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.

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Asia Pacific:

updates on travel

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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 airportsits main international airportBangkok 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.

  • Once in Asia Pacific, take advantage of frequent flights between the major cities via domestic airlines 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 flight search engines often don’t have access to the flight repository of smaller local airlines. They also often fail to update prices in the event of short-lived sales and promotions that airlines run from time to time. To not miss out on these great offers, visit Promo Radar which aggregates current promotions run by popular airlines.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Asia Pacific can be easily reached with low-cost regional airlines (LCCs) 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 offer flights from major Asian hubs at lower prices than full-service airlines, and they often fly to smaller airports that big players do not cover. However, the “no-frills” airlines may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support; you may not even get to choose your seats (unless you pay extra). With that in mind, they are a great option to save money if you have a stopover in Asia Pacific and then fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries.
Best airports to fly into Asia Pacific: 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
Airports of Asia Pacific on Google Maps 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, Doha DOH, Dubai DXB, Jakarta CGK, Hong Kong HKG, Kuala Lumpur KUL, Seoul ICN, Singapore SIN, Taipei TPE, and Tokyo HND.
Things to know before flying to Asia Pacific
Best APAC AirlinesNA, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Qantas
Best Low-cost APAC AirlinesAirAsia, Air India Express, Alliance Airlines, Batik Air, Cebu Pacific, IndiGo, Jetstar Airways, Nok Air, Rex Airlines, Salamair, Scoot, VietJet Air
Largest AirportsBeijing (PEK), Dubai (DXB), Tokyo (HND), Hong Kong (HKG), Delhi (DEL), Seoul (ICN), Jakarta (CGK), Singapore (SIN), Bangkok (BKK), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Taipei (TPE), Manila (MNL), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Doha (DOH), Istanbul (SAW), Denpasar, Bali (DPS), Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Official WebsitesSoutheast Asia Travel
PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association)
Travel Advisory (US citizens)
Air Passenger Rights (EU citizens)
Smartraveller Travel Advisories (Australian citizens)

Tips, tricks & hacks
for flying to Asia Pacific from Europe

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.

Know your time zone

Asia has multiple time zones that span from UTC +4 to UTC +10. Several countries offset their local time in increments of half- and quarter-hour rather than a full hour. As you travel east you will “gain” time, and as you travel west you will “lose” time.

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure time on your plane ticket is always listed based on the time zone of the departure airport. We suggest resetting your watch during the flight – it will help your brain adjust to the new time zone and to deal with jet lag.

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Flights to Asia Pacific with stopover

Direct flights to Asia Pacific are, of course, much less hassle than flights that require one or more connections. However, they tend to be more expensive. In a trade-off between convenience and cost, the best option is often to opt for a flight with one layover.

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.

Big cities in Asia and Pacific are known for their rich culture and history — making them a great idea for a stopover during a longer journey. Here are a few suggestions for a stopover while en route to Asia Pacific.

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, often hidden inside the one-way/return/multi-city switch.

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.

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 ANA, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Malaysia AirlinesQatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
  • 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.

European airports with the cheapest flights to Asia Pacific

Find the lowest prices for flights to major Asian hubs in Asia Pacific from the major airports in Europe — London, Dublin, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Lyon, Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul, Stockholm, Geneva, Helsinki, Zurich, and others.

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Flight hacking

Can't finda good deal?

Get 40% – 80% off airfares from Europe to Asia Pacific:

40% – 80% off

Check different departure airports

Consider neighboring cities when choosing the departure airport – especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines.

For example, if you live in West Europe, check prices for flights departing from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, or Vienna. In 9 out of 10 cases, the cheapest flight to Asia Pacific will depart from one of these hubs, and it may be €500 less or more than your first choice. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to this hub, but low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for €50 – €100.

Use a similar tactic if you depart from the US or another region. It’s one of the best ways to save hundreds on trips.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

Last-minute flights to Asia Pacific. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Asia Pacific almost always never works out. The convenience of being able to book a flight on the fly is a dangerous game of chance, and you will most likely end up paying significantly higher than booking in advance.

The common perception may be that airlines decrease ticket prices to fill empty seats as the departure date approaches. However, the truth is that airfares depend on demand. Based on years of research and current customer data, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. They are also well aware that people are willing to pay a premium for flights they need to take immediately. To make the most money, the airline will sell its cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of business travelers and others who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Last-minute flight cost spike
Late booking penalty: The flight prices rise as departure draws near. Last-minute flights are almost always more expensive than booking in advance.

Occasionally, airlines can put some seats on sale to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates around peak travel times tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Asia Pacific is around 60-90 days before the departure date.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Asia Pacific, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.

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.

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Best full-service airlinesflying to Asia Pacific

Tips, tricks & hacks(continued)

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.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Asian airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

Plan ahead and exchange some money at home to get the currency of the country you are traveling to.

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