Update 19 July: it looks like award seat availability is back to normal on most routes.
There’s been a lot of discussion among frequent fliers the past few weeks about a big reduction in Cathay Pacific business class award seat availability.
On 22 June, Cathay implemented some major changes to its frequent flyer program, Asia Miles, and ever since, business class award seats on many routes have dried up.
This has prompted a strong reaction from travellers who are used to Cathay releasing award seats regularly, both at the end of schedule and close to departure.
Cathay Pacific has historically been more generous with releasing seats than most other oneworld airlines, including Qantas.
For Qantas Points holders, flying Cathay Pacific was one of the best uses of points.
Not only was seat availability good, but the taxes and fees were among the lowest in the alliance, plus Cathay’s large network meant you could fly to popular destinations in Asia, North America and Europe with just a short transit through Hong Kong (which is also a great city to stop over in).
It’s possible that the reduction in award seats is just a glitch following the recent IT changes.
It would be a real shame if this heralds a new (worse) process for releasing award seats.
For Qantas Points holders, as it’s already hard to find business class seats bookable with Qantas Points, any reduction from Cathay would be a big blow.
Cathay hasn’t provided any information about whether this is a glitch or not. Once we know more, I’ll write an update.
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