[X]

Air Asia


2 Reviews & Complaints

Most Popular | Newest | More Options >
More filter options:
Predatory Practices
Posted by Nagasaurus on 01/26/2008
AIR ASIA REVIEW

Malaysia's "budget" Air Asia operates on a PREDATORY Business Model because they exploit unwary travellers' inattention to the fineprints. It's motto is: "now everybody can fly." It's low-price bait has allowed many who otherwise could not afford to fly. They even run promotions which offer FREE airtickets. Air Asia is suitable for :-

* those whose time is not a constrain
* who do not have connecting flights
* who do not mind long delays up to 4 hours or more
* who will not change their original flight plans
* who do not have much to check-in or carry-on


I believe the locals love it because they have become used to tolerating sub-standards common in many Asian countries. It is ideal for getaways & visiting the folks.

The fact that Air Asia gives away free airtickets or charges nominal prices, in itself should raise suspicion. So how do they do it? By zapping unfortunate travellers with the EXTRA charges, betting that they have to alter their original plans or somehow have to buy a new ticket on the spot.

Hence, there are many CAVEATS such as:-

1) "free" or low price tickets only if you book far far in advance. Only the airfare is free; you still pay the Fuel Surchage, Airport Tax, Security, Admin Cost....which together cost FAR MORE than the airfare. that's OK if you can plan 2 months ahead and stick to plans. If your plans change, kiss your ticket goodbye. Since you usually become aware of the change in plans sometime close to the original travel date, you'd have to pay a pretty high price. It looks like Air Asia's profit doesn't come from air fares.

2) You must check-in 45 minutes before departure. Air Asia does not care why you did not check-in ontime, but it's OK for them to delay your flight 4 hours. There is absolutely no flexibility there. They do not even care if your connecting Air Asia flight arrived late. Their attitude is: "Not My Problem!" I was even denied boarding even though I had nothing to check-in and was at the counter more than 30 minutes before departure. Needless to say, I had to purchase another ticket at punitive WALK-IN prices. Point is: if you have to abandon your ticket, they keep the Fuel Surchage, Airport Tax, Security, Admin Cost. For the record, after having flown 20+ times on Air Asia, I felt I have paid more than buying from a major airline either due to rebooking charges or voided tickets plus the aggravation. Understand that if your ticket becomes invalid for whatever reason, you will pay "WALK-IN" fares to catch a flight in the next few days. This is because their prices rise as it draws closer to departure date.

3) Air Asia's counter staff must have been trained in its method of profiteering. I find them totally unhelpful & apathetic to my dilemma. Again, it's the "Your Dilemma Is Not My Problem" attitude. I view Air Asia as the "Caveat Emptor" (buyer beware) airline of last resort.

4) Baggage limits are an uncompromisingly rigid 15kg checked-in and 7kg carry-on, even for international flights. They have a staff monitoring carry-ons as you enter the boarding area. I have seen many (myself included), get caught having to pay hefty per-kg rates, especially unsuspecting foreigners who expect all international flights to abide by a common standard. I have even witnessed a staff send baggages into the interior handling section and only then notify the entire family of foreigners that they had to pay a whopping excess baggage charge, after it was too late to retrieve their luggages. The staff got the lambasting she deserved.

5) it's free seating so you might find others pushing & shoving to get a "good" seat. They do however, sell you "express boarding" privilege.

6) When booking online, they automatically add-on insurance charges, and make it confusing to decline the insurance. After you click to decline, a dialog box says that Air Asia recommends that you keep the insurance. in most other websites, it would ask if you are sure and hence and "OK" would mean "go ahead with the decline." However, with Air Asia "OK" means you rescind your request to decline. To confirm your decline, you would have to click "Cancel" instead. In most other instances, a "Cancel" would refer to cancelling an earlier instruction (to decline).


Incidents such as this makes me suspect that Air Asia's PREDATORY Business Model is to exploit travellers' mistakes, change in plans & inattention to the fineprints.
     
Read 4 RepliesAdd reply

User Replies:Close comments

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-26:
Thanks for the heads up on Air Asia. I hadn't yet heard of it and find the other Asian airlines to be pretty good. I have flown Cathay, Singapore and Malaysia Air and all were good. I try to stay away from China Air because they have had too may accidents.

