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Old Oct 29, 2013, 4:27 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: ZZ100
Is it possible to buy a (cheap) upgrade on Cathay Pacific upon check-in?

The short answer is no.

Cathay, as a general rule, does not allow you to purchase last minute upgrades if there are empty seats in Y+, J or F. The only way to upgrade a ticket is to pay the fare difference between your current ticket, and an available fare class in the higher cabins. Note that if your current ticket has restrictions (cancellation fees, non-refundable) these still apply.

There are been stories of people who have been offered cheap upgrades by Cathay, but this is more an exception than a common occurrence.


If I upgrade my ticket using asia miles, do I still earn miles?

Yes, you will earn miles for the original fare class that you booked, not the upgraded cabin.

How do I get a free upgrade / operational upgrade (op-up)?
Cathay Pacific does not upgrade passengers just because there are empty seats in higher classes. Upgrades will only occur where there is overbooking in lower classes.

The order of upgrades when required is believed to be:
  1. VIP (Heads of State, Government Bodies, or Canto Pop/Movie stars)
  2. CX Diamond Plus
  3. CX Diamond Invitation, Diamond
  4. CX Gold
  5. CX management staff on travel duty
  6. oneworld Emerald
  7. CX staff on duty nominees , other airline staff nominees, CX staff on personal travel
  8. oneworld Sapphire
  9. CX Silver
  10. oneworld Ruby
  11. CX Green
  12. Asia Miles
  13. Non status
In the event of a tiebreak being needed, generally those with lower "Boarding Numbers" will take precedence (lower BN takes priority). The earlier you check in, the lower your BN. Asking for an upgrade at check-in will not work, so don't. This is definitely one case of where "if you don't ask, you don't get", does NOT apply. The amount you paid for your ticket or the fare class of your ticket does not appear to affect your upgrade chances.


I am travelling on an award ticket. Will I still be considered for a free upgrade?

Yes - there are many stories of passengers on award tickets, or who upgraded a class using miles, getting (additional) upgrades.



What happens if the aircraft has 4 or 3 cabins, but is only selling Business and Economy seats?

It is likely if you have Marco Polo status, and to a lesser extent oneworld status, you may be able to sit in either First Class seats (if booked in J) or Premium Economy (if booked in Y) with service of the original cabin. There doesn't appear to be consistency yet as to how these semi-upgrades are allocated. Some people have been able to choose seats in the higher cabin during online check-in, or some will get them on request at check-in. However, there is no entitlement to these seats.


Will I get an upgrade on my Birthday, or for my membership anniversary, or for reaching xx number of lifetime club miles?

Please see this link for members' experience with these kinds of upgrades: Marco Polo Anniversary Upgrades


I want to use Asia Miles to upgrade a BA flight. How do I do this?

As of 22 June 2018, it is no longer possible to upgrade BA flights with Asia Miles.


How do I upgrade a CX flight using miles?

If you already have issued your original ticket:
  1. Try upgrading using Manage My Booking on the website (not always successful)
  2. If self-service doesn't work, try calling Marco Polo hotline to check availability
  3. If there is availability, you will need to issue the upgrade immediately to secure it. They may give you a few days grace before isssuing the upgrade, but this is now rarely given.
  4. In a few days, or longer if they are busy, your miles will be deducted, and you will be emailed a new e-ticket with the upgrade class details on it, and your online booking for your original booking class will disappear.

If you have not made any booking yet, and you want to check availability:
  1. Call Marco Polo club to check for availability on the flights/dates you want, or check for normal redemption availability on the website.
  2. Book a revenue ticket in the class of service for which you will be paying. Do NOT do this via the website -- call a CX telephone sales number/travel agent.
  3. Put the booking on hold.
  4. Call the Marco Polo/Asia Miles Service Center. Have them book the upgrade and give you a deadline to have the ticket issued. (It's usually about 72 hours).
  5. Have telephone sales/travel agent issue your revenue ticket.
  6. Call Marco Polo/Asia Miles back. Give them the revenue ticket number against the PNR and ask them to issue your upgrade.
  7. In about two or three days, you'll get a new ticket with the upgrade showing.

