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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 Jun 20, 18, 7:52 pm   -   Wikipost
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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).

NOTE:

1) Only "MileSAAver" awards apply to oneworld and AA partners.
1a) Premium Economy seats are not available with AAdvantage awards, may be soon as AA sells Premium Economy Feb 2017.

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

3) 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).

3a) 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.

3b) 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.

4) 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.

4a) Keep 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.

4b) 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.

5) 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.

5a) So 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.

5b) 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.

5c) Pattern for release of close-in (within about 14 days of flight) award seats? Driving Rain reports that 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.

6) 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.

6a) There is a HKIA Security Surcharge of approx $6 USD on any segment departing HKG. The addition of this surcharge will trigger US Arrival (and possibly Departure) Tax ($17.50 USD each) if the award involves a flight arriving/departing into the US. Effective 01MAY2017, Hong Kong Airport Passenger Security Charge is now captured as a tax (I5) instead of surcharge.


6b) 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.

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

8) 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.

9) 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.

9a) 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.

10) 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.

11) 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).

12) 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.

13) Up-cabin visits (i.e. J pax joining F companion in F cabin) 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 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 Nov 6, 17, 3:58 pm
  #736  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Good luck, Beltway2a! Hope it doesnt get too long to get ticketed. Let us know it goes will you.

Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
Congrats!

I'm still waiting for my ticketing to happen. Called back again today, and finally got a supervisor involved. The agent was worried that QR will cancel their segments if it stays stuck. Crossing my fingers, but they told me to call back again in 24 if it hasn't ticketed.
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Old Nov 6, 17, 6:37 pm
  #737  
 
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Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
No inventory got released at 10:30am HK time today. In the past, Cathay was somewhat reliable. The week of the 13th still has some flights showing 5F and not a single one has been released for award bookings, so I think they simply just haven't done the weekly inventory dump.
I found the same thing for sfo-hkg on 11/4. Nothing released then and F2. Called everyday and nothing opened up. Ended up departing F1 and was told no availability 5 hours before flight.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 10:24 am
  #738  
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Originally Posted by Keflyer View Post
Good luck, Beltway2a! Hope it doesnt get too long to get ticketed. Let us know it goes will you.
Unfortunately, I have to report a failure. AA still didn't ticket and lost the space. I'm trying to find an alternate way home right now, and pissed at AA.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 10:39 am
  #739  
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Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
Unfortunately, I have to report a failure. AA still didn't ticket and lost the space. I'm trying to find an alternate way home right now, and pissed at AA.
Wow, I would be apoplectic.

Have you asked them to contact the QR/OneWorld "liason" and see if they'll restore the space?
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Old Nov 7, 17, 10:46 am
  #740  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Wow, I would be apoplectic.

Have you asked them to contact the QR/OneWorld "liason" and see if they'll restore the space?
QR was actually willing, so the route there is fine, it's CX that won't budge on the return. Thankfully, it looks like the agents can see some Etihad space in the new window, so I'm waiting for that to ticket instead. Crossing my fingers.

Edit: EY is ticketed. Maybe next time, CX.

Last edited by Beltway2A; Nov 7, 17 at 12:08 pm
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Old Nov 7, 17, 3:19 pm
  #741  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Glad it all went well. Safe travel!


Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
QR was actually willing, so the route there is fine, it's CX that won't budge on the return. Thankfully, it looks like the agents can see some Etihad space in the new window, so I'm waiting for that to ticket instead. Crossing my fingers.

Edit: EY is ticketed. Maybe next time, CX.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 8:38 pm
  #742  
 
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Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
No inventory got released at 10:30am HK time today. In the past, Cathay was somewhat reliable. The week of the 13th still has some flights showing 5F and not a single one has been released for award bookings, so I think they simply just haven't done the weekly inventory dump.
As of 10:38am HKT today, none released yet again.
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Old Nov 8, 17, 1:16 am
  #743  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
As of 10:38am HKT today, none released yet again.
Update: space was released on the routes I was interested in (HKG-BOS/JFK for early next week) sometime around 11:30am HKT; I booked by noon HKT. It seems like a few of you (or other dedicated CX F seekers) were squatting on the space being released too--I noticed BOS, JFK, and ORD routes go from F3 to F1 or F4 to F2 in that hour or so.
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Old Nov 8, 17, 2:10 am
  #744  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Update: space was released on the routes I was interested in (HKG-BOS/JFK for early next week) sometime around 11:30am HKT; I booked by noon HKT. It seems like a few of you (or other dedicated CX F seekers) were squatting on the space being released too--I noticed BOS, JFK, and ORD routes go from F3 to F1 or F4 to F2 in that hour or so.
I grabbed two F seats on each of the saturday night flights next week from LAX. They haven't released on a Monday morning now for the last 2 weeks that I was monitoring. They next week is released in a batch, all at the same time, but when they do it is no longer consistent. It now appears to vary from Monday-Wednesday.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 12:25 am
  #745  
 
