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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 May 30, 19, 8:03 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 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 Jan 4, 18, 9:26 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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AA segment availability

Hi everyone. I booked my leg out on Cathay Pacific using Alaskan Miles going out. Currently looking to book flight back on Cathay using AA miles. Looking to route DPS-HKG-ORD in business. Currently there is only business availability on the flight from HKG to ORD. I have two questions. 1) Can I still book the flight with AA given that only one segment has business availability? 2) If I do book and business later becomes available on the DPS-HKG segment how much more will it cost? Thank you.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 9:35 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1130 View Post
Hi everyone. I booked my leg out on Cathay Pacific using Alaskan Miles going out. Currently looking to book flight back on Cathay using AA miles. Looking to route DPS-HKG-ORD in business. Currently there is only business availability on the flight from HKG to ORD. I have two questions. 1) Can I still book the flight with AA given that only one segment has business availability? 2) If I do book and business later becomes available on the DPS-HKG segment how much more will it cost? Thank you.
You are free to book the HKG-ORD segment. DPS-HKG is an Asia 2 to Asia 2, in business/first it will cost you 22,500 AA miles.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 10:05 am
  #3  
 
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You can book accepting a voluntary downgrade on DPS-HKG and change to business if it opens up. I've done this a number of times.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1130 View Post
Hi everyone. I booked my leg out on Cathay Pacific using Alaskan Miles going out. Currently looking to book flight back on Cathay using AA miles. Looking to route DPS-HKG-ORD in business. Currently there is only business availability on the flight from HKG to ORD. I have two questions. 1) Can I still book the flight with AA given that only one segment has business availability? 2) If I do book and business later becomes available on the DPS-HKG segment how much more will it cost? Thank you.
If DPS-HKG has availability in economy, you can book DPS-HKG-ORD as a business class award with a voluntary downgrade for the DPS-HKG segment. If business class later becomes available on that segment, you can change without any fees.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 10:28 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1130 View Post
Hi everyone. I booked my leg out on Cathay Pacific using Alaskan Miles going out. Currently looking to book flight back on Cathay using AA miles. Looking to route DPS-HKG-ORD in business. Currently there is only business availability on the flight from HKG to ORD. I have two questions. 1) Can I still book the flight with AA given that only one segment has business availability? 2) If I do book and business later becomes available on the DPS-HKG segment how much more will it cost? Thank you.
Alternatively maybe keep in mind that J awards are much more plentiful (in my limited experience) from CGK or SIN. Singapore is a fun place for a day or two if you haven't been.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 7:35 pm
  #6  
 
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Availability on BA Avios website, but AAdvantage agent says 0 seats?

I have been using the British Airways Avios website to search for availability on a KA 0943, a Cathay Dragon flight from XIY to HKG (March 30, 2018). It shows as having Economy seats available.
When I called American Airlines, the agent said that they are not seeing any Economy availability for that flight.
I thought that the BA website was a reliable indicator of award availability? Did I make a mistake?
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Old Jan 6, 18, 7:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
I have been using the British Airways Avios website to search for availability on a KA 0943, a Cathay Dragon flight from XIY to HKG (March 30, 2018). It shows as having Economy seats available.
When I called American Airlines, the agent said that they are not seeing any Economy availability for that flight.
I thought that the BA website was a reliable indicator of award availability? Did I make a mistake?
I have nothing to do, so I called up AA EXP desk, check for your flight XIY 3:50pm arriving HKG at 7pm on Mar 30 2018, economy for 2 seats. Available on both Economy and Business.
I would suggest try call again.
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Old Jan 7, 18, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Fly2Where View Post
I have nothing to do, so I called up AA EXP desk, check for your flight ...
Kudos to you, Fly2Where! True FT spirit !!!
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Old Jan 7, 18, 11:12 pm
  #9  
E55
 
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Yeah. This. Can't take the word of only one AA phone rep when it comes to partner award availability. If you see it on BA, definitely call again. MAYBE it really isn't available, but too many times (for me) one rep won't find it and another will... too many times... to just let it go from just one call. I will always call at least one more time if I see it and they don't.

Originally Posted by Fly2Where View Post
I have nothing to do, so I called up AA EXP desk, check for your flight XIY 3:50pm arriving HKG at 7pm on Mar 30 2018, economy for 2 seats. Available on both Economy and Business.
I would suggest try call again.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by E55 View Post
Yeah. This. Can't take the word of only one AA phone rep when it comes to partner award availability. If you see it on BA, definitely call again. MAYBE it really isn't available, but too many times (for me) one rep won't find it and another will... too many times... to just let it go from just one call. I will always call at least one more time if I see it and they don't.



I very frequently come across this with AA and it's deeply frustrating.

Checking on BA.com there is often 100% a seat available on CX in F from HKG-LHR. Despite repeated calls, all AA agents say they can't see it. They all feed me the line about different oneworld partners having different allocations of seats, which is a load of horse manure. If it is Z2 then it is Z2, not Z2 for BA and Z0 for AA. Oddly AA never had award seats available when BA doesn't. Strange that.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
I very frequently come across this with AA and it's deeply frustrating.

Checking on BA.com there is often 100% a seat available on CX in F from HKG-LHR. Despite repeated calls, all AA agents say they can't see it. They all feed me the line about different oneworld partners having different allocations of seats, which is a load of horse manure. If it is Z2 then it is Z2, not Z2 for BA and Z0 for AA. Oddly AA never had award seats available when BA doesn't. Strange that.
point of sale may also be an issue. Sometimes switching address to UK will enable agents to see.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by jamienbaker View Post


point of sale may also be an issue. Sometimes switching address to UK will enable agents to see.
Am in the UK and both AA and AS have never been able to see CX availability (I could see same availability in BA, JL, expertflyer etc but neither AA nor AS saw anything!). The standard response has always been different airlines have different allocations for award redemption from a partner airline.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 11:53 am
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I just cancelled a Z on 13 JAN CX 831 (JFK-HKG). Currently shows F2. Good chance it would come back as an award.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 12:20 pm
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CDG - HKG - SFO is this a legit route? and how much it would cost for one way? 70K? I try to book a business class one way from Paris, thanks!
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Old Jan 12, 18, 12:25 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by newdaybegin View Post
CDG - HKG - SFO is this a legit route? and how much it would cost for one way? 70K? I try to book a business class one way from Paris, thanks!
I believe this is 2 award and would be more than 70K
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