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Cathay Pacific (CX) Award Redemption, Booking and Availability – 2017 and Later

Cathay Pacific (CX) Award Redemption, Booking and Availability – 2017 and Later

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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:35 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: eponymous_coward
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Cathay Award Guide Using Alaska Airlines Miles

Note: Cathay flights cannot be booked using alaskaair.com. Mileage requirements in chart form available on alaskaair.com.

Request your Partner Award reservation on Cathay Pacific by calling Alaska Airlines Reservations at 1-800-252-7522 (TTY: Dial 711 for Relay Services) 5:00 a.m. - Midnight (PT), daily.
Routing Rules:
  • If it's not on the award chart, it's not allowed. For example EUROPE is To/From HKG only.
  • Stopover are only allowed on any CX award for North America awards as destination or origin. For instance: intra-Asia awards do not get a stopover. It must be a North America->Somewhere or Somewhere->North America award to qualify for a stopover.
  • The only awards that do not break at HKG are intra-Asia or North American ones. For instance, Australia-Europe/Middle East/Asia outside of HKG will be two awards (breaking at HKG). The AS award chart can be misleading about this and give you the impression you can fly an award like Australia/Europe-ICN, but the chart for these award types will show "Hong Kong".
  • One stop-over allowed on one way award. You can build open jaw and other advanced routings by booking multiple one way awards. Please note change fee rule below.
  • Allegedly stop-over only in Hong Kong, but some have posted success in other enroute cities such as YVR or SEA.
  • As of 5 June 2018 changes/cancellations made to a booking will incur a $125 fee which is waived for MVPG/MVPG75K. Bookings made prior to 5 June will be allowed one complimentary change or cancellation for up to 60 days prior to date of travel.
  • Awards can be booked 330 days in advance.
  • Cathay and Alaska (or an Alaska flight operated by SkyWest/Horizon on behalf of Alaska) are the only airlines allowed on a Cathay award. No other partner airlines may be used on a single award (e.g. American, JAL, Emirates).

North American Gateway Cities:

Western
Vancouver
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Seattle (Spring 2019)

Eastern (Can not be used if traveling to west coast)
Boston
Chicago
New York (JFK & EWR)
Toronto
Washington

Award Chart Links*:

Asia
Australia
Europe
India/Middle East
North America


Anyone with 90 posts and 90 days can edit the wiki. Everyone else if you want something added to the wiki please comment in the thread.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 2:08 am
  #2251  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Programs: DL
Posts: 39
Haven't redeemed miles on CX for a while. I see 1 First Class seat avaialble for three different days when I search on both BA and QF, however the Alaska award desk says no availability on any of those days

Is there some restricted availability if it is only 1 seat? Should I be looking for dates with 2 open seats?

The last time I did this a couple of years ago, the BA search result was enough to find seats.

EDIT: This is for LAX-HKG

Thank you!

Last edited by krdvg; Jun 5, 18 at 2:13 am
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Old Jun 5, 18, 2:33 am
  #2252  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Programs: IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,957
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
So, the FT arbitrageurs who load up on SPG points or Marriott travel packages or do some BofA churning in order to do Australia flying at large discounts, and who will never see the inside of a plane with an Eskimo on the tail, will be paying an extra $125, making their discount slightly less useful?
I don't see the correlation. If anything, it looks the opposite way around to me.

Anyone outside a CX-served US city will suffer. SEA residents will suffer and I'd suggest many of AS's SEA members do earn by flying AS. You'd think that the "FT arbitrageurs" you speak of would likely be in those highly populated cities not well served by AS, such as NYC and EWR and they will not be affected nearly as much as those in SEA!
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Old Jun 5, 18, 2:46 am
  #2253  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Programs: IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
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Originally Posted by krdvg View Post
Is there some restricted availability if it is only 1 seat? Should I be looking for dates with 2 open seats?

EDIT: This is for LAX-HKG
I don't think anyone's discovered the secret formula yet. Recent data points I'm aware of:
BA/QF show 4 seats in PE PER-HKG, but AS sees only 1.
BA/QF shows 2 seats in J HKG-LAX on multiple flights and AS doesn't see any of them.
BA/QF shows 2 seats in J HKG-SFO and AS sees them both.

In my experience, HKG-LAX (and v.v.) is the most random. Last year I couldn't get HKG-LAX in J when there were seats available across multiple flights according to BA/QF, yet I was able to book on HKG-SFO, which showed fewer seats on BA/QF.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 3:03 am
  #2254  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AA, AS Gold 75K, BA, QF, SQ, Marriott Platinum Premiere
Posts: 2,100
Originally Posted by Kremmen View Post
I don't think anyone's discovered the secret formula yet. Recent data points I'm aware of:
BA/QF show 4 seats in PE PER-HKG, but AS sees only 1.
BA/QF shows 2 seats in J HKG-LAX on multiple flights and AS doesn't see any of them.
BA/QF shows 2 seats in J HKG-SFO and AS sees them both.

