By MAVCOM on October 11, 2019

 

Travel hiccups can happen while travelling, even before you reach your destination. So before they ruin the entire experience, it is best for travellers to understand some rights that not only can offer protection against travel mishaps, but also help us to handle tense situation better.

Enters FlySmart, a consumer-centric initiative by MAVCOM that aims to educate Malaysians on their rights as travellers through various mediums, including via the FlySmart website and mobile application. The app, specifically, also provides consumers with a convenient avenue to register feedback or lodge complaints as well as track their complaint status.

Within the 39 months MAVCOM has been operating from March 2016 to June 2019, the Commission has received a total of 5,300 complaints. In line with the number of complaints received, MAVCOM resolved 99.9 per cent of these complaints, with top three complaints categories been the processing of refunds, mishandled baggage, and cancelled or delayed flights.

Below are some of the air travel rights that you should know when dealing with airlines, before embarking to your next destination:

1. Assisted Travel

Persons with disability with an OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya) card should receive Free of Charge (FOC) wheelchair services.

2. Lost, Damaged and Delayed Baggage

In the event of lost, delayed or damaged baggage during the flight, travellers are entitled to compensation for the inconvenience caused. Generally, airlines are liable to pay compensation regardless of whether the traveller had purchased any travel insurance. To claim compensation, you must file a written complaint with your airline on arrival, or within 7 days of arrival if your baggage is damaged, or within 21 days of arrival if your baggage is delayed.

3. Code-sharing Disclosure

Airlines operating on code-share arrangements are fairly common, where bookings can be made with either one of the airlines. During the purchase of your flight ticket, you have the right to be informed of the airline that is operating the flight, at the point of booking or as soon as deemed practicable.

4. Delays and cancellations

Airlines bear the responsibility for any delayed or cancelled flights, and must provide compensation to help you get your travel plans back on track. Depending on the nature of the delay or cancellation, this may include:
• meals, telephone calls and internet access (for delays of 2 hours or more)
• hotel accommodation and transport (for delays of 5 hours or more, when a stay becomes necessary)
• a full refund or alternative flight (if your flight is cancelled).

5. Denied boarding

This happens usually when a flight is overbooked due operational issues. An airline can only deny you from boarding a flight if:

  • you volunteer to give up your ticket; or
  • there aren’t enough volunteers to meet the airline’s circumstances.

Regardless of which option is applied, the airline should immediately offer you compensation. The type or amount of compensation depends on your situation, but should include:

  • meals, phone calls and internet access
  • accommodation and transport (where reasonable)
  • the choice between a full refund or a replacement flight.

6. Refunds

Generally, a refundable air ticket allows travellers to get a refund or reschedule their flight dates should they decide not to fly on the original scheduled date of departure subject to the Terms and Conditions of the air ticket. Promotional ticket purchased by a consumer, however, would generally be classified as non-refundable given that the air ticket is purchased at a promotion price.

Nevertheless, passengers are entitled to request for a refund for the Passenger Service Charge (PSC), taxes, fees and charges prescribed by any written law in the situation where you did not board the flight.

7. Travel Insurance

All airline travellers are protected under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC), even if travel insurance has not been purchased. Having said that, however, purchasing one could help travellers to prepare for unwanted incidents that the airline and the MACPC don’t cover through the entire travel period, such as accidents, illness, hospitalisation, or in extreme conditions, emergency medical transportation to the passenger’s home country.

To know more about these rights, visit flysmart.my/en/home/

 

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