KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Malaysian Aviation Group has announced that it will also waive flight change fees for bookings of May 9, polling day for the 14th general election (GE14) announced by the Election Commission today.
The parent company of Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, and MASwings said in a statement that the decision was made to allow Malaysians to fulfil their responsibility as voters.
It said the waiver would apply to all types of tickets for travel dates between May 8 and 10, inbound or outbound.
“Only one change is permitted and it must be done within 10 days from today,” read the statement, referring to April 10.
The company explained that passengers are allowed to reschedule their travel dates up to two months from original date of departure, and are subject to seasonal surcharges.
This followed low-cost carrier AirAsia’s move, which earlier today had also announced waivers on flight change fees only for air tickets scheduled for polling day, May 9.
However, AirAsia allowed customers to alter their travel dates up to a month from original date of departure, or opt to convert the purchased ticket into points using the airline’s loyalty programme.
In response, caretaker deputy home minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad reportedly said AirAsia should instead give all Malaysians free flights.
Last month, Nur Jazlan had criticised Cathay Pacific for its similar waiver policy.
Polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 had earlier requested airlines to slash their fares to accommodate those looking to return home to vote, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“Such services would also ease travel for Sabah and Sarawak voters working in Peninsular Malaysia, and voters from peninsular who work in Sabah and Sarawak, so that they may return to cast their vote,” it said.
The watchdog had also highlighted Malaysian Airlines Bhd’s status as a national carrier funded by public funds.