Last Call To Book Your Flight Tickets From Malaysia Before New Departure Levy Kicks In On September 1st, 2019

Passengers who are planning to fly from Malaysia have a few more days before a departure levy will be added to most international tickets beginning on the 1st of September 2019.

A month ago Malaysia announced that it is starting to collect a RM8 to RM150 departure tax that varies by class of service and destination.

The levy differentiates between ASEAN and non-ASEAN destinations as well as Economy and Premium tickets.

The tax in Malaysian Ringgit and US$:

  • ASEAN: Economy RM8 ($2) – Non-Economy RM50 ($12)
  • NON-ASEAN: Economy RM20 ($5) – Non-Economy RM150 ($36)

The levy has been published in the Malaysian

These fees will be added to all tickets and automatically charged. There won’t be a physical collection of these fees at the airport such as Indonesia did it until many years ago. This means that all existing tickets issued prior to SEP 1st will remain intact with no add on collected.

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There are a range of people exempt from paying the departure tax: Infants and toddlers below 24 months old, air passengers transiting via any international airport in Malaysia within 12 hours and crew members on duty on board of any vehicle including aircraft or vessel won’t have to pay the fee providing the ticket has been issued properly.

At the same time I don’t think there is a refund option in place, for example when someone transits through Malaysia on two separate tickets. Hong Kong does have such a refund process. Entitled passengers on different tickets or those using the ferry directly to/from HKIA can go to a counter and have their fees refunded. I highly doubt something like this will be implemented in Malaysia.

Conclusion

The fees are relatively small but maybe those who book a lot of flights or have big families who will go on a trip might want to book in the next couple of days.

These fees as annoying as they mayb be are nothing limited to Malaysia. Many countries have started to tax air travel in premium cabins heavily (especially in the UK). Japan recently implemented their very own “Sayonara Tax” of ~ 1000 Yen. Thailand charges 700 THB. Malaysia argues that they collect these to encourage more domestic tourism which is obviously nonsense. I wish this could be communicated in a more honest and transparent way.

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