Since 2004 there were complaints of “Misleading Pricing” in AirAsia’s website!

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, the CEO of AirAsia

In the story of Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) having filed a suit against AirAsia for its misleading pricing in its website, AFP has stated that AirAsia could not be reached for comment. This was most unusual by AirAsia’s standard. Read in HERE. However, a few days later, AirAsia has responded with a press release stating that “… we took corrective action and are focussed on ensuring that our customers have all relevant information on our fares…” For full report please read in  HERE Well, yours truly leave it to the readers to judge whether this is true. 

However, your truly has received an interesting comment from Sdr Charles F Moreira with regards to the issue of  “AirAsia’s  misleading pricing of its fares in its website” and it has been a point of contentions since January 2004.  In fact, there were many public complaints about AirAsia’s business model especially the way in which ancillary charges were structured in AirAsia’s website. Yours truly has posted the ancillary charges of AirAsia in HERE.

Sdr Charles F Moreira took the trouble to provide us with the AirAsia/Tony Fernandes’s press statement in January 2004, which was during the famous “Sleepy Age” in Malaysian history a.k.a known as the “Fourth Floor Administration”.

From the 2004 press statement which quoted none other than Mr Tony Fernandes, as he then was, who spoke on behalf of AirAsia on the allegations of “MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS” by AirAsia. Of course, during the “4th Floor Administration” everything done by AirAsia was sacrosanct including the glaring fact that AirAsia was allowed to owe Airport Tax, which was paid by passengers, for so many years totaling more than RM120 million!

It was only after yours truly brought it up in Parliament about this matter that AirAsia had no choice but to settle the Airport Tax debts with a BIG discount of about 30%. By right MAHB should have imposed interest on the airport tax debts.

Well, Khazanah turned a blind eye on the said Airport Tax debts owed by AirAsia at the material time. At that material time, there was nothing MAHB could do. This was how Khazanah, under the stewardship of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, was looking after MAHB, which is one of the  GLCs.  It didn’t come as a surprise to yours truly because Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakop, the then extremely powerful Minister of Finance II, were both calling the shots in Khazanah. Please read in HERE & HERE.

Yours truly just wonder whether ordinary Malaysian owing income tax for years will be spared for many years and thereafter granted a handsome discount upon settlement.

After inking the secret MAS-AirAsia share swap, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar was also responsible for installing his ex-business partner in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd and crony, En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof aka as Danny (Rashdan), to head MAS from 10-8-2011 to 19-9-2011. Now Rashdan is the Deputy Managing Director of MAS.

Below is the excerpts of Sdr Charles F Moreira‘s comments with the necessary link to the press statement.

The issue of Air Asia’s pricing was brought up in 2004 and this was the result. At least the Aussie regulator has more gumption than our weakling regulators who had shown themselves to be more willing to help the Business Software Alliance crack down on pirated software than the interests of ordinary Malaysians.

Press Releases

6 January 2004

AirAsia and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Malaysia Resolve Issue of “Misleading” Advertisements

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Malaysia has given AirAsia the “go ahead” to continue with its advertisements of low fares following a meeting held between AirAsia’s Management team with the ministry headed by its Director General of Enforcement, Abdullah Nawawi Mohamad. The decision was given at a meeting held as a fact finding mission, following reports on the airline’s “misleading” advertisements.

Speaking today after the meeting, AirAsia’s Chairman, YBhg. Dato’ Pahamin A. Rajab said, “We are happy that we can put this issue aside and move forward. We would like to thank the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, and the Malaysian Government for resolving the issue quickly and allowing us to focus on our business. We will set–up meetings with officials from the Ministry of Cultural Arts and Tourism, to discuss ways of collaboration to grow tourism and the low fare travel market in Malaysia.

The ministry has acknowledged that there were no issues on the misinterpretation of the advertisements placed by AirAsia and that it (the advertisements) has no intention to mislead. The ministry has however pointed out that confusion may have arisen due to lack of understanding of the advertisements, particularly by first time flyers with AirAsia who are not familiar with the airline’s unique and innovative concept.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have also commented that AirAsia should explain its low fare scheme to consumers as the concept is still relatively new.

“We welcome the minister’s suggestion and have planned for road shows to reach out to more people and explain our low fares concept. We will continue to advertise our low fares as practiced previously,” said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia.

He further continues, “It is always a low fare when you book a seat on AirAsia, no matter if you get a RM 1.99 fare or any other fare. Our lowest fare represents as much as 80% savings and the highest fare is still 20% lower compared to other full service airlines. We understand that some people, mostly first timers on our flights, may not be familiar with the concept; hence we will continue our PR efforts to educate the public on this matter.”

For full press release click:

Thank you Sdr Charles F Moreira for providing the valuable inputs for yours truly and the readers.

