Asian budget airline AirAsia announced a seemingly incredible offer this week: 10 flights within the space of a month to any of ten countries. The deal, called the ASEAN Pass, will cost $160. There’s also a more expensive version that includes 20 flights that can be used over the course of 60 days.
For context, each flight on the cheaper pass costs a mind bogglingly low $16. That’s less than it costs to take an Uber from LAX to Hollywood. It’s only a dollar more than the cost of riding public transit from JFK to Manhattan and back again (assuming you use the AirTrain and the subway). It’s less than any long distance bus I have ever taken.
Flights using the ASEAN Pass have to be booked two weeks in advance. The prices also do not include all taxes and fees. The countries served by the pass include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Burma, and Brunei.
The overall effect is that the flight functions kind of like an Asian, air version of a Eurail pass. I once used an equivalent flight pass to travel for a month in Brazil — though it was far more expensive — and it proved to be a fantastic experience. The prospect of seeing much of Asia the same way is extremely enticing.
AirAsia, of course, is currently most famous internationally for the plane that crashed while flying from Indonesia to Singapore in December. But if that tragedy doesn’t deter you from using the airline — and in my case it would not — this is an incredible deal.
— Jim Dalrymple II