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Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : Do They Work Against COVID-19?

Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : Do They Work Against COVID-19?

Dr Clo sterilisation sticks from South Korea are being marketed as a way to prevent COVID-19.

Let’s take a look at their claims, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : Chlorine Dioxide Sanitisers

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks, also known as Dr Clo sterilisation sticks, were developed by NON Corporation from South Korea.

Originally sold as a sanitising deodorant, it started being marketed as 99.9% effective against the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2.

That brought them a lot of attention, and many of our readers asked us to fact-check their claims. That was the basis of our original fact check.

 

Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : Claims Removed

Dr Clo Malaysia recently reached out to us, and explained that they made mistakes in their marketing materials.

Those mistakes have been corrected based on what I addressed in my original article, removing these claims :

  • 99.9% effective against COVID-19
  • Tested, verified and approved by US FDA
  • Disinfects a space of up to 16 feet in radius

However, Dr Clo Philippines continues to make the claims above, so we will address them below as well.

They also shared new test reports from Korea, to prove that Dr Clo is both safe and effective.

I would like to thank Mr. Ng Lyp Hau, the Director of Dr Clo Malaysia, for sharing the new information with us.

Let’s check out what’s changed and what’s new with Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks!

 

Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : TLDR Summary

Here is a quick summary on Dr Clo disinfectant sticks :

  1. They are registered with the US FDA as a general purpose sanitiser.
  2. Class I refers to the low risk devices, not the quality or efficacy of the product.
  3. They were registered as 510(K) exempt from proving safety or efficacy, so they were not tested or approved by the US FDA.
  4. The KR Biotech lab test only proves that an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus, not the actual chlorine dioxide gas released by the disinfectant sticks.
  5. The Seoul National University lab test showed that the chlorine dioxide gas they release inside a small sealed chamber can reduce SARS-CoV-2 virus load completely in one hour, .
  6. Their internal test shows that they emit between 0.01 and 0.02 ppm of chlorine dioxide, below the NIOSH / OSHA limit of 0.1 ppm for 8 hours.

There does not appear to be enough evidence to prove that the Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks can protect you against COVID-19, and I’m glad to note that they have mostly removed this claim.

Happily, they also shared some evidence that the chlorine dioxide gas released is below the NIOSH / OSHA limit.

If you wish to purchase these sanitising deodorant sticks, you can do so at the official Dr Clo store.

Make sure you buy the original ones, because at least we know that they emit low levels of ClO2 gas.

 

Dr Clo Warning : Do NOT Hang It On Your Body!

According to the Dr Clo’s FAQ 2.0 (posted March 2021), Dr Clo is not meant for users to hang on their bodies. The correct way to use it is to place it indoors.

Yet many of Dr Clo influencers love showing how easy it is to strap it around their necks.

 

Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks : Do They Work Against COVID-19?

Dr Clo made a number of claims about their disinfectant sticks, including being over 99.9% effective against the COVID-19 virus.

Let’s examine each claim, and see what the FACTS really are!

Claim #1 : Dr Clo Is US FDA Approved / Tested / Verified
Verdict : Registered, But Not Tested, Verified Or Approved

When we first fact-checked their claims, Dr Clo’s Facebook posts claimed that their sanitisation sticks were tested, verified and approved by the US FDA.

Dr Clo told us that it was a mistake, and they removed all references to US FDA approval, verification or testing.

However, a quick check revealed that at least their subsidiary in the Philippines continues to make this claim (here, here, here), as well as the Dr Clo official store.

So let us make it very clear – Dr Clo disinfectant sticks were NOT TESTED , NOT VERIFIED and NOT APPROVED by the US FDA.

Dr Clo was only registered as a 510(K) exempt general purpose disinfectant, with the Registered Establishment Number of 3013383068.

With the exception of certain reserved devices, the US FDA does NOT require Class I products to even prove that they are safe and effective.

As a 501(K) exempt device, “a premarket notification application and FDA clearance is not required before marketing the device“.

The US FDA only requires the manufacturer “to register their establishment“, which was what Dr Clo did.

Therefore, Dr Clo disinfectant sticks were registered, but not tested, verified or approved by the US FDA.

Claim #2 : Dr Clo Is Class 1 Medical Device
Verdict : Correct, Because It Doesn’t Require FDA Approval

Most people will assume that Class 1 products are superior to Class 2 or Class 3 products. That’s not true.

