Thursday, May 26, 2022

Flight delays: Long term solution is needed

Secara Rawak

​​KUCHING: A long-term policy is needed to overcome the issue of frequent and constant flight delays and rescheduling of flights.

Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen said the issue had caused “all kinds of inconvenience and even economic losses to the public, especially during the festive season.”

Saying this was unacceptable, he felt the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) should hold airline companies accountable to protect the rights of consumers.

“AirAsia released a statement apologising for the problem and giving the excuse that they have insufficient aircraft as many needed necessary repairs and maintenance after not being used for a long time, especially during the movement control order (MCO) period. The delay is also due to the long waiting queue for aircraft maintenance facilities in Malaysia and the region.

“While safety and security of the aircraft and passengers are of utmost importance, the company should have anticipated this. If they are aware that they have insufficient aircraft, they should not have promoted the fares to the public.

“If they knowingly know that they cannot meet the demand, they should not have allowed the tickets to be sold which ended up causing much inconvenience, delay, and even economic losses to the public,” he said in a statement yesterday (May 11).

Dr Yii opined that consumers could interprete this as a form of misrepresentation if they purchased a certain flight at a certain time, but the flight was rescheduled to a different time.

He claimed he had received complaints about a customer who booked the ticket online and within few hours received an SMS notifying that the flight had been rescheduled.

“Mind you, the flight is in two weeks’ time, but they already know it will be delayed even though there are two more weeks to go.

“If the airlines can foresee the problem, why sell those tickets in the first place? Customers are not just suffering lose of that flight, but many may have connecting flights with other airlines which had to be changed due to changes in the AirAsia flight schedule,” he said.

He appealed to MAVCOM to hold the airlines accountable and take the necessary action.

Adding on, he said MAVCOM must be more proactive and not allow this to happen as problem had been recurring since April.

“I reiterate my call on Tuesday (May 10) for quick action on the matter as well as for a long-term policy in place to ensure this does not happen and airlines are kept accountable towards their set schedule.

“While the government said there will be an investigation, such investigation should not be an excuse to delay the necessary action.

“There is no need for lengthy investigations or research into the issue as the flight records and even data are readily available as evidence of constant delays and rescheduling,” he said.

He urged affected consumers to step out and lodge complaints to MAVCOM online at https://flysmart.my/en/make-a-complaint/

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