Increased Redemption of Up to 60% More Asia Miles for Priority Awards; New Fee For Asia Miles Award Changes Via Telephone

A Boeing 747-400 aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific is parked at a gate in Hong Kong last month. Will booking an award seat with your Asia Miles for this flight cost you more? Photograph by FlyerTalk member marcuslai. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by marcuslai.

As of yesterday, if you are a member of the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program and you have an existing airline award which you want changed via telephone, you will pay either 25 United States dollars or 1,000 Asia Miles for the privilege — and as of 16 October 2013, the redemption rates of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program miles for Priority Awards will increase.

The new fee is applicable only to the change of a confirmed flight date or flight number for tickets issued on or after 8 October 2013, with the same itinerary, same airline, and same ticket expiration date; and it is charged per flight sector per passenger. For example, if you and a companions passenger have four flight sectors which all need to be changed, expect to pay either 200 United States dollars or 8,000 Asia Miles.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no alternative way around avoiding this new fee, as changing an existing airline award via the Internet is apparently not possible.

One employee of the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program supposedly defended the fee by stating that availability of award seats would increase.

This statement evokes a similar announcement by officials at Delta Air Lines two years ago when Delta Air Lines SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program members who wished to cancel or make changes to their award ticket would be required to do so at least 72 hours before their flight departure effective as of August 15, 2011, which  applied to each flight segment – outbound and return.

In both cases, the changes were implemented reportedly as the result of abuse by members of both frequent flier loyalty programs who supposedly waited until the last minute to release reservations for award seats, which apparently led to reduced award ticket availability.

As for the increase in redemption rates of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program miles for Priority Awards — which supposedly gives you a better chance of procuring an award seat on flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair during peak-travel periods — the chart below reveals the bad news:

Click on the chart above to access the official Internet web site of Asia Miles.

The top line of each award redemption for Priority Awards will be effective as of 16 October 2013; whereas the bottom line of each award redemption is current.

Notice that the largest increase by percentage is the redemption of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program miles for a one-way economy class award for Award Zone F — a whopping increase of 60 percent effective as of 16 October 2013 — whereas the largest increase is the redemption of 75,000 additional Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program miles for an economy class award for Award Zone F.

FlyerTalk members — many of whom consider both policy changes as devaluations which were implemented in “bad taste” — wonder what is next with the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles frequent flier loyalty program…

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