The award chart of AsiaMiles, Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program, underwent a drastic change in last month and the new chart went into effect on June 22nd. Since then, there have been lots of “glitches” in the system. For example, one major concern is that partners (e.g. AA, AS, and etc) cannot access Cathay’s saver-level business class award. Below is a screenshot of a search we did yesterday on ba.com:
360 days out, zero award seat in business class. On the other hand, AsiaMiles’ own website shows plenty of availability. Doesn’t look normal, right?
For a while, we were afraid that Cathay has finally started to crack down on partner redemptions (given the complaints by their executives in the past). If so, it is a big deal for American AAdvantage and Alaska MileagePlan members.
Later it turns out that this is most likely due to a married-segment logic. If we search JFK-CKG instead of JFK-HKG, Voilà! Here come the award seats!
There have been some suggested work-a-round that involves dropping a segment, but still your ticket risks getting cancelled if Cathay figures out you are trying to “cheat” by breaking the married segments.
Well, the good news is that as of today (July 18th), Cathay’s long haul business class award can be accessed by partners! You can search such award space on ba.com as before.
A long sigh of relief! It’s good to see those awards available to partners again and hopefully they shall persist. Historically Cathay Pacific has been extremely generous and consistent in releasing its unsold premium cabin seats for award redemption. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the best uses of American Airlines miles.