A pregnant housewife ordered to disembark from an AirAsia aircraft in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia three years ago for not having a medical certificate to travel, was awarded RM43,999 in damages by the Court of Appeal here today.
Thank you Berjan Kaur Sidhu for alerting yours truly of this news. Of course, the highly acclaimed Star Business editor Ms BK Sidhu must have INADVERTENTLY overlooked this piece of adverse news against AirAsia which was circulated by Bernama. Please do not expect adverse news on AirAsia from Ms BK Sidhu.
Couple win RM43,999 in damages from AirAsia
Posted on 7 May 2014 – 06:00pm
Last updated on 7 May 2014 – 07:46pm
PUTRAJAYA: A pregnant housewife ordered to disembark from an AirAsia aircraft in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia three years ago for not having a medical certificate to travel, was awarded RM43,999 in damages by the Court of Appeal here today.
Patricia Karen Chew Mei Yik, 44, and her husband Michael Januarius, 57 won the suit against AirAsia Berhad after the three-member panel allowed their appeal to overturn a High Court’s dismissal of the same.
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail awarded the couple special damages of RM18,999 as well as RM25,000 in general damages. He further ordered AirAsia to pay 5% interest per annum from Dec 27, 2011, when the writ was filed, to the date of full settlement.
Justice Abdul Wahab, who presided on the panel with Justices Datuk David Wong Dak Wah and Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, also ordered AirAsia to pay RM10,000 in legal cost.
In their statement of claim, Chew and Januarius, a businessman, said they had bought return AirAsia flight tickets to Bali on Feb 2, 2011. After spending the holiday in Bali with their then four-year-old daughter (now aged 7 years) they boarded the plane to return to Kuala Lumpur on Feb 26, 2011.
The couple claimed that prior to take off a stewardess had asked Chew, who was then 28 weeks pregnant, whether she had a letter from a doctor certifying that she was fit to travel by plane.
Chew said she had obtained a certificate from gynaecologist Datuk Dr Ang Chin Guan of the Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah Sdn Bhd issued on Feb 11, 2011.
She told the stewardess however that she had handed the certificate to a stewardess whose name she could not remember on the Feb 20, 2011 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar.
Chew claimed that the stewardess had told her in an angry tone that the airline’s online system did not show the certificate and to get a new doctor’s certificate. At that point Chew’s husband decided to remain on the plane without his wife and child as he had to attend a corporate reception in Kuala Lumpur.
The couple, however, claimed that the stewardess told them to go to the front door of the aircraft for discussion, but once there they were ordered to disembark from the plane by a security guard and the door of the aircraft was closed.
The couple said they lost a hand luggage containing a camera and a laptop which was left in the aircraft. They said they were disappointed and humiliated by the handling of the situation.
Chew subsequently obtained a fitness certificate from a medical officer at the Denpasar airport which allowed the entire family to board another flight to Kuala Lumpur.
In its defence, AirAsia denied that Chew and her family were treated harshly, adding that its staff were trained to handle any situation involving passengers patiently, calmly, politely and professionally.
The company claimed that its staff in the incident were only carrying out their duties according to its standard operating procedures and enforceable rules.
On Aug 29, 2012, the High Court in Shah Alam dismissed their suit. Chew and Januarius were represented by lawyer M.Manoharan while lawyers Zaini Mazlan and Raja Nurul Iylia Raja Mohd Tajuddin appeared for AirAsia. – Bernama
For the above Sun Newspapers report, HERE.
Please also another case where the court had awarded damages for AirAsia’s flight delay, HERE.