Archive for the ‘Cathay Pacific’ Category

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Devaluation…

June 13, 2007

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Introduction Linky
Current Asia Miles Award Chart Linky
New Asia Miles Award Chart Linky

Planning on using Asia Miles for premium class travel?
You might want to hold off on transferring those 20,000 starpoints into 25,000 Asia Miles…
It was just too good to last!
Cathay Pacific announced today that for the first time in Asia Miles history they are finally raising premium class long-haul rates to bring themselves closer in line with other programs.

The changes will be effective for tickets issued after 10/15/07. If you want to cash out do so before that time!!!

The interesting thing is that they have actually decreased the miles required for many of the short-haul awards, and they have not increased the rates for economy.

Also of note: While they have tinkered with the regular award chart a lot, their oneworld around-the-world award chart remains exactly the same for the time being!

The reason why all of this is so bad is that they are raising the rate of their extremely popular Zone C business and first class awards by 33%!

Remember that all Asia Mile awards are done in mileage zones according to the Great Circle Mapper.

Here is a comparison of changes:

Round-Trip Miles Required On Routes That Are:

Zone S: 0-600 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: Cleveland-NYC, London-Paris)
These rates went down in premium classes!
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 15K, 15K
Business: 40K, 30K
First: 50K, 40K

Zone A: 601-1,200 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: Chicago-NYC, Athens-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Shanghai)
These rates went down in economy and business!
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 25K, 20K
Business: 45K, 40K
First: 55K, 55K

Zone B: 1,201-2,500 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: LAX-NYC, Honolulu-S. Fransisco, London-Tel Aviv)
These rates went down in economy!
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 35K, 30K
Business: 50K, 50K
First: 70K, 70K

Here’s where we start going downhill…

Zone C: 2,501-5,000 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: Seattle-London, NYC-Sao Paulo, NYC-Paris, NYC-Honolulu)
Ouch! 33% rate hikes for the best deal on premium classes out there.
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 45K, 45K
Business: 60K, 80K
First: 90K, 120K

Zone D: 5,001-7,500 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: NYC-Tel Aviv, LAX-Sydney, NYC-Tokyo, NYC-Delhi)
20% business hike, near 30% hike for first.
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 60K, 60K
Business: 100K, 120K
First: 140K, 180K

Zone E: 7,501-10,000 Miles Each Way:
(Examples: NYC-Hong Kong, NYC-Sydney)
About a 20% hike for premium classes.
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 90K, 90K
Business: 120K, 145K
First: 180K, 220K

Zone F: 10,000+ Miles Each Way:
20-25% hike for premium classes.
Current Rate, New Rate:
Economy: 110K, 110K
Business: 145K, 175K
First: 210K, 260K

Questions, Suggestions, Errors? Please leave a comment!
Please do not post this article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

An Introduction To Cathay Pacific Asia Miles-Part 1.

May 13, 2007

One of the numerous uses of starpoints is the ability to transfer points into airline miles at a 20,000 starpoints=25,000 miles rate.

Cathay Pacific is arguably the best airline in which to transfer points to.
Note that Cathay Pacific has no US based credit card, so the Starwood Amex is the absolute best method to earn Asia miles from credit card spending.

People have been asking for months to help clarify the highly complicated Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program, so here’s a start.

The confusion stems from the fact that the program is very different than normal US based mileage programs, but its primary value is owed to that uniqueness.

First of all, about the airline, Cathay Pacific.
-They operate with their hub in Hong Kong.
-They are part of the Oneworld (AA, BA, JAL, Qantas, etc.) Alliance.
-They consistently win awards for their top-notch business and first classes, and even economy is much better than US based airlines.

Cathay Pacific has 2 programs, the Marco Polo club and Asia miles.
Marco Polo club is only for recognition for frequent fliers. If you are just transferring starpoints you will never need to worry about the Marco Polo Club, so just ignore it.

US based mileage programs charge based on the country of flying. If you want to go from New York to Tel Aviv or Los Angeles to Tel Aviv on Continental it will be the same 70,000 miles in coach or 100,000 in business/first.
At the same token, Los Angeles to Hawaii and New York to Hawaii will always be 35,000 miles.

Asia Miles charges based on the distance of the flight. For regular mileage tickets there are 7 mileage zones.
Mileage Zone Chart Linky
Here’s how it works:
First go to the great circle mapper to research the one-way distance of a flight.
For example type in ORD-LHR(Chicago/O’ Hare-London/Heathrow) to discover that the distance is 3,953 miles, or that JFK-GRU(New York/JFK-Sao Paulo) is 4,745 miles.
Then plug the number into the Asia Miles award chart to discover that both of those distances will fall into Zone C.
While you use the one-way distance to figure out the zone, the miles shown is the price for a round-trip ticket in that zone.
So a round trip ORD-LHR on AA or British Airways or JFK-GRU on AA or JAL will be 45,000 in coach, 60,000 in business, and 90,000 in first.
These rates, especially for business class, are significantly less than if you have miles on AA, BA, or JAL.

Here’s where the program gets really bizarre:
Look at the distance from LAX-HNL(Los Angeles-Honolulu) and SFO-HNL(S. Fransisco-Honolulu).
Believe it or not, LAX is further from HNL than SFO is. 157 miles further to be precise.
Because of that very small difference though, SFO-HNL falls into Zone B, while LAX-HNL falls into Zone C!

To be continued…

Questions, Suggestions, Errors? Please leave a comment!
Please do not post this article on any other website without explicit prior permission. Thank You!

Converting Starpoints Into A Trip To Israel…

March 16, 2007

Related Posts:
Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Miles
Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Starpoints
What Makes The Starwood Amex The Best Credit Card To Carry And Earn Points With.

It seems like every week someone is asking how to use their Starpoints to get to Israel…so it’s high time I tackled the issue.
There are better values for Starpoints than using them to fly to Israel, but it is definitely an option.

1st off, here is the NYC-TLV reward rates and values per mile adapted from the “Miles” post.

Avg. Price-$1,000
Cathay Pacific*-60K Miles (1.67¢/mile)
Continental-70K Miles (1.43¢/mile)
AA*, United*-75K Miles (1.33¢/mile)
Delta-80K Miles (1.25¢/mile)


Avg. Price-$4,000
Continental, Cathay Pacific*-100K Miles (4.0¢/mile)
United*-115K Miles (3.47¢/mile)
Delta-120K Miles (3.33¢/mile)
AA*-135K Miles (2.96¢/mile)

Avg. Price-$9,000
Cathay Pacific*, United*-140K Miles (6.43¢/mile)
AA*-180K Miles (5.0¢/mile)

*=Travel will be with an alliance partner.

OK, so currently Starpoints transfer into AA, Cathay Pacific, and Delta at a ratio of at a rate of 20,000 starpoints-25,000 miles.
(Continental and United are 20,000 starpoints=15,000 miles or 20,000=20,000 with Starwood direct deposit)

Option A:
With the transfer bonus 50,000 Starpoints will net you 60,000 Cathay Pacific miles, enough for the Round Trip to Israel.

Option B:
You can also use those same 60,000 Cathay Pacific miles and book yourself a business class ticket from the US to anywhere in Europe and then fly a cheap flight into Israel.

Option C:
Look into the Nights AND Flights option detailed in the “Getting The Most Value Out Of Your Starpoints” Post.

Stay tuned for a post in which I will explain the intricacies of Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles!