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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 Dec 10, 2017, 5:57 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: New York
Programs: AA, CX, Hyatt, Marriott
Posts: 1,484
Originally Posted by cysyuen
​​​​​​
And JL?
Irrelevant to CX, but as mentioned above AM is the only currency useful to upgrade CX flight. But to answer your question, no, only BA AA and IB (subject to class of travel restrictions as well).

JAL flight: Upgrade from Prem to Business using BA Avios?

Your guide to spending Avios | 2017 edition

Last edited by andersonCooper; Dec 10, 2017 at 6:07 am
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 10:09 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong
Programs: CX-DM, Marriott Gold, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 337
I was wondering if someone could help explain this to me.

I'm currently a Gold member holding two R class PEY tickets and I just checked the availability for an upgrade to J.

Results
J0 C0 D0 I0 W2 R0 E0 Y3 B0 H0 K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0

Meaning there's no seats.

But when I click on it I see the following 6 J seats open.


What does it mean when J/C/D/I are all 0's but the seatmap still shows open seats & blocked seats?

Thanks in advance
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 11:21 pm
  #753  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,071
1. Point Of Sale - this is an EF map so did you try other POS?

2. If the plane is as full as that perhaps you can do nothing and see if you get opup.
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 11:46 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 6,095
Originally Posted by blum81
What does it mean when J/C/D/I are all 0's but the seatmap still shows open seats & blocked seats?
(1) J could indeed be sold out but some pax have not selected seats.
(2) Lower cabins could be oversold and they're holding back J seats for op-ups and/or airport instant upgrades.
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Old Dec 11, 2017, 11:52 pm
  #755  
sxc
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Programs: CX Green, QF Platinum, BAEC Silver, Hyatt Glob
Posts: 10,780
Originally Posted by blum81
I was wondering if someone could help explain this to me.

I'm currently a Gold member holding two R class PEY tickets and I just checked the availability for an upgrade to J.

Results
J0 C0 D0 I0 W2 R0 E0 Y3 B0 H0 K0 M0 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0

Meaning there's no seats.

But when I click on it I see the following 6 J seats open.


What does it mean when J/C/D/I are all 0's but the seatmap still shows open seats & blocked seats?

Thanks in advance
Seat map bears no relation to what has actually been sold. Not everyone who bought a ticket has chosen a seat.
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Old Dec 12, 2017, 12:50 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: CX MPC DM
Posts: 416
A few things to try
1. Call MPC (or have your travel agent call) and ask if they would process an upgrade.
2. If you have an upgrade offer available on your booking page under 'Manage Bookings', see what the suggested bid for miles would be.
3. At airport check-in ask if instant upgrade is available.
4. Hope for op-up.
synthkeys is offline  
Old Dec 12, 2017, 2:33 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong
Programs: CX-DM, Marriott Gold, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 337
Thanks everyone for your response.

I'm actually on waitlist for my possible upgrade to J. I do have an option to upgrade with cash so I would assume there's still seats available. But when I clicked on the upgrade with miles it took me to another booking. I'm not sure if it's because there's no availability or because I already have a waitlist booked.

Hoping I still have a chance or that Economy is oversold.
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Old Dec 13, 2017, 8:42 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Vancouver, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong
Programs: CX-DM, Marriott Gold, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 337
Originally Posted by blum81
Thanks everyone for your response.

I'm actually on waitlist for my possible upgrade to J. I do have an option to upgrade with cash so I would assume there's still seats available. But when I clicked on the upgrade with miles it took me to another booking. I'm not sure if it's because there's no availability or because I already have a waitlist booked.

Hoping I still have a chance or that Economy is oversold.
well that was fast. Just got my upgrade Text & Email
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Old Dec 17, 2017, 11:17 pm
  #759  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: TPE / HSZ
Programs: CX GO (=SPH), IHG Diamond Amb, Hertz 5*, Accor, Hilton, National
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by dkc192
(2) Lower cabins could be oversold and they're holding back J seats for op-ups and/or airport instant upgrades.
Not if W and Y are not 0.
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Old Dec 21, 2017, 6:39 am
  #760  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SIN
Programs: KF, MPC, BAEC // Bonvoy, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,476
I got a booking HAJ-LHR-NBO-LHR-HAJ in World Traveller Plus (T class) on BA. Judging by the One Class Upgrades Award Chart the cost to upgrade this entire itinerary (Zone C) to Club World is a mere 22,500 Asia Miles. Is this correct? Seems like incredibly good value.
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Old Dec 21, 2017, 8:53 am
  #761  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: TPE / HSZ
Programs: CX GO (=SPH), IHG Diamond Amb, Hertz 5*, Accor, Hilton, National
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll
I got a booking HAJ-LHR-NBO-LHR-HAJ in World Traveller Plus (T class) on BA. Judging by the One Class Upgrades Award Chart the cost to upgrade this entire itinerary (Zone C) to Club World is a mere 22,500 Asia Miles. Is this correct? Seems like incredibly good value.
I believe only LHR-NBO-LHR can be booked in T and HAJ-LHR-HAJ is booked in K. In this case, you can use 22500 AM to upgrade LHR-NBO-LHR to U. This by itself will also give you lounge access in HAJ (outbound) and LHR (inbound), but you will still sit in Euro Traveller for the short-haul flights.
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Old Dec 21, 2017, 9:30 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: HKG
Programs: CX DM, SPG Pt, Le Club Accor GO, Shangri-La GC Jade
Posts: 1,327
Could anyone please help to check the following for me? Am waiting for a J class seat....

CX198 6 Jan AKL - HKG
CX118 7 Jan AKL - HKG

Thanks~~
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Old Dec 21, 2017, 11:39 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: TPE / HSZ
Programs: CX GO (=SPH), IHG Diamond Amb, Hertz 5*, Accor, Hilton, National
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by sscywong
Could anyone please help to check the following for me? Am waiting for a J class seat....

CX198 6 Jan AKL - HKG
CX118 7 Jan AKL - HKG

Thanks~~
Looks pretty full to me (Taiwan POS)

Code:
1CX198/6JANAKLHKG«                                             
 JL   CL   DL   IL   WL   RL   EL   YL   BL   HL   KL   ML     
 LL   VL   SL   NL   QC   OL  .                                
1CX118/7JANAKLHKG«                                             
 J5   CL   DL   IL   WL   RL   EL   YL   BL   HL   KL   ML     
 LL   VL   SL   NL   QC   OL  .
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Old Dec 22, 2017, 7:07 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: HKG
Programs: CX DM, SPG Pt, Le Club Accor GO, Shangri-La GC Jade
Posts: 1,327
Originally Posted by ernestnywang
Looks pretty full to me (Taiwan POS)
Thanks.

BTW what does L means? Limited?
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Old Dec 22, 2017, 7:16 am
  #765  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: TPE / HSZ
Programs: CX GO (=SPH), IHG Diamond Amb, Hertz 5*, Accor, Hilton, National
Posts: 6,448
Originally Posted by sscywong
Thanks.

BTW what does L means? Limited?
"L" means WaitList permitted whereas "C" means Closed. Both can be written as "0."
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