Take a stand, Aviation Commission
I REFER to the letter “Championing the rights of air travellers” (The Star, Oct 11).
As a frequent traveller, I could not agree more with the writer. The issue that sticks out like a sore thumb is when checked-in luggage does not arrive. . More often that not, the traveller is told his bag will be traced and once tracked, it will come on the next available flight and be sent to his hotel. Some airlines don’t tell him he is entitled to an allowance to buy personal effects. Many also do not know they are entitled to the allowance.
If I am not mistaken, it is US$100 (RM422) as I was once given by an airline when my luggage did not arrive on the flight from SingaporeBangkok. It was offered to me equivalent to the local currency after rejecting my request and initially offering me US$35 (RM148).
It is common in most airports in the region that no effort is made to make announcements for delays of up to 30 minutes.
In current times, travellers should not hope for any meals for delays of up to two hours. If a meal is offered it shows that it is a caring airline.
On another matter, it should be made mandatory for airlines to refund the passenger service charge (PSC) for those who do not show up for their flight. The PSC is not part of the fare.
In June 2016, I did not show up for two flights at two foreign airports, including one flight to Kuala Lumpur on a local carrier, due to a change in my assignment date and time.
On returning to KL, I asked the carrier concerned for the PSC refund but was refused. I was told that I was not entitled to one. I asked the carrier whether it had the right to forfeit the PSC but I did not get a reply.
Out of curiosity, I wrote to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAV) on July 19, 2016. After waiting for about six weeks, I received a reply saying that the agency was working on other issues. That is far as the matter went.
Is the airline entitled to keep the PSC ? The percentage of those who do not show up for their flight is negligible but it is the principle that matters.
The PSC and security tax for the Kuala Lumpur-London-Kuala Lumpur ticket is about RM700, depending on the exchange rate of the pound sterling.
As a regulatory body, MAV should make a stand on this as one of its objectives when it was set up last year was to provide a mechanism for protecting consumers. In 2007, the then Transport Minister said airlines should refund in full the PSC and check-in luggage charges, if any, to those who do not show up for their flight. This was never implemented nor enforced.
WILLIAM DENNIS Subang Jaya