Parliament Questions Time, 30 June 2009

Ministry of Transport has no mechanism in place to protect the interest of passengers who have purchased tickets in advance …

Soalan

Tuan Wee Choo Keong [Wangsa Maju] minta Menteri Kewangan menyatakan langkah-langkah yang akan diambil untuk melindungi kepentingan orang awam yang telah membeli tiket berbulan-bulan terdahulu akibat dipengaruhi oleh kempen pengiklanan Air Asia dalam suratkhabar, sekiranya syarikat Air Asia tidak dapat memenuhi obligasinya di masa hadapan?

Jawapan

Tuan Yang Di Pertua,

Bagi memastikan kepentingan orang awam yang membeli tiket jauh lebih awal dari tarikh penerbangan di jaga sekiranya AirAsia tidak dapat memenuhi obligasinya, AirAsia menyediakan alternatif seperti berikut:

(i) Bagi penerbangan yang dibatalkan oleh sebab faktor teknikal, penumpang akan diberi pilihan untuk menebus harga tiket (refund to credit card) atau “credit shell”; dan

(ii) Bagi penerbangan ke laluan yang tidak lagi beroperasi, penumpang akan diterbangkan ke laluan tersebut melalui laluan alternatif.  Sebagai contoh, AirAsia telah memberhentikan penerbangan ke laluan Johor Bahru – Kota Kinabalu disebabkan isu operasi.  Penumpang yang telah membeli tiket bagi laluan tersebut kemudiannya diberi laluan alternatif iaitu dengan mengambil penerbangan ke Kota Kinabalu melalui Singapura.  Bagi penumpang yang mengalami kesukaran untuk mengambil penerbangan laluan alternatif atau tiada laluan alternatif, AirAsia akan menebus harga tiket yang dibayar melalui refund to credit card atau “credit shell”.

(iii) Advance booking ticket bagi penerbangan AirAsia dapat dilakukan bagi penerbangan tidak lebih dari tempoh 12 bulan.  Namun begitu, AirAsia tidak mempunyai mekanisma khusus yang memberikan jaminan 100% bahawa penumpang akan memperoleh semula wang sekiranya syarikat tersebut muflis.  Walau bagaimanapun, sekiranya syarikat tersebut muflis, semua asetnya akan dibekukan dan akan ditadbir oleh pemegang amanah yang dilantik.  Penumpang masih boleh mengemukakan tuntutan pengembalian wang harga tiket terlibat daripada pemegang amanah.

Notes:

1. It is most unfortunate that Ministry of Transport is not imposing certain mechanism to protect the interest of the passengers when they purchase tickets in advance due to the massive advertising campaigns. It is no different from the activities of deposit-taking companies which are controlled by Bank Negara whereas for Air Asia there is no control. In the event that Air Asia is insolvent for whatever reason, there is no protection at all for those who have purchased tickets in advance.

2. This is very alarming because we have seen many low cost airlines having collapsed recently (Oasis in Hong Kong is the most recent one) and the passengers had to suffer because they could not get any refund for what they have paid.

3. The fact that selling of flight tickets in advance is no different from the activities of deposit-taking companies therefore there must be a mechanism with the force of law to control the advertisements so that there are no hidden costs from what has been advertised and to also to protect the monies that the passengers have paid but not utilized yet.

4. I have suggested to the Minister of Transport that a special bank account be set up to deposit fund received by Air Asia in advance and such fund cannot be utilized until 1 month before the flight. If there is no such control, all funds received from sales of tickets in advance may be used by Air Asia immediately and in the event that it collapses for whatever reasons, the passengers will not be able to get the refund. Further, I do not want to see the government using the rakyat’s money to bail out Air Asia because a few million members of the public are affected.

– Terjemahan oleh Lee Wee Tak – Ucapan ribuan terima kasih dari Wee Choo Keong –

Nota:

1. Malang sekali Menteri Pengangkutan tidak mengadakan apa-apa langkah perlindungan untuk kepentingan umum apabile mereka membeli tiket terdahulu disebabkan kempen pengiklanan besar. Ini tiada bezanya dengan kegiatan syarikat yang mengambil wang simpanan yang dikawal oleh Bank Negara tetapi bagi Air Asia tiada pula kawalannya. Jika Air Asia gulung tikar atas sebarang sebab, maka tiada perlindungan langsung untuk pembeli tiket terdahulue.

