Asia Miles, the frequent flyer program of Cathay Pacific, has announced that it will be making changes to parts of the program. The changes kick in from June 22, 2018 and will change the way points are calculated when flying on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. On the rewards side of the equation, there will be changes in the way members can redeem flight awards.
New way to calculate award points
In creating the new tables for awarding points, Asia Miles seem to have taken a leaf from the Qantas “Simpler and Fairer” book. Instead of multiplying the miles flown by some factor, miles will now be awarded based on a combination of Cabin Class, Fare Class and the distance zone of the flight.
Anyone familiar with the Qantas tables will probably understand the new Asia Miles tables quite quickly. At the first level, you have the cabin in which you are travelling, and then within each cabin there are groupings of fare classes. So, for example, J and C class can be thought of as Business. D and I class can be thought of as Discount Business.
Then based on the distance travelled, you can work out which zone your are in. For example, Hong Kong to Cairns is in the Medium Zone, while Hong Kong to Sydney or Melbourne falls into the Medium-Long zone.
Armed with those pieces of information, you can determining the number of miles that you will be awarded.
The chart does not apply to partner flights, which remain on the same distance earning regime as now.
Asia Miles is making some changes to the way you can redeem points for awards. This includes moving Awards to a one way basis, and making changes to the number of points needed for an Award.
First up, redemptions will now be based on one way travel, rather than on a return journey. While this does give greater flexibility, such as being able to fly to and from a destination in different cabin classes, the return journey discount is no longer available.
Change in Points Required
In general, Economy flights will either require the same number of points, or even require less. The same is not true for the premium cabin awards. Awards in the premium cabins will generally require more points, and the longer the distance, the greater the effect of the increase will be.
Complicating matters, there are now three Award charts (Standard, Choice and Tailored). Choice awards will require about 50% more points than a Standard Award, but will add to the pool of awards seats.
Tailored awards aren’t described well, but appear to peg the points requirement to the cash tickets. So, they seem as though they may be a little fluid in price.
The number of points required for an upgrade is going to change. In addition, the ability to upgrade on British Airways or American Airlines is going to be removed. As of June 22, you will only be able to upgrade on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights.
Partner bookings changes
Asia Miles have flagged that the redemption rates for partner bookings will also change on June 22. Unfortunately, they have not published the charts for these changes. The examples quoted by Asia Miles suggests a bit of a mixed bag, with some examples showing an increase, while others show a decrease.
Further information on the changes is available on Asia Miles.