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Can anyone explain klia2’s service charge hike?

Wao! We have to pay RM73 as airport tax for trip out of ASEAN region starting January 2018? That’s too much!😡

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THOSE travelling to international destinations beyond Asean countries from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) terminal will have to pay the same passenger service charge (PSC) of RM73 as other airports from January 2018.

But the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) has not explained the reason for the hike except to say it wants to equalise the charges with other airports.

That would be fine except there are very few airports that have international flights beyond Asean countries. And those airports are KLIA, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

These are full-service airport terminals, designed as airports, and not as a hybrid airport, whatever that is. After all, klia2 was first designed as a low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) to replace the old one before cost over-runs made it a “hybrid”, with a shopping mall attached to it.

Be that as it may, Mavcom, which was set up in March 2016 as “an independent economic regulator for the civil aviation industry”, has done only one thing to the public – making sure they pay more for their flights.

It started with the RM1 additional charge for Mavcom to generate revenue, and now it wants to equalise charges for terminals that have international flights.

What else has it done so far for the passengers? It is in the midst of writing up a Quality of Service (QoS) manual for airport managers and airports, but that will take some time.

So, what does it do first before passengers get quality service? It hikes up charges first in a cheap-looking and uncomfortable terminal that does not measure up to any other international airports in the country.

How out of touch are the people nominated to sit on Mavcom’s board? The list of commissioners and officials show they have experience but not empathy for the common passenger.

Mavcom says it has taken the views from stakeholders before setting the new PSC for international flights in klia2, but it has not provided any justification except to say it wants to equalise the charges.

That is a poor reason to hike up the PSC. If that is the case, why does Malaysia even need Mavcom? Leave it to the airport managers to decide for themselves rather than some authority that exists thus far to extract money from passengers.

The Mavcom board needs to get out of their offices in downtown Kuala Lumpur and set up shop in klia2 to see the facilities there and compare them with the other terminals in Malaysia.

The Skypark in Subang was built better for passengers, considering it was designed and built years ago by the Public Works Department, rather than the tender process that created the monstrosity of klia2.

It remains a badly designed airport, and calling it a hybrid is just a polite way of calling it a Frankenstein monster, with travelators put in as an afterthought that make the corridors even narrower.

And saying that the PSC rates in Malaysia are among the lowest doesn’t mean a thing when the quality is also that low.

Mavcom must give better reasons to hike up charges or just disband because the commission is costing people more than anything it has done to benefit passengers. – December 2, 2017.

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