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Saw an interesting article today – according to the AP, Air Asia is launching a “Southeast Asia” travel pass.
Chief Executive Tony Fernandes said the AirAsia ASEAN Pass will allow travelers to fly to 10 different destinations in Southeast Asia in one month for 499 ringgit ($148), excluding airport taxes.
He said it will be the “catalyst” for increased air travel within Southeast Asia and also lure foreign tourists.
The pass will be sold from Jan. 15 and further details will be announced at the time, officials said.
In taking a look at Air Asia’s route map, it looks like this could be quite useful to hopping around to different locations throughout Southeast Asia
Again, the details are still forthcoming, and it depends on what is considered “Southeast Asia”. A good guess, based on the fact that this is called an “ASEAN pass” might be the 10 member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which are:
AirAsia is a discount carrier, so the flights aren’t super expensive – I just went to airasia.com and checked a random SIN-BKK flight for February which ran about $50.
Fees and surcharges
One thing to keep in mind is that the ASEAN pass specifically says that the pass will be “excluding airport taxes”. For that hypothetical SIN-BKK flight, the fare was actually only $5 and there were $42 in airport taxes. If those taxes are not included in the $149 monthly pass, and these taxes are typical of the airports in Southeast Asia, then this deal suddenly becomes not that attractive.
Still, I like the innovation of a different kind of option.
Update: With January 15th having come and gone, I reached out to AirAsia to find out if they were still planning on offering the AirAsia ASEAN pass – find out what they said
UPDATE 2/13/2015 – The AirAsia ASEAN pass is now live!