AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass Extended : Poor Response?

AirAsia just extended their Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia by another two days, arguably due to poor response.

Anyone who read the rules and understands the limitations will know why it is a joke to call it Cuti-Cuti Malaysia….

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : What Is It?

Now that Malaysia is under Recovery MCO, AirAsia announced the Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia promotion to spur domestic tourism.

This is the domestic version of their earlier international Unlimited Pass, which we pointed out was a waste of money for most people.

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia promo 02

It promises to let you book unlimited flights to sixteen local destinations within Malaysia for a year, for just RM 399 per person.

AirAsia BIG Members can purchase this special pass from 11 June to 13 June 2020. This has been extended to 15 June 2020.

After purchasing it, they will be able to redeem flights from 25 June 2020 until 31 March 2021.

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : TLDR Advice

It looks like the AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia isn’t doing well at all…

AirAsia tried to spin that 12,000 flight tickets were booked, mostly to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. That’s actually pretty poor response, since they flew over 13 MILLION passengers in Q4 2019 alone…

In addition, people usually book two ways and use these Unlimited Passes to book multiple trips. So arguably, they only sold 6,000 or less of these domestic Unlimited Passes.

 

AirAsia Domestic 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 this Unlimited Pass for many months.
  2. You are NOT guaranteed tickets, because there are limited promo seats on each flight.
  3. It will not apply during embargo periods – weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
  4. Families should NOT bother. Holidays should be fun, not torture.
  5. You must be willing to book your ticket, and be seated, separately from anyone you are travelling with.
  6. It is best purchased and used by retirees, or singles / couples who have flexible working arrangements and can travel on working days.
  7. We also recommend it for business travellers – this can really save them a lot of money!

Since it may not be available during weekends, public holidays and school holidays, the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia tagline is really misleading…

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Who Should Buy It?

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

  • retired, single or a couple
  • able to travel on normal working days / need to travel for work
  • willing to put up with booking / travel hassles

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

We however recommend it for BUSINESS TRAVELLERS. The 14-day advanced booking may be a problem, but if you need to travel a lot for work, this pass will save you a lot of money!

Recommended : AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : How To Book Your Flight!

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Malaysia destinations

 

AirAsia Domestic Unlimited Pass : Not For Holidays!

Reason #1 : Remember COVID-19?

Even though Malaysia did very well in the fight against COVID-19, the pandemic isn’t over. In fact, COVID-19 is likely to persist and spread back and forth from various countries for many more months to come.

Until a vaccine is approved and administered worldwide, it is possible that Malaysia may encounter additional waves of COVID-19 infections.

If you are unwilling to take this risk, you may end up not flying all that much, if at all!

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Reason #2 : You’re NOT Guaranteed A Flight

The pass does NOT guarantee you to any flight. You can only use it to redeem flights that AirAsia has earmarked with 100% OFF signs.

You can select flights without the 100% OFF sign, but you will have to pay full price for them.

Reason #3 : Severe Limitations On Tickets

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

  • tickets are limited, and may not be available for all flights during public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • 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.
  • you must book your tickets at least 14 days in advanced.

These limitations are designed to reduce your ability to fly as often as you would like using the 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 Cuti-Cuti Malaysia at all!

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Cuti-Cuti Malaysia : Extended!

Reason #4 : Forced To Pay Full Price

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

What will likely happen is that a few members of your group will be able to use their 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 Cuti-Cuti Malaysia, 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 book many 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.

AirAsia luggage limits

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 tell you that these ancillary fees often cost as much as, or even more, than the flight tickets!

 

AirAsia Domestic 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 flights with the AK carrier code.
  • Flight redemption is limited and may not be available for all flights during public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • Flight redemption is only valid for base fare only and do not include optional add-ons, passenger service charge, regularity service charge, or other charges.
  • Booking must be made at least fourteen (14) days before the flight departure date.
  • 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.
  • 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 Cuti-Cuti Malaysia is non-refundable.

 

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