Air Asia the low cost carrier recently upped its self service requirement whereby now, all passengers are required to print and tag their own baggage from the self-service kiosk machine.
Passengers can now check-in using self-service kiosks, tag their own bags, and deposit them at a self-service bag drop without the assistance of an airline agent.
I first had my experience of tagging my own bags in Amsterdam early this year. It was something new for me, given that I have travelled frequently around Asia but I had not experienced this self-tagging my own luggage before. I had travelled with KLM, the Dutch airline. When we arrived at the airport, we had to go to a computerised compartment to drop our luggage in there.
The door would not close if the luggage was not placed properly. It would also not close if the luggage was larger or heavier than the allowable size. After the door closed, we then had to press a few buttons to print out the baggage tag. Needless to say, I actually felt rather hopeless at that time because I did not know where to press to print out the baggage tag. A few airline agents were on hand to guide us. Thank God for that!
So this system has now arrived at our shore. I experienced it recently at Kuching International Airport. After queuing up and waiting for my turn to drop my luggage, I was told that I needed to print my baggage tag from the kiosk machine. It was a hassle because I was not aware that it had been implemented early this month. So I obediently went to the kiosk machine to print out the baggage tag and gave it back to the Air Asia officer behind the counter and she sticked it onto my luggage and checked in my luggage. So now, not only do you have to arrive 2 hours earlier prior to your departure, you are recommended to arrive at least 3 hours earlier, as you need to print and tag your bags, then queue up to drop your bags and this actually took time as sometimes what happens if the machine broke down or if it is a festive season and many people are travelling.
On my return trip from Kuala Lumpur back to Sarawak, I anticipated that it may take some time to do all this self-check in and I arrived 3.5 hours earlier but was happy to find out that the machines were not yet working and our bags were still being checked and tagged by the airline officer behind the counter.
Well folks! If you are reading this article, do be prepared to do everything yourselves when travelling with AirAsia or even if going to overseas. Once this system is implemented in KLIA2, I would recommend you to arrive at least 3 hours before departure time because it takes time to check in and the airport is very big. You need a fair bit of time to reach your departure gate and if you are travelling with your elderly parents or kids, it will take longer to reach the departure gate. Good Luck & Enjoy Flying with AirAsia! The airline where everyone can fly!
Attention to all travellers! AirAsia had discontinued their self-check-in kiosk services at KLIA2 on 22 June 2014.
It seems like the service was found to be incompatible with the new system which is integrated with INTERPOL’s I-Checkit System, a tool to detect and prevent illicit transactions and identity theft of the public and private sector.
This incompatibility had caused kiosk check-in at KLIA2 incapable of providing the same protection against the INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD).
Image credit to the AirAsia
This service is currently being revised and AirAsia will implement native check-in kiosks at KLIA2 and will announce accordingly when they will be made available. Apart from that, guests can still utilize Self Check-In via Web or Mobile. These self-check-in services are available from 14 days up to 1 hour before departure for all AirAsia flights while guests need to check in up to 4 hours before departure for AirAsia X flights.
To check-in, guests may receive their boarding pass via email and smartphone users can also use mobile QR code to check-in. All passengers are advised to print their boarding passes to avoid upcoming problems. Guests can also opt for manual check-in which comes with a RM10 fee.
Image credit to the AirAsia
These self-check-in services were made for passengers’ convenience, so they do not have to queue up before departure. All you have to do is check-in, print your boarding pass, baggage drop at the counter and voila, you are good to go. People usually would not care about the backend operation where there will be a security check by AirAsia. It is essential that they stopped self-check-in kiosks for now to avoid global identity theft and international crime or human trafficking being commited.
Even though it might trouble some people who use self-check-in kiosks often, it does not stop people from traveling all over the world on AirAsia’s flights. So, instead of being hung up on the discontinuity of self-check-in kiosks, use other check-in methods available and enjoy your vacation!
Community airline begins silent cancellation, leaving passengers and tour operators fuming
By YU JI
This is ahead of Firefly’s rumoured pullout from the state by end of October.
The Star learnt that at least one Kuching-Kuala Lumpur flight was cancelled late last night, with passengers put onboard a MAS flight instead. The unannounced move has left more than a few ticket holders unhappy.
“My Kuching-KL flight yesterday evening was cancelled after I booked it online just a few days earlier,” said Ng CH in an e-mail.
“I read in newspapers about the possible cancellations. When I checked (with Firefly), I was informed my flight had indeed been cancelled. They transferred me to a MAS flight, which was departing at about the same time.”
A senior MAS official confirmed that Firefly flights involving Sarawak without enough passengers, “to break even financially”, were being cancelled.
“The standard operation procedure is like this: When a last minute cancellation occurs because of too few passengers, then, preferably, affected ticket holders will be placed on the next Firefly flight. But when the (departure) time is too far apart, a FIM will be issued,” he explained.
