The Malaysian airline AirAsia has announced that it would start charging new fees for both domestic and international flights when passengers choose to check in at its counters in the airport.
Cash-strapped budget airline AirAsia Group said last week it would begin 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 do not check in via the airline’s website, mobile app or airport kiosk will be charged 20 Malaysian ringgit (4.82 USD) for domestic flights and 30 Malaysian ringgit (7.20 USD) for international flights, though some exceptions will apply.
AirAsia Group Chief Operations Officer Javed Malik 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 due to the devastating impact the pandemic has had on travel demand, with revenue down 96 percent.
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 55 euro (66 USD) charge for airport check-in, which was put in place before the pandemic.
The U.S. low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines charges 10 USD for boarding passes to be printed at the airport, according to its website.