Nov 24

AirAsia Attractive Flight Crew Regional Flight Travel in Asia has come a long way over the last decade. While flights around the region used to cost hundreds of Dollars until still in the late 90’s, this changed dramatically with the introduction of Budget Airlines in Asia, just a few years into the new millennium.

Nowadays, brands like Jet Star, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific Airlines and Air Asia are common household names, who revolutionized the ways people in Asia travel. Especially Air Asia, ‘World’s best low-cost airline’ in 2010 (according to Skytrax) deserves further mentioning, if you have no money to waste and plan to fly as cheap as possible in Asia.

What’s to know about Air Asia

Air Asia is without any doubt the pioneer of low-cost flights in this part of the world, having introduced ticket-less travel and constantly innovating new routes and undercutting the prices of its competition. Originally started by Tony Fernandes, an entrepeneur who copied the Southwest Airlines and Ryan Air business models for adaptation in Malaysia, it relaunched in 2001 from its hub in Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsia X Long-Distance Promotion to Paris Since then the airline expanded heavily into the region, having today subsidiaries and additional hubs in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia and even flying to destinations in Europe (like UK or Paris) or Australia with the introduction of its ‘Air Asia X’ service.

They also ventured into the hotel business with the opening of Tune Hotels in various countries and online financial services with Tune Money.

Currently Air Asia is serving over 400 daily flights with an almost flawless incident record since its inception. Prices start as low as 0$ plus fees and service charges and with a little bit of preparation literally ‘now everyone can fly’ for budget rates.

Here is what you need to know, to ensure you are getting the cheapest possible prices, if you are planning to fly with Air Asia to destinations in the region:


12. Only Book Online

AirAsia Website Air Asia also has booking offices around the region, but the real deals only happen on the internet. The booking offices might be able to find flights faster for you, as they are more experienced and are booking hundreds of flights every day, but I saw them using the very same web interface like anybody else. So there is no real advantage in using them to get around server limitations by being able to use another booking system. Also you will most likely have to queue with other travelers and he opening hours of those booking offices make them all but useless for using them during ticket promotions.

On top of that, they charge commissions on your ticket price. You are much better off getting a real good deal by booking your own flight ticket via the Air Asia website.


11. Book during Air Asia Promotions

While the standard fares of the airline might seem fairly low compared to their full-service counterparts and even other budget airline competitors, the real good deals can only be had during their promotional periods. Here you can find ticket prices for as low as 0$ plus service charges and fees. Myself and friends enjoyed already flights for instance from Bali to Jakarta for as low as 5$ all in all or for 25$ between Bali and Singapore, one way. This is the best way to save on standard fares, but you might have to prepare yourself for some hours in front of your computer with hopefully a fast internet connection to accessing Air Asia’s notoriously slow and overloaded servers.


10. Subscribe to their newsletter

Nobody likes another dozens of spam mails each week, but this one is really useful. Air Asia Ticket promotions are usually announced on short notice and start for periods of 3-7 days at a certain day at midnight. The best flights with the lowest prices are usually gone within 10-30 minutes after promotions start. So you are better off, if you know about those promotions beforehand. Only then you can make quick, yet qualified decisions during your flight bookings. The newsletter will make sure, that you don’t miss out on any promo.


9. Register an Account on

Another account and password to remember you might ask? Yes. This one makes booking so much easier, as you don’t have to type in your personal details over and over again for each flight you want to book. Account Login

Especially during Online Promotions the automatic insertion of your credentials saves valuable minutes during which the cheapest prices could be gone already.


8. Compare price trends before you book

Check the prices of other Budget Airlines via their websites and use tools likes Air Asia Price Charts to get a better feeling for Air Asia’s current price trends and demand for certain routes.

Price Trend Chart KUL-DPSIf there is low demand for routes and you are flexible with your flight dates, you could always wait for a promotion to pop up for your destination over the next couple of weeks. Of course you can always book a flight for the standard fare, if you really need to go on a certain date. But you either have more time or more money, so flexibility can pay off big time here. Return flights might be differently priced as well, those tools will help you to find out about it.


7. Do your homework before trying to book

That might sounds like a no-brainer, but most people don’t do it. Sometimes it’s hard to get information about departure and arrival times before the start of promotions. Especially when new routes are introduced, this information is usually only revealed after the promotion started already.

With existing routes this is less of a problem and you can look up flights dates anytime online. If you need to book connecting flights with other airlines, it pays off to know before-hand, if your next flight will start in the late afternoon or shortly after midnight. Nothing is worse than calculating your flight times and arrivals during the start of a promotion while prices are running up and away. So do your homework, know exactly your routes, dates, alternatives before trying to book anything via unresponsive online forms.


