Air Asia ASEAN Pass: What is it, How to do, and My Setting to Maximize my ASEAN Trip in the Span of Two Weeks

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So, there’s this ASEAN Pass Promotion going on in Air Asia website. What is it? It’s a Pass, both 10 credits and 20 credits ones, available to be changed into flight based on their credits value, in between ASEAN countries.

There are a few terms to note, such as no repeat flight, only valid for 30 days, and only bare necessities it can get the pass for 160 USD (10 credits) or 290 USD (20 credits), of which, if you convert it into 10 one-credit flights, each. But! There’s a lot of terms (normal for this kind of thing) that you must follow. Oh, and it wasn’t there when I bought it, but there’s a 10% discount of inbound flight (for visiting your starting ASEAN city from your country)

I plan to visit my friends around ASEAN, so I think, why not?

  1. What’s ASEAN?

Maybe you don’t have any information about this. ASEAN, or Association of South East Asia Nations, as it name, is a association of 10 countries located in the South-Eastern part of ASIA. Those 10 countries are Brunei, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Yes, that includes famous tourist destinations like Bangkok, Singapore, Bali, KL, Siem Reap, Phuket, and others.

  1. How to buy?

It’s pretty easy to buy. Just go into the ASEAN Pass page, choose the 10 credits or the 20 credits ones, and pay with credit cards (or debit card with vbv. I haven’t tried VCC).

The pass will be valid for one year. You can book your first flight, and the credits will be valid until 30 days since your first flight (10 credits) or 60 days (20 credits).

If you really have spare times for your travel, you can book the 20 credits one (it’s cheaper than buying 2 10s). Or you can just buy the 10 one. And Buy the other 10 if you need more.

You can gift this pass to 5 other people, but remember that you need to write their names on the pass so that they can use it.

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The web interface. I started exchange credit for first flight, 30 July 2015, hence last flight is 30 Agustus 2015. Sorry it’s mine, it’s in Indonesian, haha.

  1. So, what’s the catch?
  • You need to pay for things other than flying . Means, you can only bring carry in + without food
  • You cannot change the flight once you exchange the credits
  • Airport taxxxx. Seriously, I think my airport tax (esp. to SG) are more expensive the credit spend for the flight
  • Only a few available flights, usually the first one or the last one, in some dates. Be careful of holidays! I think because of this I chose to fly from Bandung compared to from Jakarta, because it has more option. This usually disturb your perfectly planned trip, because you have booked your flight and stuck because there’s no available flight. BE careful esp. to favourite places with less connecting flights
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My suggestion is that you take notes of your itinerary and the dates, check if the flights are available or not first, then book after everything’s ok (my paranoid self just choose to print screen the available flights to complain if suddenly they vanishes)

  • No repeating flight, but yes to return flight (meaning that after exchange a credit for Jakarta-Singapore, you can still exchange Singapore-Jakarta, but no more Jakarta-Singapore. This is a nice way to prevent commuter, it seems. If you really want it, you can do Jakarta-Johor Johor-Singapore (which is pointless, but yeah for example))
  • After you book your first flight, you only have 30 days period between first flight date until the last flight date. Which, if you plan to do 10 flights, in average you can spend 3 nights in each cities.
  • Book no later than 14 days before a flight
  • If you’re Indonesian wanting to save money for local flight, forget it. Previously it’s 1 credits flight for local flight but the law’s changed so no 1 credit for you Indonesian! I think it’s cheaper than normal flight, nonetheless. Maybe if you want?
  • You have to spend your credits based on this chart. Meaning, if you want 10 flights, you need to choose the 1 credit ones. You have to choose wisely. Sometimes hopping between cities will take less credits than straight flight (example Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur)

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  • You can hop between cities where Air Asia are available. Meaning, if you want to visit both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, you can’t go SR-PP but has to do SR-BKK-PP
  • Can exchange one pass and one credit at a time
  • No children under 12 (so you can’t do a family trip with children)

How’s my own experience with it?

