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

Old Nov 19, 2014, 10:27 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 Jan 20, 2018, 8:49 am
  #46  
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AA restricts bookings to within 330 days of travel. You will have to wait for a date within that period before AA will permit booking
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 8:53 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
AA restricts bookings to within 330 days of travel. You will have to wait for a date within that period before AA will permit booking
Thanks, I was fearing that. I'll just have to be patient!
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 9:05 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12
I believe AA can only book 331 days in advance. So flights for Dec 15, 2018, are not yet bookable using AA miles.

I also see the same thing as other posters when searching on BA. No business class on CX 253.
Calendar on AA.com will show you which date is end of schedule.

Originally Posted by louie-m
Which seems to prove that BA's website is not infallible as is generally thought to be the case on here.

To answer a question above, I was searching point to point. And I'm still seeing 6 business class seats available.
Which country website are you logged into on BA website?

At this point no one has been able to reproduce your results.


Last edited by seawolf; Jan 20, 2018 at 9:33 am
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 4:51 pm
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Which country website are you logged into on BA website?

At this point no one has been able to reproduce your results.
Logged on to UK website. How about Qantas? I can see 6 seats showing there too. Can no-one else? I've tried and failed to do screenprints to show both.
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 8:07 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by louie-m
Logged on to UK website. How about Qantas? I can see 6 seats showing there too. Can no-one else? I've tried and failed to do screenprints to show both.
If you have a Mac, you can take a screenshot by using Shift + Command + 4 and dragging the pointer.

On a PC, there should be a "PrtScn" button (or something like that) that will let you take a screenshot of your desktop.
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 8:10 pm
  #51  
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I switched to BA UK site. Still don’t see the CX seats in F/J.
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Old Jan 20, 2018, 8:12 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Calendar on AA.com will show you which date is end of schedule.
Thanks--I was looking at GF. Should have checked AA itself.
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 2:40 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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AA Award on Cathay for NYC-HKG-DEL?

Is it possible to redeem JFK>HKG>DEL on one award booking for 40k miles? I've called the Exec Plat AA desk and they can never seem to find availability in economy. But when I look at BA's site and run 2 separate searches, JFK>HKG then HKF>DEL there is availability on both. What can I do to book this when speaking to AA Desk so it's on one award booking?
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 3:02 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by Nathalie Marie
Is it possible to redeem JFK>HKG>DEL on one award booking for 40k miles? I've called the Exec Plat AA desk and they can never seem to find availability in economy. But when I look at BA's site and run 2 separate searches, JFK>HKG then HKF>DEL there is availability on both. What can I do to book this when speaking to AA Desk so it's on one award booking?
North America to Europe via Asia will be priced as two awards. There is no way around that.
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 3:15 am
  #55  
 
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Let's see if this works.....

I've given up and booked something else now, but I'm still intrigued why I can see things which are not available when no-one else can.
Attached Images
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Last edited by louie-m; Jan 21, 2018 at 3:36 am
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 3:23 am
  #56  
 
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jridge, DEL is India, not Europe.

OP, I don't know why. Since you say AA doesn't see the award space at all, it might be a case of "phantom availability". There should be no doubt that, if available, it prices as one award (40k miles each way in coach):
"Transpacific travel to the Indian Subcontinent permitted via Hong Kong only. Travel for the transpacific sector to Hong Kong is permitted only on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines. Travel from Hong Kong to the Indian Subcontinent permitted on Cathay Pacific, SriLankan and Jet Airways."

I say double-check flight numbers and dates showing availability, and HUCA.
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 3:32 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead
jridge, DEL is India, not Europe.
Mental lapse.
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 4:57 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by louie-m
Let's see if this works.....

I've given up and booked something else now, but I'm still intrigued why I can see things which are not available when no-one else can.
Well using Hong Kong as my POS, Ive just been able to recreate the availability for CX253 that way. However, I thought AA was limited to a US POS for CX Rewards?
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 5:31 am
  #59  
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Yes. This. Be prepared with your flight numbers and dates to give to the agent rather than asking them for route availability.

These flight numbers on this/these dates.

And for whatever reason, mentioning that it's Cathay sometimes helps remind them to look wherever they're supposed to look.

Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead
I say double-check flight numbers and dates showing availability, and HUCA.
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Old Jan 21, 2018, 6:29 am
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by louie-m
Let's see if this works.....

I've given up and booked something else now, but I'm still intrigued why I can see things which are not available when no-one else can.
I can see exactly the same as you, for both the CX and BA flights on 15 Dec. UK registered BA Avios account.
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