Air Asia Baggage and Reserved Seat Fees

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Aug 19, 2016
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#1
On or about 30 July 2016, I booked on behalf of myself and my travel partner a vacation package from Bangkok, Thailand, to Kuching, Malaysia using Travelocity. My travel voucher from Travelocity clearly indicated round trip air travel from Bangkok to Kuching on Air Asia Berhad. I also received a separate travel itinerary from Air Asia for the air travel. After receiving the travel itinerary from Air Asia, I attempted to ascertain the applicable baggage fee for my travel. Using the Air Asia website, I noted the departure and arrival point for travel and the return stated that no information was available. I then utilized the website to choose seats and in-flight meals - or 'add-ons'. When the menu popped up for inflight meals and seat selection, it automatically added checked baggage fees for me and my travel partner. The amount for round trip air travel was approximately US$60 with no explanation as to how the charges were calculated. The menu for selecting meals and seats was based on two flight segments traveling to Kuching with a layover in Kuala Lumpur and two segments on return to Bangkok with another layover in Kuala Lumpur. Charges for seat assignments were made for each segment. I complained to Travelocity about the baggage and seat fees but was totally rebuffed as they said that I had to resolve my complaint with Air Asia. In addition, there is no way to submit a written complaint to Travelocity so that the nature of a consumer's complaint can be duly documented along with the date of submission. Travelocity is clearly acting as an agent of Air Asia and should be held responsible as well.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#2
Travelocity is selling inventory on Air Asia, but not really sure you can say they are an agent of the airline. The airlines decide what services a travel agency or booking company can sell or offer on their flights.

With many airlines, seats can be pre-reserved at no cost, some airlines won't allow pre-assigned seats and others require a fee for this service. Otherwise seat assignments are done during on-line check in or at the airport.

As for baggage allowances and cost, Travelocity does provide this information during the booking process, indicating it must be done directly with Air Asia.

Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG

As to emailing them a complaint, they do have a webform which can be accessed from the Contact us on their Customer Service page:

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Also, this website has a list of email addresses for Travelocity and their parent company Expedia.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Likes: jsn55
Oct 5, 2015
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#3
Why are complaining about fees when flying with an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) inside Asia? It is usual and customary for these ULCCs to charge for things like water. Of course they will charge for baggage and advanced seat assignments. For Air Asia, there are 2 kind of cheap fares. Air Asia with baggage and Air Asia without baggage.

When you DIY your airline tickets, it is your responsibility to research with the airlines what you are buying. The OTA is an intenet vending machine whose only job is to distribute tickets. It is not a travel FAQ site or a travel learning academy.
 
Aug 19, 2016
19
7
3
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#4
Why are complaining about fees when flying with an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) inside Asia? It is usual and customary for these ULCCs to charge for things like water. Of course they will charge for baggage and advanced seat assignments. For Air Asia, there are 2 kind of cheap fares. Air Asia with baggage and Air Asia without baggage.

When you DIY your airline tickets, it is your responsibility to research with the airlines what you are buying. The OTA is an intenet vending machine whose only job is to distribute tickets. It is not a travel FAQ site or a travel learning academy.
 
Aug 19, 2016
19
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3
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#5
Travelocity is selling inventory on Air Asia, but not really sure you can say they are an agent of the airline. The airlines decide what services a travel agency or booking company can sell or offer on their flights.

With many airlines, seats can be pre-reserved at no cost, some airlines won't allow pre-assigned seats and others require a fee for this service. Otherwise seat assignments are done during on-line check in or at the airport.

As for baggage allowances and cost, Travelocity does provide this information during the booking process, indicating it must be done directly with Air Asia.

