Making holiday plans has been difficult in the last year. With travel restrictions constantly changing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, who’d want to be faced with potential flight cancellations? Especially when getting refunds are either a really exasperating or time-consuming process.
Many vacationers have given up on the idea of booking ahead altogether and it’s taking a toll on the tourism industry. But with new ‘pay when you fly’ options, it’s said that 63% of Malaysian travellers are likely to resume their vacation plans. And with local vaccination drives ramping up, 42% of Malaysian travellers expect the travel sector to get better over the next 12 months.
So far, initiatives by airlines (such as vouchers) have failed to gain travellers’ full confidence. Even the ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL) option falls short, as the credit terms entail deferring instalment payments and clearing remaining balances regardless of circumstance.
However, the ‘pay when you fly’ approach sees travellers making a small deposit (15% and non-refundable) and only completing full payment a few weeks prior to departure. Should cancellations happen, travellers are not liable to settle the remaining balance. Statistically, studies done by Amadeus has shown that Malaysians are keen on the new plan as opposed to BNPL.
Notwithstanding this new, more convenient payment method, it’s hard to tell how the statistics above will play out. Especially with the new Enhanced Movement Control Order announced July 1 that affects much of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Tough luck for us wanderlust-hungry Malaysians.