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Chances of award availability closer to travel

Chances of award availability closer to travel

Old Mar 13, 23, 6:27 pm
  #1  
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Chances of award availability closer to travel

Does Cathay release more award space closer to the day? Iím looking at a two segment award, first segment has definite availability in J, second doesnít. But when I look at revenue availability, there are atleast 10-15 seats empty in the cabin for that second segment.

Iím anxious that I will lose the first segment while waiting for the secondís availability, not sure what to do meanwhile besides searching multiple times during the day. I have the Unelevated Plugin.

Do these revenue seats have a chance of being converted to awards? Or am I just wasting my time? This flight is abt 30-35 days away.

Thank you!
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Old Mar 13, 23, 7:55 pm
  #2  
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30-35 days are still far away, CX may release more award availability 1-2 weeks prior to departure. The 10-15 seats that you see empty is probably from the seat map, but it may not be the true picture because some of these seats may be holding up in case its PEY is oversold or sold by codeshare partners which can't make seat selection. It is better if you can mention which particular flight and date are you looking at.
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Old Mar 13, 23, 9:01 pm
  #3  
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Thank you so much. Iím looking at CX139, HKG to SYD on either 18/4 or 19/4. It has plenty of Y cabin availability at this time. I cannot see PE availability either. But I understand it may be held by partners, though I was of the view that Cathay has greater availability for itís own members?

I am planning to travel DEL-SYD with two lil ones (one is an infant) so will need 2x seats (cannot split cabin for that reason). DEL-HKG CX698 has availability for 17/4 and 18/4. Just cannot find an appropriate ongoing connection, not even in PE.

I understand HKG-SYD is a heavy route, but still hoping for the best.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 13, 23, 9:39 pm
  #4  
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Well, if your thesis is correct, is there any J in the following week even in J9? You have the plugin.
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Old Mar 13, 23, 9:50 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Well, if your thesis is correct, is there any J in the following week even in J9? You have the plugin.
I have been trying to run these searches for peace of mind, and I have seen occasional availability in the coming couple weeks. Just unsure if it is a known trend for award space to open closer to travel date or it is rather random.
It is my first time booking awards with Cathay as I tend to rely on Star Alliance, where United is almost sure to open availability last minute, especially with some partners.

On another note, is it worth calling their reservations office if they have access to greater award availability? Or it is exactly like what the website shows?
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Old Mar 13, 23, 9:57 pm
  #6  
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Cathay has the revenue management mindset of a Ticketmaster sellout concert scalper. They rather see seats left empty than risk Pavlov's Dogs.

Calling doesn't help unless you have DM or higher status with CX itself (not partners).
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Old Mar 13, 23, 10:06 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Cathay has the revenue management mindset of a Ticketmaster sellout concert scalper. They rather see seats left empty than risk Pavlov's Dogs.

Calling doesn't help unless you have DM or higher status with CX itself (not partners).
I see. Thank you, this will help me keep my expectations low. I will book something as a backup now and keep my eye on this if it opens.
I do not have status with Cathay, as I travel occasionally and only focus on redeemable points.
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Old Mar 14, 23, 1:30 am
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Originally Posted by aquaroohi View Post
Thank you so much. Iím looking at CX139, HKG to SYD on either 18/4 or 19/4. It has plenty of Y cabin availability at this time. I cannot see PE availability either. But I understand it may be held by partners, though I was of the view that Cathay has greater availability for itís own members?

I am planning to travel DEL-SYD with two lil ones (one is an infant) so will need 2x seats (cannot split cabin for that reason). DEL-HKG CX698 has availability for 17/4 and 18/4. Just cannot find an appropriate ongoing connection, not even in PE.

I understand HKG-SYD is a heavy route, but still hoping for the best.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Pre-COVID, I used the following mechanism, to book redemption flights at a rather short notice:
- Monitor on availability pattern.
- Book one-way itineraries.
- Monitor whether at 4-8 weeks out, there is regularly availability for the wanted in-bound, sliding date window.
- As well in the 2-10 days before the out-bound flight, sliding date window.
- Between 1 and 4 weeks out, there is in general no, or only very limited redemption availability at CX.
- So, at around 4 weeks out, I book the in-bound as a one-way redemption.
- A few days before the intended out-bound, availability usually shows up again, I book the outbound as a one-way redemption.
- Suppose the out-bound becomes completely unavailable, I cancel the whole and absorb the redemption cancel fee for the in-bound.

Of course, this needs flexibility on dates, as well the flexibility to cancel the whole, though I never did have to cancel the whole, only be flexible with the out-bound date.

This was Pre-COVID, the current redemption availability seems to be all over the place. Some flights packed, some flights rather empty. Be date flexible, and you may still have opportunities, using the above mechanism.