View attachment 1079 View attachment 1080

As to emailing them a complaint, they do have a webform which can be accessed from the Contact us on their Customer Service page:

View attachment 1081
Also, this website has a list of email addresses for Travelocity and their parent company Expedia.
Hi Realtoes,

Thank you for your response. Prior to finalizing my booking with Travelocity, I attempted to research the baggage fees for Bangkok-Kuching flight in Air Asia Berhad. There is a webpage where you enter your departure point and destination. I tried to do this at least four times and the response was 'no information available'. I never received the information from Travelocity about one checked bag being free that you noted in your message. My itinerary just said to check with Air Asia with a link which I had already done.

Let me also note that I have flied domestically with Air Asia in Thailand on many occasions, so I am somewhat familiar with the way they operate. There is no assigned seating on any of their flights. So, it is a crap shoot as to whether you will be sitting next to your travel partner unless you 'purchase' and assigned seat. Since this was my first international flight, I decided to purchase assigned seats and order in-flight meals. When I went to the 'add-on' page the menu automatically charged for one checked in bag for me and my travel partner in the total amount of US$60 and this option could NOT be changed. I also have no idea as the manner in which these fees were calculated. The menu also noted that the flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and KL to Kuching were separate segments and I would be charge for seat assignments on each segment. Travelocity clearly stated that I was purchasing a round trip ticket -- not two segments. What I want to note, is that I am being charged for something irrespective if I want it or not with respect to checked-in baggage. Secondly, the segmentation of flights and separate charges was not disclosed by Travelocity. I have availed myself to the customer service page and sent a complaint to Air Asia. That was nearly three weeks ago and there has been no response. Thank you for link to Travelocity and Expedia. Air Asia explicitly advertises Expedia as their travel partner. I don't know if that creates an agent relationship or not but for both Expedia and Travelocity to maintain an 'arms length' relationship under these circumstances is a bit disingenuous to me.


Why are complaining about fees when flying with an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) inside Asia? It is usual and customary for these ULCCs to charge for things like water. Of course they will charge for baggage and advanced seat assignments. For Air Asia, there are 2 kind of cheap fares. Air Asia with baggage and Air Asia without baggage.

When you DIY your airline tickets, it is your responsibility to research with the airlines what you are buying. The OTA is an intenet vending machine whose only job is to distribute tickets. It is not a travel FAQ site or a travel learning academy.
Travelocity is selling inventory on Air Asia, but not really sure you can say they are an agent of the airline. The airlines decide what services a travel agency or booking company can sell or offer on their flights.

With many airlines, seats can be pre-reserved at no cost, some airlines won't allow pre-assigned seats and others require a fee for this service. Otherwise seat assignments are done during on-line check in or at the airport.

As for baggage allowances and cost, Travelocity does provide this information during the booking process, indicating it must be done directly with Air Asia.

View attachment 1079 View attachment 1080

As to emailing them a complaint, they do have a webform which can be accessed from the Contact us on their Customer Service page:

View attachment 1081
Also, this website has a list of email addresses for Travelocity and their parent company Expedia.
Travelocity is selling inventory on Air Asia, but not really sure you can say they are an agent of the airline. The airlines decide what services a travel agency or booking company can sell or offer on their flights.

With many airlines, seats can be pre-reserved at no cost, some airlines won't allow pre-assigned seats and others require a fee for this service. Otherwise seat assignments are done during on-line check in or at the airport.

As for baggage allowances and cost, Travelocity does provide this information during the booking process, indicating it must be done directly with Air Asia.

View attachment 1079 View attachment 1080

As to emailing them a complaint, they do have a webform which can be accessed from the Contact us on their Customer Service page:

View attachment 1081
Also, this website has a list of email addresses for Travelocity and their parent company Expedia.
 
Aug 19, 2016
19
7
3
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#6
Why are complaining about fees when flying with an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) inside Asia? It is usual and customary for these ULCCs to charge for things like water. Of course they will charge for baggage and advanced seat assignments. For Air Asia, there are 2 kind of cheap fares. Air Asia with baggage and Air Asia without baggage.

