Update: March 20, 2017: Refreshed this page with latest booking procedure.
When I used to travel frequently, I travelled with AirAsia a lot. I would buy tickets at dirt-cheap price several months in advance. I usually do take the flight but sometimes I have to forfeit the ticket because of work commitments.
Back then (2012 or so), AirAsia would sneakily include charges and taxes in the booking pages. Somehow you’d end up with strange extra services you never wanted in the first place. Here’s an updated version on how to avoid the baggage charge, insurance and bank charges.
For this money saving activity, you will need
- Internet connection
- Direct debit e-payment method (eNETS in Singapore)
I am using a return flight from Singapore to Langkawi as an example.
Step 1: Pick a good price
Unless you are flying within the month, I recommend that you wait for a while for the promos to roll in. The AirAsia Facebook puts up updates about the sales frequently. I haven’t figured out the promo fares’ cycles but they come quite quick.
Plan as far in advance if you can and do not buy tickets at full price. If you are booking during the promo period, remember that a lot of people are doing the same so you need to strategize your booking.
Step 2: Skip the value bundle
AirAsia will entice you with a Value Pack or the Premium Flex. It’s a good price if you’ve already need luggage and meal. But don’t pick this if you don’t need it.
Step 3: Beat the charges: Luggage
Take note of your booking summary on the right. Thankfully AirAsia has stopped automatically including luggage and insurance into your booking.
I’ve been travelling with only a carry one for many of my trips now. It takes some getting used to but it is possible to stuff a laptop, two dresses and other things into one backpack.
Step 4: Beat the charges: Insurance
At the pop-up, click No.
A word of caution: I do not recommend having no insurance when travelling. I have an annual travel insurance by another company so I do not buy from AirAsia.
Step 5: Beat the charges: Processing fee
We are almost there!
The last fees that you will encounter is very much like the Boss level in video games. You will need that “Direct debit e-payment method” I prescribed up there. You’ll be paying less processing fee than if you use a credit or debit card.
It doesn’t mean that you can buy 10 person’s tickets in one transaction to even out the processing fee. It means it’s 10 x [processing fee]=A lot of wasted money.
In Singapore, we can use ENets as the direct debit payment option, which eliminates the processing fee. Just change the currency to Singapore Dollar to get the ENets function.
For other countries, there are other ways so please research before you start your payment.
If you are buying tickets departing from countries without your Direct Debit option, change the currency to the one your account is based to see if they have the option for you.
Step 6: Pre flying tip
Since its first days, AirAsia’s sneaky charges have been minimized by the company. That’s great for us.
Also, remember to use Web check-in because they might charge you extra at the counter.
That is all I have to impart. Go on your money saving journey, my friends!
Learn how to travel more without taking extra leave: Ebook