Know Your Travel Rights When Travelling With These 8 Airlines

Know Your Travel Rights When Travelling With These 8 Airlines

As travellers living in endemic times, it’s crucial now more than ever to know our rights with our chosen airlines. (Image by Ahmed Sharyaan.)

Subscribe to our new Telegram channel for the latest updates.

With borders worldwide slowly but surely opening up, everyone is busy planning their revenge travel. And, let’s face it – planning a holiday is exciting because you get to curate all the fun things you’re going to do; but knowing your rights as a traveller is also essential. Especially since we are living in endemic times, and many unforeseen events can arise.

While packing for a trip can be fun (for some), travelling can be somewhat stressful, especially when your chosen airline gives you a hard time. But it doesn’t have to be, and one way to ensure this is to equip yourself with the knowledge of your rights as a traveller. Depending on which airline you’re flying with, of course.

Here are eight of the most commonly flown airlines by Malaysians and their refund offers – so if ever the time calls for it, you’ll know which one to opt for.

1. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is among the youngest airlines to serve all six continents and the fastest-growing airline. Launched in 1997, Qatar Airways has since earned many awards and accolades, making it one of an elite group of airlines worldwide to have earned a 5-star rating by Skytrax.

Refunds: There are three types of refunds for Qatar Airways, which are the following:

  • Involuntary refund: This includes flight cancellation, delayed flight that causes failure to arrive at passenger’s destination, and delayed flight causing you to miss your connecting flight.
  • Voluntary refund: A voluntary refund is when the passenger requests a refund for reasons aside from the involuntary refund reasons. However, this type of refund is not guaranteed, and the company determines the amount.
  • Refund of lost ticket: If you have lost your ticket or the card you paid with for the flight ticket, a refund will be made on proof of loss satisfactory and upon payment of any applicable service charges.

Damaged luggage: In the case of damage to unchecked baggage caused by the airline’s negligence, the amount compensated to the passenger will be limited to USD400, equivalent in local currency, or per passenger.

As for checked baggage, the limit for compensation will be USD20 or equivalent in local currency per kilogram. Of course, terms and conditions apply, so be sure to make room for any possibility.

Flight changes or cancelled flights: In the case of a cancelled flight or a schedule change, the airlines should provide you with one of the following solutions:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

2. Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines was first known as Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) in 1947. Then in May 1966, MAL became Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) before Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) separated in 1972. Today, SIA is the world’s most awarded airline, with one of the latest awards being the DestinAsian (Asia) Readers’ Choice Awards 2022, awarded in March 2022.

Refunds: It is essential to ensure that the ticket you purchased from Singapore Airlines’ website is a refundable type. A ticket purchased with a refundable fare allows for a full refund on the website. However, cancellation or refund fees may apply.

There are two types of refunds for Singapore Airlines, which are the following:

  • Voluntary refund: Passengers can request for a refund for reasons other than an involuntary one; however, the refund amount shall be calculated in respect of the unused portion of the ticket.
  • Involuntary refund: In the case of unforeseen circumstances caused by the airline company, such as a passenger being refused on the flight due to safety reasons or flight cancellation, a refund will be processed for the passenger. However, the refund amount shall be calculated in respect of the unused portion of the ticket.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: The airline company will be liable for the case of loss, damage, or delay of checked baggage. The limit for refund amount is 17 special drawing rights (SDR) or its equivalent per kilogram. As for unchecked baggage, the limit per passenger is set at 332 SDR or its equivalent. However, the company will not be responsible for any wear-and-tear issues of the bags.

Flight changes: In the case of a flight schedule change, cancellation, or being denied due to an overbooked flight; the airline company has to provide you with one of the following solutions:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

3. Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines has been owned and operated by Malaysia Airlines Berhad since September 2015. The airline is also part of the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), a global aviation organisation comprised of various aviation company portfolios targeted at addressing Malaysian air travel demands.

