Wanderings, travel, photographs and skiing…

Air Asia checkin – what a shambles! An IT failure?

By on March 23, 2015 in Malaysia

Air Asia checkin process is a bit of a shambles.

I use Air Asia quite a bit to travel around SE Asia, and I’m not sure when they brought in these changes but I first encountered them last week on a flight to Sibu in Sarawak.

As with most airlines you can checkin online and they will issue you with a PDF of your boarding pass or a 2D barcode to scan. Air Asia does both, and for my current flight I have both. What I don’t have is a printed copy of the boarding pass as I don’t have a printer with me (who travels with a printer?).

Hmmmm....  Is this progress?

Hmmmm…. Is this progress?

When you get to the airport you now have to go to a self-service checkin machine (see above photo) to print your baggage labels. However, no matter which bar code I presented to the machine, the 2D one available on a link SMSed to my phone, or the one in the PDF saved to my phone, the machine would not recognise it. To get the baggage labels I had to dig out my booking ID and use that. So why does the machine ask for barcodes? Even the Air Asia staff at the machines couldn’t help and couldn’t get it to scan the barcodes on my phone.

It also appears that my documents (PDF and 2D barcode) are not valid for flying so I will have to queue up to get a printed version.

All of this begs the question: Why does Air Asia send you a link to a 2D barcode, and give you an electronic boarding pass, if you can’t use it? Why did I waste my time checking-in online? You would be better off waiting until you got to the airport to checkin.

My guess is all of this is an IT systems fail and that the airline, in its rush to save money, has not thought the process through and as a result has severely degraded the passenger experience by introducing another level of hassle and inconvenience.

Update: Having queued up it turns out that to get the boarding pass to print you need to turn up the brightness of your phone screen to maximum. It will then work. It’s a shame that I did not know this trick, and that the staff manning the machines earlier did not know it either, or that it is not written on the machines as general advice.

If you have enjoyed this article then please feel free to share it using the buttons below.
Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
Photos from this blog are available for purchase via Shutterstock and Eyeem

Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.