Life in TransitA Digital Nomad in Asia

AirAsia 499 RM to 10 Destinations in South East Asia: Is It A Good Deal?

The AirAsia ASEAN Pass will allow travellers to fly to 10 different destinations in Southeast Asia in one month for 499 ringgit, excluding airport taxes. 1

Starting January 15, 2015, you can reach 10 different destinations in the South East Asian region for only 499 RM (149 USD).

At first, I was under the initial impression that it was a flat fee you pay to travel to any 10 destinations at any time for a month, which would be an amazing deal. I wrote the headline for this post to reflect that.

However as I investigated about the deal, I chanced upon AirAsia’s own travel magazine states that “it acts as a single currency system where the routes are valued according to a credit system”. 2

Local newspaper, The Star, expands on the system, stating it’s 500 RM (Malaysian currency) for 10 credits, an average of 50 RM per credit. Or 900RM for 20 credits, bringing down the price per credit. 3

The Malay Mail further adds to the confusion where it states that “travellers on a 10-flight pass can visit 10 different destinations covered by AirAsia with no repeats over a one-month time frame.” 4

Is it 10 flights, 10 credits, or limited to 10 destinations?

Since AirAsia’s own magazine states that “routes are valued according to a credit system”, this doesn’t seem as amazing a deal.

It just means you’re pre-paying for flights, maybe at a slightly discounted rate. If indeed The Star’s report is accurate and it’s 50 RM per credit, you could end up paying more for a trip from, say Kuala Lumpur, to Penang, where you could book a trip for 39 RM – less than the cost of one credit.

RM 39 for KUL to PEN

RM 39 for KUL to PEN

The credits do not include airport surcharges, which would make the AirAsia deal 1 credit + 5 RM for that KUL – PEN journey. Potentially 16 RM more than a traveller could have paid.

For other routes, the price simply scales with the “credit price” of the route.

Furthermore, to take full advantage of this deal, you will have to fly every three days if you make short trips.

Perhaps there would be some savings as we don’t know the “credit price” of each route.

It’s just too bad it isn’t a flat fee for any of 10 destinations. I could think of at least three places AirAsia flies to for about 200 RM each where I could spend a week each. 🙂

Posted in: Journal