Monday, June 04, 2007

KLIA Excess Luggage Costs Scam

Baggage handlers assisting at the check-in counters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) are being investigated following a complaint by an international airline that it has been short-changed on excess luggage costs paid at the KLIA.

KL Air Services Sdn Bhd (KLAS), the ground handlers, is investigating the scam and attempting to discover how widespread the scam is.

In this alleged rip-off, a group of six international television crew members departing KLIA last week on Sri Lankan Airlines paid RM4,834 for excess luggage.

They were told they had to pay in cash because the credit card machine was out of order.

They paid and were given a receipt with the correct amount written by hand.

However, the airline only received RM1,500 and this was reflected on the carbon copy of the receipt retained for the airlines.

The lower amount was also handwritten.

The handwritten receipt triggered suspicion at the television company and it alerted the airline.

When comparing the receipts, the airline realised it had been short-changed.

Sri Lankan Airlines country manager Lalith De Silva reported the shortfall of RM3,500 to KLAS, which considers this a malpractice.

KLAS’ Business Development head Wong Kam Weng said the company viewed this matter seriously and had launched an immediate investigation.

This alleged scam is said to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Tourism Malaysia Board director-general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said that it intended to crack down on travel industry-related companies cheating and short-changing visitors or Malaysians.

“We were told that every day the police at KLIA get several reports of people trying to make a quick buck from visitors. Luggage thefts and pick-pocketing are the most prevalent.

“It is a very sick thing to cheat travellers and it is worse when done by the counter staff who are the frontline people,” Mirza said.

The president of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Ngiam Foo, said that malpractices by travel-related staff gave a bad impression of Malaysia.

“Tourists, airlines and others related to the industry should be treated well by KLIA frontline staff and not cheated by them,” he said.

Source : STAR
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