2. Ini amat mencemaskan kerana kini banyak syarikat penerbangan murahan telah gulung tikar (Oasis di Hong Kong contoh terkini) dan para penumpang tersangkut kerana tiada bayar balik.

3. Oleh kerana penjualn tiket terdahulu tiada beza dengan syarikat menerima wang simpanan maka mest adanya langkah-langkha kawalan mengawal kegiatan pengiklanan supaya memastikan tiada kos tersirat dan melindungi wang pembeli tiket terdahulu.

4. Saya telah mencadangkan supaya menteri pengangkutan agar mengadakan akaun bank khas untuk menyimpan wang belian terdahulu yang diterima oleh Air Asia dan hanya boleh dikeluarkan selepas penerbangan telah dilakukan. Jika tiada kawalan ini, maka semua wang yang diterima ity akan dibelanjakan oleh Air Asia serta merta dan penumpang tidak akan memperolehi wang mereka. Bahkan saya tdak mahu kerajaan menggunakan wang rakyat menyelamatkan Air Asia oleh kerana beberapa juta orang sahaja yang terlibat.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Parliament Questions Time, 30 June 2009

  1. Lim

    Since there is no mechanism to protect the public when they purchased air Asia tickets many months in advance then the Ministry of Transport should restrict Air Asia to sell tickets for only 2 to 3 months in advance. This is the only way members of the public can be protected to a certain extend only.

    6 months in advance is far too long and anything can happen within the next 6 months. We don’t want to see the Government using the people money to bail out Air Asia or any other airlines.

    Please take note when Ar Asia cannot even pay up the airport tax, which it has collected from the passengers, anything can happen. I will not buy any ticket more than a month in advance.

    Reply
  2. WMaju Boy

    Air asia e-ticket also connot be 100% trusted, the services (for eg: luggage quantity) bought on the booking can be disappear while you are check in on departure or returning. I face it before.

    Reply
  3. yong

    Other airlines are scaling down their operations but Air Asia is expanding. This is great business acumen by Tony but Air Asia cannot pay airport tax, which has already been paid by the passengers. This is a dangerous trend and all members of the public must be careful when buying tickets too many months in advance.

    I am surprised that the Ministry of Transport is not acting to control Air Asia model of business and also did not warn members of the public about it. Whatever it is, I do agree with YB Wee that at the end of the day the government must not use the rakyat money to bail out Air Asia.

    Reply
  4. Mat

    Air Asia needs to sell tickets many months in advance in order to survive because it has no cash reserve but debts. It is for this specific reason that it can not pay the airport tax. I will not be surprised if the airport has been used up for their operations and to settle other important debts, which had to settle urgently.

    I am also certain that the RM65 million airport tax has not been set aside in an interest bearing account in a bank. Potential travelers must take note that it is just a question of time that it will be in deep trouble.

    Expansion is just a publicity stunts by Air Asia to fool the public. In a serious business no one with the right mind will expand when it cannot pay its debts.

    Reply
  5. Kang

    From the Minister of Transport reply, it was clear that in the event that Air Asia collapses the public has no protection when they buy Air Asia tickets in advance. So we all must be cautious and must not be greedy because it is cheap. What is cheap does not necessarily be good and what is good is not cheap.

    When Air Asia is on aggressive publicity campaigns, we must all be more cautious because it is in need of fund. By owing airport tax of RM65 millions is enough to show to us that Air Asia is not healthy financially. So anything can happen in the future. Many low cost carriers, who were of stronger financial footing, have collapsed in recent time. I cannot see Air Asia is exempted looking at its accounts and modus operandi.

    Reply
  6. Con Job

    Without proper control on the selling of Air Asia tickets in advance will definitely bring big disaster to the nation one day. With the attitude of the Ministry I am very certain that a bail out will be eminent in the foreseeable future. The reason being that Air Asia is not in the position to pay up the airport tax is very telling.

    Members of the public please cautious when you buy tickets in advance.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s