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Opinion

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Step in the right direction for Mavcom

I REFER to the report “Mavcom seeks further protection for travellers” (The Star, March 7), which stated that airlines will be required to remit refunds due to their passengers within 30 days from the date of request and can no longer charge fees for rendering special assistance.

It also said that travellers are entitled to a full refund of the passenger service charge (PSC) if they do not proceed with their journey, and airlines would no longer be allowed to impose a processing fee.

It is certainly a welcome move but it comes 20 months after I wrote to Mavcom on July 19, 2016 to ask whether airlines had the authority to forfeit the PSC for international flights that I could not take due to last minute changes. Two carriers had refused to give me the refund.

The reply I had then from Mavcom about two months later was that it was working on other issues.

The decision taken by Mavcom now to make it mandatory for the refund to be paid is certainly a welcome move. It’s better late than never.

I would like to say that there must be a refund for seat selection and checked baggage too. In the case of certain airlines that offer food and beverage at a cost, this should also be included for refund, which could be in the form of a credit voucher or credited back to the card used for the purchase of the ticket.

Allow me to relate my recent experience. I was booked on a flight to London departing on Nov 7 and returning on Nov 16.

For reasons beyond my control, I was not able to make the journey. I informed the carrier concerned a week in advance and asked for a refund of the PSC ex-KUL and GST, and the security tax ex-London. The total amount was RM705.10. I was told that RM50 would be levied as administration fee, to which I reluctantly agreed. Had I not agreed, I probably would not have RM655.10 back.

To Mavcom, I say the move is certainly in the direction of protecting air travellers further.

WILLIAM DENNIS

Subang Jaya