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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 Feb 9, 2018, 9:07 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Programs: Free agent
Posts: 1,277
I am attempting to book four business award seats from the US-SE Asia leaving either Feb 27 or 28, preferably an early morning HKG arrival from any US point. I know Chinese New Year lasts until March 2nd, will this likely affect flights from the US to HKG? Ultimately trying to connect to BKK, KUL or SIN.
jmail1 is offline  
Old Feb 9, 2018, 9:20 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,384
CNY has no effect on flights. They will operate as scheduled. No staffing issues etc.
bmchris is offline  
Old Feb 9, 2018, 9:31 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
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Posts: 1,277
Originally Posted by bmchris
CNY has no effect on flights. They will operate as scheduled. No staffing issues etc.
Thanks, but I'm not worried about staffing, I'm worried about availability.
jmail1 is offline  
Old Feb 9, 2018, 10:07 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Posts: 5,139
Originally Posted by jmail1
Thanks, but I'm not worried about staffing, I'm worried about availability.
Peak Chinese New Year travel should be over by the dates you are looking to travel, so I'd expect "typical" availability and flight loading trends for a midweek day in February, whatever those look like.
dkc192 is online now  
Old Feb 9, 2018, 1:10 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: TPA
Programs: WP
Posts: 372
Originally Posted by jmail1
I am attempting to book four business award seats from the US-SE Asia leaving either Feb 27 or 28, preferably an early morning HKG arrival from any US point. I know Chinese New Year lasts until March 2nd, will this likely affect flights from the US to HKG? Ultimately trying to connect to BKK, KUL or SIN.
If you are flexible, you can connect to CGK and get to your ultimate destination from CGK. I tried those 3 destinations too and comes up empty and ended up connecting to CGK to get to SIN on a separate ticket
island82 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 2018, 4:40 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by island82
If you are flexible, you can connect to CGK and get to your ultimate destination from CGK. I tried those 3 destinations too and comes up empty and ended up connecting to CGK to get to SIN on a separate ticket
Smart suggestions. There are tons of flights & fares (mainline & LCCs) on the CGK-SIN runs!
cesco.g is offline  
Old Feb 13, 2018, 4:13 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,482
I'm incredibly concerned now about my bookings.

Booked 2, one-way CX awards via AA. Award 1) HKG-BKK, award 2) CGK-PEK for future reference.

So I called to book award 1 and we went through the whole thing, the agent found my flight on the first try, she asked if I had a middle name (I guess it wasn't originally in my AA account) because it was a known issue with CX, so I gave her my middle name. The ONLY hiccup we had, was she went through like the entire booking and then when she found out the credit card was Canadian, she kinda had to start over again for some reason. In the end, the points got deducted fairly quickly, I got my AA email and bob's your uncle. No problems.

I called back a day later to book award 2. Immediately I'm told there's no availability (I figured out later it's cuz they don't assume the connections, so she only searched direct) later she found the flights, I told her I had a middle name and that my credit card was Canadian to avoid any issues. All my info was taken, we both said thanks and hung up, all good. After a day, no email. So I called back, new agent said something like "oh she kinda botched your middle name, so I'll fix that". She sounded pretty confident, no problems. Again a day goes by, no email, no points deducted from my account and my booking on the AA site said "awaiting ticketing" or something to that effect.

Another day goes by, I call again, ask if there's any news. He immediately says "sir there's nothing pending on your account" even when I gave him the record locator from AA "nope, can't find anything under that locator". Ok...so I start over, give him the flights, my middle name, etc etc. No problem. No email received, but the points were deducted and in my "my trips" section, the CGK-PEK is there and says ticketed.

At this point, both my locators worked on the AA site and the Cathay site. The my trips section shows all 3 trips. Award 2 with the original locator still says "awaiting ticketing" or whatever, but both the other two say ticketed. But I notice on award one, towards the bottom of the page, my name showed as First Last. Then if you click "add/edit passenger info" it showed my middle name. But award two showed First Middle Last.