When you DIY your airline tickets, it is your responsibility to research with the airlines what you are buying. The OTA is an intenet vending machine whose only job is to distribute tickets. It is not a travel FAQ site or a travel learning academy.
Hi Flywisely,

Please note my response to Realtoes. I did do research. My gripe is being charged for something I don't want and didn't indicate that I wanted. The other matter is flight segmentation, and its impact on fees, that was not disclosed when booking with Travelocity. When Air Asia first started business, you had to go through multiple gyrations on their website to avoid paying for travel insurance. Now, with me, they are charging me for checked baggage with no way of voiding that cost. Thanks for your frank input.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#7
Hi Realtoes,

Thank you for your response. Prior to finalizing my booking with Travelocity, I attempted to research the baggage fees for Bangkok-Kuching flight in Air Asia Berhad. There is a webpage where you enter your departure point and destination. I tried to do this at least four times and the response was 'no information available'. I never received the information from Travelocity about one checked bag being free that you noted in your message. My itinerary just said to check with Air Asia with a link which I had already done.
The link for baggage information is right there on the booking page. The webpage you are referring to is actually on the Air Asia site not Travelocity's.

When I went to the 'add-on' page the menu automatically charged for one checked in bag for me and my travel partner in the total amount of US$60 and this option could NOT be changed. I also have no idea as the manner in which these fees were calculated. The menu also noted that the flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and KL to Kuching were separate segments and I would be charge for seat assignments on each segment. Travelocity clearly stated that I was purchasing a round trip ticket -- not two segments. What I want to note, is that I am being charged for something irrespective if I want it or not with respect to checked-in baggage. Secondly, the segmentation of flights and separate charges was not disclosed by Travelocity.
A segment is a take-off and landing, a round trip will always have two or more segments.

You did these add-on's via Air Asia website, so complaining to Travelocity is not going to get you anywhere, as they will refer you to Air Asia. Air Asia is the only one who can provide a response about the extras you purchased on their website.
 
Aug 19, 2016
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#8
OK, so we agree that Travelocity is not going to do anything even though the advertised this as a round trip flight. Air Asia treats it as four separate flights. Yes, Travelocity noted a link to the Air Asia website for baggage information that indicated that no information was available for baggage fees. Shouldn't Travelocity keep their information up to date or know when flights they are booking will show 'no available information/ for their customers? How am I supposed to overcome that obstacle? To repeat, I did not want to purchase an option for checked-in luggage. for me and my travel partner. There was no choice. The charge was automatic with no explanation regarding the manner in which the fee was calculated. If I'm beating a dead horse here, let me know. I will write the CEO of Air Asia if I can find his address as this website does not have any information on Air Asia.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#9
These OTA sites only post the information that is provided by the airline. Personally, I never book using these sites, but book directly with the airline. That cuts out the middle man when there are flight or ticketing issues.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
Hi Flywisely,

Please note my response to Realtoes. I did do research. My gripe is being charged for something I don't want and didn't indicate that I wanted. The other matter is flight segmentation, and its impact on fees, that was not disclosed when booking with Travelocity. When Air Asia first started business, you had to go through multiple gyrations on their website to avoid paying for travel insurance. Now, with me, they are charging me for checked baggage with no way of voiding that cost. Thanks for your frank input.
You are going to be charged the baggage fees whether you want to or not. You did not do this in the Travelocity website so they have absolutely nothing to do with your complaint.

Your issue is with the airline only. If you disagree with it you could have simply stopped the transaction at the time and backed out and not I our credit card info. You should have stopped right there.

As far as flight segmentation, Travelocity is a booking engine that responds to what YOU input and these OTAs are do it yourself. They only deliver what you ask for. If you didn't understand segmentation you should have gone to a traditional travel agent that knows what they are doing and could have explained it to you.

These things happen when you DIY and Travelocity has nothing to do with it. You did it when you went to the airlines website so that is where you need to direct your complaint.

