Yesterday Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles announced a list of changes to their earning and redemption charts coming into effect June 22, 2018. There are a couple blog posts out there that detail the changes, however I assume most of us here just want the rundown from a Canadian perspective.
Changes to Earning
- Zone-based earning, a change from the traditional Distance-based calculation
- NOT changing to Revenue-based earning
Changes to Redemption
- One-way flights at 50% miles of a roundtrip
- Short to medium haul flights <5000 miles, will cost around the same number of miles as before (at a glance)
- Long haul flights >5000 miles, will cost more miles than before (at a glance)
- Distance-based chart with 5 distance bands, a change from 7 distance bands
New distance bands
1 to 750 miles – Ultra-short
751 to 2,750 miles – Short
2,751 to 5,000 miles – Medium
5,001 to 7,500 miles – Long
7,501+ miles – Ultra-Long
Example – Short distance (751 to 2,750 miles)
Cathay Pacific flight between Vancouver and New York (JFK) clocks in at 2,449 miles and offers a full 4 cabin service.
Here are the new redemption rates per cabin and how they compare with the old rates.
For further analysis, here is how the new rates stack with British Airways Avios, which also runs a distance-based chart for oneworld flights.
If you’re not sure what to do with your Asia Miles, “Short” distance flights under 2,750 miles cost is a pretty sweet redemption as you see above.
And now that one-way redemptions are 50% of the roundtrip cost, we’re looking at 10,000 Asia Miles in Economy, 18,000 in Premium Economy, and 25,000 in Business class. Not bad at all.
Earning Asia Miles for Canadians
You can transfer points to Asia Miles from the following programs.
- AMEX Membership Rewards 10,000 = 7,500 Asia Miles (4:3)
- Starwood Preferred Guest 20,000 = 25,000 Asia Miles (4:5)
- RBC Avion 10,000 = 10,000 Asia Miles (1:1)
After reviewing some redemption examples, the June 22 changes seem quite tame to me. I would not call it a devaluation as we have a fair share of flights decreasing in miles as there are flights increasing in miles.
Whenever changes occur, we just want to continue to focus our redemptions on sweetspots within the program. Long haul flights got more pricey, but you shouldn’t be redeeming Asia Miles on journeys >5000 miles anyways.
Definitely do not give up on Asia Miles!