British Airways Devalues Cathay and Japan Airlines
It appears that a potential British Airways devaluation of Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines may be afoot. Devaluations are never good news, but no-notice devaluations are even worse. So let's dig into the details as British Airways devalues Cathay and Japan Airlines redemptions. Thanks for Facebook group member Sunny Ip for alerting us to this development.
Short-Haul Redemptions via British Airways
British Airways is our go-to airline for short-haul redemptions on Oneworld partner airlines. Whether we're talking about domestic flights on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines, or short-haul flights throughout Asia on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines, British has regularly offered the best rates.
For example, flights under 650 miles with Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines would cost just 7,500 miles via British Airways in economy or 16,000 in business class. And flights between 651 miles and 1,150 miles would cost just 10,000 miles in economy and 25,000 in business. Now, these flights are costing much higher. Here is our table comparing the new prices:
|Zone||Flight distance||Economy – old||Economy – new||Business – old||Business – new|
|1||1 – 650 miles||7,500||9,750||16,000||20,800|
|2||651 – 1150 miles||10,000||12,000||25,000||30,000|
|3||1,151 – 2000 miles||11,000||14,300||25,000||32,500|
|4||2001 – 3000 miles||13,000||15,600||38,750||46,500|
The biggest increases were are clearly for business class flights, especially in Zones 1 and 4. While no devaluation is ever good news, the increases in economy at least are relatively mild. Given how easy it is to earn British Airways Avios, British remains one of the easiest options for short-haul redemptions in Asia.
Here is an example of an award search for a flight on Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong (HKG) and Bangkok (BKK). At 1,049 miles, this flight was costing 10,000 Avios just days ago but now costs 12,000.
Meanwhile, it does not appear that redemptions on other Oneworld partners have been affected. Redemptions on American Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and others remain the same.
British Airways Devalues Cathay and Japan Airlines: ToP Thoughts
None of us are fans of award program devaluations, especially without any notice. British Airways' devaluation of redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines is unfortunate, but at least economy redemptions remain viable. Although business class redemptions have increased by a lot, the ease with which we can earn Avios and the regular transfer bonuses from different banks should help alleviate the sting.