KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — University students who bought flight tickets with Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia for their now-postponed university intake can apply to reschedule the flights for free, based on announcements shared by the Higher Education Ministry and its Higher Education Department.
In an announcement posted last night by the ministry on its official Facebook page, university students were told that they could reschedule their flights with Malaysia Airlines for up to one year from the date of the ticket purchase, with additional charges waived for such rescheduling.
Students who wished to reschedule their flights with Malaysia Airlines were told to visit its website at this link: https://www.malaysiaairlines.com/hq/en/student-waiver.html
At the Malaysia Airlines website, students are required to fill a student waiver request form, with each student having to individually fill up the form with details and upload supporting documents, namely the flight ticket, a copy of their student card, and a letter from their institution of higher learning.
The form stated that the waiver for rescheduling fees is only applicable to students.
According to the form, Malaysia Airlines said it would keep the students’ flight ticket open for one year from the date the ticket was issued, and that it would — upon receiving the student waiver request — get back to students within seven business days with a step-by-step guide on how to redeem the ticket for future travel.
The Higher Education Department also posted this morning on its Facebook page an announcement of its collaboration with AirAsia to help institutions of higher learning with the postponement of face-to-face student registration.
According to the announcement, AirAsia will be providing unlimited rescheduling of flights before December 31 for the same route without additional payment required, subject to the availability of seats for students and their parents.
The announcement said that students could contact their respective institutions of higher learning to find out how they could submit their information for the flight rescheduling.
On October 2, Higher Education Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad said that her ministry had negotiated with airlines, and that this had resulted in airlines agreeing to reschedule flights for students returning to campus until December 31.
Noraini’s ministry had on October 2 announced its recommendation for all institutions of higher education to postpone physical or face-to-face registration of new and existing students at the campus, in light of public concern over the spike of Covid-19 cases nationwide just a few days from the October intake of students at universities.
This was shortly after the ministry’s initial September 27 announcement for all institutions of higher learning to defer physical registration of existing and new students from red zone areas.
Students who were upset with the postponement said they were left in a lurch as they had previously made flight arrangements to their universities, with many expressing fears of being left stranded.
This then led to various citizen-led initiatives by citizens to channel cash and non-monetary aid to university students affected by the abrupt announcement, with politicians also chipping in, including Johor DAP with its “Bantu Siswa” fund, as well as other localised efforts to help students in their constituencies by DAP lawmakers such as Bukit Mertajam’s Steven Sim, Subang Jaya’s Michelle Ng, Ketari’s Young Syefura Othman, and also Umno’s Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman’s new party Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) had together with Pertubuhan Solidaritas crossed its target of raising RM50,000 in just three hours to help university students.
Former education minister and Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik meanwhile helped raise more than RM150,000 in less than 24 hours to be used as emergency funds for the students.
Throughout September, Malaysia saw many new clusters of Covid-19 cases being detected.
Malaysia also charted historic highs in the number of daily new Covid-19 cases for three days in a row, with 260 new cases on October 1, 287 new cases on October 2 and 317 new cases on October 3.