  • Buy it in May 2015 (I forget), with my Verified by Visa card). I chose the 10 credits ones. Valid until May 2016
  • I only have two weeks, so will cramp my itinerary in 2 weeks!
  • I’m based I Java (but not in Jakarta or Bandung, but they are the closest airport, so first flight is from either Jakarta or Bandung)
  • I really want to visit all countries by that 10 credits!! With combining it with overland means. But I only have two weeks, sigh

And My problem with this credits!! Is Brunei (I want to visit it but it takes 6 credits in total just to enter and go out). Is Manila (3 credits from KL, 4 from KL if you take one credit-flights) and Myanmar (one credit is only from/ to Bangkok and 3 credits from KL)

Anyway, the proposed itineraries to maximise profit trips*

* () by other means, not by flight

* You can change Jakarta to Bandung actually (but not the reverse, because JKT only connect with SG in one-credit mean)

10 credits

JKT-SG-Krabi/Phuket-BKK-HCM-(Phnom Penh-HCM)-KL-Kuching-Kinabalu-(Brunei-Kinabalu)-Kuching-Johor-JKT

  • Total 5 countries visited and 10 cities. If you really want to visit Brunei.
  • You can save until 7 countries visited if you do the () over land

JKT-SG-BKK-HCM-(Phnom Penh-HCM)-KL—Brunei (-Kinabalu)-Kuching-Johor-JKT

  • Total 4 countries and 9 cities. But you get to visit Brunei! In less hassle! But you’re sacrificing 3 flights. And still do overland.
  • You can save to 6 countries with overland. If you really want, the Indochina can be visited all with overland means. It just take longer time. Voila, 7 countries

JKT-SG-(a night train to)-KL-(Bangkok/Phnom Penh, up to you. Then try to go round from there)—Brunei(-Kinabalu)-Cebu-Kinabalu-Kuching-KL(a night train back) SG-JKT

  • Other option available with 10 flights to visit all 10 countries. Still do a lot of overland transports in Indochina though. Oh, and can reduce Cebu-KL to 3 credits
  • My plan at last because two weeks, But in reverse. I’ve exchanged about 4 credits when I realise that I can actually extend until 3 weeks >> can do overland travel. Sigh.
  • Bad thing is that Kinabalu-Cebu Cebu-Kinabalu couldn’t be find when I was planning to spend my credit. For real. Sigh.

JKT-SG-Phuket-Udon Thani-(Vientiane-Udon Thani)-Bangkok–HCM/ Hanoi-Bangkok-Phnohm Penh-KL-Johor-BDG

Total 6 countries

Total 7 countries. So only 1 overland atleast, about 4 hours.

20 credits for all craziness!!

JKT-SG-Phuket-Udon Thani-(Vientiane-Udon Thani)-Bangkok-Yangoon-Bangkok-HCM/ Hanoi-Bangkok-Phnohm Penh/ Siem Reap-KL-Kuching-Kinabalu-(Brunei-Kinabalu)-Cebu-Manila-Cebu-Kinabalu-Kuching-Johor-JKT

  • And Myanmar!! And visiting Manila. If you want only Cebu you can reduce Manila. This you have 1 more credit left

A few notes! (esp. for me to remember):

  • Siem Reap is the place where Angkor Vat is. So no 1 credit cause it’s a famous dest. Alternative is using bus form Phnom Penh
  • There’s a night train from Singapore-KL. You can reduce a night’s hostel fare
  • There’s a night train from Bangkok-Vientiane. You can also reduce a night’s hostel fare
  • There’s a Singapore-Johor Bus
  • There’s also Miri-Brunei bus. (update: I used this! It was an experience, especially for Indonesian)
  • The closest city in Thailand to Vientiane is Udon Thani. There’s a bus about 4 hours.
  • You can go to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi
  • If you want to visit Bali, I really suggest flying. But there’s a bus option but it taaaaakes long (about a day(?))
  • Jakarta-Bandung there’s shuttle bus. About 3 hours
  • Jakarta-Yogyakarta, there’s a train option for about 8 hours
  • Lombok is east from Bali. Best will be flight

I’ve exchanged all my credits now (and paying airport taxes), my flight is still in about 2 weeks, so no stories yet about that part.

See you after the trip then.

Sources: Air Asia ASEAN Pass Website, my own itinenary (no programming, haha)

About Ky

Currently Indonesian university student trying to submit more useful contents to share one's limited knowledge. Rather has wide, shallow interests, the writings will be as sporadic as it can be. Should write more scientific and field related topics, but writing muse says otherwise. Expect more on technical related writings especially softwares and apps, cultures, music, and random things.

Posted on July 16, 2015, in Personalizing, Rambling, Reviewing, Traveling and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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