Dr Clo is a Class 1 product because it’s just a disinfectant, and therefore, does not require FDA testing or approval!

Class 1 products are those that are the least likely to pose a risk to our safety. Hence they generally do not require testing or approval by the US FDA. Examples of Class 1 products include :

  • Toothbrush – manual or electric
  • Tongue depressor
  • Bandages
  • Disinfectants

Class 2 products are those that pose more risk because they come into contact with your internal organs, or are diagnostic tools, etc. Examples of Class 2 products include :

  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Pregnancy test kits
  • Syringes
  • Surgical gloves
  • Contact lenses

Class 3 products are those that either sustain / support life, are implanted, or could potentially pose risk of injury. Examples of Class 3 products include :

  • Breast implants
  • Pacemakers
  • Cochlear implants
  • Ventilation machines

Claim #3 : Dr Clo Is Medical Grade / Hospital Grade Disinfectant
Verdict : Not Until They Are US EPA Certified

Dr Clo claims that their disinfectant sticks are Hospital / Medical Grade Disinfectants. That would true, if their disinfectant sticks are registered with the US EPA.

This is important because hospital-grade disinfectants are certified based on DIS/TSS-1 Jan 22, 1982 EFFICACY DATA REQUIREMENTS Disinfectants for Use on Hard Surfaces.

At the very minimum, a hospital-grade disinfectant must be tested against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, and their efficacy approved by the US EPA.

As per Dr Clo’s FAQ 2.0 (posted March 2021), their disinfectant sticks are not registered with the US EPA.

Claim #4 : Dr Clo Was Certified Effective Against COVID-19 Virus
Verdict : Only In Labs, Using Solution / Sealed Chamber

Konkuk University : Using Solution

In December 2020, NON Corporation announced that their Dr Clo disinfectant sticks were proven to be 99.9% effective against SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus.

This was based on a laboratory test conducted by KR Biotech Co. Ltd under the Institute of Infectious Disease Control of Konkuk University.

In that test, KR Biotech dissolved an entire Dr Clo disinfectant stick in 100 ml of warm water for 24 hours, to create an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution.

That concentrated chlorine dioxide solution reduced the SARS-CoV-2 virus titre (amount of virus) by 99.93% after just 30 seconds.

However, the actual Dr Clo disinfectant stick works by releasing small amounts of chlorine dioxide gas over 50 days, so the laboratory test was completely pointless.

The KR Biotech test results do not prove that the chlorine dioxide gas from Dr Clo disinfectant sticks can actually destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air, much less prevent you from getting infected.

Lots of things can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including ordinary soap! But that does not mean these substances can effectively kill SARS-CoV-2, or prevent an infection, when dispersed into the air.

Seoul National University : Using Sealed Chamber

A month after we published our fact check on 3 February 2021, NON had Professor Cho Nam Hyuk from the Seoul National University test the efficacy of their Dr Clo sanitisation stick against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In that test, Professor Cho used a sealed chamber measuring 25 centimetres on each side, with a cubic capacity of 15.625 litres.

He ran two tests – one with a Dr Clo disinfectant stick attached to the top of the sealed chamber, and one without.

At first glance, the results are impressive, showing a steady drop of plaque-forming units (p.f.u.) with the Dr Clo disinfectant stick active in the sealed chamber.

After one hour, no more SARS-CoV-2 p.f.u. could be detected.

However, I have to point out a few troubling points about this study :

A. The sealed chamber is very small – measuring just 25 cm x 25 cm x 25 cm.

It would not be an accurate reflection of the real world discharge of the Dr Clo disinfectant stick, which promises a protective radius of 16 feet (4.88 metres).

The sealed chamber has a cubic capacity of 0.01562 m³ – much smaller than the rated protective volume of 17,157 cubic feet or 486 m³.

B. The Dr Clo disinfectant stick appeared to be activated for 16 hours, prior to the test.

That would have led to a very significant accumulation of chlorine dioxide within the sealed air chamber.

If true, it would not be an accurate reflection of the real world concentration of chlorine dioxide released by the Dr Clo disinfectant stick.

C. It took about 252 seconds for the chlorine dioxide gas to reduce the virus load in the air chamber by half.

While better than the baseline of 11 minutes, 4 minutes is still a long time because SARS-CoV-2 is a highly-contagious virus that infects in SECONDS.

A normal person takes about 12 to 20 breaths a minute. That’s an average of 67 breaths in the 4 minutes 12 seconds it takes for the chlorine dioxide gas to cut the viral load by half.

