It was back in June when AirAsia stated that they've 'paid back' almost all customers affected by flight cancellations during COVID-19 with travel vouchers equivalent to the amount owned. But is that really the case?
Malaysia Now reported that it's no rainbows and unicorns when it comes to customers who have received the said travel vouchers in lieu of cash refunds or compensations. Why? Well, a number of difficulties popped up when they read the 'Terms & Conditions' of the travel vouchers. In other words, very mafan one.
Only for a fixed list of destinations?
While AirAsia has been receiving a lot of heat due to its inability to offer cash refunds, the travel vouchers that they've issued in compensation can only be used for certain payments and trips to a 'fixed list of destinations'. That, obviously, added more fuel to the fire.
The travel vouchers were credited into the passengers' accounts following AirAsia's High Court-approved debt restructuring move last March. It turns out that there's a fine print on the use of said vouchers for three and only three particular destinations at first - New Delhi, Seoul, and Sydney.
More destinations will be added like Tokyo, Sapporo, Osaka, Hawaii, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland, London, Istanbul, and Dubai. Even then, it still sounds like they're trying to profit from these travel vouchers by limiting the number of destinations that can be used with the compensatory travel vouchers.
Change of expiry dates without informing the customers?
One of the customers complained that she was given two credits in her account due to her flight from Singapore to KL getting cancelled back in May 2020 due to COVID-19. Malaysia Now also reported that only one credit was converted to a travel voucher and she could only use it to travel to the destinations listed above.
With only SGD160 (around RM514) worth of credit available in the account, the customer has no other choice but to spend more money to travel to the listed destination in order to make use of the compensation provided by AirAsia.
The customer also claimed that her credit expiry date was changed to a different date, even though AirAsia X itself stated that the travel vouchers are good for five years from the date they were issued to the customers. The online credit? Only two years.
*Image credit: Business Today
Another customer unable to redeem the voucher's full value
Another Malaysian was left frustrated as she was unable to use her full voucher amount of RM3,728.92. While she was fortunate enough to be able to use the voucher to head to one of AirAsia's locations on the list, she found out that it can only be used to cover the 'basic fare' of the flight.
The good news? She was able to use RM3,558 from her credit but was left with RM170.92 hanging and she considered it to be too little to be used for anything else. Her Twitter post went somewhat viral and was filled with other dissatisfied AirAsia customers complaining about their own situations regarding the carrier's poor attempts in handling refunds, issuance of vouchers, and more flight cancellations.
AirAsia sold 500,000 seats in 48 hours
Despite all the complaints that can be found online, AirAsia managed to sell over half a million seats in just 48 hours thanks to its latest '5 million free seats' promotion. It's good value-for-money stuff as customers only had to pay for fees and surcharges, but it's like rolling the dice - take your chances and you might win. There will be losers, though.