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Avios redemptions on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines devalued with no notice

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British Airways has quietly snuck out a devaluation of short- and mid-haul Avios redemptions on two Asian partners – Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines (JAL).

It only impact flights under 3,000 miles. Long haul services retain their existing pricing.

With cash flights often relatively cheap in this part of the world, you may end up thinking twice about a redemption unless you need the flexibility to cancel or change your ticket.

Avios redemptions on Cathay Pacific

Whilst you might not immediately think that this impacts you, it may well do. Avios redemption seats are very tight to Tokyo and Hong Kong, for example. One way around this is to fly into China on British Airways – where seats are more easily found – and then connect on JAL to Tokyo or Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. China’s visa rules don’t apply if you do this, even if you stopover for a couple of nights.

How has Avios pricing changed?

The changes are not uniform across both carriers.

It’s worth remembering that this is the second devaluation of Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines flights in two years. Click here to see what happened in July 2021. For example, whilst we show very short Cathay flights going from 7,500 Avios to 9,750, they were only 6,000 Avios in June 2021.

Here is the Cathay Pacific pricing:

ZoneDistanceOld EconomyNew EconomyOld BusinessNew Business
11 – 650 miles7,5009,75016,00020,800
2651 – 1,150 miles10,00012,00025,00030,000
31,151 – 2,000 miles11,00014,30025,00032,500
42,001 – 3,000 miles13,00015,60038,75046,500

Here is the Japan Airlines pricing:

ZoneDistanceOld EconomyNew EconomyOld BusinessNew Business
11 – 650 miles7,50010,50012,50017,500
2651 – 1,150 miles10,00011,00024,00026,400
31,151 – 2,000 miles11,00014,30024,00031,200
42,001 – 3,000 miles13,00015,60038,75046,500
JAL Japan Airlines Avios redemptions

There is a loophole though

Ever since Qatar Privilege Club adopted Avios as its reward currency, it has provided a fall back in case of any painful changes to British Airways Executive Club pricing.

This HfP article shows how to link your Qatar Privilege Club and British Airways Executive Club accounts.

Here’s an example. This is Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City on Cathay Pacific in Business Class booked via

Using Avios on Cathay Pacific

It’s 30,000 Avios + £56.

Here is the exact same flight booked via Qatar Privilege Club:

Book Avios redemptions on Cathay Pacific

Yes, you can save 45% on the Avios required for this route (I assume the taxes are the same – you can’t book it online) by transferring your Avios to Qatar Privilege Club and booking from there. I can’t guarantee similar savings on every route but it is clearly well worth checking.

I’m losing count of the number of different Avios pricing charts that exist: Aer Lingus peak and off peak, Iberia peak and off peak, British Airways peak and off peak, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, all other partner airlines and the multi-partner chart. I make that 12. You also need to factor in the fact that the Iberia, BA and websites sometimes throw up different taxes and charges figures, plus the fact that Qatar Airways may have totally different partner pricing. Coming soon we will have Finnair’s Avios pricing chart too ….

Comments (86)

  • Swifty says:

    Hi. What the best way of getting to Phuket please? Avois and some Etihad guest miles. Thanks. Have a 2 41 and a Barclays upgrade. 3pax

    • David says:

      LHR to HKG or SIN using 241. Y but if booked 355 days before you can get J. Theres much more options for J to Shanghai or Beijing then move down with Cathay (booking from QR) as this article suggests.

      • meta says:

        No need to book at T-355. I booked SIN for January a month ago and also for March next year just a week ago. Hong Kong is a bit trickier, but if you book from the regional airport then there is availability. Peak periods are always difficult to get, so if you’re not flexible then you’ll need to stay up to guarantee the seats.

        • mhuk01 says:

          Can you clarify which regional airports you mean for HKG reward flights? I’m struggling to find availability.

  • Swifty says:

    Thank you both for that. Was up til 2am last night reading all the thailand threads on here 🙂

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