AirAsia ASEAN Pass is a flight credit pass that allows you to purchase flights all over ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. You purchase credits and exchange those credits to flight seats, 1 credit for less than 2-hour flights and 3 credits for more. You only need to pay the airport taxes and fees. We used it on our trip across Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, saving us thousands of Pesos in airfare. Click here to read more about that trip.
Types of Passes
There are two types of passes, 10 Credits and 20 Credits. Since we would be using 11 Credits for our trip, we purchased the 20 Credits pass and used the remaining on other local destinations. Once purchased, you may use the pass within 1 year. BUT, when you avail your first flight, you must use all the credits within 30 Days (for 10 Credits) or 60 Days (for 20 Credits) or they will expire.
When purchasing the pass, we paid in MYR because it’s the cheapest out of all the currencies. You may also pay in PHP, but the price difference is noticeable. With bank conversions and service charges, we were charged PHP 11,998.03 (purchased in June 2018) for the MYR 888 20 Credits Pass per person. Compare that to PHP 12,900 when you pay in peso directly to AirAsia. That’s almost 1K already! For the 10 Credits Pass, it’s MYR 499 (around PHP 6,600-6,800) or PHP 7,200 when you pay in peso.
Is it a Scam?
Before purchasing the pass, I’ve read reviews of people feeling like they got scammed or ripped off by AirAsia. But based on my experience, it was just their lack of understanding of how the pass works. It is important to check first if the routes you want to buy have available seats. AirAsia allots only a few seats per flight for ASEAN Pass holders, obviously if they don’t limit it then that would be bad business for them. So check first, and make sure that the routes do not have a “limited seats available” label, because they might get sold out before you purchase them.
Also, it’s important to know that ASEAN Pass has a different web page for searching flights. You can only redeem your credits by searching from that webpage and not at the main AirAsia flight search page. Here’s the URL for that page:
At the time of our purchase, the flights available for the ASEAN Pass from Manila were limited to Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, and Ho Chi Minh. Since our first destination was Vientiane, we connected through KL, but purchased a MNL-KLIA2 flight from a different airline. We went with Cebu Pacific because their late night schedule (compared to the late afternoon of AirAsia) fits perfectly with our itinerary. But writing this now 5 months after, they added new routes for Manila including Bangkok, Jakarta, and Bali! If Bangkok was available at that time, we could have just purchased the 10 Credits pass connecting through DMK instead of KLIA2.
Here’s a breakdown of the flights we purchased using the AirAsia ASEAN Pass:
Route – Credits + Airport Taxes and Fees
Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane – 3 Credits + 39 MYR
Luang Prabang to Bangkok – 1 Credit + 16.42 USD
Bangkok to Mandalay – 1 Credit + 860 THB
Yangon to Kuala Lumpur – 3 Credits + 23.25 USD
Kuala Lumpur to Manila – 3 Credits + 39 MYR
Manila to Puerto Princesa – 1 Credit + 277.40 PHP
Puerto Princesa to Manila – 1 Credit + 292.40 PHP
Manila to Ilo-ilo – 1 Credit + 277.40 PHP
Ilo-ilo to Manila – 1 Credit + 292.40 PHP
Manila to Tagbilaran – 1 Credit + 277.40 PHP
Tagbilaran to Manila – 1 Credit + 192.40 PHP
Manila to Davao – 1 Credit + 277.40 PHP
Davao to Manila – 1 Credit + 292.40 PHP
So for a total of 13 Flights, we used up to 19 of our 20 Credits. We wanted to maximize it but we didn’t have enough time, and we were spending too much money on travel already on those 60 Days!! And to be honest, we already saved a lot even with just 19 credits, comparing it if we were to buy those flights separately without the pass.
There are only a few downsides when using this pass. One is the short validity making you compress your schedule tightly. I wish it was longer, maybe 45 Days for 10 Credits and 90 Days for 20 Credits? They could even double the current 30/60 days allocation. Another is that you can’t have layovers. You can only fly directly, and if you want to have connecting flights, you have to purchase them separately and go through immigration in between. So on our Yangon to Manila journey, we had to connect through Kuala Lumpur and have 2 bookings. And when we arrived at KL, we went through immigration and customs and had to check-in again, before we continued our journey. All that even though both our flights are the same airline and terminal. But to be fair, having the option of connecting flights might make the booking process for the ASEAN Pass too complicated, so I understand that they stick with direct flights only.
One thing to take note of when purchasing separate bookings is to allot at least 4 hours of time in between the two flights. That covers going back and forth to the land and air side of the airport. If the terminals are different, then add at least an hour just to be safe.
AirAsia ASEAN Pass, Yay or Nay?
Overall, I think that the AirAsia ASEAN Pass was worth the try. If we compute each credit as 600 Pesos (12,000/20), you can have an idea of how much our flights were. We only paid around a total of PHP 11,218.38 for our flights across Kuala Lumpur-Vientiane-Luang Prabang-Bangkok-Mandalay-Yangon-Kuala Lumpur-Manila. To add our first flight from Cebu Pacific (PHP 2,938), we only spent PHP 14,156.38 total for our North Indochina Trip Flights. We used our remaining credits on domestic flights, which were all less than PHP 2,000 each roundtrip! The pass was a great deal for us and I hope that you’re considering it on your next multi-country trip. I only had a few flights with AirAsia before, but after using this pass, they’re gonna be seeing a lot of me in the future!
To learn more about the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, click here: