Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Compensation for AirAsia flight delays

AirAsia will compensate passengers whose flights are delayed for more than three hours.

The budget carrier said it would give RM200 e-gift vouchers that can be used to buy their next AirAsia flight or any AirAsia product or service online. The e-voucher would be valid for three months.

Labelled as its “On Time Guarantee,” all flights from yesterday were accorded the service, which comes at no extra cost to passengers.

“We decided to put our money where our mouth was (in giving 5-star service).

“And interestingly enough the idea came from one of our staff,” said the budget carrier’s chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

“I dare say we’re the first in the world to do this, and the fact that it’s gonna “hurt us” if we’re late is testament to our commitment to 5-star service for passengers,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

The refund, however, will only be applicable for delays caused by AirAsia and will not cover circumstances such as bad weather, air traffic control, airport closures and acts of God.

Passengers eligible for the compensation will receive the voucher within three working days of the delayed flight via e-mail. A call centre will be set up soon for those without e-mail accounts.

He said the three-hour period was just a start, adding that once the 12 new Airbus 320 were delivered, likely within this year, there would be room for improvement. The delay period would be reduced to one hour.

“In addition, over the last few weeks, we were the only airline to announce new routes to 'market ourselves' to survive the skyrocketing oil prices,” he said, adding that ticket sales had not been affected.

Tomorrow, AirAsia is expected to announce an array of new additions to their food menu.

In a separate statement, AirAsia clarified that it was financially strong and had been making monthly payments to Malaysia Airports Berhad in response to reports that AirAsia had not paid the latter since 2002 for airport terminal charges and tariffs.

“Contrary to claims made, the current management of AirAsia has made payments to Malaysia Airports Berhad over the last five years,” it said.

The statement further places on record that the amount owed was RM62.67mil, and not RM110.36mil purportedly claimed by the airport operator.

Source : STAR
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