Asia Pacific is reopening to international tourism

Asia Pacific region is finally on the road to full recovery, welcoming back foreign travelers from around the world. Most countries in the region have fully reopened borders to all international short-term visitors — lifting travel restrictions and easing tourist visa requirements. As the build-back of global travel demand continues apace, tourist inflows are trending up in Australia, India, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Some of the world’s most beloved travel destinations — Bali, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Maldives, and Sydney — are now open for everyone, quarantine-free. In many cases, even pre-departure and on-arrival Covid tests are not required anymore.

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Arriving in Asia Pacific

  • If you are flying to Asia Pacific from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airports — Bangkok BKK, Beijing PEK, Delhi DEL, Dubai DXB, Ho Chi Minh City SGN, Jakarta CGK, Hong Kong HKG, Kuala Lumpur KUL, Manila MNL, Seoul ICN, Singapore SIN, Shanghai PVG, Taipei TPE, and Tokyo. These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Asia Pacific. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • If you are flying to Asia Pacific from abroad, you will most likely land at its biggest international airport — Bangkok BKK, Beijing PEK, Delhi DEL, Dubai DXB, Ho Chi Minh City SGN, Jakarta CGK, Hong Kong HKG, Kuala Lumpur KUL, Manila MNL, Seoul ICN, Singapore SIN, Shanghai PVG, Taipei TPE, and Tokyo.
  • Once in Asia Pacific, take advantage of frequent flights between the major cities via local carriers such as Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hong Kong Airlines, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, and Vietnam Airlines. To check flight schedules/prices and to book the tickets, visit their official websites — OTAs and metasearch engines often don’t have access to the flight repository of smaller domestic airlines.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Asia Pacific can be easily reached with regional low-cost airlines by the likes of AirAsia, Air India Express, Batik Air, Cebu Pacific, IndiGo, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, Nok Air, Royal Jordanian, Scoot, and VietJet Air. These budget carriers (AKA no-frills airlines) offer flights at lower prices compared to major full-service airlines, but may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment systems.
Best airports to fly into Asia Pacific:
Airports of Asia Pacific (click the map to open Google Maps view) Asia Pacific has hundreds of international airports, many of which are among the world’s busiest, serving tens of millions of passengers every year – Bali/Denpasar DPS, Bangkok BKK, Beijing PEK, Delhi DEL, Dubai DXB, Jakarta CGK, Hong Kong HKG, Kuala Lumpur KUL, Seoul ICN, Singapore SIN, Taipei TPE, and Tokyo HND. As in any country, airports with the largest volume of flights are located near major cities – about 10 to 20 kilometers from the city center – with public transport and airport shuttle service available. These are hubs for major Asian airlines, with large passenger terminals, first class lounges, shops, and restaurants.

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Tips, tricks & hacksfor flying to Asia Pacific

Alcoholic drinks

If you enjoy having a beer or a drink during the trip, you may think about it in advance. Some Islamic countries, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, have completely dry airports, especially if you are taking a domestic flight. Also, if your route is served by Air Arabia, Air Asia Malaysia, or Turkish Airlines (domestic flights) the inflight menu will not have alcoholic drinks available for purchase.

Download a VPN app

Many Asian countries seem to have problems with online content. China censors a large chunk of Western Internet with its “Great Firewall of China”, Indonesia dislikes content that violates "morality" (LGBT content, Reddit, Steam, and Vimeo are blocked), and Internet freedom is declining in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

If you want to keep access to your favorite websites while traveling in Asia, you should download a VPN app for your smartphone and laptop before you arrive.

Next tips

Flights to Asia Pacific fromUnited States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Asia Pacific. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Asia Pacific, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. There are numerous direct flights to destinations in Asia — you can fly direct to China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and others.
  • Flights to Asia Pacific with one or more stops depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • For long-haul flights, the type of aircraft you choose can make a huge difference to your overall comfort on board – especially if you’re flying economy. The best aircraft have comfier seats with more legroom, WiFi, superior entertainment systems, and a better passenger experience in every cabin in general. When booking a flight to Asia Pacific, look for the airlines that use wide-body planes designed for long-haul flights, such as Airbus A350 (best choice), A380, A320neo, or Boeing 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner.
  • American Airlines, Air CanadaANA, Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia AirlinesSingapore Airlines, and United Airlines are among the best airlines that operate flights from the US and Canada to Asia Pacific. They are leading full-service carriers offering high-quality service, good flight comfort, and a generous baggage allowance.

Asia Pacific from US & Canada
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Real-time economy class airfares to Asia Pacific from the US and Canada. The best deals on plane tickets for flights departing over the next few months are shown.

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How to book a stopover flight to Asia Pacific

Direct flights to Asia Pacific can be expensive. So if you’re looking at a long-haul trip with at least one connection, rather than simply transiting an airport, why not take this opportunity to plan a longer stopover? A stopover is a prolonged layover — more than 24 hours — and it won’t only break up your long journey but will also become a legitimate part of your vacation. If you’re prone to severe jet lag, a one or two-day stopover would help minimize its adverse effects.

When booking flights, many airlines allow you to include a free stopover en route to your final destination in Asia Pacific. Those flights are usually cheaper than non-stop (direct) flights, and you can often choose your stopover at no additional cost — just by looking for multi-city flights with longer layovers.

