Why is CX Award Availability So Erratic?

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Old Oct 26, 09, 1:02 pm
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Why is CX Award Availability So Erratic?

I've been keeping an eye on CX F awards from JFK to HKG and back in F for March 2010 and I'm amazed at how erratic the availability is. A few days ago I checked and F awards were available every Wednesday, Business almost daily, and economy daily. The following day all the F awards were gone, business was down to just 3 days, and economy to about 10. Then business opened up again throughout the month, economy and F went to zero. Now F is wide open. It seems completely erratic. I expect a few days to go away and pop up but this seems nuts. Is this normal? I don't see the same craziness on the HKG-BKK sector.

Anyway this morning I found availablity on the outbound flight that I wanted on the date that I wanted so I booked it. Now I'll keep checking daily for the return flight.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by fly2nrt View Post
......Is this normal? I don't see the same craziness on the HKG-BKK sector. ....
Yes.

It changes even more frequently as dates get closer. It can change by the hour, or minute.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 2:30 pm
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Been like this since March 2010 came into the system.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by PresRDC View Post
Been like this since March 2010 came into the system.
CX has never positioned itself to be an award fly and burn airline. It prides itself to be a luxury airline that attracts the top tier fliers of the world, and CX aims to provide prestige more than it provides cheapening experiences. Thus its award system can be seen as erratic to those fliers that are used to airlines giving away premium seats.

However, with the economy going down the way it has which forces CX to discount their seats across the board, I think CX, sooner or later, need to either adapt the AA route (easier upgrades/awards) or take it on the chin and go the SQ route (emphasize on class), but it seems that CX is trying to have the best of both worlds and it's making both demographics upset more than it attracts them together.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 6:07 pm
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As you know, AA does fairly sophisticated dynamic modeling for this stuff, hence the prices, though not usually award inventory allocation, can change more than once in a day. Perhaps CX does a similar thing with award availability. That would certainly explain why availability opens up more as you get closer to departure date.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
As you know, AA does fairly sophisticated dynamic modeling for this stuff, hence the prices, though not usually award inventory allocation, can change more than once in a day. Perhaps CX does a similar thing with award availability. That would certainly explain why availability opens up more as you get closer to departure date.
AA is ridiculous. I had to make a last minute trip to China a few months back. No more seats on CX according to my TA but puts me on waitlist. Called AAdvantage desk. First quote they gave me was $11K for economy class, $11K!!! I hung up, called back in the afternoon, on the exact flight on the exact route now is $3K. I reserved it.

Of course my TA came through at the end by hooking me up CX H-class fare, $1.7K
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Old Oct 26, 09, 7:56 pm
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It's pretty erratic, indeed.

I'm booked for a bunch of CX F coming up, there was plenty of F out of JFK and then I went to book and it was gone, wound up going with ex-YYZ because JFK was only showing midweek departures.

Booked through to MNL but schedules changed and all of a sudden I was on 2-cabin equipment for HKG-MNL-HKG.

Checked daily for a couple of weeks and then this morning both flights opened up with 2 seats in F.

I've checked close to departure and seen the inventory cycling daily.

Almost no rhyme or reason it seems sometimes.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by gleff View Post
Checked daily for a couple of weeks and then this morning both flights opened up with 2 seats in F.
What's your travel date? I have also been checking daily for 2 FC seats on 12/17, with no results. Today, I saw 1 FC seat out of JFK (9:15AM), and two FC seats on each of the two SFO flights. Ended up snagging the SFO seats (though I would have preferred the NYC ones).
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Old Oct 26, 09, 8:52 pm
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Perhaps someone may still remember the days when you booked an award online, everything was okay until it got to the end - then it turned out to be unavailable. Award availability shown on Asia Miles was not always accurate. We may just be returning to the good old days.
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Old Oct 27, 09, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by Cathay Boy View Post
CX has never positioned itself to be an award fly and burn airline. It prides itself to be a luxury airline that attracts the top tier fliers of the world, and CX aims to provide prestige more than it provides cheapening experiences. Thus its award system can be seen as erratic to those fliers that are used to airlines giving away premium seats.

However, with the economy going down the way it has which forces CX to discount their seats across the board, I think CX, sooner or later, need to either adapt the AA route (easier upgrades/awards) or take it on the chin and go the SQ route (emphasize on class), but it seems that CX is trying to have the best of both worlds and it's making both demographics upset more than it attracts them together.
I'm not complaining. It's actually worked quite well for me.
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Old Nov 2, 09, 2:23 pm
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I'm thinking about improvements that might make the award redemption system more user friendly. Perhaps a button that allows users to find the closest available date for a specific flight if their date is full? I've been looking for F award tix and haven't been able to find even one day where it's available...

As a side note, i'm wondering if the system is experiencing some problems. I've tried to book a ticket to anywhere based on entering miles, but it won't let me do it. It just says error and that I have to start again...

Last edited by b-kpf; Nov 2, 09 at 2:28 pm
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Old Nov 2, 09, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by b-kpf View Post
I'm thinking about improvements that might make the award redemption system more user friendly. Perhaps a button that allows users to find the closest available date for a specific flight if their date is full? I've been looking for F award tix and haven't been able to find even one day where it's available...

As a side note, i'm wondering if the system is experiencing some problems. I've tried to book a ticket to anywhere based on entering miles, but it won't let me do it. It just says error and that I have to start again...
I called MPC about award Y ticket before the economy meltdown, trying to book an award ticket 8 months in advance, was told that there are absolutely no seats. I told the agent how about checking the dates afterwards? The agent is very nice and checked date by date, and told me the only award seat available is 11 months out, I was like WHAT!

The funny thing is I called AA and ask them to use AA miles to book Y seat and I specifically ask for CX flights and to my surprise there is a seat available and I actually saved 30K miles (AA only 60K, MPC it's 90K) for JFK-HKG-JFK.

Never understood that.....
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Old Nov 11, 09, 9:57 pm
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Agree...very erratic... I've been trying to find F in July 2010 from SFO to HKG and see zero availability for the entire month. DPS-HKG was showing the same thing, then a bunch of seats came online, then went away.

I'm sure it all makes sense to revenue management but it definitely requires persistence on our part!
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Old Nov 12, 09, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by goldengate View Post
Agree...very erratic... I've been trying to find F in July 2010 from SFO to HKG and see zero availability for the entire month.
I'm also looking for F availability in July, but on the JFK/HKG route. Remember that the World Expo is going on in Shanghai (in fact, that's why I need the seats), so they may hold back assuming that most or all will be sold to cash paying pax.
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