KUCHING, May 10 — The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and Ministry of Transport (MoT) are duty-bound to investigate airlines for frequent flight rescheduling and take remedial action to protect the rights of consumes, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

He pointed out that the recent reported surge of flight rescheduling cases during this festive season has not just caused inconvenience to consumers and the public, but also incurred economic cost due to consumers’ daily schedules being affecting due to the changing flight timing.

“I have received multiple complaints from the public affected, with some being delayed and being stranded in Kuala Lumpur for up to nine to 10 hours.

“For consumers, it can be interpreted as a form of ‘misrepresentation’ if they purchase a certain flight at a certain time, but get rescheduled to a different time,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii said he understood some rescheduling of flights or delays were unavoidable, but there has to be some form of reasonable threshold on the number of flights in a certain period of time that can be rescheduled, and it must always be based on legitimate reasons.

He noted that while Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi yesterday said his ministry would carry out a probe in the interest of consumers, quick action on the matter as well as a long-term policy must be put in place to ensure airlines are kept accountable for their set schedules.

“Such investigation should not be an excuse to delay the necessary action. There is no need for lengthy investigation, or even lengthy research into the issue as the flight records are already there as evidence of constant delays and rescheduling.

 “This is not a new phenomenon but has been happening for years, yet nothing concrete has been done to keep the airlines accountable to their own timing,” Dr Yii said.

He added that even though consumers have the right to claim compensation for the disruption of their journey, this was often subjected to many terms and conditions — a process he described as “troublesome”.

“The compensation also does not cover time lost and indirect economic loss due to the change of schedule.

“That is why the (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs) ministry must work together with the Ministry of Transport through Mavcom to holistically address this issue once and for all.

“Instead of just conducting investigations, a clear timeline should be set on when action will be taken and a comprehensive policy on addressing this issue including keeping the airlines company accountable.

“They must be proactive to properly address this issue holistically and to properly protect the rights of the consumers and also to indirectly promote better economic growth through more efficient travels,” he said. — Borneo Post Online