AirAsia checkin process

Airasia like it or not is the cheapest way to get around South East Asia. Unfortunately AirAsia's Website sucks. It's incredible to see so many amateur mistakes.

Besides their annoyingly slow & frustrating process to purchase a ticket, Airasia also require you to excruciatingly "check in" online. If you don't check in online, you need to pay 10MYR on the counter.

"Checking in" online asks you generally for the same information again with some clunky forms that try trick you into buying their travel Insurance.

A friendly Note. Now click Cancel

Once you have checked in online, you then need to print your board pass. Why it can't be completely paperless is beyond me. Now you have two equally buggy options via this horrible form:

Email or SMS

Choosing Email will send you a PDF. Why PDF instead of HTML, is one of life's little mysteries. The PDF must be printed before you get to the Airport, showing this PDF from your phone will be useless at the baggage drop off counter. Why? The PDF doesn't contain the important Aztec code (see below) and for some bizaare reason Airasia include four useless confusing barcodes in the PDF.

Another crazy element to the page is that the checkin session can expire. Which idiot coded that? Weep and start again.

If you go for the SMS option, you will get a URL link like so:


Confusingly I couldn't find this SMS at the airport as it uses the same from address as my taxi provider. I don't know how dumbphones are supposed to handle the URL, I expected some sort of booking code to be delivered by SMS... sigh.

Hopefully you will manage to follow "barcode link" the WAP (yes, seriously, in 2012) site link to a Aztec code (not a barcode), that looks like this:

Android portrait

Hopefully your mobile renders it without being clipped due to large silly header "Scan 2D barcode in exchange for Boarding Pass". Now you need to scan this with one of the (hopefully working) printing machines in the airport. From there you get a slip of paper allowing you to proceed to the baggage drop off counter.

Dear Airasia, there is a lot of a room for improvement here. Don't make your customers jump through hoops and so callously upsell Insurance and holidays (adds misery on a currently poor user experience).

How about hosting your site in Malaysia instead of Europe!? Hire someone who knows what they are doing, look at Fluentspace for local Malaysian talent. Also please consider deploying a public BTS (like Bugzilla), so customers can file bugs with your process and also see some followup.

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