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!

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money Unless...

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!

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money Unless...

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.

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 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!

AirAsia deep discount examples

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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