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Booking reward flight using Avios on mixture of AA / Cathay flights

Booking reward flight using Avios on mixture of AA / Cathay flights

Old Jan 22, 18, 11:16 am
  #1  
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Booking reward flight using Avios on mixture of AA / Cathay flights

Hi all.

This is too complicated for me to get my head around so hopefully the good people of the forum can point me in the right direction.

To begin, here is my planned itinerary:

BDA (Bermuda) - JFK - HKG

I have sufficient avios - and there is currently availability to redeem in business class - on Cathay's (that's the JFK - HKG) piece.

However, to get to JFK, I need to fly from BDA with AA, which I will pay with cash.

So, in essence, I am redeeming points from BA, on a Cathay flight, which ticket originates on AA (and that part is paid in cash). I want them all to be on the same ticket, so how do I go about booking this? Which airline do I call?

Bonus second question!

I will be travelling with my wife, and it makes more sense for me to book the reward ticket under her name as she won't earn near enough points for status anyway. I am planning to book Y / Y+ in Cathay under her name, but I will be the one travelling in business (don't worry, she is travelling with a friend so she won't be on her own in economy). Do you think Cathay would have an issue with me and my wife swapping cabins, so I get to sit in business on the reward ticket booked in her name, whilst she sits in economy on a revenue ticket with my name?
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Old Jan 22, 18, 11:26 am
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I struggle to see how this is sat in the BA Forum! You’re not booking on or flying on BA?
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Old Jan 22, 18, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
I struggle to see how this is sat in the BA Forum! You’re not booking on or flying on BA?
OP wants to use avios to do so (in the thread title).

Short answer is - you can't mix revenue and redemption bookings. Mixed airline bookings using avios (non-BA) are rarely cost-effective for shorter trips, but a transpacific followed by a connecting flight on a return might be long enough that it works out. Total distance is 8,834 miles each way.

Having initially used the wrong table to calculate the rate, it should be 60k miles economy, 90k PE, 120k business, and 180k one way - but 100/150/200/300k return!

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Old Jan 22, 18, 3:57 pm
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Note that current AA policy is not to permit through-checking of baggage on separate tickets. But AA is still supposed to protect on separate tickets in the event of IRROPS.

How much is the BDA-JFK cash ticket on AA? It's only 7,500 Avios (plus government taxes/fees).
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Old Jan 22, 18, 5:35 pm
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Thanks for your replies.
@Cymro - I wasn't aware that this was a thing - "multi carrier avios bookings". Your post has pointed me in the right direction of where to look. Unfortunately, it seems that it works out rather expensive based on your chart. A further complication, which I didn't mention as I didn't think it too relevant is that I will be flying on to Manila, from HKG, but that is also Cathay and pretty easily booked and seems to have decent reward availability. However, it may push me into a greater distance band. What site do you use to confirm the distance bands? I have looked for it on BA but can't find it.

Anyway, as I said, it seems expensive because JFK - HKG is 100,000 Avios in business with CX, so based on the above chart it would be 120k. I am also planning the same coming back, so therefore it would be 240k Avios instead of 200k, which seems excessive.
@guv1976 - thanks for the info on AA. So, according to their policy, if for some reason I was delayed leaving BDA, you're saying they would still protect me, even though my connecting flight is with Cathay?
To answer your question, the cash ticket is only ever about $200. There is no Avios availability for it so it seems like I might have to just go along and book separate tickets and hope for no problems along the way.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 5:42 pm
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Great Circle Mapper gives a ballpark figure.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 5:45 pm
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"thanks for the info on AA. So, according to their policy, if for some reason I was delayed leaving BDA, you're saying they would still protect me, even though my connecting flight is with Cathay?"

Correct, although not every AA agent is aware of this. Be prepared to escalate the issue to a supervisor, if necessary. Note, though, that if you are checking baggage, you would have to go landside and claim it at JFK, check it in at the CX check-in counter (before the deadline for checking baggage), and then clear TSA security to go airside again for your CX flight.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 5:52 pm
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If there is no Avios availability for the BDA-JFK flight on AA, then BA's multi-partner award chart would not apply to you, as your JFK-HKG and HKG-MNL flights are both on one carrier, CX. And if there were Avios availability on the BDA-JFK flight, you could book it separately from the CX flights, and the multi-partner award chart would never come into play. The only downside to booking separate awards would be the inability to through-check baggage -- and somewhat higher fees if you had to cancel the entire trip.
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Old Jan 22, 18, 7:28 pm
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Thanks, @guv1976.

