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AA Award: Cathay Pacific / CX availability, etc. (2018-2022 archive)

Old Nov 19, 2014, 9:27 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero
Awards: All Cathay Pacific / CX (Including First and Business Class)
Questions, Availability, Discussion


NOTE: Multiple reports starting in June 2021 that CX is allowing only a 24 hour hold and could cancel reservations not being ticketed beyond 24 hours.

Please feel free to use this thread for questions regarding CX Economy, Premium Economy, First and Business Class award redemption using AAdvantage miles, as well as questions regarding award availability, routings and related issues. Please go to the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles Forum to discuss or ask about meals, equipment, service, etc. on CX, as there is an existing wealth of information there - and this is the American Airlines AAdvantage Forum .

AA Flight award chart for oneworld® and partner airlines

Other related threads that may be of interest:

FT Discrepancy between CX Award Search and AA availability: Discrepancy between QF and CX award search and AA availability

FT How , When to Select CX Seats on CX Award: How / when to select seat on a Cathay (CX) award / flight (consolidated)

FT Cathay Pacific Experience - Seats / Interline/ Baggage FAQs: Cathay Pacific Experience / Seats / Interline / Baggage FAQs

Also, for Rules about awards, see AA oneworld and Other Airline Partner Award information, rules (2015 on).

Expert Advice:

Only "MileSAAver" awards apply to oneworld and AA partners.
Premium Economy seats are not available with AAdvantage awards, may be soon as AA sells Premium Economy Feb 2017.

Be aware that what you see on the BA, JL, or QF sites may not be visible to the AA reservations folks. You may want to note the flight on which the F award seat is shown as "available" on those sites and if the AA agent doesn't see any availability suggest that the AA agent check that specific one again. If the AA agent still cannot see it, thank them, hang up, and call back a little later.

Sometimes CX will make flights available for award booking to CX frequent flyers, but not release the seats immediately for other oneworld frequent flyers. Usually though, the seats, if not taken by CX frequent flyers, are released after a while to other OW programs.

Although CX may release seats for award earlier, AA can book them no more than 331 days prior to departure. The awards that CX does release are available as early as 355 days prior to departure for CX and BA frequent fliers, and sometimes that means the awards you want w AA miles will be snatched up prior to the 331 day mark.

*** AA does not have a set schedule to load flights. They can load it anytime after midnight 331 days out. Most of the time it is within a couple to 12 hours of that. Other times, it can be a full day or a day and a half afterwards, especially on the weekends where there's most variability. Unlike JL award space, it is not a specific time of day.

4Keep in mind that when booking eastbound space to North America that it's one day later in HKG so that space usually becomes available 330 days in advance to North America; this is not always true, since CX has already loaded the availability a month prior to AA - it is just up to AA to load and release the seats on SABRE, so it typically ends up being 330 days out, but not necessarily.

Similarly... if you are trying to book westbound, US->HKG->Somewhere then AA may not be able to book the HKG->Somewhere segment 331 days in advance of the US->HKG flight, if it is still 332 days out in HKG. As it is the flights from US->HKG that are hardest to get, if you find a seat US->HKG at the 331 day mark when it is first available for booking through AA but cannot book the continuation, you can just put that US->HKG segment on hold with AA, then call back the next day when connecting flights will be loaded into the system to try to book the onward flight from HKG.

AA does not charge "YQ" surcharges [what they sometimes call "fuel surcharge"] on CX award segments (BA Avios does), thus the taxes and fees on your "free" ticket on CX or KA are almost always significantly less than for the same routing on BA.

There is a Hong Kong Departure Tax (HK) of $120 HKD (approx $15.50 USD) on every segment departing Hong Kong. Exemptions apply. If your ticket includes this tax and you qualify for an exemption, a refund can be applied for either in person at HKIA landside or via post to Civil Aviation Department. AA charges this tax for children under 12 years of age despite the exemption. In order to obtain a cash refund at HKIA, you will need passenger passport, passenger boarding pass, passenger ticket receipt showing the fare calculation line which will show the HK tax being charged. This receipt can be obtained at any AA counter worldwide including HKIA as well as Airport Express in-town check-in (AA check-in). As the AA counter at HKIA operates only during limited hours, Airport Express in-town check-in would be the the convenient option.

Not all CX flights offer First class; CX Business is markedly different on long haul and regionally configured aircraft.

If you're looking for multiple seats in First on a particular flight but can find only some but not all that you're looking for, take what's available in F, then take the rest of the seats you want on J (if available) on the same flight, and check back periodically to see if an F seat has opened up for award. There is no additional charge (in money, although there will be in miles) to change to an award to a higher cabin of service (e.g., J to F, Y to F, Y to J) as long as the award keeps the same origin/destination airports.

