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Above: AirAsia's route map out of KUL
How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?
It'll soon be possible, so hopefully your answer was positive. You see, the AP reports that Malaysia-based low-cost airline AirAsia is getting ready to release an unlimited flying pass to 10 Southeast Asia destinations for only $148 (excluding airport taxes). The airline, whose slogan is "now everyone can fly," will allow travelers to use the passdubbed the "AirAsia ASEAN Pass"for one month of flights at some point in early 2015.
This comes just as ASEAN countries are making strides to "liberate the airways" in 2015, which we reported from the annual ASEAN conference earlier this year.
For travelers who've never flown AirAsia and may be skeptical: yes, this pass is suspiciously cheap, as are AirAsia's regular flight prices, but it is a reputable airline and we have flown with them several times. Who would doubt an airline that serves in-flight bubble tea and offers 19 different buy-onboard meals?
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Without a doubt, one of the best modern airline promotions was JetBlue's All-You-Can-Jet Pass, which existed in 2009 and 2010 to allow purchasers to enjoy unlimited JetBlue flights for one month.
The passes were so popular and the resulting press and experiences so impressive that JetBlue brought back reduced versions of the pass in more recent years (BluePass and GoPacks), but the original generous AYCJ Pass has been retired.
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When you awoke this morning, you probably didn't think you'd spend today considering buying flights in bulk. Alas, that's what you're about to do, as JetBlue announces that they're bringing back the GoPack concept to offer travelers discounts on tickets through buying many flights, all at once.
Options begin at $739 and range from 6- or 10-trip GoPacks between as near as Boston to DC, or as far as New York to Fort Lauderdale. Don't worry, California; JetBlue has you more than covered with your own GoPacks as well!
The GoPacks go on sale starting today through March 31 ("while supplies last") and here's how they work:
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Just one day after JetBlue's announcement that there's essentially be no All-You-Can-Jet pass this year in favor of their new, business traveler-oriented GoPacks, we're thrilled to say that actually, yes, there will be an All-You-Can-Jet alternative after all. The only issue? You'll figure it out after reading the name of the pass: All-Your-Pet-Can-Jet.
Here's what's up. For $299, you may bring one pet with you (respecting JetBlue's carry-on size and weight regulations for pets) on any of your JetBlue flights between the dates of September 7-December 31, with no holiday black-out dates. This means that Fido or Mr. Meowski can travel along with you on vacation and home for the holidays and just for fun without having to pay the $100 pet fee for each individual flight.
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Buying flights in bulk. Earlier this year we wondered if it would be the next "new thing," and some recent sales from Virgin America and a return of JetBlue's "GoPack" concept proves it is...to an extent. Whereas JetBlue's first GoPacks were solely for travel between Boston and all three Washington DC-area airports, this season they've thrown open the veritable flight gates with deals from many of their hub cities. View them all on the official website.
GoPacks go on sale starting today through September 6 ("while supplies last") and here's how they work:
· Buy a set "GoPack" of 10 one-way flights.
· Pay the price, ranging from $699 plus taxes (from San Juan) to $2499 plus taxes (coast-to-coast).
· Receive codes to book the flights that fit within your selected GoPack cities (see all below).
· Fly your ten flights between 9/13/12 and 12/19/12 (blackout dates: 11/20/12 – 11/26/12).
· Earn TrueBlue miles, though exact mileage varies from GoPack to GoPack
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Buying flights in bulkis this the next new thing? Virgin America tried it out last year with a Gilt City deal that saw a pack of 3 roundtrip short-haul flights going for $427, all the way on up to 10 long-haul roundtrips for $3,585. Well, the originators of the All-You-Can-Jet ideaJetBlueare kicking off spring travel with a bulk deal of their very own. The only catch? You have to really love flying between Boston and Washington DC.
The deal is quite simple:
· Buy a "Go Pack" of 10 one-way flights between Boston (BOS) and all Washington, DC airports—Washington-Reagan (DCA), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Baltimore (BWI).
· Pay $699, plus $7 in taxes for each flight (so it's $776 total).
· Fly your 10 flights between April 23 through June 27, 2012.
· Earn a lump sum 4,200 TrueBlue miles
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Whoa whoa whoa. One month ago when JetBlue announced that the famous All-You-Can-Jet Pass wouldn't live to see a third annual run, there were a lot of frowning intrepid travelers wondering what the heck they were going to do with their autumn now. Well, those frowns are turning upside-down at today's hot-off-the-press news that JetBlue is introducing a reworked AYCJ, a departure airport-specific BluePass.