In my experience, HKG-LAX (and v.v.) is the most random. Last year I couldn't get HKG-LAX in J when there were seats available across multiple flights according to BA/QF, yet I was able to book on HKG-SFO, which showed fewer seats on BA/QF.
And my experience has been totally opposite. Each and every time (6 booked since last fall) I have found availability on QF for CX awards I was able to call AS and book them and they saw exactly what I saw on QF. I just booked CX CCC-SEA-LAX//LAX-HKG//HKG-BNE, 1 F and 1 J (where CCC = Canadian Airport) for next February. I have also booked JL HND-SFO 2 F, same flight in March that I was able to book online. When I saw 2 F on QF, I was able to book 2 F on AS.

James

Last edited by Flying for Fun; Jun 5, 18 at 8:20 am
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Old Jun 5, 18, 2:52 pm
  #2255  
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
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Posts: 16,822
Originally Posted by Kremmen View Post
SEA residents will suffer and I'd suggest many of AS's SEA members do earn by flying AS.
Many of those SEA residents who actually get enough miles piled together to redeem on CX (50k-70k is a lot for someone who is an occasional flier and not dedicated to the pursuit of manufactured spend/churning/arbitrage plays, and that is just ONE one way redemption) are MVPG+ and aren't affected.

The vast majority of AS MP redemptions aren't for CX, or even for other partners- the lion's share stays inside of MP. At least it was the case in 2013 (the last time I have data provided by AS).



The most common overseas place for Americans to take vacations is Europe, BTW. SE Asia not so much.

I really don't believe this has changed a lot over the years- obvious DL/AM/KL/AF are gone but are replaced by JL/HU/DE/FI. Remember, AS's membership is mostly NA-based, and FT really is not representative of where most people fly or redeem. Bloggers or FT would have you believe everyone goes to DPS or MLE for vacation. If that was truly the case the availability would be nonexistent. I've redeemed some on CX, but I redeem on AS as well, and I know the "oh, neat, Krug and a lie flat for cheap" tricks as well as anyone.

I will grant the $125 fee for partner award changes hurts MVPs who need to/must redeem way in advance, and the occasional non-elite who somehow gets a large pile of AS miles in their account. But it is somewhat difficult to do this without flying AS very much or being a gamer/arbitrageur, since AMEX/Chase Citi aren't transfer partners, and the BofA bonus isn't big enough to get you CLOSE to a CX premium round trip without multiple cards or a ton of spend. Your options to get a big pile of AS miles at reasonably low cost in your account without much flying are:

- Diner's Club (I imagine there are six or so people out here who do this, but it is still a thing)
- churning/ms'ing BofA, which is pretty obviously trying to game the system
- SPG/Marriott (SPG sold points at reasonable prices for arbitrage regularly, don't know if Marriott will, but there are people out there doing SPG->Marriott Travel Packages->AS as an arbitrage play, and SPG->Alaska was always a potential arbitrage on flying CX cheap called out by bloggers over the year)
- Buy AS miles directly to fly CX (which is pretty much the definition of being an arbitrageur since you can spend $2000 ish for AS miles during a sale and then you have enough to fly CX J round trip in SE Asia. $3000-3500 and you have CX F anywhere they fly from North America).

Originally Posted by Kremmen View Post
You'd think that the "FT arbitrageurs" you speak of would likely be in those highly populated cities not well served by AS, such as NYC and EWR and they will not be affected nearly as much as those in SEA!
Perhaps. I suspect a lot of them are in SYD/MEL/ADL/BNE/PER or in Asia based on posting in this thread.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Jun 5, 18 at 3:17 pm
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Old Jun 5, 18, 3:56 pm
  #2256  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post

Perhaps. I suspect a lot of them are in SYD/MEL/ADL/BNE/PER or in Asia based on posting in this thread.
Sometimes i think those that complain the most are foreign members.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 5:32 pm
  #2257  
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
Sometimes i think those that complain the most are foreign members.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don't have a ton of sympathy for arbitrageurs, even though I try to be one sometimes (I've bought US/AS/AV miles, I've acquired UA/AA/DL miles when they get very very cheap, as happens sometimes). If you're trying to "play the game", recognize airlines really don't exist for the purpose of giving you Krug and lie-flats for pennies on the dollar.

The MVPs or non-ellites who don't fly AS enough to get fee waivers are the ones who get jobbed here, but even then, it's a pretty narrow group of folks who fly some, redeem on CX, don't live in a CX hub, and have to wait and see the CX inventory get snatched out by everyone who wants CX for (relatively) cheap because they need connecting flights for > 24 hours after they book the ticket. AA's award ticket holds and more flexible rules on changes help here.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 5:42 pm
  #2258  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LAX
Posts: 9,009
Whats up with crusading posts against folks who do exactly what AS asks them to do - get more miles via means other than flying?
AS is more than willing to sell them fake currency (or earn it via point conversion partners etc etc) so folks are understandably upset when this currency gets devalued. Whether you are from portland or perth makes no difference..
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Old Jun 5, 18, 10:52 pm
  #2259  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Programs: IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Many of those SEA residents who actually get enough miles piled together to redeem on CX (50k-70k is a lot for someone who is an occasional flier and not dedicated to the pursuit of manufactured spend/churning/arbitrage plays, and that is just ONE one way redemption) are MVPG+ and aren't affected.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "many". "Many SEA resident FTers", sure. Others? I doubt it. Most people I know in the Seattle area fly occasionally for work, but flying short hops to CA or even the Midwest just doesn't add up to status unless you do it a heap. Because AS is the local airline, it has a lot of support. Many people have the AS credit card in WA. It's really not hard to get 100k over a few years for most people. (The friend I posted about recently inherited hundreds of thousands of AS miles from her dad. He'd simply used the AS credit card in his declining years, even when he was no longer fit to fly at all.)

