How to fix broken Cathay Pacific Asia Miles award booking engine

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Cathay Pacific announced an “Elevated” experience for its members in August 2022 to combine its Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles programmes, as well as a small website refresh.

The problem

With the new “Elevated” experience, the airline somehow managed to make it impossible to search and book most routes with miles. And embarrassingly, it has been left unfixed for almost 2 months now!

With the new website update, members are not able to select most city pairings, when trying to book award flights with Asia Miles.

Most cities, like Milan and Barcelona, cannot even be selected, while cities like Amsterdam can be selected but with all other boxes greyed out (see screenshot below).

And yes, members face the same problem on Cathay Pacific’s mobile app too, as the poorly-built app actually loads the same web page within the app, when trying to search for award flights.

Greyed out selection boxes after entering Singapore and Amsterdam
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The solution

Thankfully, frequent flyer jaytw from Flyertalk forum came up with a genius solution and even added in a fantastic feature to make it even better than what it was!

1) Install “Unelevated Award Search” browser extension

Here’s how to fix the broken award booking engine:

  1. On your desktop browser, install Tampermonkey (for Google Chrome) or Greasemonkey (for Firefox)
  2. Then, install this script

Once that is done, visit Cathay Pacific’s award booking engine and you will find a new unofficial search box above the broken one.

2) Search for award flights

To search for an award flight, log in first and enter the airport code and date in YYYYMMDD format (see screenshot below).

“Unelevated” search box

3) Choose preferred flight

Say you are planning to book Business Class flights to Europe on Finnair (which is a fantastic use of Asia Miles), select Business and look for available flights.

Search results

4) Complete your booking

Click on your preferred flight and complete your booking on the following page.

In this case, a one-way Business Class flight from Singapore to Milan on Finnair costs just 70,000 Asia Miles + HKD 375 (US$48).

Booking summary

5) Bonus: Batch searching

As you may have already noticed, the script is also able to do batch searches for up to 20 days! This is very useful if you are looking for award availability near your preferred travel date.

Bangkok to Seoul on Cathay Pacific is another award sweet spot of Asia Miles (although, because of increasing fuel surcharge, it is not as appealing as it used to be):

  • Economy: 10k miles + ~US$127
  • Business: 25k miles + ~US$138

Here’s how the batch search result looks like:

Bath search results

Warning

I highly recommend using a different (dummy) account if you plan to do multiple batch searches. This is so that if the server detects your activities as suspicious and ban your account, your actual account will not be affected.

If you are using a real account, consider the safer method of searching for oneworld award availability.

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Bottom line

It is awful that Cathay Pacific has left its website broken for this long and it’s quite embarrassing that a kind customer had to do the work for them, to help other customers of Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

I hope that this backdoor solution is only temporary. Someone please wake them up!

If jaytw’s awesome work helped you, consider buying him a coffee.

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