Late by 5 minutes, man shocked AirAsia wouldn't let family check-in an hour before flight
They were only five minutes late.
A man and his wife were shocked that their family was not allowed to check in to a flight from Singapore to Malaysia even though it was still almost an hour before departure time.
In the end, they had to pay another $300 for a flight five hours later.
"I had a most unpleasant and disappointing experience with AirAsia," Victor told Stomp.
"I had a flight booked to Kota Kinabalu with the departure time 12.10pm on Sept 6. We reached Changi Airport at 11.11am and went straight to the automated self-check in booths.
"During the check-in process, the system was able to check in my wife but was unable to check in myself and our two kids. So we walked over to the manned counter to do our check-in manually.
"The staff, however, told us that we had missed the check-in time and that we would not be allowed to check in anymore.
"My wife and I were very shocked to hear this, and we said that the time was only 11.15am. There was a good 55 minutes before the plane departed. Why couldn't we check in?"
According to Victor, the staff replied that they had missed the check-in time of 11.10am, which was one hour before departure, and as such, there was "nothing she could do".
"We pleaded with her to help us as the 55 minutes before departure was more than enough time for us to clear immigration and walk to the boarding gate. She made a few calls to check, but she maintained that there was nothing she could do, and the only option we had now was to book the next available flight.
"With that, we had no choice but to top up about $300 for the next flight which was more than five hours later.
"This experience left us feeling extremely frustrated and disappointed with the harsh treatment by AirAsia.
"It was not like we were late by a lot. Yes, we missed the check-in time by five minutes, but we had a good 55 minutes to go. Was there a need to be so rigid with the check-in time that it had to be strictly at least one hour before departure?
"We also explained to the staff that we spent a few minutes initially at the self-check in counter but failed to get through. Could they not have taken that into account as well?
"In our experiences with other airlines, we had similar instances that our check-in time was less than one hour before departure but never faced such issues.
"The treatment from AirAsia came across as very harsh and unreasonable. The strict adherence to their processes without regard to customer experience caused us a lot of inconvenience and distress. Never have we been treated this way by other airlines before."
Stomp has contacted AirAsia for their comments on the matter.