In an official statement, Capital A’s Tony Fernandes declares that AirAsia has “paid back nearly everyone,” but have they?
Specifically, the AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AAAGL), has announced through its Group CEO that 99% of all customer queries for refunds have been resolved and finalised while the remaining 0.8% is projected to be settled in the coming months.
Has AirAsia paid you back?
Few companies have managed to stain their reputations over the COVID-19 pandemic period as badly as AirAsia has with the low-cost carrier inflicting flight cancellations and other disruptions upon customers and, in most cases, could not offer them proper compensation.
Fernandes added: “AAX was in a much more difficult situation with international borders closed, so they were completely grounded for over two years with limited cash flow coming in during that period,”
“However, now that they are flying again, they are also paying their guests with outstanding credit back, with travel vouchers equivalent to the amount owed. Our other medium/long haul affiliate airline, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) was similarly affected by the pandemic and is also working hard to settle all outstanding guest entitlements in the near future.”
AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail, in the same communications release, confirmed that monetary compensation would not be disbursed, but that Capital A Berhad is using travel vouchers in lieu of actual refunds to measure the degree to which their debt to customers is ‘paid back’.
He added: “Under the terms of the scheme of arrangement that was sanctioned by the High Court further to our recent debt restructuring, we are legally restricted from making any cash refunds to our guests. However, AAX is pleased to extend credits by way of travel vouchers to our guests, which are redeemable with immediate effect,”
“These travel vouchers are valid for five years and may be used for future travel to any of our medium to long haul destinations which will continue to be increased and made available throughout this year and beyond,”
“To date, the majority of all affected guests have received their travel vouchers (totalling over 155,000 guests) and we aim to complete the issuance of all remaining travel vouchers within the coming weeks.”
It would seem that a fair amount of customers aren’t exactly happy with these vouchers over hard cash. That, and the flight disruptions that followed them into the busy festive period of 2022, have further angered customers past and present, culminating in a massive PR backfire on Twitter.
“What advice will you give a first time flyer?”
That seemingly innocuous question was posted around 8am on June 11th but quickly drew the internet’s ire as unrelenting waves of bad experiences and negative sentiment were published in response to it.