We spent one month traveling in Asia, visiting 6 cities in 4 countries, flying over 3,500 miles for just $320! All using the Asean pass from AirAsia
Last year we spent 3 months in Asia traveling to places like Tokyo, Hong Kong and Vietnam. We had such an amazing experience that we knew we wanted to come back and visit even more countries.
We set aside some time and knew we wanted to travel throughout Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. We didn’t have an exact plan, we didn't really know what cities we wanted to visit, but we did know a few things! We wanted a beach, some culture and some really great food. Other than that, we were pretty much open to going anywhere.
It wasn’t until we started researching potential flights that we learned about the Asean pass from AirAsia. As we started looking into it more, we noticed that the pass would allow us go to every country on our list at a bit of a savings.
What exactly is the AirAsia Asean Pass
This pass, available only from AirAsia, allows travelers the ability to book a flexible combination of flights over a 30 or 60 day period to all 10 Asean countries including: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines.
We decided to purchase a 30 day pass for $160 USD each. Each pass gave us 10 credits that we could use to fly to any of the Asean countries. If you're able to travel longer, there is also a 60 day pass available. For a full list of all cites and routes available for this pass, make sure to visit AirAsia's website.
Who is the Asean Pass best for?
Simply said this pass is best for digital nomads like us and travelers that are flexible with their schedule. If you have an exact itinerary you want to follow and need to have your trip planned more than 14 days in advance, this pass probably isn’t for you.
You need to be willing to accommodate your schedule to AirAsia's availability and understand that if a flight is fully booked, you have to choose another option. If you're ideal flight is booked, sit back, relax, buy another ice cold beer for $1 and relax in the beautiful scenery wherever you may be.
Since you can’t travel on the same flight path twice, this pass wouldn't work for travelers making the same flight every few days. For example if you live in Kuala Lumpur and travel to Langkawi often, you will only be able to book one flight, which wouldn't giving you any type of savings.
If you are planning on traveling throughout several Asean countries and have at least 30 days to do it, you should seriously consider this pass. Since AirAsia is the number 1 carrier throughout Asia, chances are you'll end up using their services anyways, so you might as well get the extra savings.
How we used the Asean Pass
We found that the best way to use this pass, was to visit as many cities as we could and be open to visiting destinations we hadn't considered in the past.
We bought the pass while we were in Phuket and knew we wanted to travel to Malaysia. After looking at the flight paths, we saw we could easily travel from Phuket to Singapore and then on to either Malaysia or Cambodia. Once in Singapore we started looking into the cities AirAsia serviced in Malaysia and realized that we had to visit Langkawi and Penang. If it weren't for the pass we never would have thought to stay in Singapore and the small towns in Malaysia - several trips that are definitely our favorites!
This is the flight path we choose, but with 140+ options to choose from, the possibilities are endless!
- Phuket > Singapore - 1 point
- Singapore> Penang - 1 point
- Penang > Langkawi- 1 point
- Langkawi > Kuala Lampur - 1 point
- Kuala Lampur > Siem Reap - 3 points
- Siem Reap > Kuala Lampur - 3 points
Things to Consider
- You are only able to book 14 days in advance, so you have to be flexible in your travels and willing to travel to new destinations.
- You are not able to check availability on flights before you buy the pass. However if you plan on traveling during festivities, public holiday or long weekends, there is a good chance your flight won’t be available.
- If you are a member of AirAsia points program, you can still earn BIG points upon your flight departure
- You are still responsible for paying for taxes, seat selection and baggage fees. Make sure to check the AirAsia website for fees before and pre book your baggage allowance to avoid extra charges.
- Changing your flight is possible, but you will be required to pay a fee and the difference in fare.
- Repeat paths are not allowed. For example, you can go from Phuket to Singapore and then Singapore to Phuket, but you cant go back to Phuket from Singapore.
- Credits cannot be redeemed for cash and you can’t combine credits onto other passes.
- Flights tend to increase in price, the closer you get to takeoff. If you have the Asean Pass, you wont be affected by the increases, because you will be on the credit system.
So would we use the Asean pass again?
Possibly. Fortunately we didn't have any real problems using our passes and when we had to book flights, no glitches arose. I didn't like that some flights weren't available to us as pass holders, yet there was plenty availability for non-pass users. It was a bit frustrating, when our plans unexpectedly changed, but we took it as a chance to play in the ocean some more and sip some cocktails.
We are both flexible with arrangements but now that we've visited many Asean locations, our next trip will be a bit more specific. Not knowing what flights we can/can't take in advance, does make it difficult to plan and make hotel arrangements. If AirAsia allows pass holders to book any flight, or at least the ability to check flights before purchasing the pass, we will without a doubt use it again. After-all travel should be as stress free as possible :)
For more information about AirAsia's Asean Pass, visit their website: