Cathay Pacific’s New A350 Route: Vancouver to Hong Kong (With Lots of Business Class Award Space)

Cathay Pacific will begin a new route between Vancouver and Hong Kong on March 28, 2017 flying an Airbus A350. The A350 will depart Vancouver and Hong Kong on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays mornings.

These are not Cathay Pacific's only flights between Vancouver and Hong Kong, but the first on the airline's new A350 (and the airline's first A350 flight to North America to boot). The A350 features 38 fully flat bed Business Class, 28 premium economy, and 214 economy seats.

Here is the layout of Business Class. As you can see, every seat has aisle access.

You Can Redeem Alaska Miles on Virgin America & 1st Class Space is Abundant

Update 1/18/17: A reader reports that he tried to book San Francisco to Boston Virgin America First Class award space with Alaska miles--he tried various summer dates--and every time received an error message. When he called Alaska, a representative confirmed that there was no award space on the days he checked. Who knows if that will happen to you, but beware that the Virgin Atlantic First Class award space displaying on could be phantom. 

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America merged earlier this month, and it's now possible to redeem Alaska miles on Virgin America flights.

Did You Receive 10k Free Alaska Miles Over the Weekend?

UPDATE 1/10/17: If you have a Virgin America Elevate account and an Alaska Mileage Plan account that were both opened prior to December 5, 2016, you should have gotten/be getting the 10k Alaska mile bonus soon. Alaska shared the following statement with The Points Guy:
"We understand that many Mileage Plan members have questions about a surprise 10,000 mile gift that started appearing in some accounts last night, and we wanted to help put some of the mystery to rest.

ENDS TODAY: Buy Alaska Miles with 40% Bonus. Should You?

Until today (December 31, 2016), you can buy Alaska Airlines miles with up to a 40% bonus. Log in to your account at this link to see your offer.

The sale is structured as a bonus on the normal number of miles you’d receive.

The bonus is tiered, so the biggest 40% bonus comes from purchasing 40,000 to 60,000 miles at the normal price of about 2.96 cents each after tax.

It costs $1,774 to buy 84,000 miles (60k + 24k bonus) during this sale.

January 6 is Last Day for SPG to Virgin America Transfers

Starwood Preferred Guest and Virgin America Elevate are ending their partnership on January 6, 2017, making that the last day that you can transfer SPG points to Virgin America Points.
Why does this matter?
In April of this year, Starwood Preferred Guest added Virgin America Elevate as a 1:1 transfer partner.

Alaska Airlines and Delta End Partnership Effective May 1, 2017

Delta and Alaska Airlines are ending their partnership May 1, 2017.

There will be no more codeshares, no more mileage earning on each other's flights, no more reciprocal elite benefits, and no more redeeming miles on each other's flights.

There is some grace period if you already booked your flight.
Delta SkyMiles Members will be able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by Alaska Airlines through April 30, 2017.

1 Virgin America Point = 1.3 Alaska Miles, 1 SPG = 1.625 Alaska

Virgin America and Alaska Airlines have merged.

Starting January 9, 2017, you can link your Alaska Mileage Plan and Virgin America Elevate accounts. Then you can transfer 1 Virgin America points to 1.3 Alaska miles.

That is almost exactly the fair ratio in my opinion.

You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles on Japan Airlines (For Cheap!)

Alaska Airlines partnered up with Japan Airlines (JAL) back in May of this year. Just last week Alaska published their prices for redeeming Alaska miles on JAL flights between the continental United States and Asia, Southeast Asia, and intra-Asia.

Here are the prices in Alaska miles to fly Japan Airlines from the continental United States:

In this case Alaska defines "Asia" as Japan, South Korea, and India, and "Southeast Asia" as Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, China, and Tawain.

JAL obviously flies other places but only those redemption rates for US <>

Big Trip Idea: Hawaii, Fiji, Aus, Philippines, Doha in 1st Class

Nothing cries out for a BIG trip idea like a few weeks with nowhere to be.

I'm considering going from Hawaii to Croatia from mid-February to mid-March.

Combine Alaska Awards on Hainan & Two Hilton Card Offers For (Almost Free) Trip to Asia


Hainan Airlines partnered with Alaska Airlines earlier this year, and their flights are now bookable on Their award chart is dirt cheap.

That's right, 50,000 miles one way in a flat bed for over 13 hours, with connections all over Asia. The only other deal that can compare is using Alaska miles to book Cathay Pacific flights for the same amount of miles and a little less out of pocket expenses (Hainan charges mild fuel surcharges-- about $140 per one way).