It does not appear that the chlorine dioxide gas from the Dr Clo disinfectant stick can destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus fast enough to matter.

Claim #5 : Dr Clo Passed EU REACH SVHC Test
Verdict : Absolutely, Chlorine Dioxide Is Not Even In The List

To prove that Dr Clo is safe, NON Corporation had it tested by the Korea Testing and Research Institute (KTR) for toxins and carcinogens.

What KTR did was test the Dr Clo disinfectant sticks against the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

This is a red herring because the SVHC is a list of chemicals that are “carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction“. In other words, it is limited to chemicals that could cause cancer.

Just because a chemical is not in that list, does NOT mean it is safe to breathe in.

In fact, the same ECHA warns that chlorine dioxide is dangerous, and can be fatal if inhaled, is toxic if swallowed, and can cause severe skin burns and eye damage.

The ECHA dossier for chlorine dioxide gas lists its LC50 (lethal concentration over 4 hours) at 32 ppm. In other words, it is considered a “very toxic” gas at 32 ppm.

The US FDA has also warned about the dangers of chloride dioxide, calling it “a powerful bleaching agent that has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects“.

But of course, it all boils down to the dose. After all, even oxygen and water can be toxic at high doses.

Claim #6 : Dr Clo Emits 0.01-0.02 ppm ClO2 – 10X Safer Than WHO Guidelines
Verdict : Not Quite, But Should Be Safe

WHO does not actually have guidelines for ClO2 gas limits. However, both NIOSH and OSHA in the United States set ClO2 exposure limits at 0.1 ppm (up to 8 hours).

Dr Clo shared with us a document on their internal measurement of chlorine dioxide, showing ClO2 readings of 0.01 ppm and 0.02 ppm.

That would certainly make it safe to breathe in, albeit not quite “10X safer”, because the NIOSH and OSHA exposure limits are based on an 8-hour work session.

While we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of their internal test, it would be good if Dr Clo can verify it with an independent test that they can release publicly.

It would also be good for Dr Clo to share with us the concentration of ClO2 gas over time inside a sealed gas chamber.

This would assure the public that there won’t be a dangerous build-up of chlorine dioxide gas inside their car, home or even the refrigerator.

 

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Malaysia Gets First Batch Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine!

Malaysia just received the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine!

Find out this means for the COVID-19 vaccination program in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Gets First Batch Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine!

On 25 April 2021, the Malaysia Health Minister announced that the first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8:20 PM on Friday, 23 April 2021.

The 268,800 doses was purchased through the COVAX vaccine sharing scheme, and are enough to vaccinate 134,400 people.

These AstraZeneca vaccine doses were manufactured in South Korea by SK Bioscience, and approved for use in Malaysia on 2 April 2021.

This is a small fraction of the 6.4 million vaccine doses that Malaysia agreed to purchase from AstraZeneca in December 2020.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : A Quick Primer!

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine.

It uses a chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – which has been modified to prevent replication, to introduce a DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Once injected, the vaccine enters the cell and “teaches” it to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and express them on its surface.

These spike proteins triggers the immune response to create antibodies that will protect you against the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Extended To June 2021!

Due to the persisting COVID-19 pandemic, AirAsia just announced that their Unlimited Pass will be extended to June 2021. Here are the details!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : What Is It?

Stung by the Airbus bribery scandal and the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass promotion is their effort to stem the bleed.

Earlier this year, AirAsia offered the Unlimited Pass which would give you the right to obtain free flight tickets to seven sectors, as many times as you wish – for a year :

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • China
  • Taiwan (only Taipei)
  • India
  • United States (only Honolulu)

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Destinations + Embargo Periods!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Extended To June 2021

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass was on sale until 7 March 2020, which meant the latest anyone could fly was up to the first week of March, 2021.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic locking down most of the world for the next few months, those who purchased the Unlimited Pass have been grumbling.

At this point, we have to say – we told you so…

However, your dissatisfaction has paid off. AirAsia just extended the Unlimited Pass flight availability till 30 June 2020 – an extension of about 3 months for most people.

Do note that this is not an extension of the sale period. That ended on 7 March 2020. The extension is for flight purchases for existing AirAsia Unlimited Pass holders.

For more details, we recommend these articles :

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Destinations

When AirAsia announced the Unlimited Pass promotion, they only highlighted five countries – Australia, Japan, Korea, China and India. Well, that’s not all.

