British Airways Avios have been of huge help for us on this trip so far. I have written before how I have used them and want to write another post on the subject. Cathay Pacific is a highly regarded airline based out of Hong Kong. They have many short flights throughout Asia. If using Avios, all of these flights out of (or to) Hong Kong that are 650 miles or less in length will cost only 4,500 Avios. The map below shows the destinations with this price.
If you are not interested in Hong Kong, you can just book a layover in Hong Kong and go from any destination on the map above to any other destination on the map for only 9,000 Avios!
Flights 1,151 miles or less only cost 7,500 Avios. The map below shows where you can go for this price.
For 7,500 Avios, you begin to reach some of the more interesting places in Southeast Asia such as Thailand and Cambodia. Once again, for double this price you could go from any point on this map to another point with a layover in Hong Kong.
You also could combine a segment in my map of 4,500 Avios routes with a segment on my map of 7,500 Avios routes to get somewhere for only 12,000 Avios. Another great deal!
Sometimes using Avios is not a good idea because the taxes/fees on the award tickets are so high. Luckily, on Cathay Pacific there are also low taxes/fees on these awards making this an even more valuable use of Avios.
We were able to take advantage of this recently with a flight on Cathay Pacific. We flew from Hong Kong to Cebu in the Philippines for only 7,500 miles each and then from Manila (in the Philippines) back to Hong Kong for another 7,500 Avios each. I would suggest comparing cash prices for flights before booking any of these flights as sometimes you can score some great deals with budget carriers in Southeast Asia.
Instead of using Avios to fly on Cathay Pacific from Manila to Hong Kong, we almost booked an AirAsia ticket because it was so cheap. We decided against that because we are connecting to a first class flight from Hong Kong later that day and need to make sure we get there for that flight. That was the only AirAsia flight the entire day, whereas Cathay Pacific has many. However, if we did not need to connect to another flight, I would have booked the cheap AirAsia ticket.
There are a few ways to get Avios:
- Credit your Oneworld partner flights (such as American Airlines) to British Airways.
- Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards point to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.
- Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at a 250:200 ratio.
- Get and put spend on a Chase British Airways credit card.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to get Avios, including from two different flexible points currencies. This, along with cheap prices for short direct flights, is what makes Avios so valuable.
If you are looking to fly a short direct flight, you should always check to see if a Oneworld partner airline flies that route. You can use this Oneworld map to find out if such a flight exists. If there is a flight, next you will want to search for that award flight on British Airways’ website to see how big the taxes/fees are. If they are low, it could be a fantastic use of your points. It turns out that flights on Cathay Pacific out of and to Hong Kong meet these criteria.
What are some of your favorite uses of Avios?