Though, with 2 kids, I think, this is a challenging strategy, though still possible, especially, when redemption flights are your only travel option. With kids, I'd personally book all the redemption tickets far out, to avoid things going haywire (and even then ....).

Depending on the age of the not-lap child, you might consider an UM approach on a different date for the kid, when travel is unavoidable.
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Old Mar 14, 23, 1:44 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Pre-COVID, I used the following mechanism, to book redemption flights at a rather short notice:
- Monitor on availability pattern.
- Book one-way itineraries.
- Monitor whether at 4-8 weeks out, there is regularly availability for the wanted in-bound, sliding date window.
- As well in the 2-10 days before the out-bound flight, sliding date window.
- Between 1 and 4 weeks out, there is in general no, or only very limited redemption availability at CX.
- So, at around 4 weeks out, I book the in-bound as a one-way redemption.
- A few days before the intended out-bound, availability usually shows up again, I book the outbound as a one-way redemption.
- Suppose the out-bound becomes completely unavailable, I cancel the whole and absorb the redemption cancel fee for the in-bound.

Of course, this needs flexibility on dates, as well the flexibility to cancel the whole, though I never did have to cancel the whole, only be flexible with the out-bound date.

This was Pre-COVID, the current redemption availability seems to be all over the place. Some flights packed, some flights rather empty. Be date flexible, and you may still have opportunities, using the above mechanism.

Though, with 2 kids, I think, this is a challenging strategy, though still possible, especially, when redemption flights are your only travel option. With kids, I'd personally book all the redemption tickets far out, to avoid things going haywire (and even then ....).

Depending on the age of the not-lap child, you might consider an UM approach on a different date for the kid, when travel is unavoidable.
thank you so much for taking the time to write in such detail. It is extremely helpful, esp the point abt UM strategy, although my older is less than 4 and most airlines donít accept UM below 5.

in any case, i am considering booking atleast the Y fare which I can see now.
Since you mention cancellation, are you aware as to how much time does it take for the miles to be refunded in case I cancel to book a different cabin (if it opens)?
Happy to eat the cost for peace of mind. I will keep looking up until the day of travel incase it opens!
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Old Mar 14, 23, 5:26 am
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I observed HKG-LHR over the Christmas and New Year period:
  • The period leading up to Christmas and the few days after, availability seemed to be readily available across most flights in most classes. However, about a month before that, there was little or nothing showing.
  • The period after New Year's Day was heavily booked with lots of people travelling. Some days there would be a flight or two, some days there would be nothing. The availability popped up over different cabins. The flights at the off-peak time of the day seems to show more availability. I didn't see anything appear for the CX251/255 (overnight) flights to London where as the daytime flight was the one which had seats, albeit sparse.
Whilst I can't give any concrete advice, I'd say just use the plugin to keep a lookout daily for stuff to appear and have a somewhat-viable plan B to enact on just in case. I'd say you might have to wait till about a week before departure or closer before there'll be something.
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Old Mar 14, 23, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by aquaroohi View Post
thank you so much for taking the time to write in such detail. It is extremely helpful, esp the point abt UM strategy, although my older is less than 4 and most airlines donít accept UM below 5.

in any case, i am considering booking atleast the Y fare which I can see now.
Since you mention cancellation, are you aware as to how much time does it take for the miles to be refunded in case I cancel to book a different cabin (if it opens)?
Happy to eat the cost for peace of mind. I will keep looking up until the day of travel incase it opens!
My pleasure.

And, maybe some more tips:
- Contact the Asiamiles desk through the online form, to request to have the flights waitlisted.
- After confirm, wait a few days and call in, and request to have added some more flights on different dates to the same PNR (Many people don't know this is possible, though it is, when calling in).
- And later-on, when waitlists clear, the factual flights will stay in the PNR and the rest is removed.

By adding more dates, you signal towards CX, you are prepared to be flexible, which is a positive sign (vs. banging on fixed dates) and may give you some advantage to get the waitlist approved matching what CX has available. Use ExpertFlyer to follow about availability, new flights, flights canceled, etc (set ExpertFlyer alerts) and when things change, find out, if this could match alternatives for your plans (or might give reasons for CX to clear waitlists). And call......

Assuming, you want to obtain an infant ticket once you get your own redemptions, this is also a profit item with little out-of-pocket costs for CX, so, can be an argument to grant availability to you.

Regarding the speed of refunds: I don't know, I usually plan my trips carefully, so have little reasons to change/cancel for myself. Though during Covid, I did have flights canceled (or impossible changed) by the airline and the only one refunding "fast" happened to be CX. Cancel "yesterday" and when checking "today", the miles were back, granted I am DM.

