Written by Richard WeeFatin Ismail and Yashila Kesavan

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (“MAVCOM”) is an entity established under the Malaysian Aviation Commission 2015 (Act 771) which regulates economic and commercial matters for the aviation industry in Malaysia to function as a mechanism for consumer protection and other matters relating to the civil aviation industry.

In this fast paced era, humans often depend on various modes of transportation to bring them to their desired destination which then requires them to pay for the services provided. However, if they did not receive the services given the fact that they purchased it, they shall be entitled to a refund or reimbursement.

This applies to the aircraft industry as well, but does one know how to file a complaint against the airline when issues arise?

Basic things to know when your flight gets delayed / cancelled

  • Did you know that if an airline delayed or cancelled your flight, you are most likely to be compensated so that you can keep up with your travel plans? This wholly depends on the circumstances of the delay or cancellation.
  • The information regarding the compensation is based on the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016. This code shall be complied with at all times for airlines operating into or out of Malaysia and Malaysian airports. 
  • The table attached below lists the nature of flight disruptions and the compensation which would be provided in accordance to Paragraph 12 of the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016:

Nature of delay

Compensation

Flight delayed for 2 hours or more

The airline is required to provide meals, telephone calls and Wi-Fi access to the consumer.

Flight delayed for 5 hours or more 

The airline is required to provide meals, telephone calls and Wi-Fi access to the consumer. Additionally, if the delay requires the consumer to stay overnight, the airline shall also provide hotel accommodation and transportation from the airport to the hotel.

Prolonged flight delays

Consumers could receive an entitled care from the time of the initial flight to the final departure time.

Flights cancelled 

The airline will be required to refund or reroute the flight.

 

However, there are exceptions to the compensation scheme in situations where the delay could not have been predicted by the airlines such as bad weather or security risks.

Filing a complaint to the airline

  • Before filing a complaint to MAVCOM, one should first file a complaint directly to the airline/airport for unsatisfactory service. 
  • Once you have lodged a complaint, airlines are required to respond and resolve the matter within 30 days. If they did not resolve your issue or the resolution was not satisfactory, you may then file a complaint to MAVCOM. 

For details and contacts of the airlines or airports, one may refer here.

Steps on How to file a complaint to MAVCOM

There are two ways in which one can file a complaint to MAVCOM, one is through their official website and another is by downloading FlySmart Mobile Application.

Website Guide

  • Visit https://www.mavcom.my/en/home/ which is MAVCOM’s main page.
  • Once you’re there, click the yellow box at the top which states “Make a complaint”
  • This will redirect you to Make A Complaint – FlySmart site.
  • You will be required to fill in the necessary details in parts that are required such as;

Contact Details 

This will be basic details of yourself which is required

 

Feedback 

You will be required to fill in which airline / airport you are intending to complaint on and the details listed below:

  • Select the airline / airport;
  • The type of complaint;
  • Reference number of your previous complaint to the airline / airport;
  • Booking date, this is the date when you booked your flight;
  • Flight number and date;
  • Flight ticket amount;
  • The total passengers;
  • Departure and Arrival City;
  • Summary of your complaint, you may type out the issues you faced briefly in this part. 

Supporting Documents

You may upload any supporting documents to your issues for the person in charge to  further understand your complaint

Documents that you could upload are:

  • A copy of your ticket booking,
  • Scanned copy of your boarding pass,
  • Copy of your IC/Passport,
  • Any relevant correspondences between the airline / airport,
  • Any screenshots or photos which will support your complaint. 
  • Once you have filled in the necessary details that are required in the Flysmart site, click submit and you’re done!

FlySmart Mobile Application Guide

  • You may download the FlySmart Mobile App through the Apple App Store (for iPhone users) or Google Play Store (for Android users). 
  • Here’s a step by step guide in using the FlySmart mobile application:
A Practical Guide to File a Complaint at MAVCOM - Richard Wee Chambers
  • Once you have downloaded the app on your device, launch the app on your device. 
  • If you are a new user, you will need to register an account to proceed. 
  • Click “Register Now” to create an account.
  • If you have an existing account already, you may simply fill in your details and sign in.
A Practical Guide to File a Complaint at MAVCOM - Richard Wee Chambers
  • Once you have created an account and logged in, you may proceed to make a complaint by clicking the icon at the bottom left stating “Make a Complaint”.
  • The steps will be similar to the website guide. 

What happens after you make a complaint.

  • You may expect to receive an initial response from MAVCOM within seven (7) days. 
  • MAVCOM may then require you to further submit any relevant documents to assist you in resolving the matter. 
  • Rest assured as your complaint would be resolved within 30 days by MAVCOM.

Status of Complaint

  • If you have submitted your complaint through the FlySmart website, you will be able to keep  track of the status of your complaint here.
  • Fill in your case reference number and your email to check the status.
  • In an unfortunate circumstance where you are facing difficulties in tracing your complaint or if you have forgotten the case reference number, you may send in an email to enquiries@flysmart.my

MAVCOM’s Decision

  • Decisions for the disputes will be provided to the party involved in which these decisions will be final and registered as High Court judgements.
  • If any party fails to comply with MAVCOM’s decision, the High Court will issue an order for the duties to be performed respectively.

Conclusion

This guide serves as a reference to the consumers who are looking to file a complaint against the airlines or airport where the service provided did not satisfy the consumer needs. 

One shall store the correspondence and documents relating to the complaint properly as it may be required to ease the process. However, one shall note that MAVCOM has the right to reject any complaints which are not related to the aviation industry or do not carry a purpose. 

Apart from the steps written above, here’s a simple video derived from the MAVCOM’s website for your ease of understanding the process:

Published on 22 August 2022

PHOTO BY Joshua Fuller ON UNSPLASH

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