A few weeks ago, I wrote about what I thought was a fairly decent deal that was being put forth by AirAsia, the AirAsia Asean Pass. Basically there were two types of Passes available: a ten credit ASEAN Pass which cost $160 and a twenty credit ASEAN Pass Plus at a cost of $290. The Ten Credit ASEAN Pass allows for ten flight credits and is good for 30 days from the start of travel. The Plus Pass allows for twenty flight credits and is good for 60 days from the start of travel. Here is a link to the website with the details of the pass.
Today I received a comment on that post from Joseph who writes the blog, Your Travel Path. He describes himself as an artist and a geographer who is “passionate about living a life of global travel.” From the photographs that he has shared on his blog, I can see that this is definitely a true statement!
At any rate, he and Rose purchased the Asean Pass because they thought it would fit nicely into their travel plans throughout Southeast Asia. Knowing that the pass only covered the base fare and not airport taxes and fees, he determined that they would be able to save a little money by using the Asean Pass. There are some pretty stringent rules regarding the pass including no route could be flown twice and flights have to be booked within a certain time frame. However, what he did not know was that all flights offered by AirAsia are not bookable with the Asean Pass. Then, as he and Rose continued to try to book flights, there were more and more issues with being able to book tickets with one pass but not the other. They also experienced payment problems when trying to book tickets. Multiple attempts at contacting AirAsia customer service left them frustrated and with few answers. Reaching out to the Twitter team seemed to help – but only slightly.
Joseph has written a great account of the problems he has encountered, so if you are thinking of purchasing the Asean pass, I would strongly suggest you hop over to Your Travel Path and read Joseph’s post: AirAsia Asean Pass: Limited Routes, Payment Problems and more. And while you are there, take the time to check out the photographs from his travels. They are absolutely stunning!
The Asean Pass is a great concept, but for it to work as Tony Fernandes and his team envisioned it, I believe it is going to need an overhaul.