Here is the full, confirmed list of destinations, which we compiled in this table based on where you plan to fly from :

Origin Sector Available Destinations
Kuala Lumpur (Return) Australia Gold Coast
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
China Beijing
Changsha
Chengdu
Chongqing
Hangzhou
Shanghai
Wuhan
Xi’an
India Ahmedabad
Amritsar
New Delhi
Japan Fukuoka
Osaka
Sapporo (Chin Chitose)
Tokyo (Haneda)
Tokyo (Narita)
Korea Busan
Jeju
Seoul
Taiwan Taipei
Bangkok (Return) Australia Brisbane
China Shanghai
Japan Osaka
Sapporo (Chin Chitose)
Tokyo (Narita)
Nagoya
Korea Seoul
Taipei (Return) Japan Osaka
Okinawa
Osaka (Return) US Honolulu

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Embargo Periods

AirAsia defines the Embargo Period as a travel blackout period, during which you cannot use the Unlimited Pass.

It includes, but is not limited to, these upcoming holidays in Malaysia. In other words, AirAsia can add new embargo periods, as they wish.

Unlimited Pass Embargo Dates Occasion
1 May 2020 Labour Day
7 May 2020 Wesak Day
23 May to 7 June 2020 School Holidays
24 May to 25 May 2020 Hari Raya Aidilfitri
25 July to 2 August 2020 School Holidays
31 July 2020 Hari Raya Haji
20 August 2020 Awal Muharram
31 August 2020 Merdeka Day
16 September 2020 Malaysia Day
29 October 2020 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
14 November 2020 Deepavali
21 November to 31 December 2020 School Holidays
25 December 2020 Christmas Day
1 January 2021 New Year’s Day
28 January 2021 Thaipusam
12 February to 13 February 2021 Chinese New Year

 

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Fact Check : Kim Yo Jong Confirms Kim Jong Un Is Dead

Did Kim Yo Jong just confirm that her brother and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is dead, with LIVE videos of his funeral?

Find out what’s going on, and if it’s true that Kim Jong Un is dead.

 

Claim : Kim Yo Jong Confirms Kim Jong Un Is Dead

Just hours ago, a Kim Yo Jong Facebook page started sharing videos of what it claimed were scenes from Kim Jong Un’s funeral.

Here are the comments that accompanied those videos :

Live My Brother North Korea Kim Jong Un Is Dead. RIP Kim Jong UN

Live North Korea State TV announces the death of leader Kim Jong UN

EXCLUSIVE: Kim Jong Un funeral scenes

Kim Jong Funeral 

 

Our Verdict : Utter Bullshit

Now, we do not know if Kim Jong Un is dead or alive … but Kim Yo Jong definitely did not confirm that her brother is dead.

  • that Facebook page does not belong to Kim Yo Jong
  • the videos are NOT live streams from North Korea
  • the Kaheva video was recorded 5 days ago
  • the funeral videos were from Kim Jong Il’s funeral in December 2011

This Facebook page was likely created to farm Facebook Likes and Follows. Last we checked, it had 22K Likes and 50K Follows.

The admins can later sell the Page to someone else to rename and reuse for other purposes.

To maximise their efforts, they created at least two other Pages with similar content – Hantavirus and Trending Today USA – both new pages.

Please DO NOT LIKE / FOLLOW such pages! And please DO NOT SHARE their posts!

 

Kim Yo Jong Confirms Kim Jong Un Is Dead : Hoax Debunked!

For those who are thinking to themselves, “How do you know it’s fake? You were NOT there!“, here are the reasons why we know for sure…

Fact #1 : Facebook Is Blocked In North Korea

Let’s start with this – North Korea has blocked access to Facebook since April 2016, exactly four years ago.

Okay, you may be thinking – surely, Kim Yo Jong would have access to Facebook, right? Please continue…

Fact #2 : No North Korean Leader Has A Facebook Page

No North Korean leader has ever created a Facebook page, not even Kim Yo Jong. North Korea has no official presence on Facebook.

Fact #3 : That Page Was Created Just Hours Ago!

At the time of writing, the Kim Yo Jong page was created a mere 10 hours ago, and use old, existing photos as the profile and cover photos.

Fact #4 : None Of The Videos Were Live Streamed

Despite mentioning that the videos were live, the page admins posted the first two videos directly.

They later re-released this video of Kaheva (actually recorded 5 days ago) saying that Kim Jong Un is likely dead, from her analysis.

