Budget airline AirAsia has announced the launch of the Asean Pass and Asean Pass +, enabling travelers to fly around southeast Asia at unbelievably low rates. Similar to JetBlue's All You Can Jet pass, the ASEAN and ASEAN Pass+ offer credits applicable for redemption on select routes within the following 10 countries: Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines. A renewed enthusiasm is felt as the company begins to move forward after the tragic events of Flight 8501 this past December. As CEO Tony Fernandes remarks, "The pass allows us to bridge communities and attract more foreign tourists to the region- it’s the perfect instrument to promote Asean integration."
The Asean Pass costs 10 credits and Asean Pass+ is 20 credits. Routes are either 1 credit (below 2 hours duration) or 3 credits (2 hours or more), enabling you to spend more time discovering Southeast Asia without worrying about flight price fluctuations. The pass can also be purchased as a gift for another traveler.
There are several points of the terms and conditions you'll want to bear in mind before you rush to purchase a pass. First, you can't complete the same exact route more than once. Second, you still have to pay the airport taxes and fees. Last, travel must be booked two weeks in advance and completed 30 or 60 days, depending on the pass you purchase.
Check airport fees in advance by going to IATA's website and selecting a country underneath "Customs, Currency, and Airport Information"
So, how do you make the most of this incredible offer? According to Hopper, good deals for round-trip tickets from NYC to major hubs like Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will range from $780 to $1000. Below, scroll through my advice on how to make this your most meaningful trip ever.
Southeast Asia is known for a number of touristic activities with wildlife and children that can do more harm than good. Do a bit of research and book tours and volunteer experiences with elephants, for example, with reputable operators.
To purchase a pass and read the full terms and conditions, head on over to AirAsia's website. Do you have plans to travel to Southeast Asia this year? I'd love to hear more about where you're going!