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Cathay Pacific - Can I take an earlier flight on award ticket?

Cathay Pacific - Can I take an earlier flight on award ticket?

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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:53 am
  #1  
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Cathay Pacific - Can I take an earlier flight on award ticket?

Hi - I have an award ticket on hold at AA. Jan 18 2019 EWR-HKG layover-BKK with Bangkok being my final destination.

I arrive in HK about 550 AM and so far, I can only get a 225 (1425) afternoon departure from HKG-BKK which is a LONG 8-1/2 hr layover. I will then not arrive at my hotel until late evening, losing my first day completely.

HKG-BKK is a Dragon Air flight. There are many morning flights from HKG-BKK, but on Jan 18 EWR departure, I have been trying for more than a month and it hasn't been available for this date for AWARD travel, but has been available on the Jan 19 from EWR (Jan 20 from HKG).

I am traveling solo. Once I arrive at HKG, if there is space on a morning flight from BKK-HKG, will Cathay or Dragon allow me to take the earlier flight on the same day, without an extra charge? I am a Marco Polo member using an Asia Miles member number, but have NO miles earned. Since AA issued this award ticket, I think I was told only AA can change it? If this is correct, do I have to go to AA at HKG airport/

I had asked Cathay on the phone and they said no on an award ticket (which is issued via AA).

Does anyone know if it can be done, and if so, when and where do I request it?

Thanks for your help.​​​​

Bob

Last edited by magicbob; Oct 30, 18 at 11:01 am Reason: clarify not a Marco Polo member
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:50 am
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I've not been successful when it's a partner-issued award, with the exception of HKG-PVG. With CX issued award flights, I've had some successes and some denied changes.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 11:59 am
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HKG-BKK is operated by Cathay Pacific (CX) and I believe for AA award tickets they’re pretty strict with rebooking or changing flights at all - even for a fee. Although there is no harm in asking on arrival for the switch, but be prepared for that layover in HKG.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:02 pm
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Have you or anyone here tried calling AA from HKG and having AA change the departure time, if available?
As that is what AA tells me needs to be done.
How about requesting to having your luggage released to you at HKG, in case an earlier flight opens?
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
I arrive in HK about 550 AM and so far, I can only get a 225 (1425) afternoon departure from HKG-BKK which is a LONG 8-1/2 hr layover. I will then not arrive at my hotel until late evening, losing my first day completely.
The arrival time into BKK for this flight is 4.30pm. How is this losing your day completely?

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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:16 pm
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I have to get my luggage, wait and clear customs, then buy and have the seller set up my sim card. Last time I bought my sim at a Thai 7-11 per my hotels suggestions and spent days trying to have them get it to work so will not make this mistake again.

I expect to be out of the airport between 600 and 700pm. Then about an hour for my Grab to pick me up and arrive at my hotel. So hotel eta 7-8pm. Check in, unpack, light bite to eat, then go to sleep.

Therein goes my day :-(
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
Have you or anyone here tried calling AA from HKG and having AA change the departure time, if available?
As that is what AA tells me needs to be done.
How about requesting to having your luggage released to you at HKG, in case an earlier flight opens?
AA cannot change the inventory CX released to partners itself, it has to be after CX release the seats for redemption. The recommendations come from the assumption that CX might offer last minute partner award seats depending on the load. I do find HKG - BKK forward cabins load fairly light, but not certain about Y.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
I have to get my luggage, wait and clear customs, then buy and have the seller set up my sim card. Last time I bought my sim at a Thai 7-11 per my hotels suggestions and spent days trying to have them get it to work so will not make this mistake again.

I expect to be out of the airport between 600 and 700pm. Then about an hour for my Grab to pick me up and arrive at my hotel. So hotel eta 7-8pm. Check in, unpack, light bite to eat, then go to sleep.

Therein goes my day :-(
They have kiosks at airport now to buy your sim. Easy.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
I have to get my luggage, wait and clear customs, then buy and have the seller set up my sim card. Last time I bought my sim at a Thai 7-11 per my hotels suggestions and spent days trying to have them get it to work so will not make this mistake again.