FIM is an aviation terminology for “Flight Interruption Manifest”. It is normal for airlines to issue FIMs, especially among affordable airlines.
“Once the FIM is issued, passengers can be put onboard MAS,” the official added.
The Star was unable to determine how many of Firefly’s Kuching-KL-Kuching flights have been cancelled, or how many will be cancelled in the coming weeks.
Of the four Kuching-KL flights listed on Firefly’s website for today, only two evening flights are priced and with tickets bookable online.
For tomorrow, Firefly has three Kuching-KL flights on sale. For Sunday, five are on sale; but for Monday, there are only three flights again. Efforts to contact Firefly for comments on its scheduling were unsuccessful. Talk of Firefly being downsized surfaced after the MAS-AirAsia share swap deal was announced in August.
During Firefly’s peak around mid-year, the airline was flying multiple daily flights between Kuching-KL, Kuching-Johor and Sibu-KL. It had a reported load factor of 70%.
But Firefly is now all but certain to cease flights from Sarawak and Sabah to Peninsular Malaysia by the end of October. On Malaysia Day on Sept 16, the Kuching-Johor sector became the first Firefly route to be axed.
According to the MAS official, it was very likely all three Firefly routes involving Sarawak would be terminated by Oct 31.
He said this had “more or less been confirmed internally (with MAS and its subsidiaries)”, pending an official public announcement.
The public and travel agents have reacted unfavourably to the developments. Travel agents were unhappy about Firefly’s “silent cancellations”.
Although Firefly tickets are still available for purchase, tour agents have by and large stopped putting customers on board those flights.
Sarawak Tourism Federation (STF) Sibu chairman Frankie Ting said his customers had been advised to only purchase AirAsia tickets.
“There’s only two Sibu-KL options: There’s Firefly, which we are not buying anymore, and then there’s AirAsia.
“So what choice do we have (but AirAsia)?” Ting said.
Ting felt that any possible cancellation had to be announced earlier.
“Since there is no MAS Sibu-KL flight, then we can only buy AirAsia tickets.
“But as you know, the later you buy an AirAsia ticket, the more expensive it is. My customers with Firefly tickets wanted cheap airfares in the first place.”
A tour agent in Miri, Albert Sim, who is also a member of STF, said: “In a way, I think Miri people are lucky Firefly never flew to us. What a hassle they’ve caused.
“Why have they not issued any statements or at least an explanation to travel agents? As a result, there’s so much inconvenience and misunderstanding.”
Have you heard of the latest news that Firefly Airways will soon not be flying in to East Malaysia from certain destinations like Johor Bahru in West Malaysia?My reliable source told me that it is happening from 15 September 2011.
Have you also heard that Firefly Airline will become a full service airline operating from Subang only.
Go check out www.fireflyz.com.my and chances are they require you to call the Call Centre for your booking from Johor Bahru to Kuching. You can no longer book online.
There is a new budget airline that will be replacing Firefly airways soon for flights to East Malaysia? or it could also include certain destinations to neighbouring states. I think Firefly will retain the profitable route still like Kuala Lumpur to Kuching and Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.
I heard that the budget airline will be called Sapphire Airways, the true blue airline. I went to the website and found it under construction and there is a link there to Expedia Malaysia. Isn’t this a clue already? Who owns Expedia Malaysia right now? Who else but the Red Giant, Air Asia group. so what does that tell you?
so that means that Sapphire Airways will be replacing Firefly coming t his Mid Sept earliest or Nov 2011 latest. We East Malaysians may have no choice but to use Sapphire Airways soon if we want to travel on budget i suppose, else there will always be Malaysia Airlines, the full service airline, the airline with a smile or the Tiger Airways from Singapore.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that whatever the outcome it is out there coming soon, it will not be an Armageddon but a win win situation for us folks here in East Malaysia. We need good connecting flights from West Malaysia to bring in the tourists with their RM/USD to continue to spur our economy. If everyone can afford to fly CHEAP, where is the plane for us ?
If you are holding a ticket after 15 September 2011 with Firefly airline from Johor Bahru to Kuching, you may just want to check with them if your ticket is still valid for travel on the booked flight and if the flight is still flying . If not, what is the alternative that they can provide for you? the customer?
This article is written solely by me based on my own ramblings and I shall not be held responsible or liable or subject to any legal suit for any outcome based on reliance on the information provided above. I exclude all liability and responsibility stated herein.
Hurray! Firefly is FINALLY buzzing its way to Sabah and Sarawak. To celebrate this new sector, to East Malaysia, they are throwing 50,000 tickets at rm9 per ticket and special package at rm399 ONLY for package to Kuching, Miri Mulu and Kota Kinabalu. The rate includes flight, hotel and and city tour too.
