problem?
“Many customers did not only suffer losses related to that flight, but also connecting flights with other airlines, which had to be changed on account of the AirAsia flight schedule change.”
Yii agreed with Fomca’s call for Mavcom to be more proactive and not allow such delays as it has been happening since April.
“There is no need for lengthy investigations, or even research into the issue as flight records and data are readily available as evidence of constant delays and rescheduling.”
Following grievances and complaints received from consumers regarding the issue of AirAsia flight delays to various destinations in the country, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry had called for feedback on consumer issues, including those related to flight delays and rescheduling.
The problem had been detected since the end of last month and became worse during the pre- and post-Hari Raya rush.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said several factors and unavoidable incidents had led to the delays.
He said they included a sharp rise in demand for domestic flights and the reopening of the country’s borders since April 1.
Mavcom must take aggressive action against errant firms to prevent passengers from being victimised, says Marimuthu.