Is it possible for the North Koreans to go back in time to post a live recording that was recorded 4 hours later?

The admins then looped the other video clips, and streamed them to Facebook Live, so they would have the red Live icon, making them look more authentic.

However, if you watch the Live videos, you will realise that it’s the same clip on a loop. A real live video would not do that.

Fact #5 : The Videos Are Of Kim Jong Il’s Funeral!

The four video clips posted or shared on the page were of Kim Jong Il’s state funeral from December 2011.

Here is a screenshot of the original video, showing Kim Jong Un at his father’s funeral.

And when people posted links to the original videos to dispute the claim, the Kim Yo Jong page admins quickly banned them. I literally saw it happen LIVE…

Fact #6 : Impossible For So Many Live Streams From North Korea

At the time we posted this article, three new Facebook Pages – Kim Jo Yong, Hantavirus and Trending Today USA – have posted Live videos of Kim Jong Un’s alleged funeral.

Do you actually believe that it is possible for THREE different persons in North Korea to record the funeral live and stream it on Facebook Live, which is banned and blocked in North Korea?

Fact #7 : His Name Is Kim Jong-un

It is odd for his own sister, or any North Korean citizen or official, to repeatedly mistype his name.

His name is Kim Jong-un, not Kim Jong Un, not Kim Jong UN, not Kim Jong.

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Destinations + Embargo Periods!

People have been arguing over what destinations and embargo periods are applicable for the AirAsia Unlimited Pass promotion.

Well, consider that settled – here are all available destinations, and current embargo dates, for the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Destinations

When AirAsia announced the Unlimited Pass promotion, they only highlighted five countries – Australia, Japan, Korea, China and India. Well, that’s not all.

Here is the full, confirmed list of destinations, which we compiled in this table based on where you plan to fly from :

Origin Sector Available Destinations
Kuala Lumpur (Return) Australia Gold Coast
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
China Beijing
Changsha
Chengdu
Chongqing
Hangzhou
Shanghai
Wuhan
Xi’an
India Ahmedabad
Amritsar
New Delhi
Japan Fukuoka
Osaka
Sapporo (Chin Chitose)
Tokyo (Haneda)
Tokyo (Narita)
Korea Busan
Jeju
Seoul
Taiwan Taipei
Bangkok (Return) Australia Brisbane
China Shanghai
Japan Osaka
Sapporo (Chin Chitose)
Tokyo (Narita)
Nagoya
Korea Seoul
Taipei (Return) Japan Osaka
Okinawa
Osaka (Return) US Honolulu

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Embargo Periods

AirAsia defines the Embargo Period as a travel blackout period, during which you cannot use the Unlimited Pass.

It includes, but is not limited to, these upcoming holidays in Malaysia. In other words, AirAsia can add new embargo periods, as they wish.

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

Unlimited Pass Embargo Dates Occasion
1 May 2020 Labour Day
7 May 2020 Wesak Day
23 May to 7 June 2020 School Holidays
24 May to 25 May 2020 Hari Raya Aidilfitri
25 July to 2 August 2020 School Holidays
31 July 2020 Hari Raya Haji
20 August 2020 Awal Muharram
31 August 2020 Merdeka Day
16 September 2020 Malaysia Day
29 October 2020 Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
14 November 2020 Deepavali
21 November to 31 December 2020 School Holidays
25 December 2020 Christmas Day
1 January 2021 New Year’s Day
28 January 2021 Thaipusam
12 February to 13 February 2021 Chinese New Year

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

If you have already purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, here is a step-by-step guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

As we pointed out earlier, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is not for everyone. But if you are able to benefit from it, here is our guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets.

Step 1 : Log into your BIG Member account.

Step 2 : Make sure your BIG Member profile name is exactly the same as the name in your passport.

Step 3 : If necessary, please change your profile name to match your passport.

You only have one (1) chance to change your name and you cannot change it once your first flight redemption is confirmed, so make sure you do it before redeeming your first flight!

Step 4 : Go to Deals and look at the My Purchases tab for your AirAsia Unlimited Pass.

If you cannot locate your Unlimited Pass after purchasing, check back after a few hours. If the problem persists, email AirAsia at support_deals@airasia.com.

Step 5 : Generate your Unique Code.

Step 6 : Click Apply Now, and the page will refresh to show a flight search page.

Step 7 : Select your destination and travel date.

