Any conversation about low-cost carriers in Asia isn’t complete without a mention of AirAsia.

Staying true to their “Now everyone can fly” slogan, this Malaysian airline has long dominated the Southeast Asian region when it comes to competitive pricing. Not only are their year-round fares relatively cheap, they also hold massive promotions multiple times within a year. And we’re not talking about teeny, tiny discounts here. When AirAsia slashes the cost of their flights, they mean business. ZERO base fare flights are not uncommon, attracting thousands and thousands of bargain-hunters.

If you always try to snag cheap plane tickets during sale but end up empty-handed all the time, you might be doing something wrong. Understanding how the AirAsia booking process and how seat sales work is important in order to successfully score insanely low fares. This post might be able to help.


Understanding Seat Sales

First of all, SEAT SALES ARE REAL. They’re not deceiving you when they say there’s a sale and you can’t find any discounted seats. It’s just that, it’s getting increasingly difficult to get those lately because more and more people are becoming more aware of seat sales. But that’s not the only reason.

  • Only a limited number of seats are put on sale. The number of seats on a plane is finite and the airline CANNOT put all of them on sale because they need to earn too. If you’re a group of 20 and you want to be on the same flight, forget about it.
  • Published rates often refer to BASE FARES only. What are base fares? These are the actual costs of the seat, minus all the government taxes, terminal fees, and other surcharges, that are out of the airline’s control. When AirAsia says ZERO FARE, don’t expect to really get these tickets for free. You will still need to shell out a little bit of money.
  • You need to be early. It’s first come, first served. Even when the selling period lasts several days, don’t expect to see promo fares on the last few days. Chances are, others might have already booked those precious seats way before you.
  • You need to be fast. Each customer is given only a limited time to book per session. The specific seat you’re eyeing might be gone in a matter of minutes (or seconds).

Be the First to Know about Seat Sales

The first step to grabbing a promo fare is knowing when the sale is going to be. Back in the day, we relied on email blasts and broadsheet print ads. But now, it’s much easier.

  • Like AirAsia on Facebook. Promos are usually announced on Facebook first. If you really want to make sure you don’t miss the sale, you may choose to prioritize AirAsia posts on your News Feed. To do that, visit AirAsia’s FB page, hover on the FOLLOWING button. On the list of options that will be revealed, choose SEE FIRST.
  • Like THE POOR TRAVELER on Facebook. Yep! On our page, we always announce major seat sales and promos not just by AirAsia but other airlines as well.

Things to Prepare Before the Sale

Booking a promo fare is like going to war. Haha. Thousands of hungry bargain-hunters will be fighting for a very limited number of seats. Prepare for battle!

  • A fast, reliable internet connection. The faster the connection, the better. Airline’s websites slow down during sale because of the sheer number of people and having a sucky connection would make matters worse.
  • An AirAsia account. Sign up for an AirAsia account before the sale so you won’t need to type your personal and credit card details when booking a flight. Time is very important during a seat sale. Having an account will save you time and effort. They sometimes launch sales exclusive to members or give members 24-hour early priority access!
  • Your travel details. Your target destination, travel dates, and preferred time.
  • Your PLAN B details. In case your first choice isn’t available anymore, having an alternative destination or date ready will make the process go more smoothly.
  • Your companion’s personal details. These include their full name and birth date. Usually, passport number isn’t a required field. You may also ask your companion their seat (aisle or window) and meal preferences beforehand.
  • Lots of patience. Booking promo flights isn’t easy. It takes a lot of patience and determination, hahaha. When the site crashes or your connection fumbles, don’t give up easily. Just keep your game face on!

How to Book

  1. Visit AirAsia’s official website:
  2. Choose your origin, destination, travel dates, and number of travelers. Book by small batches. This is one thing I have proven so many times. When you book for so many people at once, the site doesn’t display promo fares. But when you book for just one or two people, you can have that same flight (same plane, same day, same time).
  3. Click SEARCH. If there are too many people accessing the site, you will be asked to wait.
  4. Choose your flights. Once you make it through to the results page, you can choose the flight or scan other dates. Once you find a promo fare on a date that you want, click on the price and choose your add-ons. Then click CONTINUE (the green button on the lower right corner of the screen).
  5. Enter the details of each traveler. They will need your full names, birth dates, and nationality. Click CONTINUE.
  6. Choose your baggage, seat, and meal (optional). You may also add travel insurance and travel tax.
  7. Review and pay. You may pay via credit card, debit card, or through an offline partner (Cebuana Lhuillier, M Lhuillier, 7-Eleven, Bayad Center).

That’s it! Once the payment is accepted, you’ll receive the itinerary and confirmation in your email.

Important Reminders

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