Travel Around Southeast Asia for $160 Base Fare!!!!

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:

   1 Credit (per way)
   Fly from/to Bali   Indonesia    Yogyakarta    Solo    Surabaya
   Bandung    Jakarta
   Fly from/to Bandung   Indonesia    Bali    Pekanbaru    Surabaya
  Malaysia    Johor Bahru
  Singapore    Singapore
   Fly from/to Bangkok   Cambodia    Phnom Penh    Siem Reap
  Indonesia    Medan
  Malaysia    Penang
  Myanmar    Mandalay    Yangon
  Thailand    Chiang Mai    Chiang Rai    Hat Yai
   Khon Kaen    Krabi    Loei
   Nakhon Phanom    Nakhon Si Thammarat    Nan
   Narathiwat    Phitsanulok    Phuket
   Roi Et    Sakon Nakhon    Surat Thani
   Trang    Ubon Ratchathani    Udon Thani
  Vietnam    Hanoi    Ho Chi Minh City
   Fly from/to Cebu   Malaysia    Kota Kinabalu
  Philippines    Cagayan de Oro    Davao    Manila
   Fly from/to Chiang Mai   Thailand    Surat Thani    Bangkok
   Fly from/to Jakarta   Indonesia    Bali    Surabaya    Yogyakarta
  Singapore    Singapore
   Fly from/to Johor Bahru   Indonesia    Bandung
  Malaysia    Miri    Penang    Sibu
   Kuala Lumpur    Kuching
  Vietnam    Ho Chi Minh City
   Fly from/to Kota Kinabalu   Philippines    Cebu
  Malaysia    Kuching    Miri    Sandakan
   Tawau
   Fly from/to Kuala Lumpur   Cambodia    Phnom Penh
  Indonesia    Banda Aceh    Medan    Padang
   Palembang    Pekanbaru
  Malaysia    Alor Setar    Johor Bahru    Kota Bharu
   Kuala Terengganu    Kuching    Langkawi
   Penang
  Thailand    Hat Yai    Krabi    Phuket
   Surat Thani
  Singapore    Singapore
  Vietnam    Ho Chi Minh City
   Fly from/to Kuching   Malaysia    Bintulu    Johor Bahru    Miri
   Sibu    Kota Kinabalu    Kuala Lumpur
  Singapore    Singapore
   Fly from/to Manila   Philippines    Cebu    Kalibo    Puerto Princesa
   Tacloban    Tagbilaran    Davao
   Fly from/to Medan   Indonesia    Palembang
  Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur    Penang
  Thailand    Bangkok
   Fly from/to Penang   Indonesia    Medan
  Malaysia    Langkawi    Johor Bahru    Kuala Lumpur
  Singapore    Singapore
  Thailand    Bangkok
   Fly from/to Phuket   Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur
  Singapore    Singapore
  Thailand    Udon Thani    Bangkok
   Fly from/to Singapore   Indonesia    Bandung    Jakarta
  Malaysia    Langkawi    Penang    Kuala Lumpur
   Kuching
  Thailand    Krabi    Phuket
   Fly from/to Surabaya   Indonesia    Lombok    Bali    Bandung
   Jakarta

 

   3 Credits (per way)
   Fly from/to Bali   Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur    Kota Kinabalu
  Singapore    Singapore
  Thailand    Bangkok
   Fly from/to Bandung   Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur
   Fly from/to Bangkok   Indonesia    Bali    Jakarta
  Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur
  Singapore    Singapore
   Fly from/to Cebu   Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur
   Fly from/to Chiang Mai   Malaysia    Kuala Lumpur
  Thailand    Hat Yai    Krabi    Phuket
   Fly from/to Jakarta   Indonesia    Medan
  Malaysia    Penang    Kuala Lumpur    Kota Kinabalu
  Thailand    Bangkok    Phuket
   Fly from/to Johor Bahru   Indonesia    Lombok    Surabaya    Yogyakarta
  Malaysia    Tawau    Kota Kinabalu
   Fly from/to Kota Kinabalu   Indonesia    Bali    Jakarta
  Malaysia    Johor Bahru    Kota Bharu    Penang
   Kuala Lumpur
  Philippines    Manila
  Singapore    Singapore
   Fly from/to Kuala Lumpur   Brunei    Brunei
  Cambodia    Siem Reap
  Indonesia    Bali    Balikpapan    Bandung
   Jakarta    Lombok    Makassar
   Semarang    Solo    Surabaya
   Yogyakarta
  Laos    Vientiane
  Malaysia    Bintulu    Kota Kinabalu    Labuan
   Miri    Sandakan    Sibu
   Tawau
  Myanmar    Yangon
  Philippines    Cebu    Clark    Kalibo
   Manila
  Thailand    Bangkok    Chiang Mai
  Vietnam    Da Nang    Hanoi
   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
  Malaysia    Miri    Kuching
   Fly from/to Phuket   Indonesia    Jakarta
  Thailand    Chiang Mai
   Fly from/to Singapore   Indonesia    Bali    Semarang    Yogyakarta
   Solo
  Malaysia    Miri    Kota Kinabalu
  Thailand    Bangkok
   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!