Mavcom slaps financial penalties on AirAsia for contravening consumer protection code

Mavcom says AirAsia Berhad and AirAsia X Berhad were penalised for charging credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fares.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has imposed financial penalties on AirAsia Berhad and AirAsia X Berhad for contravening its consumer protection code.

It has also imposed a financial penalty on Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd for failing to meet service quality targets.

The commission said the penalties were imposed on Sept 6.

In a statement today, Mavcom said AirAsia and AirAsia X were imposed a penalty of RM200,000 each for violation of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) for the period from June 1 to Aug 9.

It said the penalties were in line with its efforts to protect consumers from being unfairly charged by airlines.

“AirAsia and AirAsia X were both penalised for charging credit card, debit card and online banking processing fees separate from their base fares, in contravention of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016,” it said.

“AirAsia and AirAsia X have been found to contravene subparagraph 3(2) of MACPC which requires full disclosure of the final price of the airfare.”

The MACPC came into effect on July 1, 2016.

Mavcom said if there were subsequent non-compliances, a financial penalty 10 times the amount of the first penalty would be imposed.

It said Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd was penalised for not meeting quality of service targets set by the commission in the first quarter of 2019.

“The objective of the Airports Quality of Service Framework by Mavcom is to improve airport service levels for airport users including passengers, airlines and ground handlers.

“Upon due process, it was concluded that MA Sepang failed to meet several requirements of the framework between January and March 2019.

“So, Mavcom is authorised to impose an amount not exceeding 5% of MA Sepang’s annual turnover, which totals RM1,179,889.”

Mavcom chairman Nungsari Ahmad Radhi said the actions were also intended to move the aviation industry towards “an improved level of service, integrity and transparency, in line with Mavcom’s long-term objectives for the industry”.

Previously, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association had urged Mavcom to act against AirAsia for its continued imposition of processing fees.

While Mavcom had reportedly issued show-cause letters to airlines for this, it did not reveal the identities of the airlines in question.

The Edge Financial dDaily had also reported that carriers like AirAsia could be fined for charging processing fees for tickets bought via credit card and online banking.

On July 31, AirAsia had said that it would abolish processing fees for such payments starting October. Passengers using AirAsia’s BigPay e-wallet, on the other hand, are not charged any processing fees.