The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) said that AirAsia recorded the highest number of complaints (196) in the second half of last year (2H20). Malaysia Airlines (MAS) came in second (105) and AirAsia X third (57), the commission revealed in its biannual consumer report.
Unsurprisingly, 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 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 staggeringly 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.
Ticket refunds have been a particularly thorny issue for AirAsia. Last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic raged, 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.
According to The Star, both MAVCOM and MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) have publicly said that airlines should provide full refunds for flights cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.