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AA Award: Cathay Pacific / CX, KA availability, etc. (master thd)

AA Award: Cathay Pacific / CX, KA availability, etc. (master thd)

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Old Dec 27, 19, 8:39 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: IBJoel
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Awards: All Cathay Pacific / CX (Including First and Business Class)
Questions, Availability, Discussion


NOTE: As of 15 Jan 2017, JFK CX flights have relocated to Terminal 8.

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.

Awards on Cathay Pacific and subsidiary KA / DragonAir may be booked through AA.

aa.com does not reveal CX awards; you must call AA (1-800-882-8880) to book a CX award (though you may find BA, JL or QF websites may reflect CX award availability). As CX/KA awards can not be booked online on aa.com, you must call (no fee).

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.

CX tends to initially release award seats farther out, and then again closer to the day of departure if there is remaining F or J seat inventory available, so keep checking back with AA up to the last practicable minute. AA will ticket partner awards/changes up to 4 hours prior to departure.

AA does not charge "YQ" surcharges [what they sometimes call "fuel surcharge"] on CX/KA 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. Effective 01MAY2017, Hong Kong Airport Passenger Security Charge is now captured as a tax (I5) instead of surcharge.


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.

In general, rerouting to different flights after you have redeemed an award will not attract a monetary penalty so long as the originating and destination airports are the same (connection airport can differ without triggering change fee) and you are using oneworld carriers. For this reason, be aware of potential alternate routings and check them, too. For example, CX uses LAX, SFO, ORD, JFK, and BOS as ports of entry to the US from HKG (and also YVR and YYZ in Canada), so if you have one F and one J award seat on a non-stop from HKG to ORD, you might check flights from HKG to LAX for available seats in F, and if they are available, reroute from your HKG-ORD to HKG-LAX on CX, then continue LAX-ORD on AA First.

Note the above rule also applies if you change the dates of flight but retain the same originating city and destination city. If you are flexible in your travel dates be sure to periodically check availability on other dates as well.

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a pattern to how many seats CX releases?
They seem to consistently release 5 J award seats and 1-2 F award seats on long hauls to/from North America at 355 days out. For intra-Asia flights, they often release just 4 J seats.

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.

What is the pattern for release of close-in (within about 14 days of flight) award seats?

Using BA.com it appeared that on three consecutive Sunday evenings at exactly 1030pm Eastern Daylight Time inventory would open up for "close-in" CX flights (i.e. flights roughly within 14 days of that Sunday) to and from the US. While there were changes here and there periodically during the week, sweeping changes occurred on Sunday nights at 1030. Driving Rain reports that it seems that on Monday mornings in Hong Kong (i.e. 1030pm EDT on Sunday) someone at CX HQ consistently did a run through the inventory and freed it up. No guarantees, but a person looking for close-in flights might want to plan to check with AA shortly after 1030 PM Eastern Time on Sundays to see if anything has become available.


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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Old Jun 24, 18, 12:06 pm
  #436  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: OWE
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
Partner awards are bookable on qantas. Calling into AA, agents dont see it or any other dates. Tried LAX-HKG and HKG-TPE for any class for next 3 weeks and nothing.
same from HKG-SIN, these high frequency routes with 6+ daily flights virtually have no space whatsoever. before the program change, there were a lot through partners.

hoping this is temporary.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 2:09 pm
  #437  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PHL
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Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
Partner awards are bookable on qantas. Calling into AA, agents dont see it or any other dates. Tried LAX-HKG and HKG-TPE for any class for next 3 weeks and nothing.
Originally Posted by staticx813 View Post
same from HKG-SIN, these high frequency routes with 6+ daily flights virtually have no space whatsoever. before the program change, there were a lot through partners.

hoping this is temporary.

BA doesn’t have access back either. If AA was the only partner to not have access, I’d be more concerned at this point.
McSam18 is offline  
Old Jun 24, 18, 5:24 pm
  #438  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: YVR to SEA
Posts: 2,353
Asia miles members saying that standard awards not available less than 90 days in, only the choice and tailored levels. Given that partners only have access to standard, bye bye to last minute flights
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Old Jun 24, 18, 11:03 pm
  #439  
E55
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 325
AsiaMiles looks to have implemented some kind of new interface. Maybe this is all just system upgrade growing pains.

