There are three key changes that devalue the pass though:
1. The 30-day travel pass is now $160 instead of previously reported $150.
2. $160 is good for 10 “credits,” NOT 10 flights.
3. Not all AirAsia routes within the Asean zone are available on this pass.
Numbers 2 and 3 are the big ones.
The Asean Pass Credit System
Each Asean pass-qualified route has been designated with a “credit value.” Routes are either 1 credit or 3 credits (no routes are valued at 2 credits). So theoretically, you could still get 10 flights in the 30-day period if you flew only 1 credit routes.
Here is an example of the credit system provided by AirAsia:
Available Routes Using the AirAsia Asean Pass
AirAsia operates a direct Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur flight (I just took it this week). This route, however, is not covered with the pass. (2/27 UPDATE: This route IS covered by the pass for 3 credits. Thanks to reader redditor for pointing that out in the comments. I must have missed it the first time around). The only routes out of Chiang Mai that are covered are all domestic: Hat Yai, Krabi, Surat Thani, and Phuket.
The routes that ARE covered make it very hard to form a fluid line of travel. For example, three of the four destinations I could reach from Chiang Mai are dead ends on the pass. No routes out of Hat Tai, Krabi, or Surat Thani are eligible on the pass, and only one destination from Phuket is reachable, Udon Thani. This makes it very hard to form a cohesive trip. For a lot of people, this either means cash flights to fill in the gaps or long bus rides.
Is The AirAsia Asean Pass Still A Good Deal?
Even though the pass has lost a lot of value (the dream of 10 connecting flights for one big roundtrip for $150 is long gone), this pass still has good value to the right person. Even if you flew three 3-credit routes and one 1-credit route, that’s still 4 flights for $160, an average of $40 each flight.
A Sample Itinerary Using the AirAsia Asean Pass
We probably don’t have enough time left in SE Asia to make use of this pass, but here’s an itinerary I would take if I did buy the pass:
- Chiang Mai to Bangkok (Cash flight ~$20)
- Bangkok to Bali (3 credits)
- Bali to Yogyakarta (1 credit)
- Yogyakarta to Jakarta (Cash flight ~$30)
- Jakarta to Singapore (1 credit)
- Singapore to Penang (1 credit)
- Penang to Kuala Lumpur (Cash flight ~$10)
- KL to Cebu (3 credits)
- Cebu to Cagayan de Oro (1 credit)
That’s flights between 5 countries for ~$220… not bad. That’s a pretty busy 30-day itinerary though, which increases the attractiveness of the AirAsia Asean Pass +, which gives 20 credits over 60 days for $290.
Make sure to read the full rules at the bottom of the page as certain restrictions have been put in place. Here are a few of the big ones:
1. Each route can only be redeemed once using an AirAsia Asean Pass. For example, you can’t fly from KL to Singapore, back to KL, and then back to Singapore on one pass.
2. Flights need to be redeemed at least 14 days before departure. This means no last minute, fly by the seat of your pants travel plans.
3. The pass is valid for 1 year from date of purchase. But once you start using it, you have to use it up within 30 or 60 days depending on which pass you buy.
The AirAsia Asean pass is good for travel across 10 Asean countries: Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Philippines. You can buy your pass here.