$160 for 10 Flights – Is the Air Asia ASEAN Pass Worth it?

$160 USD for up to 10 flights across Asia. Sounds pretty great right? As with anything too good to be true, the Air Asia ASEAN pass has more than a few catches. This doesn’t mean there aren’t savings to be had with the Air Asia ASEAN pass, it just means you have to be a bit cautious. That’s where I come.

My Route

While living in Chiang Mai my time was spent catching up on writing and doing freelance work. This left little room to plan the next phase of my trip. From the time crunch alone I decided on purchasing the Air Asia ASEAN pass. I figured this would be an easy way to travel for a month. Not completely so. Before I get into why here was my route:

  • Chiang Mai –> Bangkok
  • Bangkok –> Mandalay
  • Mandalay –> Bangkok
  • Bangkok –> Krabi
  • Krabi –> Kuala Lumpur
  • Kuala Lumpur –> Singapore
  • Singapore –> Bali

Not bad for $160 USD right? Guess again.

via Flickr CC @bizmac

Where is the Savings?

The pass is broken down to credits. A $160 USD Air Asia ASEAN pass gets you 10 credits. A $290 USD ASEAN pass gets you 20. These are valid for 30 and 60 days respectively – beginning from the date of your first flight. Short flights are typically 1 credit and go up from there.

Air Asia ASEAN

Credit wise, my route look liked this:

  • Chiang Mai –> Bangkok – 1 CREDIT
  • Bangkok –> Mandalay- 1 CREDIT
  • Mandalay –> Bangkok- 1 CREDIT
  • Bangkok –> Krabi- 1 CREDIT
  • Krabi –> Kuala Lumpur- 1 CREDIT
  • Kuala Lumpur –> Singapore- 1 CREDIT
  • Singapore –> Bali- 3 CREDITS

Total Air Asia ASEAN pass credits = 9

Optically this Air Asia ASEAN pass looks like a steal however, flights on this airline are already ridiculously cheap. If I would have booked my route individually it would’ve looked something like this:

  • Chiang Mai –> Bangkok ~$30
  • Bangkok –> Mandalay ~$23
  • Mandalay –> Bangkok ~$23
  • Bangkok –> Krabi ~$16
  • Krabi –> Kuala Lumpur ~$31
  • Kuala Lumpur –> Singapore ~$17
  • Singapore –> Bali ~$60

Total cost not using Air Asia ASEAN pass = $200

And these prices are before any seat sale or promotion.

Air Asia ASEAN
via Flickr CC @bizmac


Still, you can see there is some savings to be had with Air Asia’s ASEAN pass, however, there are plenty of catches.


cefd b

Love surprises? The Air Asia ASEAN pass has them in spades. First, you need to book your flights 14 days in advance. This isn’t terrible but definitely takes the spontaneity and freedom out of it– something a pass should allow. Second, the Air Asia ASEAN pass can only be used on the lowest (and cheapest) tier of seats. These, obviously, sellout first which means your dates may not be available. In my case, this meant altering my dates and having to pay for my flight to Singapore as the dates I wanted were sold out. There go any savings I had.

Again, a flight pass should equal freedom.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.16.50 PM

Lastly, in my gripe with the Air Asia ASEAN pass – it is not the most convenient when it comes to booking. I bought 2 passes (both in my name) and assigned one to my travel partner. This, for some reason, meant I had to book each flight for each person separately. This was very annoying – especially with booking 8 legs. This meant 16 individual flights, 16 forms to fill out, 16 insurance boxes to decline, and 16 bags to pay for…which brings me to my next point:

Nickel and Dime

Like any discount Airline, Air Asia charges you for plenty of extras. This includes bags, seats selecting, checking in, and taxes. In almost all cases, taxes and fees are more than your actual flight cost. This isn’t something specific to the Air Asia ASEAN pass but something to keep in mind.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.16.39 PM

So is the Air Asia ASEAN Pass Worth it?

For me, no. I found it too restrictive and too time-consuming when I felt it should be the exact opposite. After taxes, fees, and having to pay for one leg out of pocket my savings were null. This doesn’t mean there aren’t savings to be had. If you plan your route well in advance (more than 14 days apparently) and use all your credits (I was only able to use eight out of 10) you can save. Not bad, but not great.

But thus these types of things rarely are.

    Compare prices on flights Asia with Skyscanner


Air Asia ASEAN
via Flickr CC @KamrenB Photography

What say you?
Thoughts on the Air Asia ASEAN Pass?
Let’s hear it!

For more reviews from Asia and beyond see HERE.

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12 replies on “$160 for 10 Flights – Is the Air Asia ASEAN Pass Worth it?”
  1. Avatarsays: Imran

    Great and informative post, thank you for taking the time to put this together.

  2. Avatarsays: Monsieur J.

    Thanks for this illuminating article. I was wondering about the Asean pass real utility. But I have a question for you: where have you found 23$ flight from Bkk to Mandalay? Looking on Kayak, for example, the cheapest one-way is 143$… Thanks!

  3. Avatarsays: Romain Cegoni

    I really wish that we saw this post before booking our AirAsia passes. My partner and I booked our passes under my account hoping that this would actually be a discount pass. It was the exact opposite. When one of us booked a flight, we were taking our chances and hoping there would be an additional seat for the other. The flight patterns are also tricky, we thought that we would be allowed to have a few options when booking one city to the next, however there is limited flights for the AirAsia pass and we would have to return to the first city we booked out of. We would have to pay additional fees (about $40NZ per person per flight) and after assessing the prices this pass has way to many restrictions and way to many fees. Not recommended.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear. Unfortunately with these types of things you are forced to work within their rooms in order to make it worthwhile. Cost aside, hopefully your trip was awesome!

      Thanks for the comment. Hopefully it will help the next person!

  4. Avatarsays: Nana SiCharlie

    Thanks for the input, I was thinking of whether it is worth to buy the pass or just the conventional way, as I am not a big fan of restrictions etc, I guess this article helps a lot in making my decision, thanks!

  5. Avatarsays: Melissa Gardner

    Great tips! Thanks for the heads up. I read about this deal and was wondering if it was worth it.

  6. Avatarsays: Harly Smith

    When I read the title I thought it was too good to be true. Damn. Still, $200 for all those places is pretty incredible don’t you think?


Comments are closed.