MAS offers cheaper ASEAN and South Asia fares with no check-in luggage

In the past few days, Malaysia Airlines has been teasing a new economy offering that offers a premium flying experience with a touch of personalisation. Turns out the big surprise is that they are extending its Economy Lite option for ASEAN and South Asia destinations. It will offer the lowest fares but it doesn’t come with check-in luggage allowance.

According to Malaysia, the Economy Lite along with the Basic and Flex options allow passengers more choice to enjoy premium travel and full-service carrier experience based on their nature of travel, preference and needs. The Economy Lite option was introduced in early 2019 and it was originally offered for domestic flights within Malaysia.

The three economy fare options for ASEAN and South Asian destinations such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be available starting from 18th February 2020.

To recap, the lowest Lite option still comes with in-flight meals, in-flight entertainment, the ability to earn Enrich miles and carry-on cabin baggage allowance of up to 7kg. However, you don’t get the additional perks such as Enrich miles cabin upgrade, check-in luggage, seat selection and the option to rebook your flight. The Lite fares cater for passengers that are going for a quick day trip, business travellers or commuters that simply don’t require any check-in allowance.

Malaysia Airlines Lite, Basic and Flex fares

If you need to check-in your luggage, the Economy Basic comes with 20kg allowance while the Economy Flex comes with 30kg of allowance. Just like the name implies, Flex offers the best flexibility including the option to travel earlier on the same day subject to seat availability. If you need to rebook your flight, you may do so by just paying the fare difference without additional charge fees. On top of that, you can also request for a refund with a fee.

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When we perform a quick search, it appears that the 30kg check-in allowance for Economy Flex was applicable for domestic flights within Malaysia, while international flights within ASEAN and South Asia were given 35kg allowance for check-in. When we checked, the price difference between Lite and Basic is merely RM20 per way as shown above and this may change depending on availability and season.

In Singapore, the Economy Flex option is labelled Economy Shuttle. The benefits are the same as Economy Flex but you do get the extra perk of priority check-in at dedicated counters.

For other international destinations such as Tokyo or London, Malaysia Airlines still offers the usual four fare type options for Economy. The cheapest “Economy Promo” fare for these destinations still come with 20kg of check-in luggage allowance and you are still permitted to make changes to your flight for a fee.

The next time you book your flight on Malaysia Airlines, do note the price and luggage allowance for each fare. The cheapest fare available may not come with checked-in luggage included. According to the airline, the new fare options will affect bookings for travels made from 18th February 2020 and bookings made before that are unaffected by the changes made.

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Alexander Wong