Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'Money back' if your flight is delayed

By Business Times

AIRASIA Bhd will soon start refunding passengers for delayed flights.

The airline's chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said giving refunds for delays was part of AirAsia's plan to improve the low-cost airline's service.

"If we're late and we cause you inconvenience, we'll give you your money back," Fernandes said, adding that the airline hopes to implement this within the next two months.

Fernandes said that AirAsia is currently working out the mechanics to ensure the programme is not abused.

Airline executives, however, said the plan was to refund passengers who were delayed at least three hours or more.

Once implemented, AirAsia would be the first airline in Asia to do this.

"We're showing that we put our money where our mouth is ... that we are confident about our product and are constantly innovating it," he told reporters after an event yesterday.

He said the low-cost airline is able to do this now because of its new Airbus fleet "which is making a lot of difference".

Another service enhancement in the pipeline is a web product, through which customers will be able to order a wide variety of food that they can collect at the terminal and take on board the plane, Fernandes said.

He said AirAsia is currently negotiating with airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to take over an outlet at the low-cost terminal where customers can collect their food. It also plans to start a food trolley service.

On a different matter, he said AirAsia has requested for low-cost terminals to be set up in Kuching and Penang.

"We've talked to MAHB and I think their idea is not to build a separate terminal, but to try and build an extension - a wing - from the existing terminal," he said.

AirAsia would have no objections to this as long as the charges are low and the operations are simple, he added.

Fernandes, who is eyeing new routes in China, also hopes to be able to start a second flight to Shenzen by October given the overwhelming demand.