6. Book as early in advance as possible – be flexible!

Even besides the Ticket Promotions – the further away your departure date, the cheaper is usually the flight fare. Flexibility is the key here. Flights during weekdays are normally cheaper than on weekends. If you have to fly on a certain day without having any alternatives, book as early as possible, even weeks or months in advance to get the best deals. The number of allocated seats with promotional prices is usually very limited.

One good example are Visa Runs. For instance if you reside in Indonesia and know, that you have to leave the country every 2 months for a new passport stamp anyway, why not book your next 3 or 4 visa run flights half a year or even longer in advance? This way you most likely can make use of the cheaper contingents.

Also longer routes don’t necessarily mean higher prices. Sometimes, flights from Bali to Kuala Lumpur are cheaper than flights Bali to Singapore, even though the Singapore flight is a good 2 hours shorter. Don’t question the logic of the those prices, just make use of it!

While it is nice, to hop on a flight to Singapore in the early Bali morning, just to visit the Duty Free at Changi Airport and return home with your 1 Liter bottle of Absolut Vodka a few hours later with your fresh immigration stamp – it could be as well worth to fly a few hours longer to Kuala Lumpur for a 100$ or more less. You might even be home earlier, if there are return flights in a closer timeframe. As with all mentioned connections here, your mileage will vary for your specific routes or dates, but it doesn’t hurt to check those options.


5. Use the Firefox Browser to access the Air Asia website

Personally I prefer Google’s Chrome for my internet surfing, but most people had better results getting through to Air Asia’s overloaded servers during promotions with the Firefox Browser. Firefox Browser LogoProbably a lot of times you will still see the red ‘Buzz buzz buzz’ bee screen, while trying to book during promotional periods, but Firefox is said to lose connections completely less frequently than the likes of Opera, Chrome or Internet Explorer (is anyone still using IE?).

Also open several browser windows or tabs if you are planning to book more than 1 flight or for checking different routes. Get used to checking different flights in parallel not one after the other! Don’t forget to register your account with them to have your credentials automatically inserted into their booking forms (see tip number 9).


4. Reload, Reload, Reload!

If you are stuck in the red ‘Buzz buzz buzz’ bee screen, or if you are facing ‘Gateway Error, ‘Timeout’ or ‘Webpage not available’ errors especially right after the start of promotional periods, don’t despair. Those are signs of the big run-up of interested travelers to Air Asia’s servers. The web forms and even the whole website can become slow and unresponsive.

You are screwed - Servers are busy - AirAsias notorious Buzz ScreenPress ‘Reload’ to have your current page refreshed whenever those errors appear, the information you put in already usually will stay in the forms, so you can avoid going back to the main page again.

While on normal days you should have no troubles booking via their website, during promotional period the exceptional load on their servers brings booking to a slowww crawl. Prices shoot up within minutes and it can be hard to get through with your browser. The ‘Reload’ Button is your friend.


3. Use their mobile website for booking

AirAsia Mobile Website Air Asia also maintains a mobile website for smartphones and other mobile devices at This site accesses the same servers like their main page, but uses less graphics and a leaner text interface with simple pull-down menus. The data to download is much less than from their main page. Especially if your internet connection is of the slow kind, the mobile page could be your best bet to still participate and score some cheap tickets during promotional periods.


2. Book via if you need a hotel as well

This website mainly serves the purpose to book hotel deals with Air Asia partner hotels, but you can book flights via this site also. They access the same servers for flight bookings, but there might be some more performant connection on their backend. Be aware though, that there are only a limited number of partner hotels for some travel destinations, but you might still be lucky.

airasiago Website for Hotel and Flight BookingLast month I was able to book a flight for 1 week Bangkok including hotel for mid 2011 via this website, even though the servers of the main website were slow as a snail – the final price I got was lower than the standard fare available on the main page. All in all I paid around 150 $ for a return flight to Bangkok, including 1 week stay in a 4-star hotel. Show me any deal that can match that!


1. Check for unwanted services and surcharges added

Those can be travel insurances (you actively have to press ‘cancel’ 2 times to remove those before booking), extra luggage charges (I prefer hand luggage only), meals, ‘convenience kits’ (like a wet towel) or additional airport pickup or transport. Also if you have a bank account in the country from where you do your booking; you can avoid the ‘convenience fee’ they charge for credit card payments, by simply choosing direct debit as a payment option.

For short flights, I wouldn’t even bother to make seat reservations online or putting in your passport details. Those are not needed to complete a booking when time is of the essence.

Did any of those tips work for you already? Or do you have any other tips to get better prices when booking tickets with Air Asia? Please make use of the comment form below! ;-)

If you decided not to go to Asia, there are many Waterloo hotels you could go to instead.

