MAVCOM moves to better protect consumers' aviation rights

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) has released a new code to protect consumers traveling by air to and from Malaysia called the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 (MPAC).

What this means for consumers is that, their rights are protected and clearly defined when flying in and from the Malaysian peninsula.Through the new guidelines there is hope for more transparency and education on how to exercise these rights when it relates to flight changes, pricing, baggage and various other matters.

According to Pushpalatha Subramaniam, director of consumer affairs, MAVCOM, these rights cover dealings with airlines, airports and other aviation service providers, including foreign airlines operating into and out of Malaysia. The minimum service levels and standards as captured within the code will also benefit consumers directly.

For instance, airlines and airports are now given 30 days to resolve consumer complaints and also provide increased protection of consumer rights including compensation and care for flight delays of two hours or more, flight cancellations and lost or damaged luggage.

The first in Malaysia’s aviation industry, the code was a result of extensive engagement with relevant stakeholders and was adapted from international guidelines such as the Montreal Convention 1999 as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Core Principles on Consumer Protection.

To facilitate the implementation of the code, MAVCOM has also set up a consumer management system, which allows consumers dissatisfied with a complaint resolution offered by an airline or airport to escalate the complaint to MAVCOM.

“A key objective of MAVCOM as envisaged by the Act is the protection of aviation consumer rights and interests. Consumers are important to us and a consumer-oriented aviation industry is part of our mission,” Subramaniam added.