Use all your positive social skills, when calling in, to take care, you get what you want though are not considered to be a pushy jerk. When there is (at that moment), no solution, just thank and call again, when things may have changed. Don't keep banging on a closed door, you won't get what you want, more the contrary.

This is so important, I (nearly) always get what I want in some way or another, by doing so. IE be flexible, find out what is possible, and, when needed, guide the person you have on the phone to materialize what can be realized at that moment. Getting on a waitlist is also a result, because clearing a waitlist is an easier decision, than cold booking an itinerary (not to forget, when on the waitlist, you are the "first" for that availability, ISO just an open availability for the first one asking). These things are so important, I can not emphasize this enough !
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Old Mar 14, 23, 7:02 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
- Contact the Asiamiles desk through the online form, to request to have the flights waitlisted.
Waitlisting on redemption must be a DM privilege if it still exists https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cath...-waitlist.html

Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
By adding more dates, you signal towards CX, you are prepared to be flexible, which is a positive sign (vs. banging on fixed dates) and may give you some advantage to get the waitlist approved matching what CX has available.

AmD950
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Last edited by percysmith; Mar 14, 23 at 7:27 am
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Old Mar 14, 23, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
Waitlisting on redemption must be a DM privilege if it still exists https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cath...-waitlist.html
....
Maybe, or it is just the way one treats the call center person. Do that properly, and they are prepared to go beyond what is official guideline. Really, there is a suitable world behind the hate you have towards CX. When pushing the person on the phone towards something, they are not able/allowed to do, you only get back-fired, and get nothing. Go through the options they can do (even when you don't agree), be flexible and you get more. In the long run, I (usually) get something fitting with what I can live with. It's not the person on the phone, responsible for schedule changes, etc. They are swamped with work and angry people, due to that. Treat the situation accordingly.

Last edited by Cambo; Mar 14, 23 at 11:18 pm
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Old Mar 15, 23, 12:00 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
Maybe, or it is just the way one treats the call center person. Do that properly, and they are prepared to go beyond what is official guideline. Really, there is a suitable world behind the hate you have towards CX. When pushing the person on the phone towards something, they are not able/allowed to do, you only get back-fired, and get nothing. Go through the options they can do (even when you don't agree), be flexible and you get more. In the long run, I (usually) get something fitting with what I can live with. It's not the person on the phone, responsible for schedule changes, etc. They are swamped with work and angry people, due to that. Treat the situation accordingly.
I think you self contradicted yourself.
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Old Mar 18, 23, 5:25 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Cambo View Post
My pleasure.

And, maybe some more tips:
- Contact the Asiamiles desk through the online form, to request to have the flights waitlisted.
- After confirm, wait a few days and call in, and request to have added some more flights on different dates to the same PNR (Many people don't know this is possible, though it is, when calling in).
- And later-on, when waitlists clear, the factual flights will stay in the PNR and the rest is removed.

By adding more dates, you signal towards CX, you are prepared to be flexible, which is a positive sign (vs. banging on fixed dates) and may give you some advantage to get the waitlist approved matching what CX has available. Use ExpertFlyer to follow about availability, new flights, flights canceled, etc (set ExpertFlyer alerts) and when things change, find out, if this could match alternatives for your plans (or might give reasons for CX to clear waitlists). And call......

Assuming, you want to obtain an infant ticket once you get your own redemptions, this is also a profit item with little out-of-pocket costs for CX, so, can be an argument to grant availability to you.

Regarding the speed of refunds: I don't know, I usually plan my trips carefully, so have little reasons to change/cancel for myself. Though during Covid, I did have flights canceled (or impossible changed) by the airline and the only one refunding "fast" happened to be CX. Cancel "yesterday" and when checking "today", the miles were back, granted I am DM.

Use all your positive social skills, when calling in, to take care, you get what you want though are not considered to be a pushy jerk. When there is (at that moment), no solution, just thank and call again, when things may have changed. Don't keep banging on a closed door, you won't get what you want, more the contrary.

This is so important, I (nearly) always get what I want in some way or another, by doing so. IE be flexible, find out what is possible, and, when needed, guide the person you have on the phone to materialize what can be realized at that moment. Getting on a waitlist is also a result, because clearing a waitlist is an easier decision, than cold booking an itinerary (not to forget, when on the waitlist, you are the "first" for that availability, ISO just an open availability for the first one asking). These things are so important, I can not emphasize this enough !

thank you so much for this once again. I did exactly this, but was told I cannot hold any fares or waitlist. So it didnít really lead me to a solution but I will keep it noted for the future. I definitely was very polite and it really got me all the answers to my many questions.
at this time, Iím thinking abt booking one ticket on cash and the second as a companion award, which is a different strategy altogether.
thank you again, you have been very kind!
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