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written by Chris

25 Responses to “12 Tips How to score Cheap Flight Tickets with AirAsia”

  1. DanaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks Chris! I was literally typing “how to get cheap flight tickets with airasia” into google the day before you posted this. I think you will do well with this post, lots of useful information in here.

  2. InaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Chris thank you very much!!
    you’re blog has so many useful information, thanks for sharing it! :))

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Dana, yep boss. I saw your question on your facebook page and thought I have a thing or two to share about that. Although I received already some flak from Mr Mo, that it could backfire for all, if more and more people know about those little tricks. But what is the internet all about, if not for searching and sharing your issues and solutions. :D

    Ina, thanks for the compliments, if you have any interesting travel topic not covered here, just let me know and I will try my best to push off a discussion starting with the ways I figured out so far. ;;)

  4. PatrickWNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I am thinking about visiting SE Asia next summer during their low season. No definite plans yet, but I will definitely be investigating Chiang Mai and BKK. I’d love to hear pitches for other great early retirement destinations in the region and maybe even get together for a few beers!

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    PatrickW, you might want want to check out also Phuket or Koh Samui in Thailand, Bali in Indonesia, Goa in India or the various destinations in the Philippines. There are many articles about those destinations on this site with lots of details.

    Many Americans prefer the Philippines to the ‘americanized culture’ and english-speaking population. Or you might want to look into Shianookville in Cambodia in Cambodia as well as other destinations in Malaysia, Vietnam or Laos.

    Depending on your preferences and if you’ve never been to SE Asia before, it’s hard to give any general recommendations. Also depending on the area (north or south of the equator), there is no real low season here. Have a nice trip and plan at least a couple of weeks to see as much as possible for your first trip before making any final decision.

  6. mattNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Good tips. I’m planning to fly AirAsia a lot in the coming year. Beats the overnight bus rides.

  7. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Chris, you received my flak because of two reasons:

    1. once published on the Internet all those little tricks become invalid as many people will try to use them thus making the whole process not working anymore for no-one, so nobody gains from that apart maybe you, getting a few dollars from Google advertisements. I doubt though that these dollars will be enough to compensate your personal losses on future AirAsia bookings. :-?

    2. I personally taught you 11 of these 12 tricks in order that you get cheap tickets for yourself and not to publish them on the net. L-)

    Anyway, now it’s done, so no hard feelings, let’s meet and grab a beer somewhere ;-)

  8. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    One tip I can suggest if you don’t need to fly out on a specific day, is to scroll back and forward a few days from the approximate date you want to travel, as some of the fares can be significantly cheaper. Some of the real early morning or late flights are also much cheaper. Whenever they open a new route, they usually promote it by offering very cheap flights.

  9. IanNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Thank You Chris for your Blog and bon voyages

  10. LaurenNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    I live in UK and I travel a lot. I visit Asia 6 to 7 times in a year.

    I normally use Google and search for cheap flight but this Air Asia looks great. Thanks alot for the information you provided.


  11. AlejandraNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    great post! thakyou, i wish I had read it before I spent yesterday tree hours in front of the computer trying to reserve tickets to Singapore! I would only add one more advise: the payment with credit card becomes easier if you have your credit cards active in electronic payments systems. Congratulations :-)

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up and additional tips here, guys! ;-)

  13. Traveling The Blogosphere – January 2011 | Taking off Travel blog UNITED STATES Says:

    […] of Nomad4Ever presents 12 Tips How to score Cheap Flight Tickets with AirAsia.  He points out that: Currently Air Asia is serving over 400 daily flights with an almost flawless […]

  14. Claire SmithNo Gravatar THAILAND Says:

    Air Asia is a great company, their founder, Tony Fernandes, was actually a Malaysian who went to school in England, but missed going home for his holidays because the flights were too expensive.
    There was the inspiration… that was turned into Air Asia many years later.

    I’ve flown Air Asia over ten times and they’ve always been excellent.

    If your travelling to Koh Samui, Bangkok airways monopolize the flights due to their ownership of the airport and high landing fees, so Air Asia only fly to Surat Thani, the regional capital. (that’s 4 hours away from Samui by bus & boat).

    If you would like to learn more about options for Koh Samui flights – this is an excellent article:

  15. stormNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Cheers Chris and Jurgen.

    Although I already had most of these tips in my brain and used them with Air Asia (and RyanAir when I was in the UK), there were one or two new ones. Anyone with half a brain and some experience of the Air Asia / RyanAir model can figure out that you need to be flexible and look at all the dates for weeks around your preferred date.

