Mistake Not a Devaluation? Alaska Airlines Still Pricing Cathay Pacific Awards at Old Rates

This morning I wrote that Alaska Airlines award charts were showing higher prices for Cathay Pacific awards intra-Asia — with business class up over 120% and first class up over 150%.

Intra-Asia awards appeared to be the same price as US-Asia awards. As I wrote, when readers first reported this several days ago I assumed it “was a mistake related to Alaska updating the way they displayed award charts.”

Indeed, as I look at the chart again one-way premium economy awards at 15,000 and 70,000 roundtrip makes no sense.

However Alaska was confirming the new pricing as correct:

Cathay Pacific awards aren’t supported by the Alaska Airlines website. You have to call to see and price Cathay Pacific availability. And Alaska Airlines phone lines aren’t 24 hours. In fact, they have flights operating from airports without Alaska Airlines employees when phone lines aren’t open.

So, as commenter Mark suggested, I called Alaska once they opened to price a Cathay Pacific intra-Asia award.

I asked about Cathay Pacific CX918 at 5:45pm from Manila to Hong Kong on November 1 which had award availability in all classes of service. Here’s the pricing they quoted:

  • First class priced at 27,500 miles one way
  • Business class priced at 22,500 miles one way
  • Premium economy priced at 15,000 miles one way (as published)
  • Economy priced at 12,500 miles one way (as published)

  • Since Alaska is still pricing these awards using the earlier published chart, and given the illogical pricing of premium economy, I believe this is simply an error on the Alaska Airlines website — even though Alaska had confirmed the change.

  • About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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    1. Alaska did a massive design update to all their partner pages on the website and have had a slew of mistakes since. For a day it listed “I” fares on BA as non-earning, and they even confirmed it when I asked on Twitter only to reverse themselves later in the day.

      This is almost certainly a website mistake from the big page redesign.

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