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No more hidden charges when purchasing air ticket from June 1

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Shaira Idris
Written by Shaira Idris

KUALA LUMPUR – May 24, 2019: Travellers will soon no longer have to worry about hidden charges when purchasing airline tickets.

Effective June 1, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) will implement new policies in the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) to better safeguard the welfare of travellers from such charges.

The updated MACPC will require airlines to publish the final price of airfare for flight tickets, which must be disclosed both at the point of advertisement and when the flight tickets are purchased.

The final price must include the base fare and all charges to be paid to the airline, government-imposed taxes and fees; fees and charges prescribed under any written law as well as fuel surcharge.

As a result, this mandatory disclosure of payments will eliminate hidden charges such as card payment charges and administrative fees.

The charges for optional services purchased by a consumer on apt-basis should also be displayed and included in the final price during payment.

Refunds on flight tickets should be reimbursed to passengers within 30 days from the passenger’s request for a refund.

Likewise, if the ticket is purchased through a travel agent — the airline should reimburse the travel agent within the same duration of time.

There will be a refund for consumers on passenger service charges, taxes and fees as well as charges prescribed under any written law for both refundable and non-refundable tickets, should a passenger not travel.

If the ticket is non-refundable, airlines are only permitted to charge a maximum of five per cent procession fee.

The newly amended MACPC also includes provisions on wheelchair service for passengers with disability, disclosure of terms and conditions at the point of purchase and responsibilities of airlines to ensure its staff or handling agents have adequate knowledge of the MACPC.

Moreover, airport operators will be required to display the MACPC clearly for consumers’ reference while airlines must inform travellers on their travel rights through all possible platforms.

“The MACPC contains guidance regarding passenger rights. Since its first implementation, MAVCOM has obtained much feedback from consumers,” said the Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar, who made the announcement at the official launch of the FlySmart mobile application today.

“These changes in the MACPC are a result of such feedback from consumers and consultations with aviation players in Malaysia,” he added.

FlySmart — a consumer-centric initiative by MAVCOM — enables consumers to obtain information of their travel rights through various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and the FlySmart website.

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About the author

Shaira Idris

Shaira Idris

Shaira is a 20-something accidental journalist who's currently still adapting to the world of journalism and learning the ropes of her job.