I recently had the good fortune of booking nearly 4 months of flights around Asia for practically nothing. That’s right, with some planning and flexibility, it is possible to book free flights around Asia!
I thought I would share some of my experience in the hopes that it will encourage more people to start packing and head off on a trip around the world!
This article will focus on booking with the popular budget airline, AirAsia. There are a number of budget airlines operating in Asia, and these tips could potentially work with any of them. In my mind, however, AirAsia is the king of cheap travel around Asia.
The plan to take a year-long honeymoon started long ago, but really swung into action when I got an email from AirAsia announcing their 5-Million Free Seat Giveaway. I instantly recognized this as an amazing opportunity to start planning our trip.
The only problem was getting into the range of AirAsia’s flight routes.
The cheapest ticket ended up being a $100 flight to Bali, Indonesia on May, 7th.
With that flight booked, and the start date for our honeymoon officially finalized. Now the real planning began.
By the end of the promotion, we were able to plan nearly 4 months of 1-way travel around Asia. These free flights around Asia have us visiting cities both large and small; cities both touristy, and out of the way.
AirAsia has saved us hundreds of dollars on our trip so far! Keeping this money in our pocket will let us splurge on other experiences as we travel.
AirAsia Online Booking Process
I assume that most readers have had experience booking a flight before. But, how often do you turn to a mobile App when you book a flight?
Currently, mobile devices have become the top source for internet traffic globally. However, most people look to book plane tickets online rather than from a mobile device. I think this is due to a few reasons.
- Flight Apps tend to be clunky
- A lot of research typically goes into a flight booking
- Many people feel more comfortable inputting payment information on a computer than on a cell phone
Although booking a flight online from AirAsia.com is fairly simple and convenient there are a few reasons to use AirAsia’s mobile App. It will provide us with a few ways to save money on our next flight around Asia.
Skipping The Up-sales
For better or worse budget airlines make their money from optional upgrades and purchases. If we want to stick to a tight budget we will need to cut out as many optional purchases as we can. However, if you do want to make additional purchases you are in luck.
Air Asia has reasonable prices on many services like:
- $20 for a 20kg checked luggage
- $6 for an in-flight meal
But, to get truly free flights around Asia, we will need to skip all the fees and tough out any potential discomfort.
Get Air Asia’s Big Loyalty App
AirAsia’s Big Loyalty APP is a great resource for cheap flights around Asia. The Big Loyalty APP lets you redeem flights with your AirAsia loyalty points. They will often have member-only discounts on flights so it pays to check the app frequently, and sign up for email alerts.
Don’t worry, you can still score free flights even if you’ve never flown with AirAsia.
You will need to download the Big Loyalty App and register for a membership account.
After you have an account set up with AirAsia, you just need to sit back and wait for a promotion. When I say promotion I’m talking about the Free Seat Promotions that AirAsia has been running lately.
Free flights are available to many destinations around Asia, meaning that you don’t need the be located in Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia’s Hub, to book free flights!
Booking on AirAsia’s Big Loyalty APP
Booking a flight on the AirAsia Big Loyalty app is how we are going to find our free flights in Asia.
To use the app we will need to log in, so make sure you have an account set up.
There isn’t any AirAsia promotion currently so disregard the numbers used for this sample booking.
On the home screen, we can see current promotions and offers based on our current location.
Air Asia doesn’t send many flights through Taipei so my current choices are limited.
However, it is possible to check flight offers for other cities. You will just need to click the edit button next to the departure city and make your selection.
Choose from the list of available departures. This will vary based on the current promotion.
We chose Kuala Lumpur as it is AirAsia’s HQ and a major transit hub in South East Asia. Usually, flying out of Kuala Lumpur will provide you with the greatest range of budget-friendly options.
Now we can see a list of prices for each destination.
We have selected Sydney as the destination for our Air Asia promo flight.
Choose the preferred dates for your flight. If flights are unavailable we can always change the flight date later on.
We can see the flight cost once we have our dates selected.
Remember, flight costs on the Big Loyalty App are listed in Air Asia’s Big Points. The point cost will be zero if we book during the free flight promotion.
The cost of our flight – listed in Big Points of course.
After selecting our flight, we can see a list of optional purchases to enhance our flight.
- Seat Selection
- Travel Insurance
If you need any of these services you can make the selection here.
Finally, we are ready to make our payment.
As you can see there are two different factors in the price.
- Base Fare – what Air Asia charges for the flight.
- Taxes – Various taxes imposed by governments and airports
The base fare we want to look will come in at 0 – Big Points.
The taxes for this flight come out to roughly $48, which is more expensive than you would see for a domestic flight.
Can I get free flights around Asia?
But, getting free flights around Asia will be easier if you are already living in or around South-East Asia. Being able to schedule holidays around the promotion dates makes everything much easier.
Another option is to book free flights with AirAsia as part of a longer trip.
Why not add a couple of other destinations to your itinerary?
For example, if you planned on taking a month-long vacation to Bangkok you could;
- Visit Kota Kinabalu or other destinations around Sabah
- Spend the weekend in ever glamourous Singapore
- Take a quick flight to neighboring Myanmar or Cambodia
There are countless possibilities if you are flexible and want to do more exploration around Asia.
There are two things you can do to stay updated so you don’t miss the next AirAsia Promo Sale.
- Sign up for an account with AirAsia to get email updates
- Follow Adventure Filled Life on Facebook as we will share any information with our followers
Here are a few screencaps of flights that were available at 0-points. These are just a sample of the numerous other free flights available.
With enough planning, it is possible to use connections between free flights create massive itineraries.
By the end of the last promotion, we were able to book a total of 8 free flights around Asia! We are currently planning our RTW honeymoon so flying with AirAsia has ensured that we will travel farther and longer without breaking the bank!
Good luck with your next booking!