Cathay Pacific Regional Flights with Avios – Great Value, Low Fees

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As part of my ridiculously cheap trip to Japan (thanks to Joe!) last January,  I decided to add on a small detour to Hong Kong and Macau – as you do. I wanted to maximise our time whilst we were “over that way”, but realised that because of the amount of travel, we’d need it to be as comfy as possible. Cue Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class using Avios!

The Product

Cathay Pacific offers a solid regional business class product, much better than what we’re stuck with in Europe. These seats are more akin to long haul Premium Economy. Whilst they don’t go even angled flat, they do recline significantly allowing you to “lounge” and doze. They also don’t recline into the person behind’s space, rather they slide within a shell.

Cathay Pacific also operate longhaul aircraft on certain routes, but more often than not you will end up with the regional configuration.

The service was excellent with a polite and efficient crew. We were offered menus, and then meals were served from a trolley.

The quality of the food was excellent, and it was beautifully presented. Definitely shames BA Club Europe!

The seats also have full touchscreen entertainment, with a fairly decent selection of films, TV and music. Whilst not the widest selection, it was decent enough for a 4 hour flight.

An added bonus, is that on leaving Hong Kong you also get access to the world-class Cathay Pacific lounges, even if you don’t have oneworld elite status. The Pier business class lounge really was an amazing place to spend a few hours before boarding.

The cost

When redeeming Avios on BA‘s Oneworld partners, they are always priced using Peak Rates, but use the same distance based award chart. The main benefit of redeeming with Cathay Pacific is that the surcharges are very limited, indeed for flights originating in Hong Kong they are actually illegal.

For my particular flights, the cost was 20,000 Avios and circa £30 in fees each way.

Japan to Hong Kong is a business heavy route, and cash prices reflect this – so my flights would have been circa £1,000 each. This means you could be getting around 5p/Avios (in theoretical value anyway)!


Cathay Pacific has an extensive route network in Asia, world class lounges in HKG and a solid regional business class product.

This can represent an excellent way to enjoy a good level of luxury for relatively minimal Avios and most importantly, very little cash outlay.


  1. Tom says

    Don’t forget JAL, too! Similarly low taxes and I generally prefer JAL onboard to Cathay Pacific.

    I fly this route from time to time and JL26 is my preferred flight – never mind Club Europe, the catering on that flight absolutely shames Club World! I had a perfectly pink steak on it last time I flew it (the kind of thing BA can’t even get right in long haul F), the Japanese meal is also normally great. WiFi, lie flat seats and slippers (being JL, of course).

    • Joe Deeney says

      Sounds great! – I had one of the most dismal meals I’ve ever ‘enjoyed’ on BA First – the steak was genuinely inedible. The champagne is good though at least!

    • Rich Thompson says

      For some reason when I was looking to book this, only offered me indirect JAL routings – really annoying! I would have loved to try one each way.

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