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Now in Effect: Book Cathay Pacific Award Flights with AAdvantage Miles Online

Now in Effect: Book Cathay Pacific Award Flights with AAdvantage Miles Online
Anya Kartashova

It’s finally happened. The moment has come! Cathay Pacific award availability is finally showing up on American Airlines search engine.

To search for space, go to this page (AA’s old search engine) and enter your parameters, such as dates and airport codes, as usual. The redemption rates for one-way flights between the United States and Hong Kong (and beyond) are as follows:

  • 37,500 AAdvantage miles in economy
  • 70,000 AAdvantage miles in business
  • 110,000 AAdvantage miles in first

Why This is a Positive Change

No more having to call American Airlines: Before this change took effect, these awards were bookable by phone only. You’d have to carve time out of your day, call American and weed through an array of menu options before reaching an agent, who might or might not be familiar with finding partner seats. You’d then have to ask for the phone booking fee to be waived. Now, you can save a lot of time and do it all in one sitting without speaking to another human.

No more having to search on other sites for space: Cathay Pacific awards don’t show up on ExpertFlyer, a paid award search tool award booking services use to find space. This left few options for finding availability, and British Airways was one, of not the only one, of those options.

However, BA’s search engine is a bit problematic. It searches one day at a time, which is rather time-consuming, and sometimes it displays phantom availability (seats that aren’t actually available for mileage redemptions). Making AA engine a one-stop shop that lets you search a month at a time solves both problems.

Why This is a Negative Change

Less availability: It goes without saying that making these awards easier to find also makes them harder to book. Everyone and their dog with AAdvantage miles who were blissfully unaware about phone bookings will start gobbling up open seats just because they now show up online. Availability will become scarce with higher demand.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. Sure, Cathay Pacific awards will be available to more travelers, but the ease of booking them beats having to talk to airline employees. Having another option to find space also will help those looking to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles because availability should match, and these seats don’t show up on Alaska’s website, either.

What do you think of the option of booking Cathay Pacific awards with AAdvantage miles online?

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. jmj9905

    September 20, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    BA is not the only one showing cx availability. JL and I believe qantas also show it. That said, as an aa avid mile user this is great news. ymmv

  2. abraxis

    September 23, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    it doesn’t show regional CX flights. SIN-HKG still shows routing on MH with an overnight layover in KL

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