Don't freak and get out your credit card yet; the BluePass is not for casual fliers, nosiree. You've got to be based in either the Long Beach/LA or Boston areas (or willing to make the airports your base). The BluePass will last not just one month like AYCJ, but three months, and the cheapest of the three BluePass options goes for $1,299. Now, the nitty-gritty:
The Jaunted HQ flag flies at half-mast today since yesterday, when JetBlue revealed they'd not be bringing back the popular All-You-Can-Jet Pass for 2011. This shocked some of the country's (and world's) dedicated budget travelers and they collectively cried a single tear, erased penciled-in plans for fall, and commiserated on Twitter. @Andrewhyde's remark on Twitter yesterday even made a Top Tweet: "All You Can Jet was the most innovative thing out of the airline industry since trying to be profitable."
Although we're still holding the hope that the AYCJ Pass will return in some form in the future*, for now there are ways to get your travel on and do a sort-of DIY AYCJ:
· Follow @JetBlueCheeps
All former AYCJ-ers should already know this, but JetBlue's deals twitter churns out awesome last-minute fares nearly every Tuesday. Since we know some flyers used their AYCJ passes to travel each weekend and still work somewhat normally, Cheeps are for you. Best of all, you don't have to plan much ahead. Last week, Cheeps had $29 from Las Vegas to Long Beach or $69 from JFK to West Palm Beach. Not too shabby.
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Can you hear that? If you listen closely to the wind, you'll notice the faint sound of hundreds and hundreds of traveler hearts breaking, as JetBlue today announced that they will not be bringing back the All-You-Can-Jet Pass for 2011. Sad face to the max!
All-You-Can-Jet (or AYCJ as it's fondly called), began in the fall of 2009, when JetBlue shocked and delighted by offering a month of unlimited travel around their route network for $599 (plus international taxes, if you island-hopped). We even remember the day it was announcedAugust 12, 2009aka the day we pretty much hyperventilated through. Then, last year, the pass returned with more options: $699 to travel any day of the AYCJ month, or $499 to stick to the 5 off-peak days. People still went bonkers for it.
But now, an email has hit the inboxes of former AYCJers, letting them know the sad 2011 decision:
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Our lesson learned: not all JetBlue FAs will go Slater on you, but that doesn’t mean you should treat them badly
You may want to address any issues you have with anger or jealousy before you read the rest of this post, because if you’ve ever had any flight attendant-related fantasies, you may well want to hurt us. Why? Because we slept with a flight attendant the other week.
No, not in the Biblical sense, of course. Perish the thought! We mean it literally. We befriended a JetBlue flight attendant on a flight, and she ended up being so nice that when we found ourselves alone in her home town, she invited us to stay with her. On her waterbed. Yes, the story really is that good.
It took place last month. We were on our first flight of All You Can Jet, riding from Vegas to New York, and Jennifer – we won’t tell you her second name, in case you try to
stalk steal her from us – was working the flight. We liked her instantly – she was friendly but professional, approachable without being in your face. She was, we remember thinking, the perfect person to get us off the ground for the next 30 days of flying.
One more All You Can Jet Pass story for good measure. This one comes from Dan, a good friend and reader of Jaunted. Enjoy!
I flew 18,969 mileson JetBlue's AYCJ-5 2010 Pass between September 7 and October 7. Some more fun numbers: I flew into/out of 8 airports, visited 5 States and 3 countries, spent 10 nights in hotels, sat on 13 different airplanes, had a hell of a lot of fun, and used $2,510.07 worth of airfare. How much did it cost me? $499. That's right; I paid $499 to fly 18,969 miles, all while still managing to work 4 days a week.
This is my 2nd year doing the AYCJ Pass, and I had so much fun last year that I jumped on the opportunity to purchase it again.
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My AYCJ experience was different from that of many others because a) I am British and b) I wanted to use this as an excuse to see parts of America that I knew I never would otherwise. I remember reading about AYCJ last year and thinking, “If they do it again next year, and you are in America, you will never forgive yourself if you don’t do it”. So I did.
The timing wasn't idealI had to work (remotely) right through the month and, of course, I ended up having more work to do than I had in the past three months combined. So there were a lot of 5am starts, and a devastating Saturday night spent chained to my computer in New Orleans. But even though that meant I had to spend longer in each place and see fewer cities, I still managed a fair deal.