Right now there is no Avios availability on BDA - JFK, but there is generally good availability. This is for Christmas time (planning well in advance) so don't know if that will change. However, there's no point in waiting for it to change and risk missing out on the availability with CX. And given that it's rather expensive with the multi-carrier, I think it's best just to go ahead and book the CX section and hope for the best that the connections work. There are about 4 hours of layover on the way out, and 3 hours on the way back, so I'll take my chances.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Jan 23, 18, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by the_outcast View Post
Thanks, @guv1976.

Right now there is no Avios availability on BDA - JFK, but there is generally good availability. This is for Christmas time (planning well in advance) so don't know if that will change. However, there's no point in waiting for it to change and risk missing out on the availability with CX. And given that it's rather expensive with the multi-carrier, I think it's best just to go ahead and book the CX section and hope for the best that the connections work. There are about 4 hours of layover on the way out, and 3 hours on the way back, so I'll take my chances.

Thanks for your help.
Is JFK-BDA available on the return with Avios? If so, you could get JFK-HKG-MNL-HKG-JFK-BDA in Business for just 200,000 Avios.
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Old Jan 23, 18, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Is JFK-BDA available on the return with Avios? If so, you could get JFK-HKG-MNL-HKG-JFK-BDA in Business for just 200,000 Avios.
No, unfortunately not. Seems to be very limited availability on that for December, so maybe they haven't released them yet (or won't at all, given the proximity to Christmas?)

How did you come up with 200,000 Avios for that?
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Old Jan 23, 18, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by the_outcast View Post
No, unfortunately not. Seems to be very limited availability on that for December, so maybe they haven't released them yet (or won't at all, given the proximity to Christmas?)

How did you come up with 200,000 Avios for that?
See the chart in Post #3 . For multi-partner awards, the Business Class multiplier is 2X, not 3X.

Also, AA only starts to make award seats available 331 days before departure, not 355 days like BAEC.
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Old Jan 23, 18, 6:16 pm
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Understood, thanks again.

Looking ahead, AA has economy reward seats available for a large part of early December, but where I'm looking (about a week before Christmas), there is nothing yet - presumably just not released yet. However, for those where economy reward seats are available, there is no business availability. Is it possible to mix cabins on a multi-partner booking?

I would be tempted to wait an extra week for that to become available, and then just book the outbound leg. Although the problem with that is it then becomes two one-way tickets, which I make to be 140,000 Avios each way, or 280k in total, so that ends up being a huge leap on 200k Avios.
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Old Jan 23, 18, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by the_outcast View Post
Understood, thanks again.

Looking ahead, AA has economy reward seats available for a large part of early December, but where I'm looking (about a week before Christmas), there is nothing yet - presumably just not released yet. However, for those where economy reward seats are available, there is no business availability. Is it possible to mix cabins on a multi-partner booking?

I would be tempted to wait an extra week for that to become available, and then just book the outbound leg. Although the problem with that is it then becomes two one-way tickets, which I make to be 140,000 Avios each way, or 280k in total, so that ends up being a huge leap on 200k Avios.
Yes, mixed-class bookings are available on a BA multi-partner redemption.

​​​​​​​What is the date of your return trip on CX back to JFK? If Avios seats on the CX return flights are already available, you could do BDA-JFK-HKG-MNL-HKG-JFK for 200,000 Avios in Business, and then book a separate ticket (cash or Avios) later on for JFK-BDA. (The BAEC multi-partner redemption permits an open jaw.) Or, if BAEC permits changes for a fee to multi-partner redemptions (I don't know if they do or don't), you could just try to change your ticketed redemption by adding a JFK-BDA leg if and when Avios seats become available on that leg.
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Old Jan 23, 18, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Yes, mixed-class bookings are available on a BA multi-partner redemption.

What is the date of your return trip on CX back to JFK? If Avios seats on the CX return flights are already available, you could do BDA-JFK-HKG-MNL-HKG-JFK for 200,000 Avios in Business, and then book a separate ticket (cash or Avios) later on for JFK-BDA. (The BAEC multi-partner redemption permits an open jaw.) Or, if BAEC permits changes for a fee to multi-partner redemptions (I don't know if they do or don't), you could just try to change your ticketed redemption by adding a JFK-BDA leg if and when Avios seats become available on that leg.
Good point. My approximate dates are Dec 19 - Jan 12, with a little bit of flexibility if necessary. Yes, I suppose I could wait a few days for the Dec 19 availability to open up and hopefully the CX availability is still there, then call them to add the BDA-JFK a month or so later. That seems like the best approach, without having to wait too long. Thanks.
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