To get to Tioman Island, I flew diminutive Berjaya Air, which also connects the beach resorts of Koh Samui in Thailand and Redang Island in Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur. For other Southeast Asian destinations, there are baby budgets including Jetstar, part of Qantas; Tiger Airways and Nok Air, chiefly owned by Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, respectively; and Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.
Like Southwest and JetBlue, Air Asia trims tickets prices by booking chiefly on the Internet and charging for baggage, large seats and in-flight meals. Fares are always low — think $35 from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore — and periodic sales can make it cheaper to fly Air Asia than to take a bus. The Southeast Asian airline's slogan is: Now everyone can fly.
And they do.