Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Flying Low Cost in South East Asia

Low cost travel is currently one of the most trending things in the world of travel. It is a well known paradigm that precious dollars saved while flying can be used to fly more/longer distances and/or enhance your overall travel experience. But, there is hardly an information source on the web that allows you to book that best deal even though they say that they help land the best deals. Through a fellow traveler, I found a site called wegolo that compares low cost flights across the world, but even that doesn’t help me get the lowest flight rates. It is a pretty good site in its own right though. Hence, I had to devise my own method as I traveled across the length and breadth of South East Asia, one of the supreme low cost belts in the world.

Flying low cost in South East Asia
I would talk to locals to figure out which airlines are good for which zones and then would subscribe to their newsletters, updates and keep track of offers on their Facebook and twitter pages. The end result is that I only paid above $50 and less than $100 for 3 flights and for the rest of all the flights that I took in my 9 month south east Asia trip, I paid below $50 and for some of them, I even paid as low as $11. And these prices include the cost of my check-in baggage. I spent a little bit more time on the web, but ended up flying 3 flights for the cost of one. According to me, my time was justified.

This post aims at sharing my learnings of which low cost airlines work out the cheapest in which country so that you can keep a track of them, follow their updates before you plan your next trip to one of the ten south east Asian countries.

Broadly across the board, there are 4 airlines that you should follow closely cause they give some insanely low prices. They are Air Asia, Tiger Air, Cebu Pacific Airlines and JetStar.

The other ones per country are listed below:

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air, Jetstar, Cebu Pacific

Domestic: Air Asia, Tiger Air, NokAir, Orient Thai Airlines

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air, JetStar

Domestic: NA (only full service flights)

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air, JetStar

Domestic: JetStar, VietJet

International: Air As

Domestic: Lao Airlines (Full service)

Myanmar (Burma) 
International: Air Asia

Domestic: KBZ (Not necessarily budget, but one of the cheapest in Myanmar)

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air

Domestic: Citilink Indonesia, Air Asia, Tiger Mandala, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Batavia airlines (Don’t fly as they crash), Merpati Airlines (Don’t fly as they crash)

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air, JetStar, Scoot

Domestic: Not Applicable

International: Cebu Pacific Airlines, Air Asia (Zest Airways), Tiger Air

Domestic: Cebu Pacific, Air Asia (Zest Airways), Tiger Air, Air Philippines

International: Air Asia, Tiger Air, Cebu Pacific

Domestic: Air Asia, MAS Wings, Firefly

Brunei International: Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, Tiger Air

Domestic: Not Applicable

For wikipedia’s list of low cost airlines by country, click here.

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