The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) revealed in its biannual consumer report stated that AirAsia recorded the highest number of complaints (196) in the second half of last year (2H20) while Malaysia Airlines (MAS) came in second (105) and AirAsia X third (57).
What one would expect, the number one type of complaints MAVCOM received in 2H20 was related to the processing of refunds – 35.1% of all total complaints. AirAsia and AirAsia X took the lion’s share of those complaints with a staggering 75.8%, while MAS got 12.1% and Malindo Air 10.1%.
“All airlines had a reduction in the number of complaints in 2H20 except for AirAsia, AirAsia X and Firefly,” MAVCOM noted.
AirAsia X also received a astonishing high number of registered complaints (8,948) per million passengers. In comparison, that figure was just 477 for Malaysia Airlines and 208 for Malindo Air.
As the Covid-19 pandemic raged, ticket refunds have been a particularly issue for AirAsia. Last year, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes urged customers to accept store credit instead of refunds, noting at the time that over 80% of them already did so. He warned that refunds might take a long while to process due to the overwhelming number of requests.
Sources said that both MAVCOM and MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) have publicly said that airlines should give customers back their money for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
However, AirAsia X wins restraining order on creditors, with exceptions to help with its debt restructuring.
The order is valid from 17 March and was applied for “as part of a proactive measure by AAX to address its debt obligations in an orderly manner via the proposed debt restructuring,” the airline says in a same-day Bursa Malaysia filing.