Refunds: There are three types of refunds that are being offered by Malaysian Airlines, which are the following:

  • Involuntary refund: In the case of a cancelled flight or a delay in flight schedule, an amount equal to the ticket price will be refunded, that’s if no portion of the ticket has been used. If a part of the ticket has been used, the refund amount will be pro-rated between fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the ticket has been used.
  • Voluntary refund: If you request a refund for reasons aside from the involuntary refund reasons, the airlines may consider it depending on the explanation.
  • Refund of lost ticket: If your ticket is lost, a refund will be issued as soon as possible after the validity term of the ticket has expired, subject to proof of loss satisfactory to the airline and payment of a fair administration fee.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: If your checked baggage is damaged, you may file a claim; if the checked baggage is transported by more than one carrier, you will have a right of action against the first or final carrier. The refund will be limited to 17 SDR per kilogram for checked baggage and 332 SDR for unchecked baggage.

Flight changes: In the case of a cancelled flight, changes in flight schedule, failure to stop at your stopover or destination location, one of the following solutions must be provided by the airline:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund .

For more information, you can read here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

4. AirAsia

Founded 20 years ago, the airline recently celebrated a milestone anniversary. The company started with two Boeing 737s and flew only to one destination: Langkawi, Malaysia. In addition to countless other international honours, AirAsia is the only low-cost airline in the world to have received the title of best in the world for 12 consecutive years, from 2009 to 2021.

Refunds: Three categories of refunds are being offered by AirAsia, and those refunds are the following:

  • Involuntary refunds: The term ‘involuntary refund’ refers to any refund given when a passenger is prohibited from using the carriage provided for in the ticket because of a cancelled flight by the airline, failure to operate a flight according to the schedule for reasons beyond their control, failure to stop at the passenger’s destination point for any reason, failure to provide passengers with a seat in the aircraft booked by such passenger for any reason, or refuse to carry or remove the passenger.

    If no portion of the trip has been made, the airline will refund an amount equal to the fare paid. However, if a part of the trip has been made, a refund will be offered with an amount equal to the fare or the difference between the fare paid and the fare for the carriage completed.
  • Refunds due to force majeure, etc: In the case of a cancelled flight, failure to operate a flight according to the schedule beyond a reasonable time (taking into account the circumstances giving rise to such event), failure to stop at a passenger’s destination point for any circumstance; a refund will be offered if no portion of the trip has been made.

    However, if a part of the trip has been made, a refund will be offered with an amount equal to what was paid or the difference between the fare paid and the fare for the carriage completed.
  • Voluntary refunds: If the passenger requests a refund with reasons other than an involuntary or force majeure, unless required by applicable laws, a refund on government taxes or charges imposed on air travel by the government, relevant authority or the airport operator as set forth will be made.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: The airline is only liable for any damages on baggage or other attached items declared in advance, and additional charges are paid. Liability for domestic travel and international travel vary according to the respective law.

If your carriage is not subject to the liability rules of the Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention – the airline will not be liable for damage to checked or unchecked baggage unless their negligence causes such damage and such baggage was within the airline’s control or custody.

However, in the case of an act done with the intent to cause damage or negligently and with the knowledge that damage would likely result, the airline’s liability for damage to checked and unchecked baggage shall be restricted to the amount specified in the fee schedule.

Flight changes: Changes, cancellations, diversions, postponements, reschedules, and/or delays of any flight that occur at any time after a reservation has been made due to events beyond the airline’s control, as well as for reasons of safety, one of the following solutions must be provided by the airline:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

5. Malindo Air or Batik Air

Taking its cue from the names of the two nations — Malaysia and Indonesia —the moniker Malindo denotes a cooperative agreement between them. Moreover, Malindo Air is the first airline to operate the brand-new dual-class configuration B737-900ER in Malaysia as of 22 March 2013. Today, the airline has 800 flights travelling weekly to over 40 destinations.

