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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 Jan 21, 2018, 7:18 am
  #61  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
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Programs: AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTT, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by windchaser777


Well using Hong Kong as my POS, I’ve just been able to recreate the availability for CX253 that way. However, I thought AA was limited to a US POS for CX Rewards?
How do you switch POS? Merely switching country in upper right corner of BA.com didn’t yield any difference when I tried.
seawolf is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 7:20 am
  #62  
 
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Also, before calling AA you might want to doublecheck availability against the qantas site. If you can see the CX space on both BA and qantas, AA should be able to book it. As stated by previous poster, tell the agent the specific flight numbers you want. I’ve successfully booked several CX routings with AA miles this way (and just through the regular call center, not even the EXP desk, which should be more capable).
whimsey21 is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 8:47 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by whimsey21
Also, before calling AA you might want to doublecheck availability against the qantas site. If you can see the CX space on both BA and qantas, AA should be able to book it. As stated by previous poster, tell the agent the specific flight numbers you want. I’ve successfully booked several CX routings with AA miles this way (and just through the regular call center, not even the EXP desk, which should be more capable).
The flights are showing on both BA and Qantas as available. So frustrating! I called again and she still didn't see it, I didn't mention that I saw it on BA and Qantas. Does that make a difference? What else can I have them do to find it?
Nathalie Marie is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 10:38 am
  #64  
Moderator: American AAdvantage
 
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Originally Posted by Nathalie Marie
The flights are showing on both BA and Qantas as available. So frustrating! I called again and she still didn't see it, I didn't mention that I saw it on BA and Qantas. Does that make a difference? What else can I have them do to find it?
Try calling Mindspring-Suva (Australia or New Zealand AA ressie numbers)? Try AA Australia (+61 2-9101-1948 ) then press 3 - or the New Zealand number (+64 09-308-4014).

(We have merged your query into the existing thread. We keep distinct threads on specific popular topics to make it easier for members to find information and to reduce information fragmentation. These threads will often have a Wikipost with a summary of useful information from the post feed.

/Moderator )

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 21, 2018 at 10:56 am
JDiver is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 2:47 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Try calling Mindspring-Suva (Australia or New Zealand AA ressie numbers)? Try AA Australia (+61 2-9101-1948 ) then press 3 - or the New Zealand number (+64 09-308-4014)
Seems that Nathalie Marie has the same issue as I do upthread - BA and Qantas show availability TO ME (but BA at least don't to the majority of you on here) but AA can't see it. I've tried Australia and UK (currently living in Australia but with UK addresses for BA and AA accounts) and no go with either. It seems to be because I'm not US based like most of the respondents on this thread and of course AA. How can I see what US-based BA users can see so I don't get false positive availability?

Nathalie Marie - are you using the US BA site?
louie-m is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 4:28 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by louie-m
Seems that Nathalie Marie has the same issue as I do upthread - BA and Qantas show availability TO ME (but BA at least don't to the majority of you on here) but AA can't see it. I've tried Australia and UK (currently living in Australia but with UK addresses for BA and AA accounts) and no go with either. It seems to be because I'm not US based like most of the respondents on this thread and of course AA. How can I see what US-based BA users can see so I don't get false positive availability?

Nathalie Marie - are you using the US BA site?
Open BA account with a fake US address to be used exclusively for award searching.
seawolf is offline  
Old Jan 21, 2018, 5:27 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Open BA account with a fake US address to be used exclusively for award searching.
Good thinking :-)
louie-m is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2018, 6:25 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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edit/cancel - found it.

Last edited by jiaogulan; Jan 22, 2018 at 6:28 am Reason: found it.
jiaogulan is offline  
Old Jan 22, 2018, 12:33 pm
  #69  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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My reservation wouldn't display on aa.com for the last week, and I finally called and found out that CX cancelled the HKG-ORD flight of my HKG-ORD-DCA trip in April. The agent said the only option is to rebook on AA metal and that they could not get me onto the HKG-LAX flight operated by CX as there was no award availability. Do they have the ability to call the CX liaison and override this? Or am I simply out of luck? I was looking forward to my first CX F flight in years. Thanks!
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Old Jan 22, 2018, 2:15 pm
  #70  
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Originally Posted by barelyelite
My reservation wouldn't display on aa.com for the last week, and I finally called and found out that CX cancelled the HKG-ORD flight of my HKG-ORD-DCA trip in April. The agent said the only option is to rebook on AA metal and that they could not get me onto the HKG-LAX flight operated by CX as there was no award availability. Do they have the ability to call the CX liaison and override this? Or am I simply out of luck? I was looking forward to my first CX F flight in years. Thanks!
Keep calling until someone is willing to go thru the Liason desk to talk to CX. So it is the flight itself being canceled, not your award seat being canceled, right? usually CX would rebook you if it is flight canceled. Surprised this did not happen.

