On 24th January 2022, CFTC commenced investigations against Malawi Airlines on allegations of misleading conduct, and unconscionable conduct.
The Complainant alleged that his son, was travelling from Malawi to Gaborone, Botswana through Malawi Airlines. The passenger was travelling abroad for the first time and unaccompanied.
In this regard, the Complainant procured an “accompaniment service” for the passenger from the Respondent, at US$50.
However, the Complainant felt the service was inadequate due to the following:
- The company just dropped the passenger at the information or check-in desk for the flights to Botswana, without providing the necessary guidance and assistance to him;
- As a result of the insufficient logistical assistance, the passport for the passenger was lost along the way;
- The passenger was forced to return to Malawi; and later embark on a fresh journey; which resulted in the Complainant incurring unplanned costs.
These costs included: one-way ticket from RSA to Malawi (MK638,000.00); Express Passport Fee (MK160,000.00); and PCR Covid-19 Test fee (K37,500.00).
Following deliberations, the Commission found that the Respondent engaged in misleading conduct and therefore contravened Section 43(1)(d) of the CFTA; and resolved as follows:
- That the Respondent should reimburse the Complainant of all the additional expenses that he incurred. These are the costs of one-way ticket from South Africa to Malawi at MK638,000.00; Express Passport Fee at MK160,000.00; and PCR Covid-19 Test fee at K37,500.00;
- That the Respondent should pay a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Kwacha (MK500,000.00) for engaging in a misleading and unconscionable conduct;