Cathay Pacific is courting Aussie travellers with double Asia Miles on flights between Australia and Hong Kong, along with a separate bonus serve of up to 1,500 Asia Miles.
It gets even better when you examine the 'earn and burn' rates in the Asia Miles scheme: a single business class trip to Hong Kong from either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane scores enough Asia Miles for a return business class upgrade!
With Qantas having slashed status credits on partner airline flights (including Cathay Pacific), many Qantas Frequent Flyer members have been in line for a switch to a more versatile frequent flyer program within the Oneworld family.
Earning a bounty of Asia Miles
To kick things off, new members who sign up to Asia Miles between May 22 and August 31 2015 earn a welcome bonus of 500 miles after taking their first Cathay Pacific flight during the same period.
When booking those flights via Cathay Pacific’s Australian website, there’s a further bonus of 1,000 miles, which is simple enough.
Then, any Cathay Pacific economy, premium economy or business class flights between Australia and Hong Kong earn double Asia Miles between July 15 and August 31, and there’s no limit to the number of times you can take advantage of this great offer.
For example, going round-trip from Sydney to Hong Kong in business class usually zips up 11,480 Asia Miles – which doubles to 22,960 Asia Miles during the promotion period.
Similarly, a business class jaunt from Melbourne ordinarily pulls in 11,516 Asia Miles, with the special deal maxing that out to 23,032 Asia Miles.
Don’t fret if you’re from Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide or Cairns – you’re also on Cathay Pacific’s double points radar.
Redeeming those Asia Miles
Between any Australian city and Hong Kong, a return upgrade from premium economy to business class is just 22,500 Asia Miles, for which your single business class return journey from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane would more than earn, with Adelaide also on the list for travellers earning the 500-mile signup bonus.
Naturally, you'll need to book the slightly more expensive W- and R-class Cathay premium economy fares to upgrade, as tickets in the cheaper ‘E bucket’ don’t allow this.
It’s also good news for economy travellers – the same number of miles gets you bumped up to premium economy, which is certainly better than being stuck down the back.
With a shorter flying distance, Perth and Cairns residents would earn enough Asia Miles for the free upgrade after their second trip, which is still quite enticing for regular road warriors.
Asia Miles vs. The Marco Polo Club
Cathay Pacific splits its ‘points’ and ‘status credits’ into two separate programs that work in tandem.
With a US$50 joining fee and reduced earning rates on economy flights, Marco Polo is better-suited to those who regularly fly long distances in premium economy, business class or first class, as opposed to regular economy travellers.
It’s also not the best for collecting points or building status through domestic flights with Qantas, so you’d best do your sums before making a full switch across to the likes of Cathay.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from joining Asia Miles, flying once in business class with Cathay Pacific and using those points to upgrade on your next flight with Cathay, Dragonair, American Airlines or even British Airways, before switching back to Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Double Asia Miles: the fine print
To earn double Asia Miles, you’ll need to register for the deal before taking your first Cathay Pacific economy, premium economy or business class flight between Australia and Hong Kong on fares that would normally be eligible to earn Asia Miles.
You’ll also need to book a Cathay Pacific flight with a CX flight number, with the first sector originating in Australia – British Airways codeshares between Australia and Hong Kong don’t qualify, nor do seats booked as frequent flyer rewards.
Beyond Hong Kong, such as to Europe or North America, you'll also earn the standard number of Asia Miles in any travel class, with the bonus only boosting your tally between Australia and Hong Kong.
Finally and most sneakily, double Asia Miles are only offered to Asia Miles members residing in Australia – clearly targeting members of Qantas Frequent Flyer with an offer to jump ship.
For more details, to join Asia Miles or to register for the promotion, visit the Cathay Pacific website.
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