Be aware your award must conform to some rules on a) MPM (Maximum Permitted Mileage - your award routing can not exceed 125% of the most direct routing available); a useful tool is Great Circle Mapper.

The Most Significant Carrier (transpacific usually, CX in most of these posts,) must offer a non-"constructed" fare between your origin and destination (you might find an unconstructed fare between DFW and SIN, but might not from Killeen to SIN).

If you can't pick your CX seats online, either due to them being blocked or you just want to call, you need to first get the CX PNR from AAdvantage at 1-800-882-8880. Then call CX at 1-800-233-2742. Some seats that are blocked on CX website are assignable via AA reservations. Close to departure AA can even assign 2A, 2K.

Note: if the Cathay Manage booking tool doesn't appear to recognize your CX PNR, you need to enter your first name AND middle name, separated by a space, in the "First Name" field.

AAward bookings containing CX flights that are put on hold will be restricted to only 24hrs, not the usual 5 days.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the patterns for west coast routes?
Because LAX has 4 daily flights to HKG, it tends to be the easiest option for blocks of 3 or more J award seats. SFO and YVR only have 2 daily flights and even if 5 award seats were initially released at 355 days prior to departure, some of those may be gone by the time the 331 day mark rolls around. If you need 4 or 5 J award seats on these west coast routes, either use Avios to book at 355 days or consider routing through LAX where there may still be availability at 331 days out.

Can I visit my companion in First Class if I'm in Business Class?
"Up-cabin visits" are not permitted per CX policy, though have been granted under special circumstances. But putting crew in the awkward position of being asked to violate policy is generally frowned upon. Down-cabin visits are permitted ex-USA. However, on flights to the USA, down-cabin visits are not permitted and this rule is vigorously enforced.

Posts made in 2017 may be read in ARCHIVE: 2017 AA Awards in Cathay Pacific / CX, KA...

Posts made in 2016 may be read in ARCHIVE: AA Awards on Cathay Pacific (2016).

Posts made in 2015 may be read in ARCHIVE: AA Awards on Cathay Pacific (2015).

Posts made in 2014 may be read in ARCHIVE: Awards: CX / Cathay Pacific / (inc. F and J) - 2014.

N.B. Older posts have been moved and archived to: Cathay Pacific / CX (inc. First and Business Class) award - ARCHIVED.
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AA Award: Cathay Pacific / CX availability, etc. (2018-2022 archive)

Old Feb 22, 2018, 12:24 pm
  #151  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,731
Originally Posted by guv1976
AA partner award chart here:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...ward-chart.jsp

As noted, two awards will be required for each one-way: North America to Asia 2, and Asia 2 to South Pacific. The upside of this is that you can have a stopover in Asia 2 (and it does not necessarily have to be at HKG) if desired.
Pardon me, but I believe the airport in question, CPT, is considered to be in Africa, and not South Pacific. So at present, to book using AA miles with the new CX flight, would entail US-Asia and Asia to Africa awards.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 12:37 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by swingaling
​​​​​​​
It's a married segment, not a glitch.
Does this mean there's actually 4 available on SFO-HKG-SIN?

I am originally booked on LAX-HKG-KUL-SIN because CX, because CX did not release any award seats on their HKG-SIN route for that date at all. This is on CX, Dragon Air, then Malaysia Air (in that order). If I change my routing to go from LAX-SFO-HKG-SIN which allows me to keep the origin and destination the same, but the carriers will now be AA, CX, will there be a change fee? I was told that it would be $150 per person because it's a different award. That person from AA was not helpful and didn't elaborate on why other than saying it's a different type of award.

Alternatively, I can wait till close to departure date and if HKG-SIN opens up, I can change on LAX-HKG-SIN all on CX. But this means I will drop Dragon Air and Malaysia Airlines. Will there be a change fee in this case? I saw on the AA website that they charge fees for changing carriers.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 12:40 pm
  #153  
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Originally Posted by ckpeter
Pardon me, but I believe the airport in question, CPT, is considered to be in Africa, and not South Pacific. So at present, to book using AA miles with the new CX flight, would entail US-Asia and Asia to Africa awards.
You're absolutely right! I'm so used to seeing posts about AAdvantage award travel between North America and Australia via CX that I automatically said "South Pacific" instead of "Africa." Thanks for catching that; I've corrected my post.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 12:44 pm
  #154  
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Originally Posted by dkc192
You'll need two awards to travel that itinerary, as AA doesn't have a third region transit exception for US-Africa travel via Asia 2.
There’s my answer.

And it wasn’t what I was hoping to hear.

Dreams crushed. LoL
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:00 pm
  #155  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,731
Originally Posted by guv1976
You're absolutely right! I'm so used to seeing posts about AAdvantage award travel between North America and Australia via CX that I automatically said "South Pacific" instead of "Africa." Thanks for catching that; I've corrected my post.
Thank you for being helpful.

