Japan is a very popular vacation destination for Hong Kongers trying to escape city life. In a first, airline loyalty program Asia Miles is chartering two exclusive flights this summer between Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) for its members to redeem.
Asia Miles is a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways and is one of the airline’s two loyalty programs along with the Marco Polo Club. Asia Miles is one of the biggest airline loyalty program in Asia with more than 10 million+ members. It is free to join and is a lifestyle brand that has more than 700+ partners in nine categories including: airlines, hotels, finance & insurance, dining & banquets, retail, travel & leisure, cars & transport, telecoms and professional services. The Marco Polo Club is a paid program used for elite status qualification with Cathay Pacific Airways exclusively.
Thirst For Travel
Hong Kongers have a thirst for travel. In a study conducted by MoveHub of 111 countries’ expat community, Hong Kongers earned the top spot for the most trips taken aboard per year at 11.4 between 2007-2016. It is just a shade under 5x as much as people from Luxembourg. Its geographic location with a variety of countries located a 5 hour travel radius, 17 public days off and a higher valued currency are just three main reasons why Hong Kongers love to travel away for a weekend or longer.
In a survey conducted by Travelzoo in 2015. Japan was identified as the favorite destination for Hong Kongers to escape to, followed by South Korea and Taiwan. Vivian Hong, Travelzoo’s president for Asia Pacific, said: “Adverse economic conditions have not had a negative effect on the travel intentions of Hong Kong people.” She said Japan’s unique attractions and weakening currency had helped the island nation secure the top spot.
How Does It Work?
Asia Miles members will be able to redeem flights immediately using the Asia Miles Online Flight Award Booking System for two one way flights operated by Cathay Pacific Airways on August 30 and September 3, 2018. Outbound CX8538 will leave HKG to KIX on August 30, 2018 at 0935 (9:35am) and arrive at 1425 (2:25pm). Inbound KIX to HKG flight will depart on September 3, 2018 at 1700 (5pm) and arrive at 2000 (8pm). These flights will be flown by the Cathay Pacific Airways’ regional Airbus A330 aircraft featuring economy and business cabins. Redemption amounts are set at the lowest standard rates of 10,000 and 25,000 miles one way plus applicable taxes.
“At Asia Miles, we’re always striving to offer rewarding experiences to our members,” said Paul Smitton, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Miles. “Japan always tops the list of favourite travel destinations for Hong Kong people, so we’re pleased to launch the first-ever chartered flights and give our members an exclusive redemption opportunity. We wanted to give our members a new way to access flight awards to top destinations and hope our members enjoy a rewarding getaway with their loved ones.”
Asia Miles made significant changes its program in 2017. In general, it is easier for members to earn more redeemable miles and have more ways to redeem them. While product redemption are not impacted significantly, flight awards had a mix bag of changes from lower pricing for shorter distance itinerary to major increases for trips in premium cabins.
This exclusive promotion is a great enticement for Hong Kongers looking for a weekend holiday trip without having to compete with travellers buying revenue seats. As of July 17, 2018, non-stop roundtrip flights operated by Cathay Pacific Airways between t this two airports would have costed HKG$4,418 (US$568) in economy and HKG$14,838 (US$1,891) in business as per Google Flights search results.
Today, airline loyalty program members are not just looking for flight redemptions but exclusive products and experiences. Asia Miles can use this one off flights as an opportunity to thank its members for almost 20 years of commitment and gather interests for future flights. Cathay Pacific Airways can also use these flights to promote new routes, services and amenities.
Experience The Skies reached out to Asia Miles to find out whether there would be special surprises planned for the lucky people who were able to obtain tickets on these two flights. We will update this post.
About Larry Leung and Experience The Skies
Experience The Skies is a consulting company based in Toronto, Canada that specializes in the travel industry with focus on the assessment, competitive analysis and development of loyalty programs, technologies, marketing, ancillary revenue solutions. Follow Experience The Skies on Twitter, Facebook, Flipboard, and Instagram.