KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Malaysians who found their flights rescheduled or delayed should file complaints to airlines, who must resolve such complaints within 30 days of receiving the complaints, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) said today.

Mavcom urged consumers affected by indiscriminate changes to their flight schedules to lodge the complaints with airlines to ensure they receive proper care and reimbursements.

Mavcom executive chairman Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim highlighted the rights that consumers have under the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code (Macpc), which the commission had introduced in 2016 and enhanced in 2019 to protect consumer interests in air travel.

“It is important for consumers to be well informed of their rights as air travellers and be

made aware that airlines and other aviation service providers must resolve their complaints

within 30 days as outlined in the MACPC. 

“This timeline requirement also applies to various other aviation-related issues, including flight cancellations, mishandled baggage, and others,” he said when noting examples of complaints that airlines must resolve within 30 days.

He urged consumers to forward the complaints to Mavcom, if the airlines did not give a satisfactory response or if the complaints have not been resolved.

“If the response provided by the airlines is unsatisfactory or if the matter remains unresolved, please escalate those complaints to Mavcom together with the relevant documentation. Since Mavcom’s inception in 2016, we received more than 22,000 complaints and feedback from consumers whom we have assisted,” he said.

Affected consumers who did not receive a response from the airlines or are dissatisfied with the resolution provided by the airlines can forward their complaints to Mavcom through the FlySmart website at www.flysmart.my or the FlySmart mobile app (which can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store).

Alternatively, such affected and dissatisfied consumers can call Mavcom’s consumer hotline at 1800-18-6966 (for phone calls made within Malaysia) or +603-7651 2777 (for phone calls outside of Malaysia).

Firmly stating that airlines should continuously uphold consumer rights, Mavcom said it is “well underway with its investigation of flight schedule disruptions by all airlines over the recent festive period”.

Mavcom said it would announce the findings of its probe on these recent flight disruptions during the Hari Raya period.

“Mavcom’s review, based on facts and data, aims to provide an objective, accurate and comprehensive view of the situation. The outcome of the investigation will be made known and announced in due course,” it said.

Highlighting that it had in the past imposed RM4.7 million of penalties on airlines for non-compliance with the MACPC, Mavcom today said it will be guided by its existing financial penalty imposition mechanism if there are any non-compliance with the MACPC or the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015.

On May 10, Mavcom announced that it had launched an investigation on airlines following multiple complaints on flight schedule being changed indiscriminately without sufficient notice to consumers.

Mavcom said it had directed all airlines to submit all relevant data on flight schedule disruptions over the festive period from April 29 to May 9, including information on the actual scheduled flights versus the total number of rescheduled flights during that period.

Under the MACPC, airlines must provide care such as meals, telephone calls and internet access for flight delays of two hours or more; and must further provide accommodation and transport between the airport and accommodation place if an overnight stay becomes necessary when the flight is delayed for five hours or more.

Mavcom has also said that consumers are entitled to a refund of their flight ticket within 30 days from the airline or rerouting under comparable transport conditions, if the timing of the rescheduled flight of three hours and more does not meet the consumer’s purpose of travel.