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Air Asia announce new fees if you want to check-in at the airport counter

Thaiger

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Air Asia announce new fees if you want to check-in at the airport counter | Thaiger

The AirAsia Group has announced it will begin charging travellers a fee to check in at airport counters – you know, that bit in the terminal where it says “Check In’. Even better, their excuse for the new charge… in part to encourage customers to “minimise physical contact with staff during the coronavirus pandemic”.

Malaysia’s AirAsia last month reported the biggest quarterly loss in its history due to the impacts the closing borders and grounded airlines has had on travel demand, with revenue down 96%.

At this stage the new charge has not been announced for the Thai franchise, Thai Air Asia. But travellers on the some of the parent Air Asia flights, who don’t check in via the airline’s website, mobile app or airport kiosk, will be charged the equivalent of 20 Malaysian ringgit (150 baht) for domestic flights and 30 Malaysian ringgit (225 baht) for international flights. This new rule is applicable at airports in Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Taipei, Kaohsiung and Honolulu.

There are exceptions. Counter check-in will still be provided free to guests with reduced mobility, Premium Flex or Premium Flatbed guests, those affected by flight disruptions or if there’s been an airport kiosk outage.

Travellers who want to avoid the new counter check-in fees can either check-in online or use the Air Asia kiosks in the airports to scan or enter their flight details and receive a boarding pass.

The AirAsia Group COO Javed Malik says he hopes the new fees will help “motivate travellers to make use of the airline’s investment in digital technology”.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, these self-check-in facilities have become very crucial in minimising physical contact between our guests and staff.”

In response to the huge losses the airline has had to shoulder, officials say they have applied for bank loans in its operating markets and had “been presented with proposals from investment bankers, lenders and potential investors to raise capital”.

The newly announced add-on fees for AirAsia are still below the European budget carrier Ryanair who charge 55 euro (2,000 baht) charge for airport counter check-ins. That charge was put in place before the Covid-19 outbreak.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Very clever.
    They have few customers and they announce extra fees!
    Thai greed survives no matter what. The cannot stop themselves.

    • Avatar

      David Tucker

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 11:29 pm

      From the article: “At this stage the new charge has not been announced for the Thai franchise, Thai Air Asia.”

      Air Asia is a Malaysian company. Only flown with them once, from Udon to Phuket. Price was right.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Fewer customers, less staff. Encouraging customers to self-serve.

  3. Avatar

    Mika Heikkinen

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 8:18 am

    AirAsia has the worst customer service i have seen in any company in long time.
    First of all, they don’t have it- everything is redirected to a chat bot named Ava.
    I could write an essay of the Air Asia pass issue but i leave it with just a comment- shit.

    And to refer to covid19 to make even more contactless traveling is just embarrassing for them.
    I flew Bangkok to Phuket couple of days ago with my family.
    During check in they couldn’t put us to sit together so i thought the plane was full.
    Surprised to see more empty seats in the plane than occupied.
    So im real Covid19 spirit they decided its better to separate people from family and mix with other and upon this put them all in same area of the plane. Empty rows of seats everywhere but people sat next to each other.
    Totally embarrassing to see in the name of Covid19.
    Shame on AirAsia

  4. Avatar

    Bahtboy

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 11:43 am

    I am an Air Asia “BIG” member and as such I receive vouchers from Bangkok Bank for free baggage and “Hot” seats which are allocated at check in. So my frequent flyer “BIG” status has now virtually been annulled. Think about it, Air Asia.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      As the article says, it is not currently being applied to Thai Air Asia.

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World

North Korea severs ties with Malaysia over “unpardonable” US extradition

Maya Taylor

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North Korea severs ties with Malaysia over “unpardonable” US extradition | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thomas Evans on Unsplash

The reclusive country of North Korea has confirmed a severing of diplomatic ties with Malaysia after its one-time ally agreed to extradite a North Korean citizen to the US. According to the Bangkok Post, Pyongyang has described the extradition as an “unpardonable crime”, accusing Malaysia of responding to US pressure with blind obedience.

