Using avios for cathay flights

Old Mar 14, 18, 12:06 am
  #1  
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Using avios for cathay flights

Hi all

I did a search, but didn't find the direct answer to my question, so apologies, as I'm sure it's been asked numerous times before.

I have recently moved to Hong Kong, and have a substantial balance of Avios, so want to continue using avios as my primary programme for collecting points. However, I am getting different availability for reward flights, and am unsure if I am doing something wrong, or whether this is going to be an issue in the future. I searched for Hong Kong --> Hanoi on ba.com, and it shows no availability for reward flights. I then searched Hong Kong --> Hanoi on Cathay Pacific, and there IS availability for reward flights there.

Are there different availabilities, and is it possible to book using my avios (e.g. by ringing BA directly)?

If there is different availability, and this is going to be a problem ongoing, I suppose I should look into Asia Miles as my primary collection point whilst in Hong Kong?

Thanks
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:37 am
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Some reading around appears to indicate that BA does this 'on purpose', but the workaround is to check Cathay for availability, then book the flight by calling up the BA call centre.

Confirmation on this would be great, as it would be easier administratively to just maintain a single Oneworld account (i.e. Avios for me).
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:37 am
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How far out are you looking? CX blocks reward availability within ~1-2 weeks or so of departure, so in that situation you might need to call. CX is normally generous with award availability, although I assume they do release more to their asia miles members than other Oneworld carriers....

I still collect avios and use BAEC as my main program. I looked into CX Marco Polo club / Asia miles (they offered to status match me to their Gold, equivalent of BA silver/OWS) but it is a lot harder to earn/maintain status with them. As an example my current (leisure only) flight bookings for next TP year will earn me 920 TPs, which is a fair way towards BAEC Gold renewal - the same flights on CX will not even get me the 600 I need to requalify as CX Gold).

If you want to keep with Avios, then sign up for a Dah Sing BA Visa - earning rate is 1 avios / 6 HKD, which at current exchange rate is getting close to 2 avios/ (so better than the BA Amex), plus 10% off base fares for direct BA flight bookings.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 1:08 am
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Just as a trial, the flight I selected was 3.5 weeks away. I know I could call BA to ask if that flight is available, but I'm hoping there's a stock answer from someone in the know.

I have initially got the Citi Premier Miles card, which I'll use for a few months, as it has a good 9,000 miles welcome offer. It only offers $8/mile however, so after a couple of months, I'll start looking into a longer term one. Thanks for the tip on the Dah Sing card - I'm also looking at the BEA card and DBS card.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by Firemin View Post
If you want to keep with Avios, then sign up for a Dah Sing BA Visa - earning rate is 1 avios / 6 HKD, which at current exchange rate is getting close to 2 avios/ (so better than the BA Amex), plus 10% off base fares for direct BA flight bookings.
Just to clarify - the BA flight bookings need to originate from HKG to get the discount.

Citibank Premiermiles earns at $8/mile and Citi Prestige earns at $6/mile. But Citi frequently has promotions where you get a 30% bonus when you transfer to Avios.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by Flapster View Post

If there is different availability, and this is going to be a problem ongoing, I suppose I should look into Asia Miles as my primary collection point whilst in Hong Kong?

Thanks
If you are going to be redeeming on regional flights, it is better to use Avios than Asia Miles. It requires less Avios than Asia Miles, and as noted in my post above, there is often a 30% bonus on avios transferred from Citi cards.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by sxc View Post
If you are going to be redeeming on regional flights, it is better to use Avios than Asia Miles. It requires less Avios than Asia Miles, and as noted in my post above, there is often a 30% bonus on avios transferred from Citi cards.
Looked at the Citi cards when I first moved over, but I don't earn enough for the Prestige, and even with a 30% bonus the Dah Sing rate edges the Premier card. Maybe in a couple of years once I get a payrise
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Old Mar 14, 18, 3:38 am
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I had no problem booking LHR-HKG (BA Metal) and HKG-SGN (CX metal) in F/J on separate bookings using Avios, but did call up to do this (as LHR-HKG was using a 241 and GUF2). I seem to recall seeing HKG-SGN availability on BA.com, but this was booked quite far out (~200 days). I was amazed by the value of HKG-SGN! So hopefully you'll get great use of your Avios pile over there.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by DrBenO View Post
I had no problem booking LHR-HKG (BA Metal) and HKG-SGN (CX metal) in F/J on separate bookings using Avios, but did call up to do this (as LHR-HKG was using a 241 and GUF2). I seem to recall seeing HKG-SGN availability on BA.com, but this was booked quite far out (~200 days). I was amazed by the value of HKG-SGN! So hopefully you'll get great use of your Avios pile over there.
Id like to second the value of Avios redemptions on intra-Asia flights. Booked HKG-BKK in CX F for 30k Avios and around $40 this week. There was 5 (out of 6) F seats available for redeeming on the flight I was looking at.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by AnttiV View Post
Id like to second the value of Avios redemptions on intra-Asia flights. Booked HKG-BKK in CX F for 30k Avios and around $40 this week. There was 5 (out of 6) F seats available for redeeming on the flight I was looking at.
Yes, using Avios on Cathay is a very good use of them since fares around Asia aren't necessarily that cheap. However in the case of CX in First, there is quite a risk of equipment swap on regional flights, so particularly if booked a long time ahead it's worth bearing in mind that it may end up in Business on the day. The excess Avios will be refunded, but you will have to ask for that since CX don't automatically push them back to BAEC.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 8:33 am
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Did i understand correctly that redemption flights within 1 week (available on CX site) ARE bookable by calling BA?
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Old Mar 14, 18, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by sxc View Post
If you are going to be redeeming on regional flights, it is better to use Avios than Asia Miles. It requires less Avios than Asia Miles, and as noted in my post above, there is often a 30% bonus on avios transferred from Citi cards.
Thanks for the update.

However, my question still remains as to whether the same availability is there for Avios, as for Asia Miles - the money saving is no good to me, if I can't book the flights!

Wondering if there is a definitive answer!

TIA
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Old Mar 14, 18, 11:37 pm
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No one can give you a definitive answer as we dont have access to the backend data.

But it I think youve read this thread. This is as good an answer as you will get.

CX blocking award availability when it's close to departure?
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Old Mar 15, 18, 12:44 am
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Understood - I thought there may have been a policy in place, but maybe that isn't the case

Thanks!
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Old Mar 15, 18, 1:30 am
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CX Avios availability patterns

To the question of MarcoPolo V Avios availability patterns.

I have been based in Macau for some 8 years and having kept with BA for the reasons explained the pattern I discern is.

Book very early plenty of availability.

At about 2 months out Avios V MarcoPolo availability dries up dramatically.

However at 3/2 weeks out availability mysteriously reappears.

Only to disappear again at one week - which is well covered in the link above.

I find a combination of checking ExpertFlyer for avail and MarcoPolo rewards avail gives a good chance of predicting if Avios will open up. Even picked up a J on the direct Manchester flight 10 days out last August.
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