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-   -   CX Routes with First Class? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cathay-pacific-marco-polo-club/1648540-cx-routes-first-class.html)

rufflesinc Jan 20, 17 7:18 am

Query: How often do people paying cash for F book flights 6+ months out? There's not much discount on advanced booking of F seats that I can tell.

QRC3288 Jan 20, 17 7:34 pm

Not sure about others...

IME usually not more than 4 weeks out.

Usually book some as place holders, sometimes cancel.

And frequently change the North American port before departure. Aka swap SFO for LAX, or BOS for JFK, etc. Or change flight times from same city, like cx885 for cx897 at last minute. Sometimes swap the port within days of departure.

The flexibility is what you're paying for...

G-CIVC Jan 20, 17 8:38 pm

Students tend to book way ahead once they know their schedule.

kamchatsky Jan 21, 17 4:45 am


Originally Posted by QRC3288 (Post 27789106)

I do think you'd see F class reintroduced to SYD under a few scenarios:
1.) N. America or Europe market collapses for some reasons, aka opportunity cost of those planes declines (long-term though, I think you'd CX eliminate F altogether if this were the case)
2.) Lower-yielding Europe / N. American cities selectively cough up a 77H. This seems possible to me, as another poster above says.
3.) ME carriers pull out some F capacity from Australia, allowing yields to rise. This is also possible. If ME carriers pull capacity, I think this is your best bet.

I don't think anyone disagree that CX won't take 77H away from say LHR/JFK/FRA/LAX/SFO as they are huge cities and easily can sell F on this route due to massive corporate demand. So you should not be comparing SYD to these cities.

Even CDG and ZRH I think there is still enough demand and strong yield for F, but based on FT rumours ZRH will turn into A350.

It is other cities that you should be comparing with SYD. For example, ORD, BOS, are they have such strong F demand that requires F? I always read in FT that they are the easiest cities to get F awards. They take 2 frames per rotation too.

Whilst earlier argument of Australian economy being weak, I don't really buy it. For MXP, Italy's economy is an absolute basket case. Yet they still have F, and they take 2 77H frames too.

Of course ORD/BOS/MXP requires 777 due to the range required, you just cannot send A330 to it. But now with all these A350s coming, they should be considered as part of the deployment. Can ORD/BOS/MXP turn into A350 routes? A350 certainly have the range for it.

rufflesinc Jan 21, 17 5:57 am


Originally Posted by G-CIVC (Post 27794416)
Students tend to book way ahead once they know their schedule.

Do you see many students (people that look early twenties or younger) in F, that paid cash? obviously a lot using miles lol

jdtravels Jan 21, 17 7:46 am


Originally Posted by rufflesinc (Post 27795516)
Do you see many students (people that look early twenties or younger) in F, that paid cash? obviously a lot using miles lol

I don't know about F, but certainly in J, a lot around the term break periods. Paid for by the parents of course. Hong Kong is a very strange market.

Lussac Jan 21, 17 7:52 am

My flight from CDG on 26th Jan has been showing full in First for a couple on months now, don't know if some are placeholders or actual real confirmed bookings though. I do check most days but there's been no change for ages.

Howard Long Jan 21, 17 10:18 am


Originally Posted by Lussac (Post 27795870)
My flight from CDG on 26th Jan has been showing full in First for a couple on months now, don't know if some are placeholders or actual real confirmed bookings though. I do check most days but there's been no change for ages.

CX260 is showing F1 A1 J1 C0 on Expertflyer for that date, with only one seat unoccupied in that cabin from the seat map. I strongly doubt there will be any availability coming up at this stage, they look like they're overbooked as it is. You probably know this already but it is Chinese new year on Saturday 28 Jan. CX260 _is_ available in F on 27 and 28 Jan.

Can you get to FRA? CX288 is showing F4 A4 J9 C9 for 26 Jan, and the best seat in the house 2A is still available, but is currently not showing availability in F, although at this stage it could easily change considering load. Like the CX260 ex CDG, CX288 is available on 27 and 28 Jan in F.

Lussac Jan 21, 17 10:55 am

Thanks for that, seems we chose the wrong date to travel but it had to tie up with accommodation that was available in our final destination in NZ and to give us a few days in HK on the way. There's two of us travelling but will check those out too.

Orwaid Jan 21, 17 12:52 pm

Hi -

I always thought the reason they don't have F on Australian routes is that they are capacity constrained as to the # of flights they can offer. By putting in frames with no F, they can have more seats to sell.

rufflesinc Jan 21, 17 5:08 pm


Originally Posted by jdtravels (Post 27795850)
I don't know about F, but certainly in J, a lot around the term break periods. Paid for by the parents of course. Hong Kong is a very strange market.

oh I'm sure plenty of people of all ages buy J for cash.

The reason I bring up the F seats in advance question is coming off of the CX thread in the AS forum. Someone mentioned grabbing 2F awards at the window and I checked my currently interested routes and there are dates 6+ months out that are F4 already. So either 2 awards or at least one cash seat.

QRC3288 Jan 21, 17 5:43 pm


Originally Posted by Orwaid (Post 27797102)
Hi -

I always thought the reason they don't have F on Australian routes is that they are capacity constrained as to the # of flights they can offer. By putting in frames with no F, they can have more seats to sell.

It's indeed capacity constrained, but look at it this way.

