Budget airline AirAsia has been under more scrutiny than usual as of late due to numerous customer complaints about flight delays, leading to an investigation by both the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP). After a meeting with the low-cost carrier, KPDNHEP Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi announced that the company has agreed to refund customers affected by the delays.
“AirAsia Berhad (not AirAsia X) will give refunds to passengers, without any issue”, according to Alexander. Be that as it may, the minister did not clarify whether the refunds will be given in the form of cash or credit.
Jwpn @AirAsia – Isu Kelewatan Penerbangan
24 jam yg diperuntukkan kpd AirAsia ditepati slps maklum balas diterima oleh KPDNHEP pd jam 11.47 malam tadi (Selasa).
Berdasarkan rungutan, keluhan, aduan pengguna (penumpang), berikut maklum balas diberikan AirAsia. – this is a 🧵 pic.twitter.com/hXjCcj1Q7g
— Alexander Nanta Linggi (@AlexNantaLinggi) May 11, 2022
On Wednesday, AirAsia responded to Alexander’s call for an explanation by saying that the flight delays were caused by a lack of aircraft as it currently only operates 40 planes, less than half of the 95 it flew before the pandemic. It also said that between three to five of their aircrafts experienced technical issues daily, leading to the planes being grounded to fix those issues, as well as bird strikes and lightning strikes.
To address this, the minister said that the airline will be increasing the number of aircrafts by July to meet demand, though he did not specify by how much. For future cases, AirAsia has detailed four different channels for customers to submit their complaints; the 24/7 live chat on the AirAsia app and website, social media pages, voice mail, and service counters.
AirAsia — and its long-haul arm AirAsia X — has had a bad track record when it comes to giving out refunds. Last year, it underwent a debt restructuring scheme that led to customers being given only 0.5% of the refunds they were owed, with possible profit-sharing depending on the company’s performance in the near future. The carrier clarified back in March that it had already refunded over 99% of refund requests, but most of it was through credit instead of cash refunds.