If you don't receive a new e-ticket before departure, call up Marco Polo club to double check if the upgrade has been issued.
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The Ultimate Upgrade Question thread

Old Jun 10, 2014, 2:49 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX Diamond (OW Emerald), former SQ Krisflyer Gold
Posts: 2,538
Wondering about traffic to/from CEB. Am currently booked HKG-CEB-HKG in Y+ over the summer holidays.

J and Y still seem wide open (though on one of the segments Y+ is pretty full surprisingly) and I'm wondering what the traffic patterns are like.

Is the CEB route in Y likely to get full closer to the travel date (August) with a lot of domestic helpers travelling to/from home? Is Y on this route usually very full and/or oversold?
midlevels is offline  
Old Jun 11, 2014, 9:54 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: QF CX
Posts: 67
When booking econ class on cx website there are several options of class they don't say what the letter class is but give them names with prices and conditions.
On "Economy Special" the upgrade with points option says that it varies.
What are the variables?
What I would like to do is buy the cheapest econ ticket that allows me to upgrade with points. How do I ensure that when the flight is 6 weeks to 2 months away?
As gold would I have half a chance of an opp up between HKG and LAX in the summer anyway?
JoshZT is offline  
Old Jun 14, 2014, 9:11 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: CX DM
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by JoshZT
When booking econ class on cx website there are several options of class they don't say what the letter class is but give them names with prices and conditions.
On "Economy Special" the upgrade with points option says that it varies.
What are the variables?
What I would like to do is buy the cheapest econ ticket that allows me to upgrade with points. How do I ensure that when the flight is 6 weeks to 2 months away?
As gold would I have half a chance of an opp up between HKG and LAX in the summer anyway?
The lowest fare like V class will not be allowed to upgrade with points...u need m class and they r normally under "economy core" I think
Anyways just go further in the page till payment u will find out the class of ticket

Last edited by cyncynangel; Jun 24, 2014 at 9:28 am
cyncynangel is offline  
Old Jun 21, 2014, 11:49 am
  #49  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: san francisco, ca 94123
Posts: 200
upgrade using cx miles but earn aa mileage

im flying sfo to bangalore. Is it possible to give them my aadvantage number (im plat on aa), but upgrade using cx miles ( i dont have enough miles yet until i transfer them from my membership rewards account)
neyoisles is offline  
Old Jun 23, 2014, 3:08 am
  #50  
sxc
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: CX Green, QF Platinum, BAEC Silver, Hyatt Glob
Posts: 10,780
Originally Posted by neyoisles
im flying sfo to bangalore. Is it possible to give them my aadvantage number (im plat on aa), but upgrade using cx miles ( i dont have enough miles yet until i transfer them from my membership rewards account)
Yes, use your CX number until you have the upgrade, then ring up to change the FF number on the booking.
sxc is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2014, 1:53 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Asia / ME
Programs: EK Plat, OWE (BA), *A Gold (TK), EY Gold*
Posts: 129
Is it possible to upgrade using Asia Miles at check-in or on-board? I am struggling with an Asia Miles site that doesn't work and the Cathay website as clunky as always...
SimpleDXB is offline  
Old Jul 7, 2014, 2:04 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Asia / ME
Programs: EK Plat, OWE (BA), *A Gold (TK), EY Gold*
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by SimpleDXB
Is it possible to upgrade using Asia Miles at check-in or on-board? I am struggling with an Asia Miles site that doesn't work and the Cathay website as clunky as always...
Apologies all - found it (yes you can upgrade at airport upon check-in subject to availability of award seats).
SimpleDXB is offline  
Old Jul 24, 2014, 9:54 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: CX DM - AA EP - SPG PL
Posts: 2
Unable to change seat selection

I've looked everywhere and haven't seen anybody post anything similar to my situation, so here goes...

