I’m late to the party with this news, but Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles card is offering an increased bonus of 50,000 miles right now. If you haven’t already, check out the analysis of the offer and the card over on Miles to Memories.
The reason I bring this up at all (since I generally stay away from posting news items) is that one of the earliest posts to get any attention outside the blog was this one I wrote a long time ago about redeeming 35,000 Alaska miles for Cathay’s JFK-Vancouver flight in first class.
If you’re not planning on traveling to Asia any time soon and are thus thinking to yourself, “What the fuck would I do with 50,000 Asia Miles?!” I’d first tell you to watch your language, and then I’d remind you that the JFK-Vancouver flight is 40,000 Asia Miles one way plus around $50 in taxes. Plus, award availability is generally pretty good, as long as you only want one seat or can book a couple days in advance when Cathay opens up additional seats. I don’t pay tons of attention to Asia Miles in general, although I’d much rather pay for the JFK-YVR joyride with 40,000 miles earned thru a sign-up bonus in a program I otherwise don’t have much use for rather than 35,000 Alaska miles.
I’ll be skipping this card this time around, because I already have too many miles in programs like Delta and Korean Air with no immediate plan to use them. If I had a trip to New York on my schedule already (and hadn’t just committed to a bunch of minimum spending requirements on other new cards), I would consider jumping on this. As it is, I don’t want to pay the annual fee and funnel spending onto the card just for the theoretical possibility of taking a trip I may not take any time soon. I already did that with the Korean Air card earlier this year, and now I have a bunch of Korean Air miles that are just sitting around waiting to devalue. (I know, I know, it made sense at the time, and those miles will still most certainly come in handy at some point.)
As long as we’re on the subject of the JFK-YVR flight, I want to hear from commenters about which direction you’d prefer to fly it. It seems to make more sense to go JFK-YVR, since it’s a longer flight and the time zone change makes it less critical that you spend most of the flight asleep. However, you’d have to have an overnight layover in Canada, and I’ve heard the immigration officers are real dicks to people who try to do this. Going in the other direction means you don’t have to set up a hotel and can even save on a NYC hotel since the flight is a redeye and you arrive at 7AM. Thinking about the whole first class experience, it’s also relevant which lounge would be more fun… now that Cathay has moved terminals at JFK, you’d get to visit the American Airlines flagship first lounge and fancy dining, although Cathay’s own lounge in Vancouver looks damn swanky as well. What do you think?