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Asia Miles has a sweet spot – it’s their One World Multi Partner award
Asia Miles is Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program, a transfer partner of Amex, SPG, and Citi’s Thank You, and it can be fairly cumbersome to use, but if you have patience and know some of the ins and outs, it can be VERY worthwhile. Case in point: Asia Miles’ One World Multi-Partner award. I won’t go into complete detail about the ins and outs in this post, but instead, I wanted to highlight one particular way that you can make use of its preferential pricing structure by simply adding on a single segment.
I’m planning a Brazil/Argentina/Uruguay trip
I’ve been looking at ways to route to South America for a trip I’m planning with my buddy later this year. American has by far the superior business class product, and much better availability and routing. We’d like to fly the long hauls on AA metal, preferably on routes that utilize their 77W or Super Diamond 772s.
I’ll be mixing Alaska and American miles, whereas my buddy will be taking advantage of the Asia miles One World Multi Partner award chart. In order for him to qualify he has to do one of the two following things
- Fly on two separate one world airlines
- If Cathay is included, the total number of airlines must be 3.
This means we can’t just book in and out of South America using just American metal like we’d prefer. We have to fly one leg on a partner for his ticket to price correctly. So how are we going about doing this? Let’s take a look.
Here’s how many miles it is to fly roundtrip from Chicago to Buenos Aires and back from Montevideo.
Technically, this itinerary should price out according to the cumulative mileage of both legs; however, in practice, you may find a rep that will price this as a normal award. It has just one open jaw so this abides by the routing rules. If you find that rep…then you’ll pay just 120k vs 175k. However, Asia Miles reps are notoriously undertrained and it may take you quite a few attempts to find one that will price it as such. If you want to skip the hassle…keep reading.
If we were to do this using just American’s business class it would price out like this: A whopping 175k Asia miles. Using Asia Miles’ stated policy.
However, if we were to use both American and Latam it would qualify for their One World Multi-Award chart: Price drops to 115k
This chart is distance based and doesn’t restrict you to departing/arriving to the same airport, i.e. open jaws on both ends are permitted along with stopovers. So we could change our departing and arriving airports.
The flight we are adding on? A flight to the Dominican Republic…at the end.
I’m taking advantage of the liberal routing rules of the multi-award chart which permits 2 open jaws on either end. We can also have 5 stopovers. This means we can route him back to somewhere other than Chicago and incorporate a stopover. This should be allowed per routing rules, even though it is “backtracking”, as it’s a published route.
By adding in the following flight ( on their 787 to boot) you will drop the overall cost by 60k miles.
It allows you to plan a quick trip down to the Dominican at a future date with a free outbound leg. You want to make sure you add this flight to the end of your journey, otherwise, if you can’t make it…the rest of your itinerary will be cancelled.
So his itinerary could potentially look something like this..
This shows routing out of Chicago and into Rio then out of Montevideo and into Punta Cana. 2 open jaws on either end of the trip, with a stopover in Rio and Miami. We’ll buy cheap one way tickets into IGU ( the Brazilian side of Iguazu ) and out of IGR (the Argentinian side). Then take a ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo. The long haul segments will be on AA’s metal.
In order to get back to ORD on the date he wants, he’d have to book a positioning leg back with points or a cheap econ ticket. Either way…you can see how incorporating another airline can be advantageous not only in pricing, but optimizing the cabins flown on the long hauls…( the MVD to MIA route flies AA’s retrofit 767 which I haven’t reviewed, so that’d be dope too)
Have you utilized this trick?