Two days ago, I posted an article to our Facebook page about Air Asia’s new ASEAN travel pass that allows travelers to see multiple cities in Southeast Asia starting at $160 base fare. Several questions came up about this so I’m going to answer them while giving new readers that didn’t already hear about this steal of a deal the chance to understand it as well. There are a lot of different topics that could branch from this one topic but I’m going to delve right into the core of how to use this pass so travelers can start booking and I’ll write more about the other topics later.
Before I begin, let me first explain that all of the details of the ASEAN travel pass can be found here at this link.
How much does this pass REALLY cost?
To begin, there are different passes. One gives you 10 credits and the other is 20 credits. Using the provided currency converter, the base fares for these passes are $160 and $290 respectively. The 10 credit pass is valid for 30 days of travel and the 20 credit pass must be used within 60 days. I want to reinforce that these prices cover only the base fare and you will have to pay additional fees for the airport taxes, luggage fees, and any meals or drinks that you buy on board.
Let me be frank: taxes can add up quickly depending on the departure city. However, taxes are quite reasonable with AirAsia because they just eliminated fuel surcharges, presumably due to the falling cost of oil. This is great news especially in contrast to the many airlines that are still trying to rake their passengers over the coals by continuing to charge extra fees for fuel (looking at you British Airways!!!) in spite of the current market situation.
Taxes are fixed, based on the country/city of departure and do not change based on day of travel, time, etc. So no matter what date, time of day you depart, or where you fly to out of Singapore, those taxes are going to be the same. Here are some of the taxes I found for some popular cities:
- Singapore – $26.26
- Manila, Philippines – $5.67
- Yangon, Myanmar – $13.25
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – $10.20
- Chiang Mai, Thailand – $12.29
- Vientiane, Laos – $12.00
- Bali, Indonesia – $16.29
- Kalibo (Boracay), Philippines – $0.00
- Phuket, Thailand – $22.79
Clearly, Singapore, Phuket, Bali top the list in terms of taxes. Yet, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized you can depart from Kalibo for no taxes at all. The bottom line here is that you can estimate the price you will pay in taxes in addition to your base fare based on the cities that you plan to depart from
I don’t understand this system of credits. How do I use them?
As explained previously, you can buy either 10 or 20 credits for $160 or $290. Each flight costs 1 or 3 credits based on the route according to the following charts:
|3 Credits (per way)|
|Fly from/to Bali||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||Kota Kinabalu|
|Fly from/to Bandung||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|Fly from/to Bangkok||Indonesia||Bali||Jakarta|
|Fly from/to Cebu||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|Fly from/to Chiang Mai||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|Fly from/to Jakarta||Indonesia||Medan|
|Malaysia||Penang||Kuala Lumpur||Kota Kinabalu|
|Fly from/to Johor Bahru||Indonesia||Lombok||Surabaya||Yogyakarta|
|Fly from/to Kota Kinabalu||Indonesia||Bali||Jakarta|
|Malaysia||Johor Bahru||Kota Bharu||Penang|
|Fly from/to Kuala Lumpur||Brunei||Brunei|
|Fly from/to Kuching||Malaysia||Kota Bharu||Penang|
|Fly from/to Manila||Malaysia||Kota Kinabalu||Kuala Lumpur|
|Fly from/to Medan||Indonesia||Yogyakarta||Jakarta|
|Fly from/to Penang||Indonesia||Surabaya||Jakarta|
|Fly from/to Phuket||Indonesia||Jakarta|
|Fly from/to Singapore||Indonesia||Bali||Semarang||Yogyakarta|
|Fly from/to Surabaya||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||Penang||Johor Bahru|
My family is from the Philippines so let’s say I wanted to start in Manila and explore SE Asia from there according to the following itinerary:
Manila – Kalibo – Kuala Lumpur – Vientiene – Kuala Lumpur
I would be charged credits as follows based on the charts above:
Manila – Kalibo = 1 credit
Kalibo – Kuala Lumpur = 3 credits
Kuala Lumpur – Yangon = 3 credits
Yangon – Kuala Lumpur = 3 credits
Based on that itinerary, I just used my 10 credits. Quick math also says I only had to pay .
Can I take my child with me if they are under 12 years old?
Of course you can! The issue is that you will have to book your child as an adult in a separate, full-fare booking. You won’t be able to trick the system by booking your child as an adult using the ASEAN pass because Air Asia’s ticketing system requires all the passport details at the time of booking. That may sound unfair but my understanding of this rule, based on my history flying with the airline is that Air Asia wants to discourage field trips where 2 teachers from say Kuala Lumpur tote around 30 10-year-old school children. No kidding, I’ve seen this many times in different places around Asia including on expensive carriers like Singapore Airlines. Either way you look at this rule, you as the parent are still receiving an AMAZING deal.
THE Bottom Line
This is such an incredible deal that I am really wishing I was living back in Japan right now. Based on the 10-credit route that I examined earlier, the total price is $190 including taxes based on the $30 in taxes for the cities I detailed earlier!!! If I can pack my bags into a carry-on instead of checking luggage, I could visit the country of Laos and the beaches of Boracay for the first time, plus see if I could make it to Kuala Lumpur for the fourth time without getting sick(seriously though I LOVE Kuala Lumpur even if I got sick the first two times) all for under $200!!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!! I’ll explain where I would go if I were to book this pass in another post soon.
Let me know if you have any questions!