Tuesday - Nov 21, 2017

Travelled from/to India with Cathay Pacific? Did you claim your miles?


Part 1:  Introduction
Part 2: Etihad Airways
Part 3: British Airways
Part 3.1: Depositing British Airways travel to American Airlines and Alaska
Part 4: Emirates
Part 5: Air India
Part 6: Cathay Pacific
Part 7: Jet Airways
Part 8: Singapore Airlines
Part 9: Qatar Airways
Part 10: Lufthansa
Part 11: Malaysian Airlines

In part 1,  we have seen the overview of claiming the miles for your travel, and these miles can be used for future travel. In this post, we will go through the several choices of claiming miles for travel with Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific has one of best fleet in the market

Cathay Pacific has one of best fleet in the market

As always, I would like to take an example and explain what you get for travelling with Cathay Pacific.  Cathay Pacific is one of the quick way to reach India from US west coast. Let us take a scenario of a round trip between Los Angeles -> Chennai in Economy Class (Booking Class N).

Cathay Pacific is one of the popular airline for Trans-pacific routes

Cathay Pacific is one of the popular airline for Trans-pacific routes

Cathay Pacific is a member of Oneworld alliance along with British Airways , American Airlines, Qatar Airways etc..

We will go through some of the sweet spots with the miles you earn for travelling with Cathay Pacific  between Los Angeles and Chennai

Cathay Pacific Frequent Flyer Program:

Most airlines will have tier status and redemption under the same program, but Cathay Pacific has divided them in two parts. the official program is called “Marco Polo Club“. With Marco Polo Club, you can get a status and tier bonuses based on your status. It costs $50 to join the Marco Polo Club.

If you join the Marco Polo Club you are automatically enrolled in the Asia Miles. Asia Miles is an unaffiliated travel reward programme comprising of a variety of airline and hotel partners, as well as credit and charge card companies, car rental agencies, telecommunications companies and other non-air partners

If you do not want to earn status with Cathay Pacific, but just want to earn and redeem miles for travelling with Cathay Pacific, you just need to sign up for Asia Miles.

You could also deposit your travel to any  Oneworld airline frequent flyer program for travelling with Cathay Pacific, but if you are travelling in discounted economy fare, most Oneworld airlines will not offer any miles (earn 25% of flown miles with British Airways and 50% with Finnair)

For a round trip between Los Angeles and Chennai, you could earn 4,776 BA Avios if you choose to deposit your Cathay Pacific flight to BA Executive club program

Find the class of booking in your Itinerary

Find the class of booking in your Itinerary

We will find some of the best frequent flyer programs you can deposit your travel with Cathay Pacific and we will analyze Asia Miles program

What can you do with the miles if you choose to credit your travel to “Asia Miles” program?

If you choose to deposit your miles to Asia Miles program, you will earn  4,776 Asia miles for a round trip travel between Los Angeles and Chennai. You can estimate the miles you can earn for other routes using the Mileage Calculator.

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you will earn 4,776 Asia Miles for a round trip between Los Angeles and Chennai

What can you do with the Asia miles you earned?

Option 1: Redeeming for Travel with Cathay Pacific

You can redeem these miles for your future travel with Cathay Pacific,  The number of miles needed for an economy round trip award ticket from Los Angeles and Chennai is 90,000 miles and approximately $391.54 in taxes and fees. (145,000 miles and$391.54 for Business class). If you choose to redeem for one-way awards, it will 55,000 and 85,000 miles for one-way Economy and business class respectively.

Asia Miles Redemption Chart

Asia Miles Redemption Chart

90,000 Asia Miles and $391 for a round trip award

90,000 Asia Miles and $391.54 for a round trip award between Chennai and Los Angeles

You can book Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Qantas awards online 

Option 2: Use for upgrades

You can use your Asia miles to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy or Premium Economy to Business class. only fare classes Y, B, H, K and M are eligible for Economy to Premium Economy

In the above example you would need 45,000 Asia miles to upgrade from high fare economy to Premium Economy and per the Asia Miles representative I have talked to, there is no fee to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy as long as it is booked in the Y,B,H,K and M booking classes.

You can also upgrade American Airlines, British Airways and Dragon Air tickets using Asia Miles. only high fare economy class bookings are eligible for upgrade.

Option 3: Oneworld Multi-Carrier awards

You can use your miles to redeem for Oneworld Multi Carrier awards.  This award chart is only applicable if you are redeeming for a round trip ticket with at least two one world alliance airlines. This is “Round the World” ticket .

Oneworld Multi Carrier Award Chart

Oneworld Multi Carrier Award Chart

For example, If you redeem Asia Miles for an award ticket with British Airways only, then the regular Asia Miles award chart would be applicable.

Asia Miles award chart applies for Oneworld airline awards if it is only one carrier

Asia Miles award chart applies for Oneworld airline awards if it is only one carrier

If you notice the Asia Miles award chart, 70,000 miles are needed for a one way economy award for distances greater than 10,000 miles. But, Chennai-London-Boston route is only 8,386 miles which makes me think that the distance is calculated over pacific route MAA-HKG-BOS which is 10,278 miles.

If you redeem British Avios for the same award, it would only cost 45,000 Avios

Need 45,000 Avios for a one way award

Need 45,000 Avios for a one way award from Chennai to Boston

What is the best choice?

If you want flexibility: Deposit your Cathay Pacific travel to British Airways

For a round trip between Chennai and Los Angeles, you could earn 4,776 BA-Avios.

You can use BA Avios for travel with British Airways, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airlines . British Airways also offer Household accounts,  so there is an opportunity to pool Avios with your family members.

Need 47,500 Avios and $173 for the same flight with BA-Avios

Need 47,500 Avios and $173 for the same flight with BA-Avios vs. 55,000 Asia Miles

Need 95,000 Avios vs

Need 95,000 Avios and $173 for the same flight with BA Avios vs. 85,000  Asia Miles

Read these 2 posts for more details on how to use British Airways Avios

British Airways
Depositing British Airways travel to American Airlines and Alaska

Also, there are a lot of opportunities to earn BA-Avios through several credit cards.

When to Choose Asia Miles?

If your goal is a business class or higher cabin award with Cathay Pacific or round the world trip, and expect to take a lot of trips in a short span with Cathay Pacific (paid tickets).

It is not worthwhile depositing to Asia Miles for economy awards, as they are cheaper with BA Avios than Asia miles(round trip awards are cheaper with Asia miles by 5,000 Asia miles)

Remember that Asia Miles are valid for three years from the month the mileage is credited. expiry date of Asia Miles will not be extended − even when new Asia Miles are credited

Conclusion:

Cathay Pacific has one of best product in the market. If you paid for a Cathay Pacific flight, you can get more flexibility and value by choosing BA-Executive Club than Asia Miles. Asia miles expire within 3 years from the month the mileage is credited.

Asia miles may be useful if you intend to use for round the world awards. This analysis is based only for travel between India and USA

Disclaimer:  Links mentioned in this post do not earn us any commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institutions.

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