The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) is aiming to complete its consultation paper on the proposed amendments to the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) by this June. The enhanced protection code will see increased consumer protection in the case of unprecedented circumstances and, most excitingly, will force carriers to provide proper refunds.
MAVCOM Chief Operating Officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said that while the consultation paper was published last October [PDF], it needed to undergo a robust process involving stakeholders such as airlines. He explained that the commission is hoping to have a follow-up consultation with them this month.
Before it can be an actual policy, the MACPC 3.0 need to be submitted to the Ministry of Transportation for it to be gazetted as updated regulations for the aviation industry. Azmi pointed out that MAVCOM is targeting to have MACPC 3.0 gazetted by June 2023.
While the original MACPC in 2016 requires airlines to refund customers if flights are cancelled or significantly changed, the enhanced version will replace the term “reimbursement” with “refund in the original mode of payment”. This means that whether you pay using a credit card, debit card, online banking, or any other method, airlines must give you a refund through that method instead of substituting cash reimbursements for flight credits.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the aviation industry to grind to a halt, airlines weren’t required to give refunds for cancelled flights because it was considered “extraordinary circumstances”. With the proposed changes, carriers will have to reimburse your ticket for cancelled flights no matter the reason.
Refunds will also have to be offered to passengers if a flight is delayed for more than two hours and if you cancel a ticket more than seven days ahead of the departure date, the airline will have to give you a full refund. Finally, if you purchase a travel pass, you will be entitled to a full refund if you have not used it by the expiry date.