The country’s foreign ministry has announced that all ties with Malaysia have been cut, insisting the North Korean citizen facing extradition was carrying out legal trading activities in Singapore. Following a hearing at Malaysia’s top court on March 9, Mun Chol Myong lost his final appeal against extradition to the US. He denies charges of money laundering, conspiring to launder money, and supplying prohibited items to North Korea.

In the past, a number of businesses in Singapore have been accused of sending items such as expensive liquor and watches to the country, thereby violating sanctions imposed on Pyongyang as a result of its nuclear weapons programmes.

North Korea and Malaysia enjoyed a close relationship until the assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother at Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017. Kim Jong Un’s estranged relative, Kim Jong Nam, was killed as he waited to board a flight. An Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman were arrested after rubbing a banned nerve agent in Kim’s face. However, murder charges against them were dropped in 2019, with their lawyers arguing that they were merely pawns hired by a group of North Koreans. After hiring and training the women, the men fled Malaysia shortly after Kim’s assassination.

The murder of Kim Jong Nam, widely thought to have been ordered by his half-brother, led to a distinct frostiness in relations between Malaysia and North Korea, with reciprocal visa-free travel pacts cancelled and North Korean coal mine workers in Borneo sent home. It looked like the situation was improving when Malaysia recently announced the re-opening of its embassy in Pyongyang, but the latest developments mean relations are on a downhill trajectory once more.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Malaysia

Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike

Caitlin Ashworth

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Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike | Thaiger
PHOTO: Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin - The Star

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to climb in Malaysia, PM Muhyiddin Yassin imposed a nationwide travel ban and ordered lockdown measures for Kuala Lumpur and 5 other states for the next 14 days. The country’s prime minister says “our healthcare system is at a breaking point.”

Malaysia was able to keep the coronavirus at bay during the early stages of the pandemic with strict disease control measures. Covid-19 cases were consistently around 100 to 200 cases per day and dropped down to zero daily cases for several weeks in July and August.

While lockdown measures were effective at slowing the spread of the virus, it led the country’s first economic contraction in a decade during the second quarter.

The new wave of infections started in September. Yesterday, the country reported 28,554 active Covid-19 cases with 2,232 daily new infections. Since February of last year, Malaysia has reported a total of 138,224 Covid-19 cases and 555 deaths.

Lockdown measures in Kuala Lumpur and 5 states start at midnight Wednesday. Only essential businesses can remain open including those in economic sectors, as long as they reduce capacity. Interstate travel is banned nationwide.

Malaysia secured 12.8 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and recently announced that they purchased 12.2 million more doses. The first batch is expected to arrive by the end of February.

Malaysia PM imposes nationwide travel ban, lockdown measures due to Covid-19 spike | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Malaysia as of January 11, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World

Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle

Caitlin Ashworth

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Malaysia coast guard busts record methamphetamine shipment, possibly smuggled from Golden Triangle | Thaiger
PHOTO: New Strait Times

Malaysia’s coast guard made its largest bust, seizing more than 2 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine that was hidden in packets of Chinese tea. The shipment of illegal drugs, worth 105.9 million ringgit, or 789 million baht, is part of a large-scale drug trade across Southeast Asia, China and Australia.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director general, Mohamad Zubil Mat Som, says the coast guard noticed a recreational boat moving “suspiciously” off Penang island. The coast guard followed the boat, which turned into a chase when the 26 year old Malaysian driver, the only occupant on the boat, refused to stop.

The driver jumped off the boat. The coast guard later found the man and arrested him. There is a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers in Malaysia.

The coast guard say they found 2.12 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine hidden in packets of Chinese tea, the largest bust in the maritime agency’s 15 year history. Drug shipments busted by the maritime agency in the past were disguised in similar tea packaging. Officials are still investigating to determine where the drugs were shipped from, but Mohamad suspects it came from Myanmar because of the writing on the packaging.

“It is highly possible that the crystal methamphetamine was smuggled from Myanmar’s Golden Triangle.”

Southeast Asian regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Jeremy Douglas, says the region needs to step up and think ahead to prevent future drug shipments.

“As big as two-plus tonnes is – and it’s massive – the syndicates that run the drug trade in Asia can easily replace shipments like this… The region needs a forward looking strategy that addresses root causes if they ever hope to get ahead of the situation.”

SOURCE: Reuters| AFP

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