In July 2023, Cathay Pacific announced that there will be upcoming changes to the award charts in the Asia Miles loyalty program. Despite Cathay Pacific trying to spin it otherwise, the changes are negative, and premium cabin award costs are going up across the board.
The upcoming devaluation, which is set to kick in on October 1, 2023, will make travel on Cathay Pacific and Oneworld partners more expensive when booked through Asia Miles. If you’re able to find award space in the first place, be sure to book before then to secure lower award rates.
Upcoming Changes to the Cathay Pacific Award Chart
As it stands, there are two primary award charts in the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program: one for flights with Cathay Pacific, and another for a Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award. While you can also book flights with Oneworld partner airlines, there isn’t a published award chart.
These charts will remain in effect until September 30, 2023, and as of October 1, 2023, there’ll be two new award charts.
To begin, let’s take a look at the current award chart for flights with Cathay Pacific:
And here’s the new chart that will take effect on October 1, 2023:
As you can see, award pricing has gone up almost across the board, and especially for flights in premium cabins. Flights in economy class will either remain the same or drop slightly.
For example, premium flights between Hong Kong and the West Coast of North America are taking a fairly significant hit with this upcoming devaluation, even though flights in economy are dropping by a few thousand miles:
- Premium economy flights are going from 45,000 Asia Miles to 50,000 Asia Miles, an 11% increase
- Business class flights are going from 70,000 Asia Miles to 84,000 Asia Miles, a 20% increase
- First Class flights are going from 110,000 Asia Miles to 125,000 Asia Miles, a 14% increase
Furthermore, award prices in the Ultra-long category, which includes anything over 7,501 miles in distance flown, are increasing by an even greater margin. While economy flights are dropping by a few thousand miles in this category, too, all other cabin classes are increasing:
- Premium economy flights are going from 60,000 Asia Miles to 75,000 Asia Miles, a 25% increase
- Business class flights are going from 85,000 Asia Miles to 110,000 Asia Miles, a 29% increase
- First Class flights are going from 125,000 Asia Miles to 160,000 Asia Miles, a 28% increase
It’s worth noting that the new chart will do away with two different tiers for the Long category, and the Short category will see the introduction of Type 1 and Type 2 award tiers.
Aside from flights in economy class, every other cabin class and category is seeing an increase. If you have Asia Miles in your account and you’re able to find availability, be sure to lock in a booking before September 30, 2023 to avoid higher pricing when the new chart kicks in.
Upcoming Changes to the Asia Miles Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart
Another way to redeem Cathay Pacific Asia Miles is for a larger itinerary using the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart, which is used when two or more Oneworld partner airlines are included on the same ticket (with Cathay Pacific possibly being included as well).
While this chart isn’t used as frequently as the Cathay Pacific chart, or for simple bookings with partner airlines, it’s also seeing an increase in pricing.
Until September 30, 2023, the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart will be subject to the following prices:
As of October 1, 2023, the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart will look as follows:
As we saw with the upcoming changes to flights with Cathay Pacific, Oneworld Multi-Carrier Awards in premium cabins are going to become more expensive, too.
At the lower end, business class awards in Award Zone 1 are increasing from 55,000 to 60,000 Asia Miles, a 9% increase, and First Class awards in this zone are moving from 70,000 Asia Miles to 75,000 Asia Miles, a 7% increase.
In Award Zone 10, business class flights are increasing from 165,000 Asia Miles to 230,000 Asia Miles, a 39% increase, and First Class awards in this zone are moving from 260,000 Asia Miles to 330,000 Asia Miles, a 27% increase.
In the highest Award Zone 13, business class flights are increasing from 240,000 Asia Miles to 280,000 Asia Miles, a 17% increase, and First Class awards in this tier are moving from 345,000 Asia Miles to 380,000 Asia Miles, a 10% increase.
Once again, if you can find enough award availability to make use of the current form of the Oneworld Multi-Carrier Award Chart, it’s best to do so before September 30, 2023, as the prices are set to increase thereafter.
Cathay Pacific Award Availability Remains Low
One of the challenges of redeeming Asia Miles lately has been abysmal award availability on Cathay Pacific flights. Even if you’re looking to redeem your Asia Miles before the upcoming devaluation, you’ll likely run into some difficulties finding flights for which you can redeem points in the first place.
In general, Asia Miles tends to have better access to more Cathay Pacific award seats than through partner loyalty programs. However, premium cabin award availability is still nearly impossible to find, especially between North America and Hong Kong.
Furthermore, Cathay Pacific doesn’t currently offer First Class on the vast majority of its long-haul routes. If you’ve had your eye on the airline’s best product, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find an award seat.
In the FAQ section of the devaluation announcement, Cathay Pacific has tried to justify the increases in pricing by indicating that award availability will become better.
Whether or not more seats become available after the devaluation remains to be seen; however, it’s unfortunate that any possible improvement to award availability will come at a higher price.
If you’re able to find award availability on Cathay Pacific flights, you may want to look at other loyalty programs, such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or American Airlines AAdvantage for more favourable pricing.
Earlier this year, Cathay Pacific announced that it’ll be changing the Asia Miles award charts. As of October 1, 2023, new charts come into effect, with higher prices for premium cabins across the board.
It’s unfortunate to see another loyalty program go through a devaluation this year. On the other hand, award availability for Cathay Pacific flights has been abysmal ever since Hong Kong reopened earlier this year, so even if you wanted to, it’d be difficult to find long-haul flights for which you can redeem points.
If you happen to have a stash of Asia Miles sitting around, be sure to keep an eye out for award availability, and book before September 30, 2023 to take advantage of the current pricing structure.