Lets hope that the Malaysia Competition Commission (MYCC) will complete its investigation into the secret MAS-AirAsia share swap and the s0-called comprehensive Collaborative Framework (CCF) real soon. ACCC has completed their investigation and already filed a suit with its Federal Court, which will be heard on 2-3-2012.  

31 thoughts on “Since 2004 there were complaints of “Misleading Pricing” in AirAsia’s website!

  1. Charles F Moreira

    Sdr. Wee,

    Great post once again.

    Just a note, the link at the end of this sentence does not work – “Yours truly has posted the ancillary charges of AirAsia in HERE.”

  2. Mohamed S

    Who is this Nawawi Abdullah Mohamad? Have not heard about him of late? Was he carried out the instructions by the 4th Floor to do the good work?

  3. Krishnan

    I believe they are many complaints about AirAsia’s business model via online where hidden charges were incorporated. YB has published about the “ancillary charges” costing more than RM50. It was never easy to get refund from AirAsia. It was a good thing that ACCC has filed a suit in Australia. Our MYCC is still sleeping like the SC.

  4. Old man

    How can one even equate flagrant misrepresentation to business model?

    If that is so, cheating is part of Air Asia business model. Include patronising in it too.

  5. Omar

    What business model? What no frill? It is a con job supported by Tingkat 4. Azman Mokhtar was appointed by Tingkat 4 also. now you have a Tingkat 4 idiot advisor sleeping in MAS HQ. Thats why MAS is in such shit.

  6. mamat

    AA have just abolished the counter check in fee but ONLY FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT. Domestic? Is it because Malaysian cannot do anything towards AA?

  7. Hafiz

    The picture showed that TF was having bloody headache with all his public relation exercise or spinning. He must wondering how many more anti-trust suit that his AA is going to get? No we know why AA has given up London, Mumbai, and other countries. I thot that he has been saying that London is a profitable route for AA. Looking forward to 2 March for the result of the case in Australian court. Our MYCC as usual will be dragging its feet and clear AA. MYCC will be no different to SC.

  8. Old man

    Tony, Tony, Tony,

    You come, you see, you want…
    You rant, you rave, you wrangle, you wheel and deal, you ch..t, you lie,
    You get, you crow, you play, you tire,
    You throw back.

    (you hide your spoils)

    You don’t care who you hurt along the way as long as you get rich.

  9. Kenny

    Old Man

    Correct! Correct! Correct!

    That bloody crony Rashdan must now learn not to follow his boss TF all the way like sponsoring QPR. I hope that MAS will not start to do hidden charges like AA.

  10. MAS Guy

    Since our authority was under the control of the Pariah, let the foreign authorities to teach him and AA a lesson. It is a real blessing in disguise. A big ang pow for the Pariah and his AA. No wonder the pariah cannot talk big now.

  11. YEE HAA

    Well said Omar, Hafiz and all.

    Thambi (oopss sorry, Portugis) is having a serious headache!

    Najib must act fast or Portugis going to kitchensink the whole country.

  12. Kana

    Many people have problems with the pricing of AA. Many didn’t know that they were charged to the hilt. When you have problems with AA, you call up the Toll Free number you can hardly hear the conversation and they will ask the passenger to call the npn-tool free line. When you called the non-free line you will be asked to hold and it will take sometime and more often than not that you will get your problems resolved. Mind you, you will be charged RM1.90 per minute. This is one of the hidden charges. Hopefully ACCC and MYCC will investigate into the way hidden charges were collected.

    Syabas to ACCC. Let ACCC hantum them cukup-cukup if our MYCC has no ball to act.

  13. Jalaludin MAS steward

    In the picture was scratching his head. After the ACCC taking actions, he must be scratching his balls and allover his body. Hooray! Hopeful Rashdan and AJ will also be scratching their balls as well. These two yang tiada maruah and worst of all tak malu.

  14. dino

    Thank you Tan Sri Vincent Tan for displaying MALAYSIA prominently on the jersey of his winning Cardiff City Football team without even asking for or getting a cent for the gesture. This is the example of a true and patriotic Malaysian, and hmmmm….. thank you to the other Tan Sri, owner of Air asia , who gets Malaysia Airline to pay RM 18,000,000.00 for displaying MALAYSIA on QPR jersey, of his loosing team QPR team. Thank you so much for being such a ` Malaysian’!

    I hope QPR will go down this season.

  15. Shahadewa

    Why would MAS fare very often 100% more expensive the AA if not for deliberate price manupulation or rather price fixing between consenting parties ! public listed companies swap share in secret !!