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass allows you to redeem these flights :

  • From Kuala Lumpur (return) : Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney, Changsha, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Amritsar, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Fukuoka, Tokyo (Haneda), Tokyo (Narita), Jeju, Seoul, Busan, Taipei

  • From Bangkok (return) : Brisbane, Shanghai, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Tokyo (Narita), Nogoya, Fukuoka, Seoul

  • Others (return) : Taipei – Osaka, Taipei – Okinawa, Osaka – Honolulu

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money, Unless…

Flights with seats listed as 100% OFF are available to be booked by AirAsia Unlimited Pass holders.

If your selected flight has no 100% OFF sign, that means the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is NOT available for the selected date, or the selected date falls on the Embargo Period.

AirAsia defines the Embargo Period as a travel blackout period, during which you cannot use the Unlimited Pass. It includes these upcoming holidays in Malaysia :

Step 8 : Insert your Unique Code into the “Promo Code” field.

You will see the airport taxes and fees payable for that sector, with the total payable taxes and fees at the black box at the bottom for the return trip.

Here is a list of mandatory government taxes and fees for a 2-way return trip for available destinations :

Step 9 : Add your baggage, meals and seat allocations!

Step 10 : Complete your booking by paying the necessary taxes, fees and add-on fees.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Warning!

AirAsia would like us to remind everyone that your Unlimited Pass cannot be returned, refunded or transferred.

They will also void your Unlimited Pass if you are no-show for 3 consecutive times for your confirmed flights.

So make sure you REALLY want to fly to those destinations on those dates before booking!

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money, Unless…

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass promises UNLIMITED AIR TRAVEL to five countries, for a whole year!

But frankly speaking – the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is A WASTE OF MONEY, unless you fit a certain set of criteria.

Find out if you fit that small set of criteria, because if you don’t – do NOT sign up for the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : What Is It?

Stung by the Airbus bribery scandal and the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass promotion is their effort to stem the bleed.

From 29 February to 7 March 2020, AirAsia BIG Members can purchase the Unlimited Pass which would give them the right to purchase tickets to seven sectors, as many times as they wish – for a year :

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • China
  • Taiwan (only Taipei) *thanks for the heads-up, Goldfries!
  • India
  • United States (only Honolulu)

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Destinations + Embargo Periods!

That sounds like an AWESOME deal, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want unlimited air flights to all five countries for a whole year?

However, AirAsia threw in so many caveats, the Unlimited Pass is almost useless… unless you are willing to put up with the hassle.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : TLDR Advice

For those who don’t have the time to read, here is our quick summary of what you need to know :

  1. COVID-19 will prevent / discourage you from using the Unlimited Pass for many months.
  2. You are limited to flights over 4 hours, and only with the D7 or XJ carrier codes.
  3. You are NOT guaranteed tickets, because there are limited promo seats on each flight.
  4. The Unlimited Pass also may not apply during peak periods like weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
  5. Families should NOT bother with the Unlimited Pass. Holidays should be fun, not torture.
  6. You must be willing to book your ticket, and be seated, separately from anyone you are travelling with.
  7. It is best purchased and used by retirees, or singles / couples who have flexible working arrangements and can travel on working days.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Why It’s A Waste Of Money

Reason #1 : Remember COVID-19?

Four of those five countries are in the throes of fighting COVID-19, and it is unlikely that India won’t be affected soon. And the COVID-19 coronavirus is spreading, not receding.

So how likely do you think you will be travelling to those countries over the next 12 months, even if there is no travel ban?

IMHO, many people will not be travelling (voluntarily) to China, Korea, Japan and Australia in the next 6 monthsat the very least.

Reason #2 : You’re NOT Guaranteed A Flight

With tourism falling off the cliff over the next few months, not only will people cancel their flights, so will airlines.

Even if you are fearless, it doesn’t mean AirAsia will be fearless as well, or stupid enough to fly an almost empty plane just because you insist on flying.

As stated in their rules (see below), buying the Unlimited Pass does NOT guarantee you to a flight. It is up to them to decide whether you qualify for a flight to your destination.

Reason #3 : Severe Limitations On Tickets

It’s stated in their Q&A (conveniently located in a separate page) that :

  • tickets are limited, and not available for all flights or destinations, or time periods, especially public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • only long haul flights of over 4 hours with the carrier code D7 or XJ are allowed.
  • you can only buy it for direct flights, no connecting flights allowed.
  • every passenger must book the flight individually – you cannot book as a group, even if everyone has the Unlimited Pass.
  • you must be 12 years or older, and have your own BIG Member account.