Refunds: Malindo Air offer refunds for different scenarios when proper documents are provided. Those refunds include:

  • Involuntary refunds: In the case of a cancelled flight, change, or delay in the flight schedule, a full refund will be offered by the airline.
  • Voluntary refunds: If a passenger requests a refund other than reasons for the involuntary refund, it will be subject to the terms and conditions of the ticket and applies for both full or partial refund requests.
  • Medical refunds: If a passenger requests a refund on medical grounds, the passenger will be required to provide an official medical certificate or a doctor’s letter, which must be issued from a registered clinic or hospital. The letter should state that the passenger is unfit to travel on the said date or for a specific duration.
  • Death or bereavement refunds: Requesting a refund on the grounds of death or bereavement, an official death certificate has to be provided by the passenger or family members. Besides that, the passenger’s family members must show proof of relationship to the deceased.

All refunds will be offered in the form of a Malindo Travel Voucher.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: For domestic travels, the airline is liable for the damage and loss of the passenger’s baggage subject to Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Act 1969 and the carrier’s carriage conditions.

However, the airline will not be liable for damage to checked or unchecked baggage unless their negligence causes damage and such baggage was within the control or custody of the airline. In contrast, the airline’s liability limit for most international travel is USD20 per kilogram for checked baggage.

Flight changes: In the case of unforeseen circumstances, such as a cancelled or delayed flight, unable to provide previously confirmed space, failure to stop at your stopover or destination point; or cause you to miss a connecting flight on which you hold a reservation, then the airline is under no immediate obligation to provide you with one of the following solutions:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

6. Emirates

founded in December 1984, Emirates is now one of the best airlines in the world. Using a Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4 that were wet-leased from Pakistan International Airlines, Emirates flew from Dubai to Karachi and Mumbai on 25 October 1985. Then, Emirates expanded their network to 14 locations in the first five years of operation.

In 1992, Emirates became the first airline to install video systems in all seats in every cabin class throughout its fleet. Today, as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates remains the largest international airline, carrying 15.8 million passengers in 2020.

Refunds: The three types of refunds offered by Emirates are:

  • Involuntary refund: In the case of a cancelled flight or a delay in flight schedule, an amount equal to the ticket price will be refunded if no portion of the ticket has been used. If part of the ticket has been used, the refund will not be less than the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the ticket has been used.
  • Voluntary refund: If you request a refund for reasons aside from the involuntary refund reasons, the airlines may consider depending on the explanation for the refund.
  • Refund of lost ticket: If you lose your ticket or a portion of it and then provide the airline with adequate proof of such loss and pay any applicable administration fees, the airline will offer a refund as soon as possible after the ticket’s validity period expires or six months, whichever comes first.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: The airline will not be liable for any damages on unchecked baggage unless the damage has been caused by the airline’s negligence. You do have to the option to buy yourself insurance to ensure such instances are covered.

When the Warsaw Convention is in effect for your carriage, damage to unchecked baggage is covered by the national currency equivalent of 332 SDR per passenger. Besides that, when the Warsaw Convention is in effect for your carrier, the national currency equivalent of 17 SDR per kilogram, or any greater amount agreed upon by the airline, applies to damage to checked luggage.

Flight changes: You will be entitled to choose one of the following three choices if the airline cancels your flight, fails to operate your flight reasonably according to the schedule, failure to stop at your destination or stopover destination, or cause you to miss a connecting flight. The three options are:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

7. Thai Airways

Thai Airways was established in 1960 as a joint venture between Thailand’s domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company (TAC) and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). Flights from Bangkok to nine Asian locations were launched in 1960.

Then, Intercontinental flights to Australia began in 1971, followed by flights to Europe in 1972 and North America in 1980. Today, Thai Airways continues to improve its service and products to consistently rank among the top three airlines in Asia and the top five in the world.

