Australia Cathay Pacific Airlines - Oneworld elite frequent flyer Elite Qualifying Dollars Elite Qualifying Miles Los Angeles LAX Melbourne MEL premium economy class San Francisco SFO Sydney SYD

LAX/SFO to Melbourne/Sydney $1,965 Cathay Pacific Premium Economy earns AAdvantage Gold elite

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.

AAdvantage 2017 Program Updates

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

$1,975.08 round trip Premium Economy Booking Code E

Monday March 6 – Sunday March 19

LAX-SYD $1975 CX PE Mar6-19

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

LAX-HKG-SYD-HKG-LAX = 23,681 flight miles.

AAdvantage Earn Miles Cathay Pacific table.

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:

AA or Finnair ticket AAdvantage? $400 Chicago to Copenhagen

Earn AAdvantage EQD and cheaper elite status on BA Premium Economy tickets

ARNing to AAdvantage Platinum elite for $1,818 in 2017


  • Michael December 6, 2016

    And just as a suggestion:

    Fare sale today LAX-DOH-SIN for $1600 in Qatar Business Class that would earn you a lot more miles and EQM and EQD.

    If you wanted to go on to Sydney or Melbourne, it’s about $300 more.

  • Ric Garrido December 6, 2016

    That looks like the each way price when I checked Qatar Business Class, so $3,200+ round trip.

    Lot more money for an extra 1500 EQM and $300 EQD.

    I will include it in my next post I am currently writing, which so happens to be a look at AAdvantage EQM and EQD for Premium Economy and Business Class flights JFK, ORD and LAX/SFO to Singapore.

  • Andy December 6, 2016

    No, it’s round trip, perhaps you need to change your dates. A lot of destinations, Flyertalk premium fares forum

  • pssteve December 6, 2016

    Those QR prices out of LAX only lasted about 2 hours this am.(4:00am to 6:00am Pac time) See FT discussion in Premium deals.Of course bloggers were blamed for it not lasting.

  • Ric Garrido December 6, 2016

    I found the FlyerTalk thread.

    Short lived deal at $1,681 LAX-DOH-SIN round trip.

    The point of this post is to share why that is a deal you would have wanted to jump on in the two hours it was available if you are interested in cheap AAdvantage elite status qualification in 2017.

    I am including the Qatar Business Class ticket in my next post.

    Does not matter the fare is now $3,500 and not $1,681 since the price of the Qatar Airways ticket does not change the EQM and EQD earned in AAdvantage for Business Class ticket.

  • John Henrikson December 6, 2016

    I tried this, booking on Cathay Pacific’s website. SFO-HKG-SYD-HKG-SFO. Found a fare about $2,025.00. Awesome. However, after a couple clicks, it shows the amount of AsiaMiles you can earn, and right next it, it says “AAdvantage: NO”. Weird. Not sure what that means. It was booking class E. AA’s website says 1.5 EQM’s and .20 EQD’s for booking class E, just like your example.
    I tried a regular business class fare, clicked though, and the screen said “AAdvantage: YES”. Hmmmm.
    I called AA. They told me that in order to earn miles in that E class for Premium Economy, it has to be booked on, not Cathay’s site. That 2,025 fare is probably a discounted fare and Cathay won’t be awarding miles for such a discounted fare.

    The problem is, you won’t find a routing on Cathay to SYD through HKG on, let alone a fare that low.

    Anybody else try this?

  • pssteve December 6, 2016

    I think the AA agent was shooting from the lip. E fare is listed on the AA chart for CX to earn 1.5 EQM’s per mile and 20% EQ$$ per mile. The chart only shows BKK as not earning and says nothing as to where the ticket must be purchased. Over the past 2 years we have booked and flown CX PE numerous times with miles credited to AA without problem.None were purchased thru AA.

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