The airline’s group COO says the fees have been introduced to encourage the use of contactless technology.
It’s not just the potential transmission of germs that is driving AirAsia passengers to check in online. Following its recent rollout of contactless check-in kiosks and upgrades to its mobile app, the Malaysian low-cost carrier has implemented new fees for counter check-in services in selected countries and cities. Travelers who opt to use airport counters in Malaysia must now pay RM20 per person for domestic flights and RM30 for international flights. AirAsia stresses that these charges can be avoided simply by checking in online through the AirAsia website or mobile app, which allows customers to upload their PCR test report or travel documents, or by using the airline’s contactless self-check in kiosks at airports.
In a statement, AirAsia Group Chief Operations Officer Javed Malik said, “The implementation of the counter check-in fees is a way for us to further encourage guests to use these digital technologies … to promote and enhance operational efficiency and guest convenience.” He added that the new self-check in facilities were crucial in minimizing physical contact between passengers and AirAsia staff.
The counter check-in fees were introduced just yesterday across Malaysia and in four other Southeast Asian countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Beyond the region, the new charges also apply to AirAsia passengers flying out of Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Honululu. Travelers can expect to be pay the equivalent of RM20 or RM30 (depending on whether the route is domestic or international) in the local currency.
AirAsia says counter check-in fees will be waived for customers traveling with an infant (defined as being under 24 months of age), guests with reduced mobility, and people who have booked Premium Flex and Premium Flatbed seats. Those affected by flight disruptions and passengers who cannot complete contactless check-in because of a system error will also be exempt from the new charges.
More information here.