    We got 2 Pound flights from UK to France a few times using methods like those above. I haven’t had much success getting as great deals with Air Asia though because their servers usually crash under the strain.

    Another tip is to do some research and find out when the high/low seasons are for your destination, eg Malaysia has cheaper flights and accommodation in October/November than at any other time in the year, due to the extra rains I guess. We often go in mid-late October, always great weather and extremely cheap to fly and stay. Langkawi is our favourite place in SE Asia.

    If you’re REALLY cheap, you can make your own sandwiches to take on the plane, but the Air Asia food is very cheap, and very good anyway.

    Instead of using the film service, buy an extra battery for your laptop, and take it (and plenty of movies on the HD) with you. This also saves having to buy lot’s of memory cards for your camera’s, as you just download them onto the laptop every few days. We found out that portable dvd players don’t last long (may get a movie out of them), so went with the laptop/extra battery route.

    When in Asia, don’t spend a fortune on the hotel’s laundry. If you think that’s cheap, you’ll find independent laundry’s in the area who are 1/10th of the price, and will iron the clothes for you as well. This way, you don’t have to do what my mother-in-law does, and take 2 large suitcases just for clothes :) . Just take 5 days worth of clothes, and then get them done at the laundry, and buy some more in Asia.

  16. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Claire Smith and storm, thanks for the thumbs up and the great additions! :D

  17. landon commandoNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:



    You can NOT book flight through airasia if you live in the US.

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    landon commando, really? What happens when you try: do you get any error messages or notices/information? Can anyone confirm, that it’s not possible from within the US?

    One thing that most budget carriers have, are issues with certain credit cards or issuing countries.

  19. landon commandoNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Chris,

    Multiple error messages. Credit cards declined over and over again. I use a Visa and a Mastercard. Tried both debit and credit. Called my banks and they said there was no reason the payment shouldn’t run. Oh, well. had to pay a little more through a different website. Leaving for 19 day trip to Singapore, Bali, and Thailand in 24 days!!

  20. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    landon commando, yup those credit card issues are not unheard of. Although Air Asia seemed to have worked so far better than the rest. But I’m glad, that booking your trip finally worked out and I’m sure you will have a ball of a time! :D

  21. landon commandoNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    We plan on using Air Asia once we get to Bangkok. going to the buddist new year celebration in Chiang Mai, then down to S. thailand for some diving. Can’t wait to go! 22 days and counting……

  22. john smithNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    this is a great article, having lots of insightful tips for air travelers. Thanks for this

  23. Rodney BellNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great tips, thank you! Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I love Air Asia, last trip in September 2011 and I flew from Phuket to Melbourne and back. Only beef with them is the awful KLCC airport in KL. It looks like a worn out bus station. They should improve the comfort and looks of that dreary cheap and uncomfortable airport.

    About Landon Commando’s comment that he cannot book from North America. That is untrue. I have absolutely no problems booking from here with several credit cards. Also bought several tickets for my children traveling in Asia.

    I like the fact that Air Asia is turning the industry upside down in Asia. They have forced Singapore Air’s hand too. Better Scoot than never, I guess!That will mean fiercer competition and lower fares for us next year!

    Keep up the good work!


  24. HalNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I’m in the U.S.A.and was surprise by landon commando’s FYI that you cannot book AirAsia if you are in the U.S. This may in fact be true, but I’ll try anyway. HOWEVER, I wonder if it is a problem with your credit card issuers.

    I learned the hard way in China that after charging an expensive seminar that after that, the credit card was disabled. My credit card company stopped processing because they thought that my card might have been stolen or hacked since I had never used it inside of China before. They apparently track routine spending and take precautions if they see highly unusual activity on a card that does not match my buying habits. This is nice, but it serves their interest to limit their liability as well. I don’t know how many credit card companies do this, but two of mine do.

    When I called them, they turned the card back on. Their advice, that I have taken ever sense, is that you call your credit or debit card company in advance and tell them NOT to disable your card in the countries you are traveling. I have had no problems since then. I always give them the dates, so that they will be aware that after I return, they may set up their security precautions and the card will not be open to other transactions after that.

    So, I will try this BEFORE trying to book with AirAsia and see if I have any problems. If anyone else has had problems booking from the U.S.A., pleas post it so we can all know. If blocked in the U.S., perhaps blocked in other countries as well.


  25. HeidiNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I went thru the entire process for booking with AA only to be denied. I used a US credit card and my bank WAS notified in advance. I resubmitted the info (filling out all those numbers and bits of info AGAIN) only to be denied again. furious.
    Also, the FLIGHTS are cheap, but until you pay for luggage, meals, taxes, insurance, etc. it is the same price as any other airline!!
    NOT impressed.

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