One of the very best awards in the frequent flyer universe is gone without any notice. But it’s still priced pretty reasonably.
The US Airways award chart (.pdf) has been tweaked with one significant change.
Business class travel between the US and “North Asia” which extends as far south as Hong Kong has gone from 90,000 miles to 110,000 miles.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific’s business class
It’s worth noting that some other minor adjustments have been made. Caribbean – North Asia business class has also gone up to 110,000 miles for instance. But most of the rest of the great values of the chart have been left in place. North Asia – North Asia and South Asia – South Asia business class awards remain 30,000 miles roundtrip each, for instance.
I’ve long suggested that:
- The best value awards, and best value opportunities generally, don’t last (“reversion to the mean”)
- As part of the US Airways-American merger we’d see award chart changes, taking the generally higher award levels between the two charts.
And here that’s sort of what they’ve done — in just the case of a single award.
American includes Hong Kong as part of their “Asia 2″ zone and charges 110,000 miles for roundtrip business class between North America and Asia 2.
Here’s how US Airways defines North Asia:
North Asia includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Interestingly, this makes US Airways awards between the US and Japan or South Korea 10,000 more miles than American charges roundtrip (since American includes those in its less expensive “Asia 1″ zone).
And since there were no changes to the price of US Airways first class awards between the US and North Asia — those remain 120,000 miles roundtrip — first class is now just 10,000 miles more. They were previously 30,000 miles more.
An extra 5000 miles each way for first class over business has to be the biggest no brainer decision in the history of earth.
Cathay Pacific first class seat
Cathay Pacific first class seat made up as a bed
Cathay Pacific first class caviar and Balik salmon ‘Tsar Nicolaj’
With US Airways selling miles at just 1.1 cents apiece, it’s hard to get too exorcised about this.
It’s sad, of course, to see the 90,000 mile business class North Asia award go away. And especially without notice.
But we knew this one wouldn’t last, and the price increase is reasonable, still less than United and Delta charge for the same award. If it stays at this price point for awhile I’ll be perfectly happy.