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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 Oct 15, 2014, 9:52 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 141
Hi all,

I'm not a regular on CX but am BA Gold. I'm on the CX254 LHR-HKG on 19/10/14, booked in P.E.
Is there much chance of an OP-UP or is it likely there will be a few CX Golds, who would get preference I assume?

Many thanks.
bja200 is offline  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 12:34 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: CX gold
Posts: 4
Hi, just wondering whats the chance of getting an op-up on cx257 on 2nd of November 2014. thank you

also, whats the differenence between BN and SEC, how does it affect ur chance of getting op-up?

And, will printing out boarding pass during olci affect ur chance of getting an op-up?
Oscar Tao is offline  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 1:03 am
  #93  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,080
I'm now distrusting KVS/Amadeus info anymore...only cathaypacific.com
Your plane is chock-block full, Y/W/J/F. I don't know which tickets they've oversold.
BN is the rank you checked in. SEC is your worth to CX.
No
percysmith is offline  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 6:44 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: country Western Australia
Programs: QF SG(LTS) - AA LTG(1MM)
Posts: 2,792
Originally Posted by percysmith
I'm now distrusting KVS/Amadeus info anymore...only cathaypacific.com
Your plane is chock-block full, Y/W/J/F. I don't know which tickets they've oversold.
BN is the rank you checked in. SEC is your worth to CX.
No
In following the loadings on my recent transPacific trip on expertflyer, I found that (if the numbers and seat maps were correct) CX is playing silly with the fare buckets. By about a week before the flights, there seemed to be nothing available except the odd business seat plus W and Y/B. A couple of days before the flight, fares were again wide open. On the day of the flights, quite a number of OPups.

So if you really wanted to fly more cheaply, it was worth the risk to wait till the last minute. Unless you have a V class guarantee due to status.

Alas it will be a while before I again have a chance to review those stats in person

Happy wandering

Fred
wandering_fred is offline  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 8:19 pm
  #95  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
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Posts: 20,080
Originally Posted by wandering_fred
CX is playing silly with the fare buckets. By about a week before the flights, there seemed to be nothing available except the odd business seat plus W and Y/B. A couple of days before the flight, fares were again wide open.
Tell me about it http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...l-pricing.html . CX is completely making a killing off people like my mother. I go out of my way not to fly CX for revenue.
percysmith is offline  
Old Oct 30, 2014, 3:44 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
Originally Posted by percysmith
SEC is your worth to CX.
I guess my worth to CX isn't very good since I've been getting SEC 1 for a couple flights now.
alphaod is offline  
Old Oct 30, 2014, 10:50 am
  #97  
 
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 alphaod
I guess my worth to CX isn't very good since I've been getting SEC 1 for a couple flights now.
So far I still observe SEC behaves like BN... At least it's still hooked with my check-in time. For example two KA903 Y fare class booking, the one with OLCI 47 hours before boarding gave me SEC 6, while the one I didn't gave me SEC 267....
sscywong is offline  
Old Oct 30, 2014, 7:39 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CX, UA, Shangri-La, Hyatt, Starwood
Posts: 7,741
Originally Posted by sscywong
So far I still observe SEC behaves like BN... At least it's still hooked with my check-in time. For example two KA903 Y fare class booking, the one with OLCI 47 hours before boarding gave me SEC 6, while the one I didn't gave me SEC 267....
ditto. one difference appears to be that on a connecting flight, you can check-in more than 48 hours in advance.
QRC3288 is offline  
Old Oct 30, 2014, 9:18 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: LHR
Programs: CX GO, BA Gold, OZ*G, IHG Spire RA
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by QRC3288
ditto. one difference appears to be that on a connecting flight, you can check-in more than 48 hours in advance.
This is my experience as well now that I've had a few BP's with SEC instead of BN. Seems SEC is not yet fully implemented and correlates to BN.
DieselYVR is offline  
Old Nov 1, 2014, 3:03 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: DTW - Rochester Hills, MI
Programs: Cathay MPC, IHG Diamond Ambassador, Domestic Airline Nobody
Posts: 737
Originally Posted by percysmith
BN is the rank you checked in. SEC is your worth to CX.
How do you find the SEC number? I'm looking at a few recent CX boarding passes. I'll see BN (ie. BN:044), but I don't see SEC anywhere on the pass.

If SEC is worth... then maybe I'm persona non grata? :-)

Last edited by Gongzuokuang; Nov 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm Reason: Typo
Gongzuokuang is offline  
Old Nov 1, 2014, 4:39 pm
  #101  
formerly gemini573
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: LAX, HKG, and BKK
Programs: CX Emerald, WOH Globalist, Marriott Platinum, AA Lifetime Platinum, Virtuoso, Prive, STEPS, STARS
Posts: 2,233
Originally Posted by Gongzuokuang
How do you find the SEC number? I'm looking at a few recent CX boarding passes. I'll see BN (ie. BN:044), but I don't see SEC anywhere on the pass.

If SEC is worth... then maybe I'm persona non grata? :-)
It's hasn't been implemented completely yet. A few outports have it. One that I can think of off the top my head is HND.
77W_12A is offline  
Old Nov 16, 2014, 4:27 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Christchurch, NZ.
Programs: NZ*E, MPO, QR,SQ
Posts: 20
Hi all,

I note the "Enhance" upgrade trial period ended on the 12th November. I have not read anywhere on forums that CX will or will not extend the trial or make it continuous ?

Has anyone heard anything official or rumours ?
wairakei15 is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2014, 9:48 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 17
LAX-HKG: Upgrading to J

We are a family of 5 and will be travelling from LAX-HKG on 12/6 (in 4 days).

Tickets purchased through travel agency on W, and paid extra for upgrades to J. The agency is using their miles for the upgrades.

3 of 5 tickets were successfully upgraded to J. They are trying to upgrade the remaining 2.

What are our chances that the upgrade will go through?

When checking Cathay Pacific website, I see the upgrade and the comment is "On Request".

Is there anyway I can call or do to ensure the last 2 remaining tickets will go through with the upgrade?

Thanks in advance.


-Tom
graffixx is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2014, 10:16 am
  #104  
Ambassador, Hong Kong and Macau
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: Non-top tier Asia Miles member
Posts: 20,080
graffixx:

CX881: J1 so not much hope here.
CX897: J7 I7 so reasonable chance.
CX885: J1 so not much hope here.
CX883: J3 I0 - I really doubt they want to sell any more seats cheaply in case of last minute paid Business purchases. They'll rather upgrade someone with status from Y.

No there's not much you can do except to go buy a J tix if you're keen. Otherwise you'll have to split the family.
percysmith is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2014, 10:28 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 17
I forgot to mention the flight # is CX881.

and given your post.....

does anyone know how much roughly for an upgrade at the check-in counter, assuming there are seats still avail?

Checking the avail seats (though I'm not sure how accurate it is?), I see:

12 D
22 G
23/24 D
25 G

Last edited by graffixx; Dec 2, 2014 at 10:45 am
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