Tuesday, March 3, 2020

My Thoughts on AirAsia Unlimited Pass

Updated 12 May 2020: Pass Validity has been extended until 30 June 2021! 

I bought the AirAsia Unlimited Pass on its launch day and have used it already so I think that alone puts me in a greater authority to comment on it than half the "analytical" netizens out there. Initially I had no intention of doing this post but the more misinformation I saw on the Internet, the more triggered I became.

For an understanding of what the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is, go to the announcement post here.

This AirAsia Unlimited Pass is basically ideal for someone who is flexible with their travel and doesn't mind taking multiple short trips to get the most value of the pass. AirAsia has already listed the applicable countries upfront aka China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Australia (and apparently Honolulu too) so if you're okay with visiting these countries in the next 12 months then this is the pass for you.

Yes, we know that most of these countries are plagued by the Covid-19 but what about Australia and India? Surely, Australia could use the tourism money after the disastrous bush fires that killed off so much of their endangered ecosystem and what about India? Political unrest aside, it's still a nice country to visit.

My point is, getting the pass is a gamble and you must be willing to live on the edge a little to make the most of it. Put aside the fact that this is AirAsia's marketing attempt to recoup its financial loss because as a company, they have to do something, right. Focus more on how the AirAsia Unlimited Pass can benefit you.

Here's my experience: 
Like everyone else, I was hesitant to buy it but since Japan was on the list destination and I was planning to go to Perth anyway, I decided what the heck, my salary just came in.
(AirAsia, you clever ass you)

Purchasing it
Buying it was a pain in the ass. It took forever for the pages to load due to the traffic overload. But because I was using the AirAsia app to order it on my way out to dinner, I wasn't too bothered by how delay of it all. Granted there was a point I got a page saying my order couldn't be completed after I paid but after force shutting and reopening the app and checking my Maybank, I saw that I had indeed purchased the pass.

Using it 
Day 1 of using it was also a pain. The Pass will generate a unique promo code for each time freaking time you want to see the flight prices but the generator was very slow that day. But by Day 2, it was operating better.

Finding the applicable flights under the Unlimited Pass took a fair amount of clicking around. But on a whim I decided to try Merdeka weekend and stumbled across return flights to Osaka for RM225. The RM225 was for the airport tax and miscellaneous and doesn't include baggage and food. But I can opt to add on later on if I wanted to.

The Maths 
For context, usually flights to Osaka cost about RM1.2K so if you think about it, RM225 + RM499 is already a deal.

Here's another example for Tokyo at peak season aka Cherry Blossom season in March.

Usual flights to Tokyo cost about RM1.2K as well on AirAsia but with the Unlimited Pass, you can get those tickets for RM211.

AirAsia Unlimited Pass: RM499
Osaka: RM225
Tokyo: RM211
Total: RM935

Two flights to different parts of Japan would cost me only RM935. So hopefully this puts things into clearer context for you. Because the pass is linked to your BIG Member account, only you as the owner can use it for your own flight and no one else. So those travelling in big groups or with family, you will be the only one who benefits from this.

Next, of course the dates and slots are limited. As with all items on sale, it's first come first serve and in selected amounts. It's just usual business practice. I don't understand why everyone is harping on this.

With the current situation, travelling has taken a backseat but the itch is still there especially when we see so many touristy places now so quiet. It's kinda elating and worrying at the same time. Buy it don't buy it, it's up to you because it's your money and your time. I am not sponsored and endorsed by AirAsia in any way.  Feel free to ask me more questions unless it's about how to buy it and all those typical FAQ stuff, then you can shove it.

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