Effective 19 January 2017, Air Canada has become an earn and redemption partner of Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program.
This opens up a good opportunity to avoid having to pay cash for domestic flights within Canada, which tend to be relatively expensive due to the duopoly operated by Air Canada and its rival WestJet.
In this guide, we outline the eligible routes for earning and redeeming Asia Miles; redemption pricing; and earning Asia Miles on Air Canada flights.
Air Canada routes Asia Miles can be earned and redeemed on
At first, we got excited when we found out that Asia Miles could be used on Air Canada flights because it would open up some great value long-haul redemptions… but then we noticed that tucked into the detail was that Asia Miles could only be earned and redeemed on select Air Canada domestic routes within Canada.
We reached out to Asia Miles on Twitter and they confirmed that this was the case [insert sad face].
So, if you’re looking to use your points from other frequent flyer programs like KrisFlyer and United MileagePlus on international Air Canada flights, check out our full guide to making Air Canada redemptions.
For now, at least, you can only earn and use Asia Miles on Air Canada-operated domestic flights between:
- Toronto Pearson
Toronto Pearson and:
- St John’s
Redeeming Asia Miles on Air Canada flights
With the dominance of two carriers in the domestic market in Canada, namely Air Canada and Qantas partner WestJet, cash prices for air tickets are relatively higher than in Australia, meaning that using points to book domestic flights represents quite good value, even in Economy Class.
As Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart, there are three pricing ranges for Air Canada domestic flights, based on the circle in which the destination airport is located:
|Zone||Economy Class (one-way/return)||Business Class (one-way/return)|
|0-600 miles (first circle)||10,000/20,000||20,000/40,000|
|601-1200 miles (second circle)||15,000/30,000||25,000/50,000|
|1201-2500 miles (third circle)||20,000/40,000||30,000/60,000|
Compared to KrisFlyer, MileagePlus and LifeMiles, Asia Miles is only cheaper in the first circle; KrisFlyer wins in the other two, so it pays to check out our Air Canada redemption guide to make the best decision.
Unfortunately, stopovers are not permitted on Air Canada flights using Asia Miles, so you couldn’t stop over for more than 24 hours in Toronto on your way from Vancouver to Quebec City, for example.
How to search for and book Air Canada flights
We have step-by-step instructions on how to search for and book Air Canada awards in our full guide to making Air Canada redemptions.
You’ll have to make your award redemption on the phone by calling Asia Miles on 1800 129 264 in Australia or 0800 44 9044 in New Zealand.
Earning Asia Miles on Air Canada flights
Earn rates on Air Canada flights are not highly significant.
You’ll earn 25% of actual miles flown for a discounted Economy Class ticket, 75-100% for flexible Economy, 110% for Premium Economy and 125% for Business Class.
It is good news to now have the opportunity to use Asia Miles for domestic redemptions on Air Canada flights, however, it does pay to check how pricing compares to other frequent flyer programs.
Try to get on a comfortable lie-flat Business Class seat on transcontinental flights like Vancouver to Toronto.
Supplementary images courtesy Air Canada.