The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says low-cost carrier AirAsia will refund travellers that were incorrectly levied the passenger movement charge (PMC) over a near seven-year period.
The ACCC said some children under 12 were charged the PMC when travelling on AirAsia from Darwin to Bali between December 2010 and September 2017. Children under 12 are exempt from paying the federal government’s imposed tax on outbound passengers departing Australia.
The ACCC said it raised concerns with AirAsia following media reports in September.
“Some AirAsia customers have been incorrectly charged for a levy of up to $60 that did not apply,” ACCC deputy chair Dr Michael Schaper said in a statement.
“AirAsia has acted quickly to address the error and has committed to providing refunds within 21 days of receiving supporting documentation from affected customers,” Dr Schaper said.
Further, Dr Schaper said the ACCC would monitor the refund process.
It is not the first time the LCC airline group has come under fire from Australian authorities, with the ACCC putting the company under the spotlight in April 2015 in response to a deluge of consumer complaints regarding two cancelled services.
Indonesia AirAsia X failure to launch Melbourne-Bali flights on Boxing Day in 2014 because the airline did not secure the approval of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in time left scores of passengers high and dry and forced to endure lengthy delays and poor customer service in their claims for out-of-pocket expenses to be processed.
Consumers affected by the cancellation of Malaysia-based AirAsia X’s Adelaide-Kuala Lumpur flights in January 2015 also slammed the carrier for taking too long to process their claims.
AirAsia X is a separate entity from the short-haul focused AirAsia group.
However, both AirAsia and AirAsia X share the same website and have a common booking system. Moreover, staff wear the same uniforms and the aircraft are painted in a similar livery.