The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) found that refunds and flight cancellations requests have far exceeded the number of complaints in the first half of the year.
The commission received 2,340 requests for refunds in relation to Covid-19 from consumers, in which 2,146 requests were request for refunds and 194 requests were for change of flight dates, according to its bi-annual report.
In terms of complaints, Mavcom said there was a total of 384 complaints filed, of which 381 were against airlines, while three were against airports. This translated to a 52.6% reduction from 810 complaints lodged during the six months period last year. It highlighted that 90.9% of the 384 complaints were successfully resolved and closed.
It said Malaysia Airlines recorded the highest number of complaints for per million passengers during the half year period. The airline received 44 complaints for every million passengers it carries. The second and third highest recipients were Malindo Air (32) and AirAsia X (24).
For airlines, processing of refunds, mishandled baggage and flight cancellations were the top three complaint categories, making up 51.4% in total. On the other hand, for the airports, complaints were mainly concerning airport facilities and airport security.
The report also indicated that 57.8% of complaints received during the six months 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. This represented an increase of 3.8% as compared to the corresponding period last year.
Separately, the commission said it received 490 complaints with incomplete documentation and therefore could not be fairly evaluated. It also received 79 complaints where immediate assessment ascertained that the airline or airport concerned had fulfilled their obligations under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC), hence were not taken further. The Commission also received 79 complaints that were outside the scope of the MACPC.
The report also reported various other initiatives undertaken by Mavcom to strengthen and amplify awareness of air travel rights. In line with ongoing efforts to ensure service quality levels at airports nationwide, the commission has continued the implementation of the Airports Quality of Service (QoS) Framework.
As at 30 June 2020, 20 out of 28 service quality elements have been implemented at both terminals of the KL International Airport. The remaining eight elements are expected to be completed in 2021.
Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim said, “Health concerns and travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to one of the most challenging periods for the aviation industry. Although aviation services are progressively resuming operations, demand for air travel remains far from what it was pre-pandemic. While the commission does not foresee a full recovery in the near term, we will continue to uphold our mandate of protecting the rights of aviation consumers nationwide.”