Traveling around the world is a joyful enjoyment for those whose money can be simply flushed out of the mouth of an ATM machine.
Like “publicly-known travellers” we usually meet on Instagram, they go for their “holiday trips” almost every month in different foreign countries. From sandy western beaches to colourfully-lighted towns, their vacations are people’s jealousy.
In this world where taxation is no longer a strange system, people’s spendings are getting demotivated as their buying power is being silently crippled by the continuous rise of cost of living with the daydream possibility of receiving additional figures in their monthly wages.
For middle-class people who rarely spend their bucks for luxurious materials, going for a vacation abroad could be one of the once-in-a-lifetime chances of taking a chill break for their busy minds while closely mingling with their wives and growing kids.
With that imagination in mind, if they really want to make it happen, they will have to survey “best prices” for flight tickets and of course, set suitable dates for their trips, so that they can avoid from paying too much bucks just for a transportation of a steel bird.
To normal Malaysians who earn average monthly wages, the to-be-enforced departure levy would add another financial barrier in their future’s travel budget.
If they plan to go to Japan on January 2020 with business-class seats to book, they will have to at least reserve RM 150 in their pockets.
Traveling to the Japanese country and any other western nations isn’t financially cheap and chokes your throat if you randomly pick flights without a proper vacation plan.
Even famous Instagram celebrities or popularly labelled “Instafamous” would think ten times before going to bed about withdrawing additional RM 150 to prove their differently-segmented social standard of flying in business class to their followers.
Some of them aren’t actually paid well in their real lives, but for the sake of maintaining public’s applauds, losing money for a “high-class trip” is the only choice.
Business persons who find money replaceable might feel no pains to ‘fund’ the RM 150 departure levy whenever they fly to international countries beyond the ASEAN regions in their usual business-class preferences.
But how about those whose dream is to travel in business class to Europe but their inadequate cash doesn’t tolerate their desire?
Regardless of purposes of travelling, departure levy will round off a RM 92 flight ticket to RM 100 if you fly to Brunei or Singapore in economy class.
If your remaining balance in your bank account is RM500, it will turn to RM20 right after you purchase an all-in RM 430 one-way ticket of business class to Thailand.
So, with the fixed charges of departure tax, will all of us be price-sensitive about traveling with airplanes in the future?
*Amerul Azry Abdul Aziz is an independent writer who now views politics as something that can be researched.
** The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of Astro AWANI.