Some of the things you mention about Air Asia sound a bit like other airlines I've, luckily, not had the misfortune of flying on. A lot are going to the carry-on baggage limitations--and sometimes for good reason--but most are realistic. Sometimes I do see travelers taking advantage of carry-on rules--which is why some airlines are getting stricter and enforcing the rules. As for the pushing and shoving to find a seat, that seems to be a common thing in Asia anywhere--not just on airlines--sorry to say.

Thank you for letting us know about this airline. Sounds like there are too many restrictions to risk booking a ticket.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-01-26:
Ya gotta play by their rules.
Posted by runaway on 2008-01-26:
Your complaints sound like they could apply to any airline out there; read everything you're agreeing to and check out the rules before you purchase and you'll be just fine.
Posted by nunung on 2011-04-21:
I thought airasia could be a cheap flight solution for everyone, but it turned out to be a cheap ass costumer service. I am really pissed off, and I am not gonna leave it until I get what I deserved.

I got into trouble twice with airasia. first time was my singapore-yogyakarta flight. I did not get any notice until the D day and I was already flying from japan-singapore at that time. my Sing-ygy flight was canceled, and i had to buy a new ticket which was a big hassle at that time, but at the end airasia refunded my canceled ticket. even though it took like 2months, but it was ok.

But this time, I am totally pissed off!!! I booked Japan-KL, KL-YGY ticket, and airasia changed the flight time from Japan, so that I cant use my KL-YGY ticket. the only solution was for me to wait for one night in KL and get a free change for the next day KL-YGY. WTF!! I only have a limited holiday, and I dont want to spend it in malaysia. So I asked for a reroute to the nearest airport, KL-Solo, but airasia said no. I asked for a refund, they also said no. WTF???

what kind of a service is that? we are not allowed to change or cancel the booking but when you guys change the time or cancel the ticket we have to be in trouble and have no choice? just say to your customer take it or leave it???

I WILL DEFINITELY NOT USE AIRASIA EVER AGAIN.....bad experience!!
Close commentsAdd reply


Nice Trip from Singapore to Thailand
Posted by on 03/04/2011
I recently flew from Singapore to Chiang Mai, Thailand on this economy airline and thought I would do a little write up.

First of all, the flight only cost $140 round trip. I wasn't expecting much, but I went ahead and sprang for the up-front seats for the additional $12 SGD (about $7-8 US). First of all, you get to board first, a plus when you have carry-on luggage. I had 3 seats all to myself on a plane that was 95% full in back. I was able to put the arms up and sleep for most of the flight. The seats on the entire plane are leather and very comfortable. They don't recline very far, but the flight is short so it doesn't really matter. In some cases, I would say these seats were superior to many other carriers I have flown on.

The airline also charges for food, water and checked baggage, but for a 2 1/2 hour flight, I didn't need to pay for anything additional. I only brought carry-on luggage and ate before the flight. (They have a sign that says you cannot bring food or water onboard.) The plane was very clean too. The flight attendants were very pleasant.

Both flights took off a few minutes late, but we arrived on time at both destinations. Boarding was not over-organized, and it went smoothly. All in all, I really can't find a thing wrong with this airline. It safely took me where I was going and the price was right.

     
Read 12 RepliesAdd reply

User Replies:Close comments

Posted by Alain on 2011-03-04:
I enjoyed this review, Sing!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2011-03-04:
It's not very often we hear compliments about airlines.
*Still sitting here with my packed luggage*
Posted by Skye on 2011-03-05:
Nice review Sing.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-05:
Never heard of over-organized boarding spoken as something other than an oxymoron. Sounds delightful.
Posted by madconsumer on 2011-03-05:
great review.

very helpful.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-05:
LOL, ript. I just caught that and fixed it. It should have said, "Boarding was not over organized...." I think I must have been typing too fast as I caught a couple of other typos. Oops!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-05:
I thought it was cute. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-05:
Thanks :), but I thought it made me sound like a dummy, lol.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-05:
You? Sound like a dummy? Never. Now THAT would be an oxymoron. You are bright, beautiful, and charming. And that is something that a thousand typos could never change.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2011-03-05:
What's with the new funky look of the reviews?
Posted by Alain on 2011-03-05:
Admin found the 'Bold Type' setting?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-06:
Awww, thank you ript!
Close commentsAdd reply

Top of Page | Next Page >