ASEAN Pass, a cheap way to travel by flying

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Have you ever heard about ASEAN Pass? Well, probably not. I myself have just heard it today, too. Not from Indonesia government, not from travel agencies, but the offer comes from Malaysia Airlines ads in newspaper today (29/July).

Visit ASEAN
Pass

Visit ASEAN Pass (VAP) have been introduced by joint government of ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations) to boost tourism industries among member countries. But sadly that the promotion so far is unheard, at least here in Indonesia. It is not new, in 2006 VAP was also introduced but the feedbacks were little.

There are 3 kind of passes: ASEAN Air Pass, Hotel Pass, and Tour Pass. Details are not clear in their website (since it is a B2B portal for travel agencies, not for consumer), but I want to elaborate ASEAN Air Pass.

Asean Pass promotion valid until Nov 30, 2009 and offer traveler 4 flight between ASEAN countries. For example Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur, then continue to Bangkok, fly again to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam, then back to Jakarta Indonesia. All flights must be between countries, we cannot use this pass for domestic flight in a country. The ASEAN Pass for 4 leg of journeys is offered in a fixed price by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) : USD 229 (link, this price need to be confirmed since different than official ASEAN fares). Very cheap way to explore ASEAN! See official ASEAN Pass fare here.

ASEAN Pass offers passengers the best value deal for travel on a maximum of four flights within ASEAN countries for only USD229 on economy class and USD729 on business class.

I don't see that Garuda Indonesia start offering this kind of pass, but if you see again the Visit ASEAN Pass website, it is stated that each country's airlines are participating in this program: MH / PR / TG / QV / 8M / VN / GA / PG, that meansMalaysia Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Thai Air, Lao Air, Philippine Air are included.

The procedure is we have to buy/prepay 4 vouchers (actually we can buy 3-5 voucher per persons) from appointed travel agents, then use each voucher to issue each leg of flights in IX-ePriNz ticketing system. All journey must be completed within 3 months. You can only buy "Y" class fare of ticket on any airlines.

For now -if you interested- I suggest to find a travel agent that sells Malaysia Airlines ticket, they must be selling these vouchers.

Let us now wait for more details for this in next few weeks, or if no heard news anymore then I belive that those airlines don't put much effort in promoting this pass (since it is cheaper than their promo fare).

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