AirAsia CEO Talks Refunds

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Earlier this week, the CEO of British Airways sent out a warm and fuzzy email (read more here) to its frequent fliers in the UK that was very light on information.

Today an email from AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes hit many of our email inboxes and, while it tried to be inspirational, the main deal was refunds.

You can access AirAsia here.

Here’s the interesting part about the refunds:

I know many of you have expressed frustration with not receiving a refund for your flights but I encourage you to accept a credit as a good alternative. More than 80 percent of you have accepted our credit offer and we truly appreciate this. Please know that our policy is in line with many operators in the travel industry and reflects our focus on coming out the other side of this difficult period and flying with you again as soon as possible. We have ensured that we adhere to all regulations and requirements of respective governments and consumer authorities and believe this is the best solution. You are among the over 600 million guests who have flown AirAsia and can’t wait to fly with you again once this is over.

While we strongly encourage you to accept the credit which is instant and comes with a 365-day validity and allows you to change your flight date for an unlimited number of times, we do accept requests for refund on a case by case basis. However, due to the overwhelming number of requests that we have received, it may take a long process of between 12 to 16 weeks.

It is clear that if your ticketed flight(s) doesn’t/don’t operate, you are eligible for a refund. Plain and simple. AirAsia, however, operates in many countries with lax consumer rights.

Here’s the email:

Conclusion

The main AirAsia is based in Malaysia and has affiliates in India, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia, which are majority-owned by local investors (quite a web).

I am sure that Mr. Fernandes would prefer ticketed passengers to accept funny money for canceled flights. I would encourage, however, everyone who is eligible for refunds to apply for them instead. It is unclear when travel bans and restrictions are lifted, and we can travel again,

I do much prefer this Tony’s email over Alex that didn’t contain any information.

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