I booked two domestic Malaysian flights with AirAsia in March 2020 for a value of 288 MYR (from a Malaysian city to another Malaysian city, and back; their codes starting with AK), which the airline canceled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the MCO decreed by the Government of Malaysia.

After having opened a case in March 2020 and having waited for 4 months, AirAsia now replied to my case (July 2020), rejecting to refund the price of the ticket to my bank account, only offering to give me BIG points for future flights.

They initially enabled for requesting for a full refund via their website; now they only display the option of a credit refund or moving the flight.

I have checked AirAsia's terms and conditions of carriage for AK flights; given that in Section 9.2., option c. "refund" states that it is applicable "if you choose not to proceed with your trip due to a flight cancellation and/or rescheduling that occurs three (3) hours or more before or after the original scheduled departure time", I would think I would deserve a full refund.

What are my customer rights? Does AirAsia have to refund my canceled flight ticket's price? If they refuse to do so, how can AirAsia be enforced to refund?

  • 1
    The same story happens all over the world. Even when they are legally obligated to refund you, airlines will instead offer vouchers, points, rebooking, etc. They just don't have the cash. You can try to sue them in the local equivalent of a small claims court, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
    – jcaron
    Jul 20, 2020 at 12:10
  • 1
    @jcaron : in this case Air Asia may not legally required to give a refund in the first place. Turns out MAVCOM gave the airlines a free pass to screw their customers.
    – Hilmar
    Jul 20, 2020 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


You may be out of luck here. Air Asia's refund policies are governed by the Malaysian Aviation Commission. https://www.mavcom.my/en/home/ (MAVCOM)

In contrast to the governing bodies in Europe and the US, MAVCOM has prioritized airline survival over passenger rights. They have declared the pandemic "extraordinary circumstances" and have given the airlines a lot of leeway.


The cancellation of flights by airlines is caused by extraordinary circumstances. The refund options offered to passengers is a commercial decision by an airline.

This means that Air Asia is NOT required to give you a cash refund although they will consider it on a case by case basis. Your only option here may be to keep pestering them until someone gives in.

Sources: https://www.mavcom.my/en/consumer/flight-disruptions-covid-19-faq/ https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f3177186-13c1-4b74-b680-fd29c992b12b https://www.forbes.com/sites/willhorton1/2020/04/11/airasia-gives-refunds-on-a-case-by-case-basis-if-passengers-decline-credit-voucher-during-covid-19-travel-cancellations/#3a946ed66449

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