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Expensive Customer Service courtesy of Air Asia

Posted by: GLNg, 30 Sep 2010

Effective Oct 6, 2010 all passengers will be charged a fee when checking in at the LCCT airport counters for AirAsia flights. Sure its free if you know how to do a web check-in on the internet.

Take a good look at the passengers that arrive at the LCCT today – about 20% are savvy travellers that probably will welcome internet based solutions like web check-in to reduce their waiting time BUT COME ON take a GOOD LOOK at the other 80% of the travellers who have unlikely even gone into the big worldwide web let alone know how to log on.

The folks that are going to have to pay for this basic service is the elderly who go on holiday, low income group that wants to travel back home for their annual holidays – they are the ones that will end up in the airport and have no choice but to fork out this money. This is what I call "hidden costs".

Another thing …try calling Air Asia today and all their contact points will try to push you to their "PREMIER LINE" service available only in Malaysia for RM1.95 per minute charge. So an average booking online transaction should take 20-30 mins to conclude and that will earn AIR ASIA another $40-60 per phone call – go do the maths on how much revenue this will churn for them ?

AGAIN sure there are other ways you can contact AIR ASIA for FREE – like their LIVEHELP which is suppose to be operational for web based enquiries from 9am daily . Try logging in at 9am  or even 930am or even 1013am (I tried on Sept 30) – LIVEHELP IS OFFLINE ….Big help that is !!!

If you are lucky to get through LIVE HELP  – you will be 88th caller on queue and waiting time is 129 mins !!!

Their other contact points by email like the ones  below have a standard answer – pls go to their PREMIER hotline so that we can charge you $1.95 per minute.

Don't believe me TRY IT !

Mr Fernandez – you need to change your tagline …

AIR ASIA…EVERYONE CAN FLY ???  I don't think so… 

Response from AirAsia Communications

Dear GL Ng,

Firstly, we would like to thank you for your feedback on our proposal to impose a fee for check-in at the airport. At AirAsia, we give high regard to suggestions and criticisms from the public, as it helps us to improve our services and serve our guests better.

In order to keep our fares low, we practice the concept of ‘you pay for what you need’, where our prices will be transparent and there shall be no hidden charges to worry about. This concept will also relieve our guests from subsidizing the needs of other guests, which departs from previous airline practice where all service charges are included in the air fare, no matter whether one needs the services or otherwise.

Check-in service at the airport counter is deemed an added value service provided to guests. Previously, we have been absorbing the cost. Now that AirAsia is having a rapidly growing number of routes, the cost has escalated significantly. Thus, we can no longer absorb the high cost which is needed to maintain the service. This is the reason why we have to implement a check-in fee to our guests.

In considering the impact that it may cause, we often encourage our guests to utilize self check-in methods such as web, mobile and kiosk check-in. All these are offered to our guests free of charge.

Nevertheless, we still notice that the use of these alternative methods are still low, primarily among travelers in Asia, as they are accustomed to traditional methods. Yet, we are confident that this will pick up when guests are well informed of the benefits of self check-in via constant awareness.

We would also like to point out that the check-in fee, when implemented, is an accepted practice in the airline industry. Besides AirAsia, many other airlines have imposed such fees.

I hope that this explanation gives more insight to the matter. We always do our best to provide guests with utmost convenience and excellent value when using our services. We are still holding on to our pledge to exclude fuel surcharges and admin fees from our fares, allowing everyone to enjoy excellent connectivity at very low fares.

-Communication Dept, AirAsia.

By AirAsiaComms, 1-Oct-2010

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