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Anyone fly HKG-HAN regularly and know the space release pattern? It seems KA releases 4J in advance on the morning flight, but nothing more close in (based on the next 3-4 weeks I looked from today). Grabbed 1 for the date I need but nothing has popped up since (need another one).
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Old Nov 12, 17, 3:31 am
  #746  
 
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Originally Posted by frudd38 View Post
Anyone fly HKG-HAN regularly and know the space release pattern? It seems KA releases 4J in advance on the morning flight, but nothing more close in (based on the next 3-4 weeks I looked from today). Grabbed 1 for the date I need but nothing has popped up since (need another one).
It's hard to book paid J HKG-HAN. I usually have to waitlist it at the airport.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 9:35 am
  #747  
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Originally Posted by frudd38 View Post
Anyone fly HKG-HAN regularly and know the space release pattern? It seems KA releases 4J in advance on the morning flight, but nothing more close in (based on the next 3-4 weeks I looked from today). Grabbed 1 for the date I need but nothing has popped up since (need another one).
I was doing HAN-HKG earlier this year for 2 pax. We got one J seat 2 days before and the other the day before departure. (We had already been confirmed in Y) I *think* the flight was J2 when they released the first and J1 for the second but I can't be entirely certain. For the second seat there was a time where it was available on AsiaMiles but not through AA, but I called back a little later and AA could grab it.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 11:12 am
  #748  
 
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I am trying to book award travel on CX for next year and fell into the dreaded "no middle name entered" trap. Ticket was stuck "on request" for 48 hours so I called and on Friday they entered a new reservation with the middle names, and it's showing "on request." Sunday morning I called and she said that the CX ticketing desk only works on weekdays so I should see it clear tomorrow.

Does this sound right? Also, does CX still only assign seats 180 days out?

Thanks much
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Old Nov 12, 17, 11:23 am
  #749  
 
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Originally Posted by goldengate View Post
I am trying to book award travel on CX for next year and fell into the dreaded "no middle name entered" trap. Ticket was stuck "on request" for 48 hours so I called and on Friday they entered a new reservation with the middle names, and it's showing "on request." Sunday morning I called and she said that the CX ticketing desk only works on weekdays so I should see it clear tomorrow.

Does this sound right? Also, does CX still only assign seats 180 days out?

Thanks much
I understand this has been an issue recently as an AA supervisor informed me few weeks ago that CX has started requiring middle names in the reservation. In that same phone call, I was told the same thing - I called on Friday since the reservation was On Request for 4 days and was told that it will most likely ticket on Monday for the same reason - the relevant CX desk is not open on weekends. However, the last reservation I booked on CX via AA after this change was implemented, ticketed without a middle name. I did go ahead and added my passport information in my AA profile though - not sure if that made a difference but the reservation was not altered. I also managed to book a CX reservation via BA without a middle name and it ticketed instantly as it usually does on BA. So, maybe CX have reconsidered their new policy or maybe I got lucky - not sure what it is. I'm traveling in the next couple of weeks, so if I run into any issues, I'll report back.
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Old Nov 12, 17, 12:27 pm
  #750  
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Originally Posted by Phoenixtinct View Post
So, maybe CX have reconsidered their new policy or maybe I got lucky - not sure what it is. I'm traveling in the next couple of weeks, so if I run into any issues, I'll report back.
CX doesn’t have a “middle name” policy per se. They just want name on PNR to match travel document. Furthermore if you book on CX website there is no middle name field; only Given name field.

AA is the problem because even if your AAdvantage profIle has middle name, it doesn’t carry across to the PNR.
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