In an effort to shift to more contactless passenger experiences, the AirAsia Group announced it will be charging fees for check-in via counters at select countries and citie starting September 1.
Customers flying on domestic and international flights from airports in Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, along with the cities of Taipei, Kaohsiung and Honolulu will be charged for using airport counters for check-in. The fees are RM20 (~USD $4.30) for domestic and RM30 (~$7.15) for international flights, and will be subject to local exchange rates.
The airline is encouraging customers to check-in via AirAsia's website, mobile app, or the check-in kiosks installed at airports throughout its network.
Exceptions will granted for travelers such as those with mobility issues, Premium Flex or Premium Flatbed guests, and guests affected by flight disruptions or an airport kiosk outage. Travelers flying out of airports without check-in kiosks also be exempt from paying the fees.
In it's FAQ page, AirAsia address the application of the counter check-in fee policy for delays and cancellations. If the customer's flight is delayed for more than 3 hours or cancelled, the traveler will be able to get a refund or get placed on the next available flight. Those whose flights were changed due to schedule changes or cancellations will also be exempt from the counter check-in fee when checking in for the new flight.
The new fees come amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen airlines such as AirAsia try to decrease the amount of contact between airline staff and passengers.
Regarding the change, AirAsia Group COO Javed Malik said in a statement: “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.”