Cathay Pacific’s New Premium Cabin Award Tiers

While these days I’m mostly focused on cheap business class award tickets, my parents mainly use Asia Miles to redeem their tickets whenever possible. It isn’t the best use of miles, but my parents didn’t know much about them when they first used Asia Miles, and they have a whole stash of them now, and…

DSCF4978It may be harder long term to save up Asia Miles for a Cathay Pacific business class seat, like this one on their A330

Well, Cathay Pacific is introducing a second tier of priority awards. Cathay Pacific used to save a “saver” and “flex” award tier, and now there are simply three levels: saver, tier 1 and tier 2 (aptly named, I know). Economy and premium economy both had these tiers to start with, so this is just new for first and business class.

The priority award chart is as follows:

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-5-51-33-pm

Overall I don’t see any benefits to priority awards, apart from the fact that they allow more seats. However the addition of an extra tier brings the following:

  • Long term, there could be a decrease in partner award availability due to more seats being offered up to Cathay Pacific’s own flyers
  • Saver awards may be eaten up by the new tier if there is actually a demand for it
  • From the above two reasons we may start seeing premium cabin price reductions, which is an awesome thing, as Cathay Pacific seats on longhaul flights can go out for ~HK$40,000

IMG_0138Even at the saver level, all premium cabin passengers will have access to the amazing Cathay Pacific The Pier Lounge at Hong Kong

Bottom Line

If you have a large stash of points like I do, this doesn’t really bode well long-term, as Cathay Pacific saver award seats are pretty scarce. It’s hard to find a flight releasing more than two saver seats per flight. Asia Miles do expire, though, so I feel less guilty spending more of them for a guaranteed premium cabin seat (not that I mind spending too much time in Cathay Pacific’s excellent economy class that much – that may soon change).

IMG_0185Cathay Pacific’s excellent economy class

I can’t wait to see what’s in store and will report accordingly in the future.

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