A few days later I checked again...both my AA locators are still active, but only award 2 shows up in my "My Trips" section.

Now when I search them both on the AA site, they both show "ticketed" and First Middle Last. Looks great to me, but why does only award 2 show in the "my trips" section AND much more concerning, why do neither of the CX locators now work on the CX website!??!!? I've tried entering First Last, FirstMiddle Last, FirstMi Last (as at one point my middle name showed as Jo instead of Jonathan)...I'm going nuts here. I just got a $200 phone bill last week because of an emergency call I had to make in Thailand, the last thing I want is to get to HKG at night and be stuck there missing my flight to BKK because it's no longer valid. Just as bad would be showing up at CGK and having the same thing happen.

I'm out of the country right now, when I get back I'll call AA, but assuming they say both are fine...can I call cathay and have them check, or will they just turn me around and say call AA? In my experience with Air Canada and Aeroplan it's usually quite the runaround.

Should I be worried? Cuz at this point I'm kinda freaking out...
drvannostren is offline  
Old Feb 13, 2018, 6:20 pm
  #98  
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PSA - It's been reported that Alaska Air no longer allows redemption on CX under 72 hours to departure. One less FFP program competing for last minute CX F/J awards.
seawolf is offline  
Old Feb 13, 2018, 6:45 pm
  #99  
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Just booked JFK-HKG for 12/26, no problem other than the sky high F redemption rates
ijgordon likes this.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 13, 2018, 7:37 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: DCA in the winter, SJC in the summer
Posts: 81
Originally Posted by drvannostren
Now when I search them both on the AA site, they both show "ticketed" and First Middle Last. Looks great to me, but why does only award 2 show in the "my trips" section AND much more concerning, why do neither of the CX locators now work on the CX website!??!!? I've tried entering First Last, FirstMiddle Last, FirstMi Last (as at one point my middle name showed as Jo instead of Jonathan)...I'm going nuts here. I just got a $200 phone bill last week because of an emergency call I had to make in Thailand, the last thing I want is to get to HKG at night and be stuck there missing my flight to BKK because it's no longer valid. Just as bad would be showing up at CGK and having the same thing happen.
Your first name is First Middle, and your last name is Last.
zhangg is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2018, 1:40 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,482
Originally Posted by zhangg
Your first name is First Middle, and your last name is Last.
I've tried entering myself that way on the CX site, still nothing . As soon as I get home I'm gonna have to get on the horn with AA see if they changed the CX locators be rebooking with my middle name or something, then call CX and hopefully make sure the bookings are valid.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2018, 1:55 am
  #102  
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If you feed the CX PNR here can you see your itin https://classic.checkmytrip.com/plne...NS&LANGUAGE=GB ?
percysmith is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2018, 2:51 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
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Originally Posted by percysmith
If you feed the CX PNR here can you see your itin https://classic.checkmytrip.com/plne...NS&LANGUAGE=GB ?
Both of my trips work there, maybe my only concern now is not being able to locate them on the CX site.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2018, 6:56 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Posts: 6,933
Originally Posted by seawolf
PSA - It's been reported that Alaska Air no longer allows redemption on CX under 72 hours to departure. One less FFP program competing for last minute CX F/J awards.
What makes you think AA might not follow suit at some point? I believe Delta also announced a similar restriction on partner awards recently.

Before celebrating too much, you may want to pause and consider what the next chess moves might be.

Regards
scubadu is offline  
Old Feb 14, 2018, 7:14 am
  #105  
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Originally Posted by scubadu
What makes you think AA might not follow suit at some point? I believe Delta also announced a similar restriction on partner awards recently.

Before celebrating too much, you may want to pause and consider what the next chess moves might be.

Regards
Anything can happen including the long standing rumor CX is leaving OW entirely but let's focus on what's effective today which is AS is not allowing CX/JL redemptions inside of 72 hours to departure.
seawolf is offline  

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