|Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; photo by Andrew
I’ve known Malaysia’s low cost carrier AirAsia
was going to introduce non-stop service to Sydney from Kuala Lumpur for a few months and I’ve waited anxiously for the introductory sale fare. Well this past week it finally came!
Reading the morning newspaper online, the travel section hinted the sale would begin that day. I checked the AirAsia website
and sure enough, Sydney to Kuala Lumpur for $99 each way INCLUSIVE of taxes! You can be sure I snagged a ticket to the Malaysian capital right then and there. Now, I’ll be celebrating my 31st
birthday on a secluded Malaysian beach with a bowl of creamy and spicy Laksa soup and a fresh coconut served only with a straw.
For those of you not familiar with AirAsia, they are a low cost carrier that serves more than 70 Asian cities. They are no frills and all smiles. You pay for the extras you are interested in which helps keep prices at a minimum. So what does this mean for the average adventurous American?
Take a look at the AirAsia route map. You’ll notice larger international hub cities like Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. All of these connect through Kuala Lumpur and on to smaller vacation hot spots like Siem Reap, Cambodia home of the Angkor Wat Temples; Phuket, Thailand; Bali, Indonesia; various cities on the island of Borneo; as well as some large cities in India; and of course, Brisbane, Melbourne and now Sydney, Australia.
|A friend I made in Borneo, Malaysia; photo by Andrew
I can recall purchasing a ticket from Seattle to Singapore for under $700 on United a few years ago. Looking at Easter this year flying from NYC to Singapore is under $1000. There are definitely decent deals from America to Asian Cities also served by AirAsia. So if the idea of spending $1500-1800 for a ticket directly from North America to Australia seems like too much, why not break up the journey, go the long way around and explore an amazing Asian destination or two before making the journey on AirAsia to Australia.
Sale fares are still advertising Sydney to/from KL for $150 each way. So for example NYC to HKG on United in May is just over $800. Then add a separate AirAsia ticket from HKG to KUL for about $200, then snag the sale fare to Sydney from Kuala Lumpur for $300. All inclusive between $1300-1400 for exploring three of my personal favorite destinations. Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. Or alternatively, you can fly Qantas for just over $1500 and fly JFK to LAX to SYD (BORING, in my mind).
My point… I’m really happy to have an international long haul low cost carrier now serving Sydney. I feel as though the Asian market and indirectly the American market has become more accessible. For all of you who dream of exploring some unique places, they are that much closer. Be creative and think outside the box when booking your next holiday.