Cash-strapped budget carrier AirAsia Group Bhd on Tuesday said that it will start charging customers a fee to check-in at airport counters, in part to encourage them to minimize physical contact with staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
Travelers who don’t check-in via the airline’s website, mobile app, or airport kiosk are going to be charged 20 Malaysian Ringgit ($ 4.83) for domestic flights and 30 Malaysian Ringgit ($ 7.24) for international flights, though some exceptions will apply.
Javed Malik, Group COO, AirAsia said the fees would help motivate travelers 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 minimizing physical contact between our guests and staff,” he said in a statement.
AirAsia last month reported the biggest quarterly loss in its history because of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on travel demand, with revenue down 96%.
The airline said it had 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 new AirAsia check-in fees are well below European budget carrier Ryanair Holdings’s PLC EUR 55 (USD 65.95) charge for airport check-in, which was put in place before the pandemic.
US low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines charges USD 10 for boarding passes to be printed at the airport, according to its website.