Cathay Pacific Miles Flights: Every seat available for redemption

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Cathay Pacific launches Miles Flights, which offers last-seat Standard Award availability on selected routes for travel in October 2022.

Hong Kong is set to lift its mandatory quarantine requirement from 26 September 2022, and Cathay Pacific is celebrating the occasion by launching a new promotion called Miles Flights.

✈️ Cathay Miles Flights
“With travel back on the horizon, we can’t wait to fly you to your favourite travel destination. For the first time ever, we’re excited to introduce Cathay’s Miles Flights. Every available seat in all cabins on selected routes from and to Hong Kong during October is now open for miles redemption with Standard Award.”

The hook is that Cathay Pacific is making every seat available for redemption on selected flights through Cathay (the loyalty programme formerly known as Asia Miles). 

Travel must take place in October 2022, and in that sense it feels a little bit like Singapore Airlines’ Spontaneous Escapes (they even refer to it as a “spontaneous getaway”), without the discounts but much more generous with award space.

Now, I’ll tell you upfront that the inaugural edition is close to useless for a Singapore-based reader. However, to the extent that Cathay intends to run this as a monthly promotion, it could get more interesting down the road.

Cathay’s Miles Flights

Redeem every seat on selected flights with Asia Miles

Under Cathay’s Miles Flights promotion, every seat on the following flights is being made available for redemption through Cathay at Standard Award rates. For avoidance of doubt, members of other oneworld programmes will not have access to the same space. 

DestinationFlightsEconomyBusiness
HanoiCX741, CX7427,50016,000
ManilaCX903, CX9307,50016,000
BangkokCX701, CX75010,00025,000
CebuCX952, CX 92610,00025,000
Ho Chi Minh CityCX767, CX76410,00025,000
Kuala LumpurCX725, CX72410,00025,000
OsakaCX596, CX59510,00025,000
SeoulCX418, CX 41110,00025,000

All tickets must be booked by 24 October 2022, 12 p.m (SGT), with travel dates from 1-31 October 2022. 

A cursory search confirms a glut of award space on these routes for October (I’m using the excellent tool created by jaytw on FlyerTalk, that “unelevates” the Cathay search engine and makes it actually, you know, usable), in both Economy and Business.

Seats booked under the Miles Flight promotion can be changed and refunded according to the usual award redemption fees, namely:

  • US$25 or 4,000 Asia Miles for rebookings
  • US$120 or 17,000 Asia Miles for cancellations

What about members in Singapore?

Cathay Pacific regional Business Class

While I love the concept of Miles Flights, this first edition is unlikely to be useful to anyone based in Singapore. Singapore is not one of the covered destinations, and it hardly makes sense to connect in Hong Kong to fly to Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Cebu, Ho Chi Minh City or Kuala Lumpur anyway. 

Osaka or Seoul could work, but you’d have to book a separate flight to Hong Kong to start your journey, paying the full price in cash or miles for that leg. Connecting airside on separate tickets in Hong Kong is possible, though you’ll need to factor in minimum connecting times and interlining arrangements, and I’m of the opinion the hassle isn’t worth it (remember, there’s no discount, just better award space). 

But all that being said, Cathay looks like it intends to make this a recurring promotion, and that’s where it potentially has promise. With Hong Kong inching towards a full reopening, connectivity with Singapore should be improved. For context, Cathay Pacific’s October schedule calls for up to 5X weekly flights to Singapore, a far cry from their pre-COVID schedule of 9X daily. 

When that does happen, perhaps we might see Singapore added as a Miles Flight destination, as well as other countries for which Hong Kong is a more logical connection. 

Conclusion

Cathay Pacific has launched a new promotion called Miles Flights, which offers last-seat availability on selected flights at Standard Award pricing.

While the launch offers won’t hold much appeal for anyone based in Singapore, this is something to keep your eye on for the future. 

One question I’m curious about: would you prefer Singapore Airlines changed Spontaneous Escapes to remove the discount, but make every seat available for redemption?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Tiak

On a related note, I was trying to book Cathay business class between Singapore and USA with Alaska Miles but until now, had difficulty finding award seats till 2nd half next year. Do you think with the re-opening and increased capacity, the chances will improve?

Naomi

I believe mandatory quarantine is no longer in place from 26 Sep, not 13 Oct?

Kai

To the question in your last line – yes for sure. Availability > discounts. It doesn’t make any sense to offer better pricing for a non-existent product! Heck, I’d still seriously consider the proposition if they levied a 30% premium instead

Obe

Agreed! For sure! Availability is far superior than discounts. Your miles is as useless as GrabRewards if you cannot redeem anything off the shelves. Hunting for the scarcity of awards consumes time and it is a waste of time.

Last edited 2 months ago by Obe
D K

I hope SQ is reading this. Even better, if milelion can feedback to SQ.

I will definitely support more award space at standard rates. Discount is useless if product is not available in general.

Zaos

Careful there, sounds like a request for dynamic pricing.

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