The vast majority of AS MP redemptions aren't for CX
True, but irrelevant. This is the CX redemptions thread.

Remember, AS's membership is mostly NA-based, and FT really is not representative of where most people fly or redeem.
Yes, you should remember that.
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Old Jun 5, 18, 11:19 pm
  #2260  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP , Delta Gold Medallion, "Credit Card" status for various hotels
Posts: 450
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I don't have a ton of sympathy for arbitrageurs, even though I try to be one sometimes (I've bought US/AS/AV miles, I've acquired UA/AA/DL miles when they get very very cheap, as happens sometimes). If you're trying to "play the game", recognize airlines really don't exist for the purpose of giving you Krug and lie-flats for pennies on the dollar.

The MVPs or non-ellites who don't fly AS enough to get fee waivers are the ones who get jobbed here, but even then, it's a pretty narrow group of folks who fly some, redeem on CX, don't live in a CX hub, and have to wait and see the CX inventory get snatched out by everyone who wants CX for (relatively) cheap because they need connecting flights for > 24 hours after they book the ticket. AA's award ticket holds and more flexible rules on changes help here.
Consider me part of this group - I’m an MVP living in SEA who just booked a CX award - TPE-HKG in J (stopover)-LAX in F. I’m unable to book a connection back to SEA because my dates are in high demand due to its proximity to Easter next year. Waiting one day to book would have made no difference here. Although - in years past I would have been able to secure at least saver coach space on this segment which hasn’t Become available yet this year.

While I’m willing to pay for that segment if needed, the lesser AS saver availability in combination with the devaluation of the SPG Amex is causing me to move my spending to UR and MR, and has me considering ending working for MVP at all in lieu of being a free agent. There have been lots of small Alaska devaluations this year. Plus - the lack of Europe redemptions is a big consideration.

In any case - I recognize I may be a special case in the system and will enjoy what may be my last time in Cathay F in awhile.


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Old Jun 6, 18, 12:16 am
  #2261  
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Whats up with crusading posts against folks who do exactly what AS asks them to do - get more miles via means other than flying?
AS is more than willing to sell them fake currency (or earn it via point conversion partners etc etc) so folks are understandably upset when this currency gets devalued. Whether you are from portland or perth makes no difference..
Because the airline explicitly says they have the right to devalue your miles at any time with no notice, and has done so. People do this behavior of buying a product that airlines SPECIFICALLY say “we reserve the right to completely make this thing you just bought worthless” because they want to drink Krug at 35,000 feet for pennies on the dollar and think it’s a way to get around it.

Who’s crusading? You pays your money if you buy miles and takes your chances. If you are going into a deal where the airline reserves the right to swindle you, because you want some of that Krug and caviar, and you surely are too SMART to be swindled... well, best of luck to you. May the odds be ever in your favor.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 12:10 pm
  #2262  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: LAX
Posts: 9,009
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post

.. “we reserve the right to completely make this thing you just bought worthless” ..
Tell AS marketing to use it as new punchline..
i am tired of those sign up for 30k miles and buy miles now and get 35% extra stuff they promote.. your is much better imho
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Old Jun 6, 18, 12:20 pm
  #2263  
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Tell AS marketing to use it as new punchline...
-shrug-

I don't make Supreme Court rulings on frequent flier programs, or program rules, or write marketing materials. I think people should be informed consumers (you can't rely on marketing to inform you), especially on "this is too good to be true" deals. Is the whole business shady? Sure. Welcome to FlyerTalk.
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Old Jun 6, 18, 3:18 pm
  #2264  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Programs: HGP, HHonors, Marriott
Posts: 21
Can someone advise which One World airlines release up to 4 J awards? Last year I saw that Qatar was releasing 4 or even 5 J awards in some US to Doha segments but don't see anything more than 2 through next year. CX used to be generous in that regard to ... but apparently no longer ...
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Old Jun 6, 18, 4:45 pm
  #2265  
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Originally Posted by tanobacha View Post
Can someone advise which One World airlines release up to 4 J awards? Last year I saw that Qatar was releasing 4 or even 5 J awards in some US to Doha segments but don't see anything more than 2 through next year. CX used to be generous in that regard to ... but apparently no longer ...
AS isn't a member of OW nor do they have a partnership with QR, so I don't see how this is relevant to a discussion of redeeming AS miles for CX. There are times you can redeem 4 J on EK using AS miles, but EK is not a OW airline (they are an AS partner).
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