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

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.

World News

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