Since 2004 there were complaints of “Misleading Pricing” in AirAsia’s website!
January 26, 2012 by weechookeong
In the story of Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) having filed a suit against AirAsia for its misleading pricing in its website, AFP has stated that AirAsia could not be reached for comment. This was most unusual by AirAsia’s standard.
However, your truly has received an interesting comment from Sdr Charles F Moreira with regards to the issue of “AirAsia’s misleading pricing of its fares in its website” and it has been a point of contentions since January 2004. In fact, there were many public complaints about AirAsia’s business model especially the way in which ancillary charges were structured in AirAsia’s website.
Sdr Charles F Moreira took the trouble to provide us with the AirAsia/Tony Fernandes’s press statement in January 2004, which was during the famous “Sleepy Age” in Malaysian history a.k.a known as the “Fourth Floor Administration”.
From the 2004 press statement which quoted none other than Mr Tony Fernandes, as he then was, who spoke on behalf of AirAsia on the allegations of “MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS” by AirAsia. Of course, during the “4th Floor Administration” everything done by AirAsia was sacrosanct including the glaring fact that AirAsia was allowed to owe Airport Tax, which was paid by passengers, for so many years totaling more than RM120 million!
It was only after yours truly brought it up in Parliament about this matter that AirAsia had no choice but to settle the Airport Tax debts with a BIG discount of about 30%. By right MAHB should have imposed interest on the airport tax debts.
Well, Khazanah turned a blind eye on the said Airport Tax debts owed by AirAsia at the material time. At that material time, there was nothing MAHB could do. This was how Khazanah, under the stewardship of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, was looking after MAHB, which is one of the GLCs. It didn’t come as a surprise to yours truly because Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakop, the then extremely powerful Minister of Finance II, were both calling the shots in Khazanah.
Yours truly just wonder whether ordinary Malaysian owing income tax for years will be spared for many years and thereafter granted a handsome discount upon settlement.
After inking the secret MAS-AirAsia share swap, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar was also responsible for installing his ex-business partner in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd and crony, En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof aka as Danny (Rashdan), to head MAS from 10-8-2011 to 19-9-2011. Now Rashdan is the Deputy Managing Director of MAS.
Below is the excerpts of Sdr Charles F Moreira‘s comments with the necessary link to the press statement.
The issue of Air Asia’s pricing was brought up in 2004 and this was the result. At least the Aussie regulator has more gumption than our weakling regulators who had shown themselves to be more willing to help the Business Software Alliance crack down on pirated software than the interests of ordinary Malaysians.
6 January 2004
AirAsia and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Malaysia Resolve Issue of “Misleading” Advertisements
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Malaysia has given AirAsia the “go ahead” to continue with its advertisements of low fares following a meeting held between AirAsia’s Management team with the ministry headed by its Director General of Enforcement, Abdullah Nawawi Mohamad. The decision was given at a meeting held as a fact finding mission, following reports on the airline’s “misleading” advertisements.
Speaking today after the meeting, AirAsia’s Chairman, YBhg. Dato’ Pahamin A. Rajab said, “We are happy that we can put this issue aside and move forward. We would like to thank the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, and the Malaysian Government for resolving the issue quickly and allowing us to focus on our business. We will set–up meetings with officials from the Ministry of Cultural Arts and Tourism, to discuss ways of collaboration to grow tourism and the low fare travel market in Malaysia.
The ministry has acknowledged that there were no issues on the misinterpretation of the advertisements placed by AirAsia and that it (the advertisements) has no intention to mislead. The ministry has however pointed out that confusion may have arisen due to lack of understanding of the advertisements, particularly by first time flyers with AirAsia who are not familiar with the airline’s unique and innovative concept.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have also commented that AirAsia should explain its low fare scheme to consumers as the concept is still relatively new.
“We welcome the minister’s suggestion and have planned for road shows to reach out to more people and explain our low fares concept. We will continue to advertise our low fares as practiced previously,” said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia.
He further continues, “It is always a low fare when you book a seat on AirAsia, no matter if you get a RM 1.99 fare or any other fare. Our lowest fare represents as much as 80% savings and the highest fare is still 20% lower compared to other full service airlines. We understand that some people, mostly first timers on our flights, may not be familiar with the concept; hence we will continue our PR efforts to educate the public on this matter.”