How to Use Cathay Asia Miles’ Generous Waitlist Policy

We have previously covered Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles frequent flyer program and how Asia Miles offers some attractive mileage rates for certain redemptions. I wanted today to quickly highlight the program’s very generous and convenient waitlist process.

cathay pacific cx first class f

Cathay Pacific first class seat and caviar service.

Like some other programs out there, Asia Miles allows members to waitlist for awards on their own metal on which no space is available. The premise of waitlisting awards is that if and when award space is released at a later date, that space will be diverted to the flyer who waitlisted, rather than released to everyone.

Unfortunately this isn’t how things always work out. There are many reports on Singapore KrisFlyer, for instance, whereby waitlisted awards don’t clear even if award space is released.

In contrast to this, it seems like waitlisted Asia Miles awards clear automatically and immediately when the corresponding award space is released. Even better, waitlisted awards that clear are automatically confirmed (i.e., held and taken out of inventory) for about a month.

With Asia Miles, no credit card information is needed at the time of waitlist and there is no requirement for miles to be in the account for a waitlisted award to clear. That means you can waitlist for whatever you want, wait until it clears, and only then transfer points over, rather than take a risk by speculatively transferring points.

Awards can be waitlisted online through the Asia Miles website, and held awards can be ticketed online as well, making the process smooth and efficient. A friend waitlisted a business class award for JFK-YVR several weeks ago and was recently notified that it had cleared and that the award was on hold. Checking availability, it appears that his waitlist automatically cleared right around when Cathay released several business class award seats.

waitlisted award cathay pacific

CX Asia Miles waitlisted award. Note the very generous hold time.

Kudos to Asia Miles for having a very generous and customer-friendly policy that makes booking Cathay Pacific awards convenient. Given the fairly predictable nature of Cathay award space, one could presumably waitlist for an a desired award and expect that waitlist to clear rather than checking manually for availability every day.

Moreover, the fact that awards clearing the waitlist are automatically held for up to a month allows for flexibility in planning. While I certainly don’t condone abuse of this generous policy, waitlisting multiple awards and then coming back later to cancel unwanted awards that have cleared and been placed on hold might not be a bad idea.

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