Travelore Tips: Pay $160 For A Month Of Flights On AirAsia
AirAsia launches its new all-you-can-jet option, the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, this month—but is it worth your while? Read on to find out.
How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?
That's the question we asked last year, when it was first announced that AirAsia would introduce some sort of pass for unlimited flights. Well, that pass—the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, named for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—is official and available for purchase, beginning today.
The ASEAN Pass's original promise of travel to ten countries has been kept, and passengers may elect to fly to airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Laos, and Brunei. The greatest variety of destinations is of course offered from AirAsia's base in Kuala Lumpur, although Bangkok also has a bunch. Popular leisure destinations in the passes include Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi, and Puerto Princesa. With just those it'd be very tempting to turn an ASEAN Pass into a "best exotic beaches of Southeast Asia" pass, but culture and business travelers will find plenty destinations of interest as well.
There are, in fact, two versions of the ASEAN Pass:
ASEAN Pass 10 credits
· Costs $160 USD
· 10 credits for use on flights
· 30 days validity from the start of travel
ASEAN Pass+ 20 credits
· Costs $290 USD
· 20 credits for use on flights
· 60 days validity from the start of travel
Built in (and explained in the official FAQ) are many points of flexibility. For instance, the pass can be handed over to another traveler and the bearer's name can be changed so long as the travel hasn't yet begun. Families can also get in on the fun as the Pass is valid for travelers aged 12 and up. The biggest restriction is that flights need to be booked two weeks ahead and each route may only be used once, so last-minute weekend hops can't happen. The best way for non-residents of Southeast Asia to make use of a pass is to plan for a full three to four weeks of travel, flying in to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur on a major international airline and beginning the AirAsia Pass from there. Potential ideas for a dot-to-dot itinerary around the region could be visiting friends, hitting some legendary dive sites or surf breaks, scouting for a vacation home, seeking out regional food specialties, or simply adding more stamps to the passport.
The pass was due to debut on January 15, but the tragedy of AirAsia Indonesia flight 8501 on December 28, 2014 placed AirAsia in the world spotlight, and not for the positive reason they had planned. We personally expected AirAsia to drop the idea of the ASEAN Pass, but now that the airline can absolutely use the extra business, the plan proceeds with only a month-and-a-half delay. Overall, the program bears less a resemblance to the original, unlimited "All-You-Can-Jet" Pass from JetBlue and more to the airline's AYCJ successors, called the "GoPacks," though there's no doubt the ASEAN Pass is inspired by both.
View the FAQ and step-by-step use of the ASEAN pass on AirAsia's dedicated website. As of right now, there is no end date to the ASEAN pass promotion for either sale or travel, thought this will likely change once the airline sees action on it.