I have J ticket SFO - HKG after making booking I went into my bookings and changed my seat assignment, I look every few days to see if a seat opened up in the mini business class (rows 11 & 12) as this is a nice quite section. Nothing has been open but I keep checking. A few days ago the "update" seat assignment is no longer available on this first leg, all other legs it is still available to update. I am many days away so it's not that I'm too close to departure to change.

So my question is this.

I am 11,000 shy of hitting 0.50 million miles could this be blocked as I'll get op-up Mile Milestone upgrade, even before the Milestone hits?

I'm also several months away from 5 consecutive years anniversary of DM. Could this be another possible op-up prior to anniversary date?

I've never seen the website not allow seat changes.

Just curious if anybody else has had this and was it indeed an op-up planned a week in advance? Or am I just screwed with seat that was given at booking?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
tamijn is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2014, 3:26 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,760
BN6, one world sapphire, CX Silver in a sold out flight. Any change of upgrade?
tboons is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2014, 6:28 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,740
Originally Posted by tboons
BN6, one world sapphire, CX Silver in a sold out flight. Any change of upgrade?
...what flight?
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2014, 6:32 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,740
Originally Posted by tamijn
I've never seen the website not allow seat changes
Happens all the time. I suspect you just didn't notice, or maybe weren't flying on flights that are often full/oversold. I frequently book at the last minute and this is pretty much how half my flights are...can't change squat in there or even open it. Call MPC.

While you may well get your 0.5mm miles upgrade, I never saw this "freeze" the system before as a premonition of good news to come. In fact, I HAVE been upgraded in OLCI before but it was plain as day that I was - my seat was now available for selection in the class higher. In that case (ex MNL), the plane was just so ridiculously oversold in Y and presumably empty in J that CX was able to make that determination very early.

Finally, I never got any milestone for a 5 year consecutive DM...but I did get a 5 year anniversary for MPC, and I was a DM at that time. IF it makes sense.
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 2014, 11:11 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,760
cX712. Didn't get upgraded as a OWS. BN6. Looks very full from seat map. Flight stats show 1 free seat. Boarding now
tboons is offline  
Old Aug 10, 2014, 6:37 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wimbledon, UK
Programs: Budding BA Bronze, MPC Gold
Posts: 370
Thinking of upgrading from Premium Economy to Business on a 22:30 flight from Delhi to Hong Kong, does anyone know what the meal service would be?

Not sure it will be worth the miles if it's just a snack and then fall asleep until we land.
yokozuma is offline  
Old Aug 10, 2014, 10:01 am
  #59  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,740
Originally Posted by yokozuma
Not sure it will be worth the miles if it's just a snack and then fall asleep until we land.
Mate, haven't flown this route in a few years but to be fair...I'd say the sleep (not the food) is precisely the reason you go for J.
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2014, 11:06 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: CX DM - AA EP - SPG PL
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by QRC3288
Happens all the time. I suspect you just didn't notice, or maybe weren't flying on flights that are often full/oversold. I frequently book at the last minute and this is pretty much how half my flights are...can't change squat in there or even open it. Call MPC.

While you may well get your 0.5mm miles upgrade, I never saw this "freeze" the system before as a premonition of good news to come. In fact, I HAVE been upgraded in OLCI before but it was plain as day that I was - my seat was now available for selection in the class higher. In that case (ex MNL), the plane was just so ridiculously oversold in Y and presumably empty in J that CX was able to make that determination very early.

Finally, I never got any milestone for a 5 year consecutive DM...but I did get a 5 year anniversary for MPC, and I was a DM at that time. IF it makes sense.

Thanks, it was full as I checked again after posting this and a few seats were open again. I did get the upgrade however. I asked if it was for Anniversary or .5 million miles. She said neither, just as a thank you for your business.

Now I'm hoping for the upgrade on my way home.

Thanks again.
tamijn is offline  

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