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Old Jun 24, 11, 5:59 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Do award seats tend to open up closer to departure date on Cathay

I've got a possible itin where I leave out on C and come back in F. The agent said that if seats open up at any time between now and the departure, I could switch into F for no charge. When I look at availability during the next few days, it looks wide open which leads me to believe that there might be a good chance of that occurring. Yet, the agent says that cathay normally does not open seats closer to departure.

Does anybody have any insight on this? Would you do it with the possible risk that you might burn some extra miles? At least the downside isn't coach...
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Old Jun 24, 11, 6:02 pm   #2
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IME, CX and most airlines do release award space as we get closer to the departure date, but no guarantees... We have to hope that our date is one of those dates that will see saver award space released...

How about connecting in a different west coast city, fly out on AS to that city to connect onto your CX flight? We have YVR, SFO, and LAX to play around with...

It also has a lot to do with how many F seats remain... If it is only 1 or 2 then I wouldn't count on it, but if it is more than half then chances are better...
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Old Jun 24, 11, 6:06 pm   #3
 
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I'm trying all of those. Not much available outbound in August or September. Plenty coming back
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Old Jun 24, 11, 6:41 pm   #4
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Originally Posted by eternalX View Post
I'm trying all of those. Not much available outbound in August or September. Plenty coming back
FWIW, I booked my JNB trip that starts on June 28 on June 2, and most of the days in that week had F space available from YVR, LAX, and SFO... The biggest issue for me was SFO, because AS refused to transport me to SFO from LAX, only SJC, so that knocked out a day or two...

I was also originally in C on the return segment, then I changed to confirm myself in F, and then I changed the outbound date... In the end all 4 of my CX segments are now in F...

Since you are based in SEA, all three airports are an option for you and I am pretty confident that F space will open up from one of the three airports within a few days of your currently booked day of departure between now and Aug/Sept.

So, book it, since you are a Gold, worst case scenario you will bag the trip and lose $25 [non refundable partner award booking fee]... Monitor the BA Executive Club site for any F space that might open up, don't use the CX site, because it gives you more award space than what AS sees.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:48 am   #5
 
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That's what I did. It is booked. I'll check periodically to look for space on CX, especially once we get 2-3 weeks out. AS was unable to get me F on the flights to SFO which I found rather amusing but I don't really care much about that 2 hour leg. i'll also check back with AS on those legs.

Now to find cheap tickets to Xining from Hong Kong...
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Old Jun 27, 11, 2:33 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
So, book it, since you are a Gold, worst case scenario you will bag the trip and lose $25 [non refundable partner award booking fee]... Monitor the BA Executive Club site for any F space that might open up, don't use the CX site, because it gives you more award space than what AS sees.
Is the non-refundable $25 fee assessed each time the reservation is tweaked?

Shouldn't OP also have ORD and JFK as options? not that these are efficient routings, but if it's 14h in J or 16-17h in F, I'd go for F. Monitoring these two cities will double their chances of finding availability.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 2:59 pm   #7
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Is the non-refundable $25 fee assessed each time the reservation is tweaked?

Shouldn't OP also have ORD and JFK as options? not that these are efficient routings, but if it's 14h in J or 16-17h in F, I'd go for F. Monitoring these two cities will double their chances of finding availability.
Nope, that fee is only assessed once.

I believe for JNB, only the three west coast cities are allowed, however, if you can plead your case to the partner desk if ORD/JFK/YYZ does have F award space available they might make an exception with a supervisor's approval when the three west coast cities do not have any availability. However, you will have to buy a separate plane ticket to fly back home, because flying to ORD if you are based in Seattle will violate the backtracking rules... So, if you are SEA based and chose to make ORD your destination on your return with CX, you will have to buy a one way ORD-SEA ticket.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 4:19 pm   #8
 
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i guess one would have to contact the partner desk to get the definitive word on which gateway cities are permissible for any particular point of origin? ... any ex-AK or HI trip on CX involves serious backtracking as we're so far west. it would be interesting to know how restrictive the routing rules are and if they're more flexible out of AK/HI. I hadn't considered YYZ for the OP as AS couldn't get them there, unless one could throw in some AA or whatever segments.

can't wait til i have time to rack up 4 pairs of CX PJs to/from JNB or CPT
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Old Jun 27, 11, 6:43 pm   #9
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FWIW, AS wouldn't book me LAX-SEA/PDX-SFO so I could catch CX out of SFO... They only offered LAX-SJC and said I have to figure out how to get to SFO on my own, which is too much of a headache...

However, I am curious about their routing rules for JNB redemptions

All in all, I got LAX-YVR-HKG-JNB-HKG-JFK, so it is all good
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Old Jun 27, 11, 6:59 pm   #10
 
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I would not be interested in flying to Chicago or New York just to upgrade from C to F. That makes the return flight especially long. If it was the difference between C and Y, sure.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:36 pm   #11
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OP might try the CX board; be specific with respect to desired routes and classes of service.
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Old Jun 28, 11, 9:18 pm   #12
 
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IME it does. i called in january to book an award flight on CX from SEA -> HKG on May 30 with HKG -> SEA return in the June 16-19 window.

i was able to get the outbound flight no problem, however they couldn't get me a return between june 1 and august. i booked the outbound (at which time the $25 fee and taxes were assessed), and called back every 1-2 weeks to check on the return. during this time, i booked between 2-3 different itineraries for the return so as to at least have something to get out of asia. each time, taxes for the canceled return were refunded to my credit card and taxes for the new flight assessed; the $25 processing fee only being charged once (at the beginning).

sure enough, in early april more seats were released and i got a flight back on june 17.

the trip was fun.
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Old Jun 29, 11, 7:48 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
All in all, I got LAX-YVR-HKG-JNB-HKG-JFK, so it is all good
And you didnt invite me? How rude I'm sure you were just worried i would eat up all the inventory

In May, I tried changing my DPS-HKG to a day earlier but nothing ever opened up
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Old Aug 3, 11, 3:26 pm   #14
 
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ONe just opened up to Hong Kong so I grabbed that one. Now just waiting on one more.

BTW - I appreciate the advice on the BA tool but man, that thing hardly ever works. Their website in general is plain terrible. I appreciate the AS stuff a little more every time i use something different.
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Old Aug 3, 11, 6:56 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by eternalX View Post
BTW - I appreciate the advice on the BA tool but man, that thing hardly ever works. Their website in general is plain terrible. I appreciate the AS stuff a little more every time i use something different.
Try using the CX site first to narrow down absolute availability; then use the BA site only to check what is available to partners.
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