The Malaysian Aviation Commission has amended the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MACPC) requiring airlines in the country to publish the final price for plane tickets
The new rule means that air travellers will not have to deal with the surprise of hidden charges as airlines must disclose the final price of airfare both at the point of advertisement and when purchasing flight tickets.
According to a MAVCOM statement, the final price must include the base fare and all charges to be paid to the airline, government-imposed taxes and fees, fees and charges prescribed under any written law, as well as fuel surcharge.
The new rule basically eliminates hidden charges such as card payment charges and administrative fees
Charges for optional services like seats or meals purchased by a consumer on an opt-in basis has to be displayed and included in the final price at the point of payment.
This new rule comes into effect from 1 June 2019.
Airlines will also be required to transfer refunds within 30 days
"Effective 1 June 2019, refunds on flight tickets should also be reimbursed to passengers within 30 days from the date the passenger requests for a refund.
"Likewise, if the ticket is purchased through a travel agent, the airline should reimburse the travel agent within the same duration of time," MAVCOM said in the statement.
The refund must include passenger service charges, taxes, fees, and other charges for both refundable and non-refundable tickets, should a passenger not travel.
And if a ticket is non-refundable, airlines are only allowed to charge a maximum of 5% processing fee with passengers being allowed to get a refund on the airport tax.
The amendments to the MACPC also brings other progressive changes
Among those include requiring airport operators to display the MACPC clearly for consumers' reference, while airlines are required to inform travellers on their travel rights through all possible platforms.
It also includes provisions on wheelchair service for persons with a disability, disclosure of terms and conditions at the point of purchase, and responsibilities of airlines to ensure its staff or handling agents have adequate knowledge of the MACPC.
The amendments were announced earlier today, 24 May, at the official launch of the FlySmart mobile application, a consumer-centric initiative by the MAVCOM.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Transport, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar said that the changes will have a direct and positive impact on consumers.
"The MACPC contains guidance regarding passenger rights. Since its first implementation, MAVCOM has obtained much feedback from consumers and these changes in the MACPC are a result of such feedback and consultations with aviation players in Malaysia.
"I am very glad to note that the amendments will further enhance and protect the travel rights of consumers," Kamarudin added.