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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 1, 2024, 9:35 am
  #1366  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by pf007
1) yes, as long as there is availability for that particular flight
fairly easy, just call CX's hotline & they'll sort it out for you in no time (you will not be able to do it yourself online)

2) yes, you can input another FF no. after your AM upgrade has been cleared

have personally tried & done both of what you've mentioned
This is very helpful to know, thank you so much!
phh1998 is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2024, 10:38 pm
  #1367  
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Programs: Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by phh1998
This is very helpful to know, thank you so much!
not a problem

via CX's website or app you can even input different FF nos for different legs as per your liking

I flew that itinerary within this year & AFAIK nothing has changed
phh1998 likes this.
pf007 is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2024, 8:04 am
  #1368  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: somehere Asian
Posts: 372
It says in the Wiki that ....

"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."

Under Manage my Booking i see the upgraded class now, but both Miles and Points are indicated as zero?!
timesnaps is offline  
Old Jun 5, 2024, 10:10 am
  #1369  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Programs: CX Gold, Cafe Nero Loyalty Card
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by timesnaps
It says in the Wiki that ....

"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."

Under Manage my Booking i see the upgraded class now, but both Miles and Points are indicated as zero?!
Display error, nothing to worry about.
timesnaps likes this.
cxwaterboy is offline  
Old Jun 6, 2024, 7:39 pm
  #1370  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: CRK MNL
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 1,337
Which current route with F have a higher chance of redeemingand upgrade from J to F for 2?
boybi is offline  
Old Jun 6, 2024, 9:59 pm
  #1371  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Programs: CX Gold, Cafe Nero Loyalty Card
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by boybi
Which current route with F have a higher chance of redeemingand upgrade from J to F for 2?
Short haul: F to PEK is always wide open for redemption. However, it is more financially sensible to redeem it outright than to upgrade. HND occasionally has seats open. You might be able to FLUB on certain routes but that is a long shot.

Long Haul: LHR has 1-2 daily flights with F. That being said, F to and from LHR is almost always full months in advance. Instead of chancing it with the waitlist black box, finding award seats might be you best bet. Last time I checked, CX released a bunch of LHR F seats for Q4. The daily CDG has F but that might change in the future. I canít comment on NA flights as I rarely fly that direction.
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cxwaterboy is offline  
Old Jun 14, 2024, 11:40 pm
  #1372  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: SYD
Programs: QF Platinum One, NZ*S, Koru, Accor Le Club Plus Platinum, BW Diamond, Marriott GOLD
Posts: 74
Upgrade / points

i requested an upgrade from PE to J from LAX-HKG-AKL. My request went wait-listed and it was indicated that it would cost me 55,000 miles.

today, I have spotted that there is award seat available on HKG-AKL. I messaged CX and they have confirmed the upgrade from HKG-AKL and deducted 42,000 points.

if the upgrade from LAX-HKG is available, would I be charged only 13,000 points or another lot of 42,000 points? Any suggestions on how to manage this will be greatly appreciated.

cheers,
jacek
Jacek_C is offline  
Old Jun 18, 2024, 8:52 pm
  #1373  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: CRK MNL
Programs: CX Gold
Posts: 1,337
Booked in Y redemption. Does this look like a good chance to be upgraded to J as GO?


J7 C7 D6 P6 I6 Y4 B3 H2 K2 M1 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O5
boybi is offline  
Old Jun 18, 2024, 10:31 pm
  #1374  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: HKG/HND/OOL
Programs: QF Emerald. SQ Gold.
Posts: 3,221
Originally Posted by boybi
Booked in Y redemption. Does this look like a good chance to be upgraded to J as GO?


J7 C7 D6 P6 I6 Y4 B3 H2 K2 M1 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O5
not really
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fakecd is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2024, 1:10 am
  #1375  
 
Join Date: Jun 2024
Posts: 1
I'm on the upgrade redemption waitlist for a flight in 12 days from HKG-> JFK. How are my changes to be upgraded from PEY (W)-> J? I currently do not have status

F4 A3 J9 C9 D9 P5 I0 W0 R0 E0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0
JB779 is offline  
Old Jun 19, 2024, 2:30 am
  #1376  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Programs: Marco Polo Club (CX)
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by JB779
I'm on the upgrade redemption waitlist for a flight in 12 days from HKG-> JFK. How are my changes to be upgraded from PEY (W)-> J? I currently do not have status

F4 A3 J9 C9 D9 P5 I0 W0 R0 E0 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L0 V0 S0 N0 Q0 O0
I am also flying from HKG to JFK in 12 days (guess we are on the same flight?). For your reference, my upgrade redemption from PEY (R) to J was approved three days ago, and I am just a lowly Green member.
darren230 is offline  
Old Jun 27, 2024, 1:14 pm
  #1377  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: USA
Programs: MB Ambassador, WOH Globalist, HH Diamond (Aspire), AA Gold, UA (*G) Gold
Posts: 5,857
Surprising - Iím AA Gold / OneWorld Ruby and was upgraded to Premium Economy from an Economy redemption via AA on DXB-HKG. I think this is my first ever upgrade on any international flight.
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ElevatorEnthusiast is online now  
Old Jun 30, 2024, 11:43 am
  #1378  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,207
Originally Posted by CXFlyerBoy
Op Up are one of those things that if you donít get it, you donít. And CX doesnít owe anyone a reason. Take your dime to SQ and see if they will even upgrade you.
Iím SQ Gold and am switching to CX. You never get upgraded on SQ, not even on your birthday. Itís a very stingy airline. Iím sure CX is still better with upgrades and at least you donít get put in a Gold lounge instead of the business one in SIN! With CX you can use the business lounges when not in J.
yorkboy24 is offline  
Old Jun 30, 2024, 5:26 pm
  #1379  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Singapore
Programs: Cathay Diamond and Singapore Gold
Posts: 235
Originally Posted by yorkboy24
Iím SQ Gold and am switching to CX. You never get upgraded on SQ, not even on your birthday. Itís a very stingy airline. Iím sure CX is still better with upgrades and at least you donít get put in a Gold lounge instead of the business one in SIN! With CX you can use the business lounges when not in J.
very right! Welcome to the club.
Microtat is online now  
Old Jun 30, 2024, 8:15 pm
  #1380  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philippines
Programs: MPC Gold
Posts: 142
Data point:

Flew YVR to HKG last June 18 CX819 and was able to upgrade at the counter from Y to PEY for 27,500 AsiaMiles.

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