Aeroplan and Cathay Pacific, a Hong-Kong based airline, recently joined together for earning and redeeming miles for award flights. They are part of the One World airline alliance, while Air Canada and Aeroplan partner with Star Alliance.
You can now redeem Air Canada Aeroplan miles on select routes with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, one of Aeroplan’s few non-alliance partner airlines, along with Juneyao Airlines, GOL, and others.
I’ll explain how to search for and redeem Aeroplan miles on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.
For now, you can only redeem Aeroplan miles on select Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon routes. Cathay Dragon is a subsidiary airline of Cathay Pacific. Both airlines are top-knotch, although Cathay Pacific, as the mainland airline, is slightly nicer than Cathay Dragon.
You can redeem Aeroplan miles on the following routes between Hong Kong and:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand (“CNX”)
- Phuket, Thailand (“HKT”)
- Bangkok, Thailand (“BKK”)
- Cebu, Philippines (“CEB”)
- Manila, Philippines (“MNL”)
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (“KUL”)
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (“SGN”)
- Hanoi, Vietnam (“HAN”)
Any flight operated by Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon on one of the above routes can be booked using Aeroplan miles.
Aeroplan’s standard booking rules apply, meaning you can mix Cathay Pacific with Air Canada and other Star Alliance partners on one ticket.
Fuel surcharges are not collected on Cathay Pacific flights alone, but do apply when connected with Air Canada or other Star Alliance partners on the same ticket. However, looking at Cathay flights, it appears that fuel surcharges are generally low or non-existent.
Both airlines only operate coach and Business Class on eligible routes, so don’t bother looking for First Class award space. You cannot book Premium Economy seats on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon using Aeroplan miles
Searching for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon Award Space
The simplest tool to search for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon award space is the British Airways Avios award search engine. While there are more accurate tools, like Qantas, I believe that the BA Avios tool is the most accessible and easy to use.
First, figure out how you’re going to get to Hong Kong – you can use tools like the United website or the Aeroplan website to find award space from your home airport to Hong Kong. From there, use the BA Avios tool to search for award space on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.
NOTE: The BA Avios website is known to have phantom award space on Cathay Pacific. You can confirm the correctness of the award space by calling Aeroplan or using the Qantas award search engine.
Once you’ve found the desired award space, call Aeroplan at 1-800-361-5373 and tell the agent you’re booking an award trip with Cathay Pacific. Provide the agent with your exact flight details, and if necessary, remind them that when searching for Cathay award space, to look outside of Star Alliance award availability.
Once the agent gets your flights ready, they’ll confirm the total taxes and fees, and once paid, they’ll issue a ticket for your trip. Aeroplan will not waive their $30 telephone booking fee even though you can’t book Cathay flights online. Sorry folks, that’s just the game!
It’s great that Aeroplan can now be used for award flights on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. Unfortunately, not all routes are included, but a number of significant holiday routes are available, which opens up award space for Aeroplan members.
Have you ever used Aeroplan miles for Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flights?