Deals I see today for Cathay Pacific Premium Economy are Los Angeles or San Francisco to Melbourne $1,965 or Sydney $1,975 round trip on dates January to March 2017. It is 23,700 flight miles Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia via Hong Kong; 23,681 flight miles to Sydney.
To place the length of these flights in perspective, you can fly round-the-world from LAX via London and Tokyo in 16,881 flight miles. LAX to Sydney nonstop is 14,976 miles round trip. The route to Sydney via Hong Kong is 8,700 more flight miles.
What makes these tickets potential great value for American Airlines flyers are this single Premium Economy ticket earns AAdvantage Gold elite with 35,000+ elite miles and $4,700+ elite dollars earned in the 2017 AAdvantage program. Oneworld Premium Economy tickets are high earning elite qualification tickets in the new 2017 American Airlines AAdvantage program.
American Airlines EQM and EQD, elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying dollars, are harder to earn in 2017 on discount economy tickets since American Airlines purchased tickets earn miles and PQD based on ticket base fare and fees, excluding taxes.
Frequent flyers seeking AAdvantage elite qualifying miles and dollars in 2017 have incentive to book long-haul flights with Oneworld Alliance partner airlines. Premium Economy class tickets are particularly good for EQM and EQD earning.
Why are award miles and EQDs for travel on partner airline marketed flights calculated differently from American marketed flights?
When you fly with a partner airline, the fare you paid isn’t always shared with American. Therefore, flights that are marketed by American’s partner airlines earn mileage and EQDs based on a percentage of the distance flown as determined by the booking code of the ticket purchased.
EQM and EQD in the 2017 version of AAdvantage miles earning for Oneworld Alliance airlines and Alaska Airlines is based on flight distance and fare class. Premium Economy tickets are a sweet spot for elite qualification booking codes by earning the same 1.5 EQM per flight mile as many Business Class tickets and nearly as many EQD with 20% common compared to 25% for discount Business Class. EQD are also based on flight miles. Long-haul international flights in Premium Economy are one of the best ticket values for earning AAdvantage elite based on the cost per EQM and EQD earned.
Premium Economy tickets are available for some international routes with British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and some other Oneworld Alliance partner airlines. Premium Economy is generally at least 50% more than deep discount economy ticket prices on a route, but often less than half the cost of a Business Class ticket.
For American Airlines flyers the higher ticket price comes with a far easier way to qualify for AAdvantage elite status than flying economy at a far lower ticket price than flying Business Class.
The Cathay Pacific ticket example below for Los Angeles to Sydney reveals the value of a long-haul Premium Economy ticket.
Cathay Pacific Los Angeles LAX – Hong Kong HKG – Sydney – Hong Kong HKG – Los Angeles LAX
Monday March 6 – Sunday March 19
To place this fare in perspective, the lowest economy class ticket is $920 round trip (Philippine Airlines via Manila MNL) and lowest Business Class is $3,816 (Fiji Airways via Nadi NAN) during this date range.
AAdvantage Miles Earned on Cathay Pacific LAX-SYD Premium Economy E code round trip ticket for $1,975.08
23,681 flight miles x 1.5 EQM = 35,521 elite qualifying miles (qualify for AAdvantage Gold elite through Feb 2019 with 25,000 EQM).
23,681 flight miles x 0.2 EQD = $4,736 EQD (qualify for AAdvantage Gold elite with $3,000 PQD).
23,681 flight miles = 23,681 redeemable miles + elite bonus multiplier.
- Gold (40%) = 33,152 redeemable miles.
- Platinum (60%) = 37,889 redeemable miles.
- Platinum Pro (80%) = 42,625 redeemable miles.
- Executive Platinum (120%) = 52,098 redeemable miles.
- AAdvantage Elite Status 2017 update
My series looking at ticketing strategies for 2017 AAdvantage flyers: