Philippine Airlines just devalued their award redemption chart without notice – well, they were nice enough to send out an email on January 31st that new redemption rates have been in effect since January 12th! And all the changes are bad news, redemption rates are between 11% and 50% higher than before throughout their network!
Philippine Airlines mileage program, Mabuhay Miles, is not the most valuable to begin with: You don’t earn miles on discount economy class tickets, there are few partners to earn and redeem miles and it is difficult to redeem for a ticket. While some bloggers have played up the value in recent posts because of the transfer partnership with Citibank and new airline partners ANA, it’s not really helpful for most non-Philippine residents, because you need to book your award tickets in person at the PAL office in Manila!
Now, they have increased the number of miles needed to redeem for a ticket. Hardest hit are destinations in Japan, Australia and the West Coast of America with 30-50% increases! You can see the full chart of changes below:
The Mabuhay Miles program was not the most exciting mileage program so far – and now it has less value than before. If you are collecting miles already, you need to look a little harder to find value in the redemption chart. PAL’s business class is a nice way to travel (read here) and can still be good value! As a recent PAL customer and Elite member, it is sad to see that the progress being made under the management of the San Miguel group, with its fleet renovation, expansion and service improvements, is being reversed by the old management that’s now back in charge! It is surprising that they devalue the program at a time when their biggest competitor, Cebu Pacific, just launched a loyalty program of their own (read here)! I will post a more detailed analysis of their program soon and recommendations where to put your mileage earning spend soon!