Finding the optimal stopovers is not always an easy task. A better option might be subscribing to the Air Traveler Club newsletter – among their weekly offers to Asia Pacific, you can often find discounted flights to Asia Pacific with a convenient stopover in one of Asia’s top cities. The newsletter is completely free.

Some airlines openly advertise stopovers and offer significant discounts and travel perks for passengers to break up their trips: free luxury hotel stays, complimentary domestic flights, or exclusive rates for activities. Start checking for stopover deals to Asia Pacific with government-owned airlines (as they are looking to attract tourists to give the country economic benefits) — such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. Almost every airline’s website has multi-city search functionality, which is often hidden inside the one-way/return/multi-city switch.

Bonus tip: try to find out where the airline hub is, as you can almost always find a convenient stopover at the hub.

Best stopovers to Asia Pacific

A well-chosen stopover will not only turn one vacation into many but also save you several hundred dollars in airfare. The available stopovers to Asia Pacific will depend on your initial destination (Europe, North America, Asia, etc) and the airline you are flying with. For most airlines, the best free stopover offer will be at their main hub. Here are some of the best stopovers on the way to Asia Pacific:

Flights to Asia Pacific from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Asia Pacific — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Asian and European airlines are operating numerous direct flights to destinations in Asia — you can fly non-stop from Europe to China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand, UAE, and others.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Asia Pacific include .
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Asia Pacific from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Use European low-cost airlines such as RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to fly to the hub, then save hundreds of euros by taking a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination.

    We recommend checking prices for flights to Asia Pacific from these European airport hubs: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.
  • Sign up for Air Traveler Club newsletter to start receiving our exceptional, hand-picked deals on flights from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands (and from Europe in general) to Asia Pacific. The minimum savings are 40% and often reach 80% (!) compared to regular prices.

European airports with the cheapest flights to Asia Pacific

The lowest prices for flights to Asia Pacific from the major airports in Europe — from UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and others. Here are the airports/dates with the cheapest air tickets available for booking right now:

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Don’t wait for the last-minute

Booking last-minute flights almost always never work out. You should never wait until the last minute unless you have to. If you want to find a great deal, be quite flexible with your travel dates and book well in advance – the best fares for international routes can be spotted around 2-3 months before the departure date.

Try to plan far in advance and you will pay at least a few hundred dollars less for the trip.

Lost baggage prevention

Avoid lost luggage nightmares by removing old tags on your suitcases. Tags are printed with a barcode for identification and tracking, so the old tags can confuse baggage handlers and the conveyor belt scanners. They are one of the reasons so many bags miss their flight or get misrouted.

Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and others).

When it comes to Twitter there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add "@airline_handle", for example: "@EmiratesSupport"). The social media team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Book your flights in the local currency

Airfares that a flight search engine or airline website quotes you often vary depending on where you book from. Try to spoof your location and currency so that it looks like you're booking the flight from the same country it departs from. For example, if you are in the US and booking a leg of your trip from Tokyo to Bangkok, set the country on the airline website to Japan and the currency to Japanese yen (JPY).

This simple trick doesn't work every time (not all websites set prices the same way), but it can sometimes save you significant money.

Best full-service airlinesflying to Asia Pacific

Flights to Asia Pacific from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand are well-connected with most Asian countries, including Asia Pacific. In addition to domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand – routes from Australia/New Zealand to Asia are operated by large regional carriers such as ANA, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Vistara, etc.
  • In terms of cost-savings, we recommend flying from Australia and New Zealand to a major Asian hub and then booking a flight to your final destination in Asia Pacific with a regional budget airline. Among the low-cost airlines that fly into Asia Pacific are AirAsia, Air India Express, Batik Air, Cebu Pacific, IndiGo, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, Nok Air, Royal Jordanian, Scoot, and VietJet Air.

    Currently, there are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Asia Pacific. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Even economy flights from Australia and New Zealand to Asia Pacific can be expensive in times of rising fuel costs and declining competition on some routes. Planning ahead is key here, and if anything can help lower the cost of flying, it is the Air Traveler Club. This weekly newsletter includes a section of hand-picked “super deals” – air tickets that often costs less than 50% of the normal price – for flights from Australasia to Asia (including Asia Pacific). You can sign up here, the newsletter is free.

Prices of flights to Asia Pacific from Australia and New Zealand

Real-time economy class airfares from major airports in Australasia — from Brisbane BNE, Sydney SYD, and Melbourne MEL in Australia to Asia Pacific, and from Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, and Christchurch CHC in New Zealand to Asia Pacific.

Here are the top three offers for one-way flights departing over the next few months:

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Fly early in the morning

Early morning flights (6 am or earlier) are usually cheaper than other day schedules. It's because of lower demand – most people are not willing to go to the airport so early. Use it to your advantage.

Moreover, airports are also less crowded, and there tend to be fewer delays if you fly early in the morning. Due to increasing air traffic, delays get worse throughout the day - starting around 8-10 am and reaching a peak at 4-6 pm.

Ask your hotel about transfers

A few days before departing call or email ahead and ask your hotel if they offer a free pick-up service from the airport (or if they run transfers at a lower rate). This is a major hotel hack to avoid expensive taxi rides.

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