Both Enoch and I (1, 2) have previously discussed Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles mileage program and how Asia Miles offers some strong values for certain redemptions. I wanted today to quickly highlight the program’s very generous and convenient waitlist process.
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/once award space is released at a later date, that space will be reserved for the person who waitlisted, rather than being released to everyone.
Unfortunately this isn’t how things always work out. There are many reports with Singapore KrisFlyer, for instance, where 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 more awesome than this, however, is that 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.
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.