Thursday, March 25, 2010

AirAsia 5 Evil Plan to get you to pay more

While I was booking for local flight from Kuala Lumpur (LCCT) to Johor Bahru, I found that AirAsia website had put up multiple checkpoints to get you to pay MORE by DEFAULT. The website is designed in such a way that it's very easy for you to pay between RM5 - RM100 extra for services which you might not need. This time, I do feel they had indeed turned "evil" and no so customer and service centric anymore (no longer quite the people's airline).

Evil Plan 1: Check-in Baggage (RM30 - RM60)
While you are keying in for data for GUEST, they automatically selected 20KG baggage for you which cost RM 30 at each check-in (meaning to say you have to pay RM 60 extra for 2 ways). Please make sure you select regular baggage (RM 20 for 15kg) or no checked bag. There is option for you to pre-order your meal or an comfort kit, luckily it’s not selected by default.

Evil Plan 2: Seat Selection (RM5 - RM25)
They try to get you pay more by selecting a seat (RM 5 for Standard Seat, RM 25 for Hot Seat). Beware at this point, although you selected “Continue without picking a seat”, there you still prompt you a popup message box. If you click “OK”, it will redirect you to the seat selection page without a proper go back link (press the browser’s back button to go back). So, remember to click “Cancel” when the popup appear.

There is a SkyBus service from RM 13 as well, which is not selected by default. So don’t click it unless you plan to take the bus from Sentral.

Evil Plan 3: Insurrance (RM 15)
The insurance is selected by default (RM 15 per person), so you need to read the fine print in order to see the Cancel button on your right, at the fair panel to remove it. Check under the Services and Fee section if there are any unwanted services (you might need to go back to previous pages to remove some of them).

Evil Plan 4: Convinient Fee (RM 20)

Lastly, there is an “Convenient Fee” of RM 20 if you pay by Credit Card or Debit Card. There is no escape for this, and you won’t know until the payment had already been made.

Evil Plan 5: Early Check-in and Boarding (Purchase 2nd ticket at Premium Price)
Usually we are advised to reach the airport 2 hours before flight, but many of us might take this advice lightly. AirAsia is pretty strict now by not allowing you to check-in if you try to check-in less than 1 hour before flight time. Even though you had checked-in, they won’t allow you to board if try to board in less than 30 minutes before flight time. Maybe it’s their way to improve efficiency, or try to get you to pay more to buy more expensive second tickets at last minute.


Personally, I think AirAsia make many unscrupulous attempts into making you pay more for extra services (which you might not need). If you are not careful, you might be tricked into paying between RM5 – RM 100 more.

Too bad other airlines had not been able to catch up with AirAsia pricing, so we would need to find ways to maneuvers around their attempt of putting their hand in our pocket.

1 comment:

PaulK said...

AirAsiaX... be careful.

Most recently, my wife and I were stranded in Abu Dhabi when AirAsiaX announced they were canceling service to/from Abu Dhabi in January this year. They didn’t notify us (their stranded passengers) until Feb 10th. Neither did they offer any accommodation nor answer our emails asking for help. We had to get back to Malaysia on our own. They won’t reimburse our additional expenses either.

They said they would refund the Abu Dhabi/Kuala Lumpur portion of our trip, but it will take them 30-50 days to process the refund. Such an attitude!

Watch out for these guys. If you are considering using AirAsiaX, It might be a good idea to develop a plan B... just in case.