Tiger to charge passengers $10 for not checking in online

The list of extra charges on so-called budget carriers is a long one.

That list grew a little longer on Monday, after low-cost carrier Tiger Airways announced a $10 charge will apply to passengers who choose to check-in at the airport from July 1.

The fee will apply to travellers with no check-in baggage and can be avoided if they check-in online before their flight, the airline says.

Tiger Airways Australia new managing director Crawford Rix says the airline wanted to "reward travellers who use web check-in with our lowest fares".

"Everything we do is about offering the seat for the absolute lowest fare and then providing customers with the option to choose whatever optional extras they wish to pay for," Mr Rix said in a statement on Monday.

"It's about unbundling all the extras and being transparent about all charges to allow customers to tailor their travel needs to their budget.

"With Tiger Airways, you get exactly what you choose to pay for."

As airlines have sought to lower costs, they have progressively introduced "ancillary fees".

Travellers are slugged for checking in luggage, taking along sports equipment such as golf clubs, seat selection, paying by credit card, travelling with infants and to purchase food in flight.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation expected ancillary revenues globally to reach $US58 billion ($66.3 billion), or 12 per cent of total airline revenues, in 2010.

Tiger says its new fee will apply to travellers with no check-in baggage and can be avoided if they check-in online before their flight.

The $10 fee must be paid at the time of booking, otherwise passengers will be slugged $15 at the airport on the day of their flight.

CAPA executive chairman Peter Harbison said Tiger had "ruffled a few feathers" since its arrival in Australia because of some cancelled flights and its tough stance on late arriving passengers checking in.

But Mr Harbison said he expected the Australian travelling public to quickly adjust to the new check-in arrangements.

"I think people are pretty much ready to accept this, and they will change their behaviour to accommodate it," Mr Harbison said on Monday.

"I would be surprised to see any big issues with it."

Mr Rix said Tiger Airways did things "differently to other airlines in Australia" and the change would allow the airline to lower fares even further in the future.

"Our model is based on some of the most successful and profitable low cost carriers in the world, including Ryanair," Mr Rix said.

The Dublin-based Ryanair closed all its check-in kiosks in October 2009, with passengers forced to check in online and leave any luggage at a bag drop.

Ryanair also introduced a five euro ($7.10) online check-in fee.

There is no change for customers who have paid for check-in luggage, although Tiger said fees for checked baggage would increase from July 1.

The cost of checking in 15 kilograms of luggage would rise to $20, from $15, while the 25-kilogram option would jump to $50, from $45.


Follow Traveller on Twitter.