With all the available ways to connect with a company today, you would think that at least one of them would work. But that wasn’t the case for Richard Elkins. AirAsia kept his money for more than nine months after promising him a refund.
Question: Please help! AirAsia India has been stalling and stonewalling for nine months on a promised $225 refund for a canceled flight.
I bought two AirAsia tickets from Bengaluru to Jaipur using a MasterCard in March 2015. AirAsia sent me a cancellation notice email on November 26, 2015. In the email it offered a full refund if I could not reschedule. That very same day I requested a refund. I also informed the airline I no longer had the credit card used for the purchase and supplied a letter from Citibank confirming the credit card account was closed. I also supplied my Citibank account information.
AirAsia then sent me an email approving my request for a refund, and even listed its approval on its website. But after nine months, I still haven’t received a refund.
Even after scores of promises from AirAsia that it would process the refund “in a few days” through emails, private messages, AskAirAsia messages, and phone calls. I’ve also tried posting about this on the airline’s Twitter account (and the AirAsia India CEO’s Twitter account), which brought immediate private messages telling me to give them “a few more days.”
Yesterday I tweeted that we are taking this to the government and media. After asking for and receiving (again) the case number, AirAsia sent a message citing delays due to massive requests and asking for patience, as if we had never even contacted the airline before.
I have copies of the multitude of correspondence in which AirAsia’s agents made these broken promises. And I found many stories in newspapers and on the airline’s Facebook page about similar fraud, in which AirAsia cancels a flight and promises customers refunds but never makes them. This seems to be an especially big problem for Australian citizens, who fly the airline a lot.
AirAsia’s business model seems to entail issuing a sympathetic canned response in an email to protesting customers and then doing nothing until finally the customer gives up in frustration and the company gets to keep the money. When this is multiplied by many thousands of customers annually it is clear the airline has built a nice profit center using this fraudulent model.
We’d be most grateful for any help you can supply in getting our promised refund, and any advice as to how to warn consumers that AirAsia is not to be trusted. — Richard Elkins, Brooklyn, N.Y.