We’ve written an article about buying Alaska miles and redeeming them on Cathay Pacific. But let me explain how awesome Alaska Airlines miles are for award redemptions in Asia.
You might think Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is only good for US flights, but actually they partner with a few Asian airlines, included Cathay Pacific, Hainan, JAL, and Korean Air.
If you aren’t flying in the US, don’t fret, you can still accrue miles on Alaska by flying one of their partners. For this articles we’ll focus on Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific.
Earning is pretty similar to what you’d earn on Asia Miles, cheap economy tickets will get 25% usually. Note you MUST fly Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon isn’t a partner of Alaska.
Base miles earned and class of service bonuses on Cathay Pacific count toward Alaska Airlines elite status.
|Cabin||Class of service||Base miles earned||Class of service bonus||Additional bonus|
Flights on or after
December 19, 2016
|First Class||F, A||100%||50%||200%|
|Business||J, C, D, I||100%||25%||100%|
|W, E, R||100%||10%||–|
|Economy||Y, B, H, K||100%||–||–|
|Economy||L, M, V||50%||–||–|
|Economy||Q, O, S, N, G||25%||–||–|
Qualify for mileage accrual
Flights must fall within the eligible flight number range below, and your flight must be marketed and operated by Cathay Pacific.
Eligible flight numbers
To ensure flight credit, the two-letter airline code (CX) must precede the flight number (for example, CX XXXX) on your ticket receipt or boarding pass.
Mileage earned is based on a percentage of actual flight miles flown. No miles will be earned for classes of service not listed above.
- Free cancellation if 60 days or more away from date of travel (except $12.50 USD CX fee.)
- No last minute booking fees
- Free stopovers
There’s huge value in redeeming Alaska Airlines miles, and you are eligible for a stopover. For example, you can fly Tokyo to Hong Kong to Bangkok on one ticket, and use only 12,500 miles for that one way trip in economy.
Best value is in Premium economy though, only 2,500 miles more within Asia, what a steal!
Flights to the US are even better value for premium economy. For only 5,000 miles more, you can fly premium (35K mi) over regular economy (30K mi), which is an absolute steal. I would never redeem economy in this instance.
|Asia to Asia|
Asia <> USA
|Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to Contiguous U.S. and Alaska|
It may be hard for HK residents to accrue Alaska miles, but I would suggest it whenever possible since the redemption value is so high. The free stopover is great, low cost for redemptions, and no last minute booking fees.
Keep in mind, for CX you do need to call into Alaska to book the flights 1-800-252-7522 (1-800-ALASKAAIR). You cannot book it online. I’d suggest using the CX website for availability, and it usually matches, though not always.
If you happen to be a US citizen, you can also apply for Alaska Airlines credit cards, which net 30,000 miles upon first purchase, sometimes more if you catch a promotion. That’ll get you one roundtrip in Asia alone in premium economy.