Cathay Pacific is transitioning to a new points/mileage award seat redemption chart, and for the past two days the airline’s seats have entirely disappeared from award results queries made through partners British Airways and Qantas. This may affect those attempting to redeem certain frequent flyer miles, including American AAdvantage, or credit card rewards points for flights to Asia.
Point Me To The Plane Contributor James contributed to this report.
Cathay has traditionally been one of the best options to redeem awards for transpacific flights using American Airlines AAdvantage miles, Alaska Mileage Plan miles, British Airways Avios and Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Right now those redemptions do not appear possible.
This outage could affect Chase Ultimate Rewards members, who rely on Oneworld partners British Airways and Iberia to secure award flights on Cathay Pacific. American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer directly to Cathay’s redesigned Asia Miles program, which was fully functional as of 9 a.m. EDT Friday.
Point Me To The Plane has reached out to Cathay with questions about whether a potential fare code change or other technical problem could be hiding awards from partners. This post will be updated if and when the airline responds.
Long-haul Ghost Town
Traditionally, British Airways’ Executive Club website has been the most reliable way to find Cathay flights with seats that are bookable through partner programs.
At the furthest edge of the award availability calendar, when airlines first make award seats available, only British Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) flights are appearing in an award search for Hong Kong (HKG) to New York City airports.
Cathay nonstop flights have long been the most reliable way to redeem frequent flyer miles to get directly from New York to Hong Kong.
Even when Cathay’s long-haul flights remain closed to miles redemptions, the airline’s extensive intra-Asian route network has, as recently as a couple of days ago, lit up award calendars like a Christmas tree.
Not so, anymore. Juicy Miles award experts were unable to find any space on any intra-Asian Cathay Pacific flight through British Airways Executive Club or Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Those looking to redeem their credit card or frequent flyer award miles for Cathay Pacific flights can still call their Oneworld airline program of choice to check for offline availability, though if Cathay has re-coded its award flights, it may take days or even weeks before call center agents are aware of the new booking procedures.
Point Me, along with Juicy Miles, is digging for more details on the exact nature of the changes involving partner awards. We will update this post if we learn of any changes.
Help fellow travelers out! Post any Cathay Pacific award booking success or failure stories in the comments section.