I don't know where you live but you better make sure you check for visa and passport requirements to make sure you have what you need to enter these countries because you don't want to get to the airport and be denied boarding.
 
Likes: joycexyz
Aug 19, 2016
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#11
You are going to be charged the baggage fees whether you want to or not. You did not do this in the Travelocity website so they have absolutely nothing to do with your complaint.

Your issue is with the airline only. If you disagree with it you could have simply stopped the transaction at the time and backed out and not I our credit card info. You should have stopped right there.

As far as flight segmentation, Travelocity is a booking engine that responds to what YOU input and these OTAs are do it yourself. They only deliver what you ask for. If you didn't understand segmentation you should have gone to a traditional travel agent that knows what they are doing and could have explained it to you.

These things happen when you DIY and Travelocity has nothing to do with it. You did it when you went to the airlines website so that is where you need to direct your complaint.

I don't know where you live but you better make sure you check for visa and passport requirements to make sure you have what you need to enter these countries because you don't want to get to the airport and be denied boarding.

So, in your opinion, it is ok to 'bundle' checked-in luggage with 'add-ons' for seat assignments and in-flight meals? FYI, I've been living in Bangkok for 11 years. I'm well aware of visa requirements as I have traveled extensively in the region. In all my years of flying - I've never encountered a website that mandated a customer to pay for checked-in baggage when all they wanted to do was to get assigned seats and in-flight meals. My only alternative is to cancel all the 'add-ons' and hope that me and my partner sit together. Of course, there will be a cancellation fee. Additionally, I've never encountered an airline that bills for checked baggage per segment or for reserved seats. I thought you were supposed to be an advocate for consumers, not an apologist for the deceptive practices of the airline industry!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
17,143
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
So, in your opinion, it is ok to 'bundle' checked-in luggage with 'add-ons' for seat assignments and in-flight meals? FYI, I've been living in Bangkok for 11 years. I'm well aware of visa requirements as I have traveled extensively in the region. In all my years of flying - I've never encountered a website that mandated a customer to pay for checked-in baggage when all they wanted to do was to get assigned seats and in-flight meals. My only alternative is to cancel all the 'add-ons' and hope that me and my partner sit together. Of course, there will be a cancellation fee. Additionally, I've never encountered an airline that bills for checked baggage per segment or for reserved seats. I thought you were supposed to be an advocate for consumers, not an apologist for the deceptive practices of the airline industry!
I am not saying I am okay with it, and frankly I don't think it is right, I am saying you had the opportunity to end the transaction online and check into this before paying.

We are advocates but you also have to accept our advice about what you might have done to avoid these fees before you paid them. You need to contact the airline itself about this problem.

I actually think that this might be one that our writers should look at because they might have more resources to get an answer for you, but you have to try to get the airline to advise why they do this first. It has nothing to do with Travelocity.

If the flight segments are not on the same airline, then each may have checked luggage requirements. But it appears they are so I don't really know why they are being treated this way. But remember - Travelocity only gives you what you ask for - for complicated bookings like this, they aren't really the way to go. It is truly do it yourself when you use these OTA's. It probably would have been easier for you to simply have booked this directly with the airline and not with Travelocity because the OTA ALWAYS adds a layer of contact that you have to use because airlines may not deal with you anymore.

As advocates, our job is to lead you to whoever you need to contact in order to fix it yourself, and then our writers look at anything that can't be resolved. I think we are going to need to get you contacts for that airline so you can try and get it fixed. I am contacting our team to try and get you contacts to write to and I will ask our writers to take a look at this for you as well.
 
