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!