The low cost airlines sector has expanded rapidly in the Asia over the past few years.
It used to be that you could only purchase tickets from full service airlines at premium prices. The service was good, but the prices prohibitive for most of the locals.
This has now changed, however. You can often purchase an airline ticket for less than what the bus would cost.
Just couple of weeks ago, I had to get to Bangkok from Jakarta. This was one of those routes that used to be very expensive if booked at the very last minute, although the flight is just three hours, due to very little competition.
Not any more if you fly on the dates that the Thai Lion Air operates. I paid less than $60 (tax inclusive) for the ticket I purchased a day before and it even included a checked bag.
Obviously, the seating is tight and they try to sell you food and beverages during the flight. I had one row for myself and napped from take off all the way until we landed in Bangkok.
You should always check the prices of the low cost carriers if you are traveling in any of the routes that they operate in Asia.
Quite frankly, I rather take a cheaper price and a non-stop flight over a full service airline requiring transit along the way. Using miles for many of these short-haul flights within Asia is a waste nowadays.
I could have purchased Jakarta to Bangkok on Malaysia Airlines at a very good price, but why would I waste most of the day going via Kuala Lumpur versus early morning non-stop that got me to Bangkok before 10AM?