AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, formerly known as Fly Asian Express Sdn Bhd a.k.a FAX of Rural Air Services (RAS) fame, kept the unclaimed Airport Tax for the no-show passengers where both companies have forfeited their fares. By right both companies should immediately refund in full the collected Airport Tax the moment they forfeited fares of the no-show passengers.
Both companies charged very high administrative charges when no-show passengers ask for the refund of the Airport Tax. More often than not that it is not worth the efforts to demand for the refund of the Airport Tax from these two companies due to their high administrative charges/bank commission.
Both the companies are mere collecting agents to collect the Airport Taxes on behalf of Malaysian Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB). Surely, AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd does not levy any administrative charges/bank commission for collecting the Airport Tax on behalf of MAHB. Similarly, it is most inappropriate for these two companies to levy any administrative charges/bank commission when no-show passengers asked for the refund of the Airport Tax. The forfeited fares were more than sufficient to cover so-called administrative charges/bank commission, if any. Both companies have no right to keep the Airport Taxes as their revenues.
As a result of the many complaints received from the no-show passengers, in August 2010 yours truly asked the Minister of Transport in Parliament to provide the total amount of Airport Tax collected from no-show passengers and kept by these two companies.
It was only after the Deputy Minister of Transport was reminded about the outstanding answers that on 18-10-2011 the Ministry of Transport provided the following answers:
“SEJUMLAH RM6.4 JUTA PSC (AIRPORT TAX) TELAH TIDAK DIKEMBALIKAN OLEH AIRASIA UNTUK PENUMPANG NO-SHOW DAN PENUMPANG YANG TIDAK MENGADAKAN PENERBANGAN LANJUTAN PEMBATALAN BAGI TEMPOH 1 MEI 2002 HINGGA 31 OGOS 2011.”
“SEJUMLAH RM498 RIBU PSC (AIRPORT TAX) TELAH TIDAK DIKEMBALIKAN OLEH AIRASIA X UNTUK PENUMPANG NO-SHOW DAN PENUMPANG YANG TIDAK MENGADAKAN PENERBANGAN LANJUTAN PEMBATALAN BAGI TEMPOH NOVEMBER 2007 HINGGA SEPTEMBER 2011.”
The unclaimed Airport Taxes of RM6.48 million kept by AirAsia Bhd and RM435,000-00 by AirAsia X Sdn should be immediately forwarded to MAHB forthwith. Upon receipt of those unclaimed Airport Taxes from AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, MAHB is duty bound to forward them to Bank Negara under the Unclaimed Money Act.
The Ministry of Transport and/or Ministry of Finance must take immediate actions to ensure that the said unclaimed Airport Taxes held by both AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd be immediately forwarded to MAHB as they have no legal right to retain it.