Try other gateways for availability. Both LAX and JFK are good bets due to more daily flights than any other gateways.
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Happy is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2018, 12:21 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Hope someone can give me suggestions on this:
Booking AA award on CX from LAX to SIN in Dec 2018. Managed to get the LAX - HKG seats secured. But having trouble getting the HKG-SIN connecting flight on Dec 20. This short haul is usually easy to get. But this time, there are no flights available in all classes on Dec 20. There are 9 flights available for award redemption on Dec 19, none on Dec 20 (what I need), none on Dec 21-22, 1 flight available on Dec 23. This is according to the BA search engine. I don't have a Qantas account so I can't search on Qantas. I need to ticket my hold soon. Would appreciate anyone can give me some ideas on what to do or have any experience with CX award availability in this situation.
I can ticket it using Malaysian Airlines from HKG - SIN (long layover). Then if CX opens up, switch over to CX, but that would incur a $150 person penalty. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 23, 2018, 1:12 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveller
I can ticket it using Malaysian Airlines from HKG - SIN (long layover). Then if CX opens up, switch over to CX, but that would incur a $150 person penalty. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
I thought that AA allowed changes for free as long as the originating and destination airports stayed the same. But I haven't done it for awhile. Is this still the airline policy? If it is, I'd grab the Malaysian Airlines flight and keep checking for CX.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2018, 1:53 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3,165
I have an award ticket for which the routing is SFO-HKG-SIN, and both segments were ticketed in CX F originally.
At some point CX swapped the plane from a 4-cabin plane to a 3-cabin plane on my HKG-SIN flight, which resulted in a downgrade from F to J for the HKG-SIN flight.
I see there is another HKG-SIN CX flight on the same day that departs an hour later than the one I'm currently booked on, and this flight does have an F cabin, but there are no award seats available at this point.
Is this something I can ask AA to contact the CX liason desk and ask them to put me on the other flight in F?
agjil is offline  
Old Jan 23, 2018, 1:56 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
I thought that AA allowed changes for free as long as the originating and destination airports stayed the same. But I haven't done it for awhile. Is this still the airline policy? If it is, I'd grab the Malaysian Airlines flight and keep checking for CX.
That's what I thought. But this is what is on AA website now:

"Changes to the origin or destination or airline

  • For MileSAAver awards, origin or destination changes to the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type
  • For awards involving travel on other airlines, origin or destination changes or changes to the airline(s) in the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type"
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Old Jan 23, 2018, 1:57 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by frugaltraveller
Hope someone can give me suggestions on this:
Booking AA award on CX from LAX to SIN in Dec 2018. Managed to get the LAX - HKG seats secured. But having trouble getting the HKG-SIN connecting flight on Dec 20. This short haul is usually easy to get. But this time, there are no flights available in all classes on Dec 20. There are 9 flights available for award redemption on Dec 19, none on Dec 20 (what I need), none on Dec 21-22, 1 flight available on Dec 23. This is according to the BA search engine. I don't have a Qantas account so I can't search on Qantas. I need to ticket my hold soon. Would appreciate anyone can give me some ideas on what to do or have any experience with CX award availability in this situation.
I can ticket it using Malaysian Airlines from HKG - SIN (long layover). Then if CX opens up, switch over to CX, but that would incur a $150 person penalty. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
No, switching from MH to CX does not cost you because both are OneWorld members. Changing carriers and routes between OneWorld members usually dont cost you except in the case when the route does not have a published fare by the Over The Water carrier, in this case CX which definitely has published fares on LAX-HKG-SIN route, just no seat for the date you need.

Qantas account is free just like BA and does not need any mile in the account to access the information.
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