These limitations are designed to reduce your ability to fly as often as you would like using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass. Families, for example, must be willing to be seated separately.

Unless you are single or a couple, and able to travel during work days, you may not even have the opportunity to use the AirAsia Unlimited Pass at all!

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

Reason #4 : Forced To Pay Full Price

Flying as a group will be problematic, because there are limited seats available for the Unlimited Pass.

What will likely happen is that a few members of your group will be able to use their Unlimited Pass, while the others will have to pay full price for their tickets.

The way out would be to split the group up, and fly on separate flights. But obviously, this makes travel much more of a hassle.

And remember – even if you get to fly out with the Unlimited Pass, you may not get to do so on the way back. You may have to pay full price, unless you are able and willing to adjust your return date according to what’s available for the Unlimited Pass.

Reason #5 : Fuel, Baggage + Other Fees

Even if you manage to several flights using the Unlimited Pass, they aren’t free. You will still need to cough up extra money for ancillary fees.

Budget airlines like AirAsia make a large percentage of their profits not from flight tickets, but from ancillary revenue – administrative fees, baggage fees, assigned seat fees, flight insurance, cancellations, documentation, meals, merchandise, fuel surcharges, etc.

In Q3 2019, almost a quarter of AirAsia’s revenue came from such ancillary sources – a whopping RM 686 million. And unlike revenue from flight tickets – they have relatively low costs – and so they contribute substantially to the airline’s PROFITS.

Frequent AirAsia travellers will also tell you that these ancillary fees often cost as much as, or even more, than the flight tickets!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Who Should Buy It?

Based on the severe restrictions AirAsia places on the Unlimited Pass, the best people to buy it should meet these requirements :

  • retired, single or a couple
  • able to travel on normal working days
  • would like to travel to those 5 countries
  • willing to put up with booking / travel hassles

Everyone else should not bother. Really. Travel should be fun, not a torture.

And we should point out that the target group above can often get free or heavily discounted flights on AirAsia without the Unlimited Pass. Thanks for the screenshots, Nigel!

So all the Unlimited Pass does is “force” you to travel more on AirAsia – they won’t make money from your flights, but they will make their money from your ancillary fees.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : The Caveats

AirAsia conveniently lists the caveats of the Unlimited Pass in two sections in a separate Q&A page, which we have combined and summarised here (with our emphasis) :

  • It is only applicable on direct long haul flights of over 4 hours with carrier code D7 & XJ.
  • It excludes flights to Bali, Singapore, Jeddah and all Fly-thru routes. Embargo period applies.
  • Flight redemption is limited and may not be available for all flights, all destinations including public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • Promotions which are applicable for bookings made via airasia.com and AirAsia Mobile App are limited to regular base fare only and shall not include Premium Flex or Value Pack bundled category.
  • All applicable taxes, fees or charges imposed by the regulatory bodies must be paid at the time of purchase unless otherwise stated.
  • It is available for BIG Members within Malaysia who are at least 12 years of age on the date of departure and the passenger must be the BIG Member who made the booking. Each AirAsia Unlimited Pass is assigned to one (1) passenger only with one (1) BIG Member account.
  • You can only book for yourself, and cannot select multiple passengers using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • In the event any travel agency or party other than an individual BIG Member purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass and subsequently made flight bookings using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, AirAsia shall have the right to cancel/forfeit such AirAsia Unlimited Pass and the flight bookings, without any liability on the part of AirAsia to such agency, third party or any passenger.
  • AirAsia reserves the right to cancel or forfeit your Unlimited Pass, if you miss more than three (3) flights.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass cannot be sold, bartered, assigned or transferred to another person. Any attempt to transfer the AirAsia Unlimited Pass or book travel using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass for someone other than the holder of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will result in immediate forfeiture of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • Upon purchasing the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, the passenger shall have the right to book and fly on AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X flights to Australia, India, China, Korea and Japan for an unlimited number of times, subject to full and final payment of any applicable airport charges, taxes and regulatory fees, or other charges.
  • Use of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not earn any BIG Points, and flights flown using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not count towards any offers or bonuses. Redemption of BIG Points is also not allowed for the purchase of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • When purchasing the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, passengers must ensure their details in the BIG Member account (i.e. name and date of birth) are as per passport or identity card. These details will be used for booking during the redemption process.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass is non-refundable.

 

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