AirAsia is now charging passengers who use a check-in desk rather than self-service.
The charges apply from today in multiple countries and cities, mainly in Asia.
The Malaysian budget carrier is charging RM20 (about USD5) per passenger for domestic flights and RM30 (about USD7.50) per passenger for international flights (or its equivalent in local currency, subject to a predetermined currency exchange rate).
AirAsia Group Chief Operations Officer Javed Malik:
“We have seen a very high adoption of our self-check in services through our website, mobile app and airport kiosks over recent times. Thus, the implementation of the counter check-in fees is a way for us to further encourage guests to use these digital technologies, which we have invested enormously in, to promote and enhance operational efficiency and guest convenience.”
Passengers can avoid the charges by checking-in using the self-service facilities at the AirAsia.com website, mobile app or airport kiosks.
Passengers in Premium Flex or Premium Flatbed don’t pay. Some other exceptions apply including passengers with reduced mobility and passengers affected by flight disruptions or an airport kiosk outage.
Passengers can find out more at this FAQ from AirAsia.
In May AirAsia introduced touchless kiosks at all operating airports across Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.
The airline says the fees are to further encourage the use of touchless technology. There may be something in that at the moment but the primary aim of self-service is to cut costs, mainly by reducing staff. With most of the world’s airlines in a financial mess passengers can surely expect more charges like this.
N.B. Image credit: AirAsia