Friday, May 27, 2022

AirAsia scraps check-in fee hike after Mavcom intervenes

Angry internet users had shared screenshots of AirAsia's FAQs showing that its check-in fees would increase to RM100 from next month onwards.

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Check-in fees at AirAsia’s counters which were set to increase to RM100 from March 1 onwards have been restored to their original rate of RM20 for domestic flights and RM30 for international trips following an uproar on social media.

Saravanan Thambirajah, CEO of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca), said the fees returned to the original rate after failing to obtain approval from the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom).

Checks by MalaysiaNow found that the planned increase in fees had begun to create a stir on Feb 22, with social media users sharing screenshots of AirAsia’s FAQs on check-in fees.

Many expressed outrage at the hike, describing it as unreasonable and exorbitant.

A screenshot of AirAsia’s website showing the hike in check-in fees on Feb 22.

Further checks of AirAsia’s website on Feb 22 found that the cost of fees had returned to the original amount.

Saravanan said checks by Fomca found that AirAsia had intended to increase the fee due to Covid-19, and to encourage users to register online, or at kiosks or through the AirAsia application.

He said Fomca had learnt that the hike was made without the approval of Mavcom.

“We were informed of this through customer complaints on our social media, and from documents showing the increase in fees to RM100 announced on the platform,” he told MalaysiaNow.

“Checks through an insider found that Mavcom is looking into the matter, and that AirAsia is expected to give its explanation of the issue soon.”

If the claim that AirAsia had intended to raise the fees to RM100 was true, he said Mavcom should conduct a thorough probe and take appropriate action.

MalaysiaNow reached out to Mavcom which confirmed that it had asked AirAsia to review its “sudden decision” to raise its counter check-in fees.

It also said AirAsia had been asked to provide an explanation of the matter.

AirAsia, when contacted by MalaysiaNow, asked the public to refer to its FAQ link regarding its check-in fees at counters at https://support.airasia.com/s/article/counter-check-in-fee?language=en_GB.

“Thank you for raising this matter,” it said.

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