Alaska Mileage Plan Updates: Cathay Pacific Awards now bookable online, Partner Award “changes” coming soon


Alaska Airlines recently announced an update on partner awards on its website:

Good news for 2022!  Cathay Pacific awards are now available to book on and LATAM awards will be available to book online before the end of 2022.

Starting late December, the way you view award charts online is changing. We’ll have a simplified award chart to show you where award levels start based on which regions you’re traveling from and to. With this change, similar to awards on Alaska, partner award levels may vary depending on multiple factors including route, distance, or demand. You’ll continue to be able to enjoy great value for your miles. As always, the best way to view pricing and availability for the routes you’re interested in flying is to search for your specific travel dates and destinations.     

Good News: Cathay Pacific awards now bookable online

Up till recently, Mileage Plan members had to call Alaska’s reservations hotline to book Cathay Pacific award tickets with their Alaska miles.

This has changed! Members can now search and book Cathay’s flights online.

Cathay Pacific long haul Business Class (Photo: Cathay Pacific)
Fly from Singapore to Seoul in Business Class with 22.5k miles
Fly from Hong Kong to Auckland in Business Class with 30k miles
Subscribe to Suitesmile on Telegram
to be the first to know about amazing
deals and travel hacks. It's FREE!

Bad News: Upcoming Award “changes”

Now, the bad news.

According to the short message placed on its award charts page, the frequent flyer program (FFP) will have a “simplified award chart” with varying award rates “depending on multiple factors including route, distance, or demand”; which is a big hint at dynamic pricing.

In truth, a devaluation on Alaska’s Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines award charts is long overdue. Members can fly on Alaska’s sweet spots at ridiculous award rates, far below what other FFPs require.

A 10-20% increment in award rates would be the best case scenario. However, anything more than that will mean that the FFP will lose plenty of active members in the Asia Pacific region, as there is no easy way for members in this region to earn Alaska miles through credit cards.

Related: Sweet Spots: Best ways to redeem Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles in 2022


Bottom line

Alaska Airline’s Mileage Plan shared a good news and an ambiguous (bad) news about upcoming award chart changes.

If you are holding on to an unhealthy amount of Alaska miles, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about redeeming them by late December 2022, for travels in 2023!

Leave a Comment