Friday, July 18, 2008

Frequent Flier Miles

I think I just got screwed by Cathay Pacific. Since I only fly to three places (Chengdu, Portland, and Toronto), I have all my frequent flier miles accumulate with AAdvantage (American Airlines). By making three trips to Chengdu last year, I was able to get Platinum status with AA which requires 50k miles. In addition, it also gives me some elite status with oneworld, which lets me into business class lounges around the world.

Anyway, I've made 5 trips to Chengdu so far and each time I buy my tickets online directly with Cathay Pacific. On this last trip, they classified my return trip as class "K" which means deep discount economy (the tickets weren't that cheap). Normally the fare code is Y, B, or H for normal economy. The only problem is that miles from code K travel cannot be transferred to AAdvantage; I can only apply it to Asia Miles (or Cathay Pacific's own program). Since I'm only making one more trip this year, I won't have enough miles to maintain the Platinum status next year. You get so many miles on a transpacific flight that it's hard to make it up on domestic flights; round trip to Toronto is less miles than one way to Hong Kong.

I guess I'll have to slum it out with the unwashed masses during layovers in Hong Kong from now on... or pay $50 to hang out in a pay lounge.

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