Thursday, April 05, 2007

Air Asia should advise Passengers on check-in time for connecting flights

Budget carrier AirAsia should advise passengers to check in at least three hours before their connecting flights.

Consumer Claims Tribunal president Leong May Chan said many of AirAsia’s connecting flight passengers were unaware that they had to get off the aircraft and go through immigration and Customs checks before boarding the connecting flight.

She said this after advising complainant Ong Liang Poh to withdraw his claim against the budget carrier at a tribunal hearing here yesterday.

“AirAsia has submitted its connecting flight record with its statement of defence. There is no delay as claimed by you. The plane arrived and took off at the time stated on its website,” she said.

All’s well: Tan (right) shaking hands with Ong after the tribunal hearing on Wednesday.
In his statement of claim, the sales engineer asked for a refund on his RM490 ticket from Bangkok to Macau on Nov 10 last year because he was prevented from boarding the flight for checking in late.

Ong was travelling from Penang to Macau.

“I checked in about 30 minutes before the scheduled flight. The carrier’s manager at the Bangkok international airport refused to let me board the plane.

“I had to buy another ticket for the next flight three-and-a-half-hours later.

“The manager told me that the AirAsia website had a ‘pop up notice’ informing passengers to allocate three to four hours between their connecting flights.

“I was very angry because I am a regular passenger on AirAsia and have never come across such a notice on their website,” he said.

He later withdrew his claim and told reporters he would continue flying with AirAsia despite the “misunderstanding with the AirAsia manager in Bangkok”.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, the state’s AirAsia station manager Kenneth Tan said budget carriers could not afford to have a large service team to help facilitate the immigration and Customs procedures.

Source : STAR
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