Jan 8, 2016
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Southern Oregon
#13
I too am often based out of Bangkok in the winters - and do quite a bit of international travel using them. They are very clear about what you are getting - which is nothing but an unassigned seat. And it sounds like that is what the OTA sold.
Yes, when I pick any additional item - seat, food, luggage, trip insurance - it is automatically bundled and preselected for you. I dislike that - that is their MO. And before you click to pay - you can see that the price is not what you had anticipated. Happened to me the first couple of trips. I had to back out and start over again. Now I go in prepared - and read everything before I pay.
I have used their chat function for issues - but often with no resolution that works for me. They are very clear - prices are cheap and they don't do any refunds. And I will continue to use them - their prices ARE cheap, they run on time, the planes are clean and the cost of check-in baggage is very reasonable.
This is an AirAsia issue - the OTA just sold the seats and you engaged directly with AirAsia to made additional purchases. I wish you the best of luck - I have found them to be pretty inflexible - even when it is to their benefit.
 
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Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#14
I think we are going to need to get you contacts for that airline so you can try and get it fixed. I am contacting our team to try and get you contacts to write to and I will ask our writers to take a look at this for you as well.
Thanks @Neil you are right I'll try to see that we can get contacts for Air Asia since Travelocity has nothing to do with this issue, they sold the seats but Air Asia sold the services.
 
Jan 8, 2016
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Southern Oregon
#16
Please keep in mind - this IS a bare bones airline. The seat assignment costs are often around $5 each and the luggage goes by weight and I usually pay around $10 for up to 30lbs. We are not talking about lots of money here. And the cost of the flights are quite cheap - especially if bought during a sale. They don't do refunds or have a dept that handles stuff like that - they just offer cheap prices and the buyer needs to be aware of what they are buying. This is not a company that runs on USA business practices.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,417
8,527
113
San Francisco
#18
Greg, this is a tough way to learn that you should always book directly with the airline. Whenever there's a glitch, the OTA and the airline run you around in circles and it's tough to get an answer. When you book direct, you at least know who to complain to. Sixty dollars for assigned seats, meals and bags seems reasonable; this is a discount airline, right? By booking directly in the future, you can get answers to all your questions before you make the purchase.
 
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Jan 8, 2016
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Southern Oregon
#19
Greg, this is a tough way to learn that you should always book directly with the airline. Whenever there's a glitch, the OTA and the airline run you around in circles and it's tough to get an answer. Sixty dollars for assigned seats, a meal and bags seems reasonable; this is a discount airline, right? By booking directly in the future, you can get answers to all your questions before you make the purchase.
And it appears to be $60 total for both passengers together - or $30 each. Seems in line with what AirAsia charges both domestically and internationally
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 19, 2016
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#20
In response to Neil,

First of all the 'connecting segments' (or whatever terminology you want to apply) are all on Air Asia - BKK to KL and then KL to Kuching. Each segment is apparently billed separately for 'add-ons'. Yes, I could have terminated the transaction and not have had reserved seats or in-flight meals. So, the airline is holding my hostage to pay for unwanted services. Yes, living in Asia is different than living in the US - I realize that. I have used the customer service email system on Air Asia twuce and have not received a response other than the 'automatic' generation of a Case number. I really don't expect a response as there is little recourse available to me to seek help from a government consumer affairs agency.

Until recently, I avoided OTAs. I June, I returned to the US and tried to book a very reasonable priced flight on China Eastern Airlines. The website for China Eastern Air would not allow my to purchase the flight, so I purchased the flight on Travelocity along with a rental car reservation at O'Hare. With the exception of booking the rental car for one more day than I needed, everything went very smoothly. I 'thought' that I might be able to accomplish the same convenience, maybe naively, in using Travelocity for my trip to Kuching.

The fact of the matter is that Air Asia is fleecing it's customers by forcing them to take service they don't need and using a flight segmentation system that is disingenuous. I understand capitalism and the inherent practices that company's use to improve their bottom line. But some issues cross the line.

In Asia, the use of Agoda, Travelocity, Expedia, etc., will invariably save money on hotel bookings. Maybe I should have avoided Travelocity and not have booked the vacation package but this would not have resolved the problem I encountered with Air Asia. They prey on timid Asian customers who will not attempt to confront authority or give up on resolving a complaint very quickly. It is a very sad situation.