AirAsia is the latest airline to announce it will require adult
passengers to be fully vaccinated before flying. Air New Zealand, Qantas and
Air Canada have announced similar plans in recent weeks.
Along with the vaccination, the low-cost carrier is now
requiring passengers to check in via the AirAsia Super App to minimize physical
interactions upon arriving at the airport and during boarding. Check-in can
begin 14 days before departure, and passengers can scan or upload their
vaccination proof into the app.
The airline says counter check-in will still be allowed
for guests with reduced mobility, those traveling with a child under two years
of age and young guests traveling alone. Others requesting counter
check-in will be charged a fee.
“The decision to accept only fully
vaccinated guests for boarding is made in the best safety interest of our
guests and employees. All our flights are operated by only fully-vaccinated
pilots and cabin crew and this applies to all our ground services as well. We
have also put in place numerous service enhancements and integration via the
AirAsia Super App,” says AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat.
“Guests can look forward to a convenient and
seamless self-check-in process via the Super App that allows for easy uploading
and instant verification of health and vaccination documents, and contactless
boarding via FACES facial recognition system. All these will minimize
queuing and possible physical contacts at the counters and crowding at the
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Guests under the age of 18 that are not vaccinated or only
partially vaccinated will be allowed to fly if accompanied by a fully vaccinated
parent or guardian.
Along with mobile check-in, the airline is trying to
minimize human contact by encouraging passengers to use contactless kiosks for
baggage tagging and drop-off and to use contactless payment options for
It’s unclear if AirAsia will extend the vaccine and app
requirement to its regional carriers in countries including Thailand, the Philippines,
India and Indonesia.