Refunds: Thai Airways offers the standard three refunds to their passengers, and those refunds are:

  • Involuntary refund: In the case of a cancelled flight or a delay in flight schedule, an amount equal to the ticket price will be refunded if no portion of the ticket has been used. However, the refund will not be less than the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the ticket has been used, if a portion of the ticket has been used.
  • Voluntary refund: If you are requesting a refund for reasons aside from the involuntary refund reasons, the airlines may consider depending on the explanation for the refund.
  • Refund of lost ticket: If you lose your ticket or a portion of it and then provide the airline with adequate proof of such loss and pay any applicable administration fee(s), the airline will offer a refund as soon as possible after the ticket’s validity period.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: Unless the checked baggage was defective, the airline is responsible for checked baggage even if it is not at fault. Also, the airline is not liable for any damages to unchecked baggage unless at fault. The maximum amount of obligation in the event of baggage loss, damage, or other damages is 1,288 SDR per passenger.

Flight changes: Unless otherwise specified in the Warsaw Convention, in the case of a cancelled flight, changes in the schedule of your flight, failure to stop at your destination or stopover destination; or cause you to miss a connecting flight, one of the following solutions must be provided to the passengers:

  1. Put you on the next available flight, if there are spaces available.
  2. Re-route you to the destination indicated on the ticket.
  3. Offer you a refund.

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

8. China Southern Airlines

Established in 1988, China Southern Airlines is also known to be the largest airline in China and has hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing. Flying long-haul for the first time from Guangzhou to Amsterdam in 1996, the airline then introduced its longest flight, connecting Guangzhou and Los Angeles a year later, where China Southern Airline also became the first airline to fly a Boeing 777 non-stop across the Pacific. In 2020, China Southern was ranked 7th in Brand Finance Magazine’s 2020 list of The World’s Top 50 Most Valuable Airline Brands.

Refunds: China Southern Airlines offers two of the following refunds to passengers:

  • Involuntary refund: In the case of a cancelled flight or a delay in flight schedule, an amount equal to the ticket price will be refunded if no portion of the ticket has been used. Like most airlines, if a portion of the ticket has been used, the refund will not be less than the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the ticket has been used.
  • Voluntary refund: If you are requesting a refund for reasons aside from the involuntary refund reasons, the airlines may consider depending on the explanation for the refund.

Refunds will be made to the credit card or debit account in the currency that was used to purchase the ticket.

Damaged, lost, or delayed luggage: China Southern Airlines will be liable for damages to checked and unchecked baggage only if such damage has been caused by the airline’s acts or omissions done recklessly with intent to cause damage and with the knowledge that such damage would probably result.

According to Warsaw Convention, in the event of baggage destruction, loss, damage, or delay that happens during international baggage carriage, the compensation limit for each kilogram is 17 SDR.

However, according to the Montreal Convention, in the event of baggage destruction, loss, damage, or delay that happens during international baggage carriage, the compensation limit for each passenger is 1288 SDR.

Flight changes: China Southern Airlines reserves the right to cancel, terminate, alter, postpone, or delay any flight(s) without prior notice due to reasons like any government legal provision, regulation, order, directive or requirement; or for the security of the flight; or any other conditions beyond the airline’s control or any fact not able to be foreseen by the airline.

In such cases, one of the following solutions must be provided to the passengers:

  1. Involuntary refund.
  2. Involuntary change.
  3. Compensation for RMB200 (approximately RM132) per passenger will be provided for those whose flights delay exceed four hours (inclusive) but within eight hours.
  4. Compensation for RMB400 (approximately RM264) per passenger will be provided for those whose flights delay exceed eight hours (inclusive).

For more information, you can click here.

Website Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon

Editor’s note: All information are accurate at the time of writing, and though we strive to deliver precise details, we cannot guarantee changes in details made by respective airlines.

TAGS:
+1
7
+1
0
+1
1
+1
1
An extremely introverted foodie who's passionate about creative writing, baking, cooking, and photography. Found out that her spirit animal could be a capybara. If she's stressed, you'll find her either baking or running. A true dog lover who unfortunately doesn't have a dog...YET.