Go check it out NOW! Offer for limited time only! Dont say I never tell you!
Comparison between Firefly Airline vs. Airasia
It is interesting to note that FireFly Airlines, the subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, is in competition wth AirAsia. However it cannot be denied that AirAsia is way ahead of Firefly even though Fireflyz is a full service point to point airline with rates almost similar to Air Asia. AirAsia started from a humble beginning of RM1 company and 1 aeroplane to become a RED giant that it is today with Richard Branson of Virgin Group having a share in its long haul AirAsia-X sector.
The concept of firefly is to connect together the few neighbouring countries of Malaysia in Asia. Right now, its route are between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Firefly airline is still growing to add more destinations into its flying list. AirAsia on the other hand is out to conquer the world covering more and more destinations and sectors with each passing day.
Let’s check out in details the differences between the 2 airlines.
Full service? Low Cost?
Firstly, Firefly, the community airline as their tagline suggests is not a complete full service airline but neither a low costs airline either. The airline “IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLD” as it offers the full service that full service airline like Malaysia airlines offer at the price of a low cost airline like AirAsia because of the type of aircraft(turboprop fleet of ATR72-500s) that they use which means that their cost is much lower. Operational costs, expertise, skills and infrastructure are well based on Malaysia Airlines. Airasia is a low-cost airline (also known as no frills, discount or budget carrier or airline) that generally has lower fares. To make up for revenue lost in decreased ticket prices the airline may charge for extras like food, priority boarding, seat allocating, and baggage which is what AirAsia is all about. It is a carrier that sends a person from 1 airport to another.
A full service airline means that you are taken care of when you pay one fare price and you will be allowed 20kgs of checked in baggage, 7kgs of hand carry luggage, you may choose your desired seat no, and be served soft drinks and snack on board without any additional charges.
Airasia recently came up with the ruling that starting from next year, there will be a fee charged for bags checked in at Check in Counter as they want to encourage people to check in earlier ONLINE to avoid offline check in congestion at airport. http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/22sia/Article/index_html
The good point is that means we will have less hassle at airport but the drawback is that it will cost more now to fly if we need to add in this cost, esp. if we are not able to print out the boarding pass ourselves. Firefly Airline is still free to have counter check in .
Would you like to Upsize your Luggage Sir?
For AirAsia, a regular size baggage is 15 kgs, a supersize Medium is 20 kg whilst a supersize Large is 25 kg and a supersize Extra Large is 30 kg. Most of us opt for the 15kgs and if you are on a shopping trip, I recommend you to buy at least 20 kgs and be at ease to know that you will not be required to pay if your bags exceeded the 15kgs weight but is less than 20kgs. http://www.airasia.com/my/en/flightinfo/supersizesave.html
Things like baby prams/strollers/buggies, wheelchairs, mobility devices and walking frames can be checked-in for free. Sports equipment however, is subject to a sport equipment fee. Check out the table above about AirAsia’s baggage allowances and rates.
As stated above, Frefly airline allows you 20kgs of checked in baggage at no extra charge.
Orange or Red?
Firefly airline crew comes decked in bright orange and white uniform while AirAsia crew is out to paint the town red with their bright red uniform of red blouse with tight red skirts with a little slit at the side.
Is it anything like OSIM Chair at all?
If you are looking for OSIM chair type of comfort, then you might as well be flying with Malaysia Airlines though of late, I have seen AirAsia’s long haul flight advert showing comfortable reclining seat.
The cabin within Fireflyz plane is more luxurious though AirAsia is equally on par with their new fleet of planes and black leather seats except for the tight seat space and leg room and certain seat near the emergency exit ways are permanently upright and could not be leaned down for more comfort.
As such, the value that you get from the “dollar/ringgit malaysia that you pay will be much higher with Firefly airlines compared to AirAsia. In short, you get better service in return for every dollar/ringgit malaysia spent.
Do you want to reach the city faster?
Firefly airline taxies at Subang Skypark Terminal while Air Asia berth at LCCT where there are constantly a high no traffic flow of people arriving and departing. Even Singapore budget terminal cannot beat the people traffic flow at LCCT.
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport Terminal 3, also known as Subang Skypark Terminal is so much closer to city. LCCT is about 65 to 70 km away from KL city. I compared on Google map the distance to get from LCCT to Central Market, KL city centre. The data showed that we need at least an hour to reach the city. Terminal 3 is only about 26.2km if you use Federal Highway to go to KL city, it is 26.2km and takes only around 28 minutes to reach the city.
Have you twit lately? What is your FACEBOOK ID?