Originally Posted by crimsona View Post
Asia miles members saying that standard awards not available less than 90 days in, only the choice and tailored levels. Given that partners only have access to standard, bye bye to last minute flights
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Old Jun 25, 18, 6:57 am
  #440  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP (former US CP); Starwood/Hilton/Marriott Gold; Hilton Diamond; NEXUS
Posts: 133
For what it's worth I had luck today with AA phone agents seeing CX availability for travel later this week. BA and QF showed no availability last I checked.
E55 likes this.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 7:18 am
  #441  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,029
Originally Posted by asdf098 View Post
For what it's worth I had luck today with AA phone agents seeing CX availability for travel later this week. BA and QF showed no availability last I checked.
I take it all back. BA/QF now showing close-in awards. AA res able to see. Meaculpa meaculpa meaculpa
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Last edited by jamienbaker; Jun 25, 18 at 7:39 am
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Old Jun 25, 18, 8:01 am
  #442  
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Join Date: May 1998
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Originally Posted by staticx813 View Post
same from HKG-SIN, these high frequency routes with 6+ daily flights virtually have no space whatsoever. before the program change, there were a lot through partners.

hoping this is temporary.
HKG-SIN vv being no awards on certains days/block of days have been like that for at least past six months; nothing to do with program change. Awards eventually become available assuming flights are not sold out.
seawolf is offline  
Old Jun 25, 18, 8:55 am
  #443  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 24
Another data point: was just able to see CX awards on BA.com, and then change dates and upgrade a BOS-HKG-TPE award via AA phone agents. (None of that was working several days ago.)
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Old Jun 25, 18, 11:49 am
  #444  
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Originally Posted by rmxjzr View Post
Another data point: was just able to see CX awards on BA.com, and then change dates and upgrade a BOS-HKG-TPE award via AA phone agents. (None of that was working several days ago.)
i see no J between NA and HKG from various cities at almost a year out. closer to date, yes, but unfortunately that will rarely work. hopefully they revert when they find that people dont have hoards of AM and they realize they do need partner redemptions when flights go out with many empty spaces in the forward cabins.
runningonfumes is offline  
Old Jun 25, 18, 6:40 pm
  #445  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 424
I guess, I can see game over for CX J and F redemption.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 6:42 pm
  #446  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PLT, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,307
Originally Posted by IamHungry View Post
I guess, I can see game over for CX J and F redemption.
That seems a tad melodramatic. CX has acknowledged an issue and states things are normalizing.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/cathay...urn-to-normal/

Regards

Last edited by scubadu; Jun 25, 18 at 7:35 pm Reason: grammar
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Old Jun 25, 18, 6:48 pm
  #447  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,029
Originally Posted by IamHungry View Post
I guess, I can see game over for CX J and F redemption.
F readily available at edge of window AND close-in. I don’t understand your statement.
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Old Jun 25, 18, 7:23 pm
  #448  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PLT, Amex Plat
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Originally Posted by jamienbaker View Post


F readily available at edge of window AND close-in. I don’t understand your statement.
Asserting that the sky is falling seems to be a pretty prevalent past time on FT, much more entertaining than letting facts or data get in the way.

Regards
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Old Jun 25, 18, 8:36 pm
  #449  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 31
Another data point. Intra Asia flights are showing. Not the one I was looking for from DPS though.
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Old Jun 26, 18, 11:00 am
  #450  
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Originally Posted by redghost View Post
Another data point. Intra Asia flights are showing. Not the one I was looking for from DPS though.
The day I see long haul flights NA/HKG in J at the furthest booking window will be the day I think things have not turned for the worst. Tracking J from essentially April 2 at the 355 window and see massive amounts of J flights on many days that hang around for weeks only to then on the day they announce the change see CX back out J on every single one of those flights that showed 5 the day before and then down to 2 to only then see zero post June 22, on every single one of those days, leads me to take a sky is falling view of things. I am not planning the world cup parade merely to see on F show up way out but no J.
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