  16. leo57

    old Man

    Isn’t that what anyone would do if they even had HALF a chance? We must all be reminded that the Malaysian people adore, admire, bow and scrape to anyone who has moolah and any hint of a title, even a lowly (and sometimes dubious) dato-ship, never mind if the gains are ill-gotten or legit. Isn’t it the aspiration of the bulk of the population to be rich and titled, never mind the means? Therefore, we are all equally to blame for the “phenomenon”. If you think that is arguable, then why do the same corrupt people get voted into office to run the country for the last 54+ years?
    Btw, for all those who question the CCF and assume all sorts of sinister
    agendas behind it, please also be reminded that, to the top people in political power today, the CCF is a “business” decision, not a “political” one, so none of them are going to intervene or touch the issue with a 20-yard pole, even if the 20,000 or so employees are going to have their rice bowls overturned. Wake up, everybody!! The writing is on the wall.
    We can all curse and swear to high heaven about AA and the way they do business, but lest we all forget, now that AA/TF have their claws in all corners of MAS, if they go down, MAS will be “collateral” damage too.
    And as for the zonked-out advisor to MAS? Can someone please check out his uber-posh advisor’s office at Precint 3? It’s obviously not tucked in some
    dinghy corner in the MAS HQ.

  17. leo57

    Old man
    True, not everyone, me included, but enough numbers to get the same kind voted in time and again to “rule” the country, and their same kind in the GLCs and many “successful” companies whose bottom line is fattened (or flattenned – as in MAS’ case)by government largesse, under the guise of “economic equality”?. MAS is but a mere microcosm of what Malaysia has become.
    Unlike fairy tales, not all sagas have a happy ending.
    The conscience of the silent majority has no voice.


    AJ is still warming up or already boiling? Hearing hot rumors since last few days, AJ is leaving the burning seat. Do not bother high level consent or instruction; just leave to safe your ass. If AJ really tinggalkan belang di MAS you will become harimau of Malaysia!

  19. anonymous

    AJ is just a budak suruhan. Have no back bone at all. Kalau dia ada maruah dia tak akan bertindak sebagai si kroni Rashdan yang tiada maruah. Si kroni memang tak malu.

  20. Razak of MAS

    I bet AJ will not leave the sinking ship because the fat salary is not easy to come by. AJ is not a principled man. If he has a bit of principle he will not be put in MAS ok. He is just a “professional idiot” that will agree to what Rashdan, the crony of Azman Mokhtar, has been doing to destroy MAS. Who care if AJ leaves MAS or not. What is more important is Azman Mokhtar must be kick out from Khazanah. Once he is out from Khazanah, Rashdan and Aj will be a dead ducks. Azman Mokhtar is the man culprit in the MAS issue.

  21. Rajes

    MAS will soon be canabalised under AJ and Rashdan. By the time AJ leaves MAS, MAS would have been in pieces. How an MAS be headed by a Budah Suruhan AJ and Rashdan an Amok crony.

  22. Othman

    At the rate TF was scratching his head he will be botak soon. YB kasih chancelah kepada si TF. Give him a breaklah. The Australian regulator hantum his AA sudah cukuplah. ACCC cannot kaotim. MYCC mash tidur. Maybe sudah telan ban yak sleeping pills kot. Ha ha ha!

  23. anonymous

    Back to the internal woes in MAS and my earlier posting on Dec 17, also picked up by troubleshooters, the Head of HC has finally resigned, and is leaving exactly ONE day after her announcement. For such a senior position ,
    a one day exit with no handover to anyone raises two questions – is the position redundant to start with? and what happened to the ‘Talent List’ and much-touted-but- never-seen succession plan? Simply confirms my observation that the rot in MAS starts and ends with the PEOPLE issue.
    Now let’s all spend the next week or so speculating, theorising , gossiping and watching the horsetrading going on. After 30 years, the heads of HR that have come and gone, all lived up to our expectations of botching up in one way or another, all victims to the legacy issues, and none with the gumption/guts/principles to right the blatant wrongs for fear of rocking their own cushy boats.
    The next one will be no different. He/she is expected to recycle the same stale wine into even staler bottles, repackaging the bottles with new labels like
    “Transformation Wave 1 or 2 or 3” but until the stale and incompetent politicking goons in HC are kicked out, NOTHING is going to change.
    MAS is doomed.

  24. Jaspal

    “Took corrective actions”. what a bullshit TF! Your nonsense started in 2004 when the Sleepy Head was running the country and you got away with almost everything. Malaysians have been made a fool by you for all these years. The Star has been propping you up all the way. TF: you once said that if you price the fare low enough Malaysians are prepared to risk their life. That’s how you feel about us Malaysians. Najib government must now stop all the bullshits of TF.

  25. Farid

    Can someone take a screenshot of AirAsia Australian price webpage and put it up here? Then we can see whether their IT system is specific to countries and how discrimination is done through IT system.

  26. insan sedih

    Oh dear tony n power that be when will you guys will realised that the world is about to end n may ALLAH give you taufik dan hidayat n show you guys that all the material thing in this world is just sand n dust

    Even wiz all the comment n blog posting the goverment seen immune to the voice of the rakyat

    thks yb wee

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