I expect to be out of the airport between 600 and 700pm. Then about an hour for my Grab to pick me up and arrive at my hotel. So hotel eta 7-8pm. Check in, unpack, light bite to eat, then go to sleep.

Therein goes my day :-(
If it's such a big deal to you, just do EWR-HKG on award, and buy a cash ticket HKG-BKK. Quite inexpensive to fly HKG-BKK. Just look for a cheap round-trip ticket on CX and either use the return, or throw it away.

As long as the ticket is on CX, you will be able to check your bags all the way through when you arrive at EWR. The fact they're separate tickets won't matter.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:37 pm
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I haven't booked CX using AA miles in a while because of the devaluation, but I believe AA doesn't charge change fee if you keep origin and destination the same and merely change to a different HKG-BKK flight. So I would do two things after booking the award ticket

1) keep an eye on award seats of the flight you want to change to. call AA when you see seats
2) if day of flight comes, you can also ask at EWR when you check-in if you can change to a different HKG-BKK flight.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
If it's such a big deal to you, just do EWR-HKG on award, and buy a cash ticket HKG-BKK. Quite inexpensive to fly HKG-BKK. Just look for a cheap round-trip ticket on CX and either use the return, or throw it away.

As long as the ticket is on CX, you will be able to check your bags all the way through when you arrive at EWR. The fact they're separate tickets won't matter.
Agree this is a good idea but OP will need to incur additional $150 to change his destination on AA, unless OP is AA EXP/CK, on top of cheap RT tix on CX.

Originally Posted by rufflesinc View Post
I haven't booked CX using AA miles in a while because of the devaluation, but I believe AA doesn't charge change fee if you keep origin and destination the same and merely change to a different HKG-BKK flight. So I would do two things after booking the award ticket

1) keep an eye on award seats of the flight you want to change to. call AA when you see seats
2) if day of flight comes, you can also ask at EWR when you check-in if you can change to a different HKG-BKK flight.
Also agree 1) is the necessary step, and I just checked BA - looks like earliest available flight is 1305 - so not much difference at this moment.

For 2), I doubt CX can do anything at EWR given AA is the ticket issuer.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 7:56 pm
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You checked Jan 18 ewr departure on BA? As I just checked 30 min back, and only the same 225pm and a later flight on Cathay.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 8:00 pm
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Not that cheap. $172 7:50 AM – 9:35 AM Thai Air one way. $136 if I want to wait until 11 something am. $248 on CX.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 8:03 pm
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This is what I have been doing over the past month, and the earlier flights are still not available and we're only 10 weeks out.

AA advised today they are not sure the AA ticket agents (and that is IF the AA check in windows are open since I'll be at the airport around 11-1130pm) can change award tickets. They suggested I call AA.

Has anyone had success with AA check in agents changing another airlines ticket that AA issued for award travel?

In HK, is the airport lounge and public areas wifi very strong that I can call AA on their US # using Google Voice? As I won't have a sim car yet.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
Not that cheap. $172 7:50 AM – 9:35 AM Thai Air one way. $136 if I want to wait until 11 something am. $248 on CX.
You cannot just get OW ticket, otherwise your entire itin will be cancelled by AA/CX (unless you change your flight to EWR - HKG, but will incur $150 as discussed above). RT HKG - BKK is about $200 in Y on CX.

Originally Posted by magicbob View Post
This is what I have been doing over the past month, and the earlier flights are still not available and we're only 10 weeks out.

AA advised today they are not sure the AA ticket agents (and that is IF the AA check in windows are open since I'll be at the airport around 11-1130pm) can change award tickets. They suggested I call AA.

Has anyone had success with AA check in agents changing another airlines ticket that AA issued for award travel?

In HK, is the airport lounge and public areas wifi very strong that I can call AA on their US # using Google Voice? As I won't have a sim car yet.
I changed my CX flight issued by AA earlier this year, very smooth with a competent AA agent - but that does not represent the norm in my experience. I would recommend you keep tracking.

HKG has free wifi.
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