P.S. It's so hard to find mistakes in your posts.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:12 pm
  #156  
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Originally Posted by swingaling
It's a married segment, not a glitch.
No, it's not. The BA site has been like this forever. It displays skewed results when searching connections.

Originally Posted by frugaltraveller
Does this mean there's actually 4 available on SFO-HKG-SIN?

I am originally booked on LAX-HKG-KUL-SIN because CX, because CX did not release any award seats on their HKG-SIN route for that date at all. This is on CX, Dragon Air, then Malaysia Air (in that order). If I change my routing to go from LAX-SFO-HKG-SIN which allows me to keep the origin and destination the same, but the carriers will now be AA, CX, will there be a change fee? I was told that it would be $150 per person because it's a different award. That person from AA was not helpful and didn't elaborate on why other than saying it's a different type of award.

Alternatively, I can wait till close to departure date and if HKG-SIN opens up, I can change on LAX-HKG-SIN all on CX. But this means I will drop Dragon Air and Malaysia Airlines. Will there be a change fee in this case? I saw on the AA website that they charge fees for changing carriers.
You're welcome to of course call AA and check, but in a vast majority of cases AA will not be able to see 4 seats on the SFO-HKG segment. Again it's just the way BA displays the results.

And for both of those cases there should be no change fee. In both examples you're keeping the same award LAX-SIN, just changing connecting points, and all carriers are oneworld. If you happen to get another unhelpful AAgent who tries to charge the change fee, then push back.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:16 pm
  #157  
 
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Originally Posted by 355F1


There’s my answer.

And it wasn’t what I was hoping to hear.

Dreams crushed. LoL
If using AS miles, however...you might be able to dream again
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:18 pm
  #158  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
No, it's not. The BA site has been like this forever. It displays skewed results when searching connections.



You're welcome to of course call AA and check, but in a vast majority of cases AA will not be able to see 4 seats on the SFO-HKG segment. Again it's just the way BA displays the results.

And for both of those cases there should be no change fee. In both examples you're keeping the same award LAX-SIN, just changing connecting points, and all carriers are oneworld. If you happen to get another unhelpful AAgent who tries to charge the change fee, then push back.
Thanks so much for your time.
If I were to change to LAX-SFO-HKG-SIN, I will have to use AA to fly from LAX-SFO. Since that's not One World, I would be whacked with a fee, right?
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:28 pm
  #159  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveller
Thanks so much for your time.
If I were to change to LAX-SFO-HKG-SIN, I will have to use AA to fly from LAX-SFO. Since that's not One World, I would be whacked with a fee, right?
Unless something has changed today, AA is most certainly a oneworld member....
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 1:37 pm
  #160  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Unless something has changed today, AA is most certainly a oneworld member....
Thanks you!!
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 2:42 pm
  #161  
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Originally Posted by flyaxa
If using AS miles, however...you might be able to dream again
None of my current 1,210,803 Redeemable Miles are with AS.
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Old Feb 22, 2018, 3:43 pm
  #162  
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Originally Posted by flyaxa
If using AS miles, however...you might be able to dream again
Still close to impossible dream because AS does not see the same CX availability as the oneworld members even with so many daily flights between US gateways and HKG. With Thrice weekly flights on a seasonal route that is newly created? one can continue to dream.

On top of that CX seems to have tightened up A Lot on its generous policy in the past when releasing premium cabin award seats.

Using AA miles to CPT the most practical way is to redeem on QR going thru DOH. If one gets lucky one might get the A350 route which has the Qsuite, beats CX fatigue J seat by much more than a mile. lol.

Last edited by Happy; Feb 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm
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Old Feb 23, 2018, 8:12 am
  #163  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveller
Thanks so much for your time.
If I were to change to LAX-SFO-HKG-SIN, I will have to use AA to fly from LAX-SFO. Since that's not One World, I would be whacked with a fee, right?
Why would you think AA is not part of OW?
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Old Feb 23, 2018, 10:18 am
  #164  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
No, it's not. The BA site has been like this forever. It displays skewed results when searching connections.
Take a look at Asia Miles website and you'll see the same thing. I was able to replicate the issue there for some sample dates next year.

15 Jan 2019
SFO-HKG-SIN /// CX893 / CX739
4 J seats available

15 Jan 2019
SFO-HKG /// CX879
2 J seats available (CX893 is full)

I believe the issue is they block availability on morning arrival flights, saving those seats for connecting passengers. That would mean pax with HKG as final destination would need to grab the evening arrival flight (CX879).
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Old Feb 23, 2018, 12:59 pm
  #165  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by FlightNurse
Why would you think AA is not part of OW?
I had the same question. But when I called back, another agent was able to do the change with no fee. Some AA agents are more knowledgeable than others...
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