Airasia has a team specially to take care of their online marketing needs and promotions. They are aiming to get 1million fans on their facebook and they are almost there, having over 600k members now at point of writing. In this day and age, if you are not online, not on Facebook, not tweeting, not on youTube, then you are way behind time. Elections have been won and lost because of the usage or non usage of online technology. Check out AirAsia and you will see many videos about them or by them on YouTube. Firefly still has a long way to go if comparing the number of videos posted by AirAsia and them. Online marketing is “THE” thing to do now to get more customers. Having said that, offline marketing is as important too.
Honestly, most of us use AirAsia because the fare is lower than MAS and it allows us to save a few dollars. When things are expensive these days, saving a dollar or 2 means a lot too especially for those middle income earners.
When passengers intend to fly, the first thing we check is the fare rate, then the time schedule before we proceed to make a booking. Where access to instant information is available at the click of a mouse, smart travellers do their own research and go where the value for money is.
Firefly Airline at this point of writing has yet to touch down in Sarawak and Sabah and once they do, I will definitely support them for the value of Ringgit Malaysia that I will be getting. If I need to fly to a destination for a meeting, I don’t want to be stressed in having to worry of my baggage weight limit or many other million issues not taken care of online when I booked earlier. Regardless of how I feel, AirAsia has allowed thousands of people to tour and see the world. Keep it up AirAsia. You have made many people’s wishes come true!
My friend just told me that she bought the cheap low cost carrier promotion fare sometime back but now ended up paying more because she could not go on the designated date and had to change the date. She bought the ticket 6 months ago. So i asked her, “So how much did you end up paying it for?” she replied, “A few hundred RMextra.” The best part is the ticket is now even more expensive than if she had made a fresh new booking.
So the question is, “How do we make the best of all this low cost carrier promotion” without compromising our money purse?”
Firstly, if you are not 100% sure if you are able to fly on the coming date to your desired destination, DON’T BUY even if the airline has a dirt cheap fare. This is because you will end up with more headache later in trying to change the date or trying to reclaim back the airport taxes. Confirm and purchase only if you are 100% definite that you are able to make it on the trip for the desired date.
Secondly, the cheapest time to fly is on Tuesday and Wednesday. Weekend rates tend to be higher.
Thirdly, there is a recent trend that when one airline launches an airfare promotion on Monday, other airlines tend to join in to share a piece of the pie. All of them wants your business, your hard earned money. So Tuesday is the best time to buy air-tickets for lowest fare.
Fourthly, subscribe to Airfare alerts of your favourite airline. Join their social media like Facebook and follow their Twitter to get firsthand knowledge of their latest offer. They usually have exclusive offers just for their members.
Fifth, if you are planning to go to Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or any city for shopping, don’t under-estimate your checked in luggage. It is better to pay for at least 20kgs online than have over-weighed baggage at checked in counter and pay for excess baggages as the rate is twice from that if you purchased online. The other trick is of course, to send back some of your stuff either by slow air mail or sea mail instead of paying high charges to the airlines.
Sixth, if you are on short travelling trip. Pack simple and carry no checked in luggage. ( I for one cannot do without checked in luggages)
Seventh, is seat selection really necessary? Just sit at whichever seat assigned to you and once you are inside the plane and on air, then just try to go for any of the empty seats available, seats that are not premium nor hot seat.
Well, hope the above pointers help. Sometimes cheap does not really mean cheap if you do not know what to do but it could mean substantial savings if you know what to do.
This weekend is the weekend and what are your plans for the weekend?
For those planning to travel, a long weekend is a good time tobring family away to nearby destinations. Malaysia now has the zoom Malaysia and soon to be revised to Magic holiday packages, that gives you low rate cost to travel and with extra cash left for shopping.
Have you booked your flights early? I remembered the other day when I was in Kota Kinabalu and supposed to be catching the next flight to Tawau enroute to Sipadan island. if you want to book last minute for the next immediate flight to the next destination, it may not be so easy. I was anxious to catch the next flight to Tawau. Sales counter told me the flight was full. the Airasia officer told me to go to the check in counter and queue. After queueing up for half hour, the check in counter officer told me all seats are full and she could not attend to my needs until the counter is closed and ONLY then she can let me know if there are any available seat.
Imagine if someone is on an urgent mission at the next destination, to be told that she cannot be on standby nor waiting list but just wait like a lame duck, is not very comforting. so, i had no choice but to wait until all passengers with tickets have checked through and the counter’s Check in sign was switched off, then i approached the officer again and was given a seat. When I boarded the plane, guess what? there were still around 5 empty seats. did these 5 persons booked but failed to show up?
Was all that earlier stress necessary?
AirAsia should revamp their booking system then. No point giving low travel fare but poor booking system.Â Passengers should be able to travel yes, if with a budget airline but with ease of mind.
What is the lesson for the rest of us, passengers? Book early ! If you are not sure if you can get a seat but want to try your luck anyway, have an alternative ready.
Have a great weekend!