Expensive flights and limited Southeast Asia travel options are a thing of the past. Thanks to a number of low-cost airlines in the region – who were once not so budget friendly – the prime destinations in this part of the world are more accessible now than ever before. An article on The Asean Post reports how entrepreneur Tony Fernandez bought an $11 million debt-ridden, Malaysian airlines in 2001 and turned it into AirAsia – Asia’s current fifth largest airline and best low-cost carrier in the world. It created one of the most iconic taglines “Now everyone can fly”, and many have followed suit.
Budget airlines have helped boost tourism in the region, particularly that of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – which includes countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Many other budget airlines, such as Lion Air in Indonesia, Nok Air in Thailand, and Cebu Pacific in the Philippines are some of the other pioneers of easy travel to the Southeast.
The main difference between a budget airline from a regular one is its reduction of services, which leads to lower prices. Businesses have begun to realize that some passengers just want to fly from point A to point B, without special amenities like food and extra carry-ons. Though you can learn to pack more luggage with these travel tips from Rebecca Brown (such as using packing cubes instead of bags), airlines like AirAsia have begun making their additional luggage fee optional. They also now offer food as an in-flight commodity, and just ultimately offer the option to travel with nothing but a seat.
This trend has become so popular that western airlines have begun adopting these travel tactics into their businesses. America’s own JetBlue Airways, though mostly used for local destinations, offer cheaper flights to nearby countries like Colombia and Costa Rica. They have separated their luggage packages into three: Blue (standard $25 bag check-in), Blue Plus, and Blue Flex (additional add-on for extra baggage). India's IndiGo allows one carry-on seven-kilo bag, and another 15-kilo check-in. But if you really can't help it, they allow extra weight for $5 a kilo.
Asia is a place known for its vast diversity – from its people, gorgeous landscapes, to its convenient and exciting budget carriers. A lot of travelers have experienced The Philippines’ unique in-flight quiz games, or joked about Vietnam’s slightly reckless, but adventurous airline pilots. All these quirks are heavily influenced by each country’s traditions, habits, and even the current trends on mass media. ExpatBets, which sheds light on the different cultures across Asia, has an array of in-depth articles about countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These cover everything from where to stay, places to see, as well as the psyche of Asian communities, to help you get though everything like a local.
The most important thing is traveling to experience. It’s not everyday that you get the chance to navigate the streets all the way on the other side of the world.
Exclusively written for airportguide.com
By A. Traver