No Amount of Money Will Get You a Seat on These Cathay Pacific Flights

Jul 18, 2018

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Tired of being unable to find a flight where you can redeem your miles at a reasonable rate? Cathay Pacific is bucking the trend by offering flights that money can’t buy.

The carrier has introduced a handful of all-frequent flyer flights which appear to be the first of their kind. Since the airline won’t accept cash for these flights, you’re going to have to redeem Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles to grab a seat. Originally announced as two flights, Cathay Pacific now lists four Asia Miles-chartered flights between Hong Kong and Osaka:

  • August 30: CX8538 Hong Kong (HKG) 9:35am departure → Osaka (KIX) 2:25pm arrival
  • August 30: CX8541 Osaka (KIX) 5:00pm departure → Hong Kong (HKG) 8:00pm arrival
  • September 3: CX8540 Hong Kong (HKG) 9:20am departure → Osaka (KIX) 2:10pm arrival
  • September 3: CX8541 Osaka (KIX) 5:00pm departure → Hong Kong (HKG) 8:00pm arrival

Award flights will cost 10,000 miles each way in economy and 25,000 miles one-way in business class. All four flights are being operated by one of Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A330s with lie-flat business class seats. Business class (reviewed here) is arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration while economy (reviewed here) is 2-4-2.

Cathay Pacific A330 economy seats
Cathay Pacific A330 economy seats.

If you’re interested, you’ll want to book soon — the first two announced flights are filling up quickly. There are only four business class seats available on the first HKG-KIX flight on August 30 and five business class seats left on the KIX-HKG flight on September 3. However, the newly-released flights are still wide-open:

Unfortunately for US-based travelers, there are no all-award flights to the States, but we can be hopeful for the idea to expand to include flights over the Pacific. It’s particularly encouraging that the promotion page for these charter flights lists the Hong Kong-Osaka flights as “examples” in a chart:

If you need Asia Miles to book these flights, you’re in luck. Cathay Pacific is a transfer partner of three of the major points programs: American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 with 2 day transfer time), Citi ThankYou Points (1:1 with under 24 hour transfer time) and Starwood Preferred Guest (1:1 with 5,000 bonus for transferring 20,000 points; 3 day transfer time).

You can also generate Asia Miles through the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature Card from Synchrony Bank. The card offered a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus for a total of $10,000 in spending earlier this year, but currently offers a smaller 35,000 mile sign-up bonus for spending just $1,500 in the first three months after opening.

H/T: Will Horton via Twitter

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