For the past 6+ years, CX has had a plethora of B744s laying around prior to ultimate retirement. That was an F-equipped plane. It was also CX's largest-capacity long-haul plane. Obviously, it wasnt as efficient as the new birds which is why it ultimately was retired. But if Australia is this potentially overlooked, remarkable source of high or even reasonably-yielding F pax, that bird could've been deployed and retirement delayed to fly Aussie routes. CX's 74K was a wonderfully balance plane with a huge capacity for economy passengers but also more premium seats than 77G. Not to mention, it has 9 F seats. Of course, CX elected to sit these birds on the tarmac half the day at HKG and then ultimately retired them all. They never served SYD regularly again after getting pulled off in the late 2000s a decade ago. Obviously this is a blunt point. But if F yields were really eye popping or somehow it would fertilize other revenue sources for connecting F traffic (LHR, JFK, etc.), then this could've been launched. Some airlines, namely British and maybe a few others, have pushed back retirement for their B744s due to them still making economic sense to serve a certain market. I'm sure CX reviewed all the options - including SYD - prior to deciding to retire them, and still leave SYD without F.

I just don't think decisions like this happen by accident. Our food on board, we complain. Lounges, we praise. And these soft things, the airlines kinda move blindly forward and gauge our reception. But route and fleet management, combined with yield - there are reams of hard data to support this and they are reviewed pretty exhaustively IME. It's not pseudo science like the soft services. I am certain CX has a narrow range they can see what F yields would be to/from SYD and, for at least 10 years running, hasn't been compelling for CX to relaunch. It's not like us FTers have discovered something they have somehow overlooked. This IS possible for things like seat block, annoying Asia Miles policies, no salt and pepper shakers, etc etc etc. But for yield and revenue mgmt, the data available to these guys is extensive and they roughly know the numbers even before route launch. It's not like launching coffin class, or the regional biz seat, where CX likely thought they'd be successful but weren't. They have a darn good idea of the dollars and cents to SYD, seats per day, average yield per cabin (down to times of day), etc. It's not really wishy washy.

You can ask any airline mgmt, or industry folks who deal with revenue. Australia is an over-served premium market with extremely competitive (aka low) yields. Of course we don't know precisely why, but the prevailing theory that sounds reasonable to me - and I am somewhat parroting others who stare at airline revenue numbers for their full time job - that it's due to SQ fighting a battle to the death with ME carriers serving connecting Australia pax, primarily to Europe. This has been going on for nearly a decade. And I don't think it's a coincidence that CX F disappeared from Australia when the ME airline + SQ war for Australian F and J longhaul connecting dollars got underway. That's when F capacity got dumped onto the market.

QRC3288 Jan 21, 17 5:52 pm


Originally Posted by kamchatsky (Post 27795356)
It is other cities that you should be comparing with SYD. For example, ORD, BOS, are they have such strong F demand that requires F? I always read in FT that they are the easiest cities to get F awards. They take 2 frames per rotation too.

Whilst earlier argument of Australian economy being weak, I don't really buy it. For MXP, Italy's economy is an absolute basket case. Yet they still have F, and they take 2 77H frames too.

Of course ORD/BOS/MXP requires 777 due to the range required, you just cannot send A330 to it. But now with all these A350s coming, they should be considered as part of the deployment. Can ORD/BOS/MXP turn into A350 routes? A350 certainly have the range for it.

Yea, ORD seems hands down the easiest CX F destination to score F seats, and Bo's isn't bad either. It's a fair point.

Again, not about basket case economy (or really the economy at all), it's about supply. Australia has an absolute ton of F (and high end J) capacity thanks to EK, as well as QR and EY. So even if the economy is humming there is an upper bound to how many premium seats you can economically serve. Price comes down as capacity goes up.

I started another thread about what's gonna happen to the 77Ws as more A359s arrive. It's certainly interesting, and just out of pure interest I'm fascinated to see what CX does with them. For sure, some changes are in store. For speculation sake, my bet would be on SYD relaunching F under two conditions: 1) A359 replaces a few 77H destinations like you mention, and 2) there is some type of F capacity reduction by ME carriers to Australia.

Ausriver Jan 22, 17 1:10 am


Originally Posted by QRC3288 (Post 27798251)
Yea, ORD seems hands down the easiest CX F destination to score F seats, and Bo's isn't bad either. It's a fair point.

Again, not about basket case economy (or really the economy at all), it's about supply. Australia has an absolute ton of F (and high end J) capacity thanks to EK, as well as QR and EY. So even if the economy is humming there is an upper bound to how many premium seats you can economically serve. Price comes down as capacity goes up.

I started another thread about what's gonna happen to the 77Ws as more A359s arrive. It's certainly interesting, and just out of pure interest I'm fascinated to see what CX does with them. For sure, some changes are in store. For speculation sake, my bet would be on SYD relaunching F under two conditions: 1) A359 replaces a few 77H destinations like you mention, and 2) there is some type of F capacity reduction by ME carriers to Australia.


1 is likely to be happening very soon with more A350 delivered.
2 is not likely to happen unless EK & QF cease corporation.

hktramz Jan 22, 17 9:02 pm

I have myself and my mom booked on CX418 HKG-ICN on F after CNY...
It will be her first time on anything better than economy, so I really want to make sure it is smooth of stuff that I can control.

- Is CX playing roulette on this flight? Will it be swapped from 77W to other regional plane?
- Any difference between catering on F to J?
- Can I request for amenity kits if I ask nicely..?

Thanks,


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