Chances of non-regional business class?

Old Feb 24, 19, 3:15 pm
  #1  
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Chances of non-regional business class?

Bit of a backstory; originally meant to be flying LHR-DPS directly with GA on 21st March, before they decided to cancel the flight.

I managed to get rebooked onto CX, instead of GA's much longer 2-stop itinerary they originally suggested.

252 on 21/3 looks relatively comparable to business class on GA, however I'm a bit disappointed 785 on 22/3 is currently showing as regional business class (pushing it a bit on a 5hr+ flight). If I'd have known this, I'd have likely tried (and failed) to move the booking to QR.

I've noticed that 785 is on the full lie flat business class - so I wondered if it's pot luck? If the allocated aircraft is generally accurate? Or if I've still got a chance of getting a lie flat type product that I'd originally booked..
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Old Feb 24, 19, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by noggin2k1 View Post
I've noticed that 785 is on the full lie flat business class
*on some other dates (just not mine)
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:25 pm
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@noggin2k1

Welcome to FT! (basically...2 posts before these). And great questions.

1.) I just pulled the numbers from FR24, as I wind my way through seemingly endless traffic this morning...
In 54 flights in 2019 so far (somehow I missed one...there were 55):
Shorthaul J: 43
33P: 20
772Z: 5
73Z/77P: 18

Longhaul J: 11
33E: 4
33K: 1
77H/A: 5
77G/K: 1

You can see what is what at the link, including what all abbreviations mean. 77H/77A are actually F-class equipped planes, fyi. In the good ole days 747 almost always flew this route and F seats were assigned to elites. Those good ole days are gone, however given how often this route sees regional birds. Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon Fleet, Route and Configuration Guide. For your purposes caring about J class, 77G/77K, 77H/77A, and 73Z/77P are the same thing. The differences between those birds are only in Y class.

2.) DPS is not considered medium haul, I think is the longest "short-haul" route. That means regional bird highly likely. Medium haul destinations like CMB, MLE, DEL, BOM, MAA, HYD, DXB, CNS and PER all have "guaranteed' long-haul J, although some unfortunate equipment swaps have occurred to India lately. All this is also in the link above.

3.) Equipment swaps are rampant at CX. So if you have a long-haul bird it could swap to a short haul, and vice versa, sometimes multiple times before departure up until the hour before the flight. Overall it looks like a much greater chance of short-haul bird on this route. I didn't check which days have a higher chance but if you're really bored perhaps you can do that.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:29 pm
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I once redeemed reward seats on 785/784 360 days earlier and it showed 773. Look forward to the famous equipment swap of CX but it never happened. So I donít think there is a high chance for you unfortunately.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:56 pm
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Seems only CX548/9, CX619/716/759/712 & CX565/6 have guaranteed long haul J. Other short haul routes are not guaranteed.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by A330343X View Post
Seems only CX548/9, CX619/716/759/712 & CX565/6 have guaranteed long haul J. Other short haul routes are not guaranteed.
This isn't totally correct, unfortunately. It's less than that.

Just to be clear, the routes I've highlighted in your post do not have guaranteed long-haul J. (there are a few others you're missing too, like daily PEK, occasionally CGK, etc.) Allow me to explain. Yes, they are loaded in the schedule. Yes, the schedule usually holds. Yes, they might have longhaul product now and recently and into the future on the schedule. But what happens is seasonally, things change, and all of a sudden flights that had guaranteed J do not anymore. 3-6 months yes there is some predictability, although I caution even if things look regular, even if the schedule is loaded, the only thing you can 100% guarantee is CX548/549. Routes/flight numbers people thought were guaranteed in the past (NRT, ICN, PEK, SGN, KIX, TPE, NRT, PEK, CGK, BKK, SIN, there are probably more) suddenly aren't, or then they are again. Especially for the award bookers on here, which seem to be a lot of people and booking farther out in the schedule, you cannot guarantee any of the flight numbers you said will have long haul except for CX548/CX549.

The only safe thing you can hang your hat on, if you're booking now or making assumptions about future flights, into future scheduling periods is that CX548/CX549 have long-haul product. And the reason for this is simple: CX is committed to offering at least once daily F class to Tokyo, and all F class planes have long-haul J. The F class airport used to be NRT a long time ago, but once HND slots opened up the "guaranteed" airport for F class has been HND. Everything else you cannot hang your hat, unfortunately. Sadly, HND even used to two have two daily F flights but that has since been reduced to just one.

Many of the peopls on here are very familiar with Cx. It's true, you can make very smart bets on which planes will have longhaul J and keep regional F. (to the Osaka flight, that has had very high variance in the past, fyi. Years ago it had F, then it had regional J, then long-haul J, back to regional J, and now long-haul J again). But I'm saying overall, nothing is truly guaranteed except CX548/549.

Ultimately it is demand for cash F class that guarantees a route having long-haul J, nothing more. And only Tokyo has demanded this continuously without fail for years/decade. I have indeed heard PEK and sometimes PVG have solid demand for cash F fares, but the "problem" is KA has an F class too, and CX in a somewhat shady move can sell KA "F" (8 seats, long-haul J on CX) at the same price. And then use more dense CX birds if they have extra J and Y demand. BUt those are special cases because they are dual KA/CX destinations. Generally speaking continuous F O&D cash demand = long-haul J guarantee regionally. Unfortunately for a decade or longer, the only city to satisfy this continuously is Tokyo.

Last edited by QRC3288; Feb 24, 19 at 10:25 pm
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Old Feb 25, 19, 12:54 am
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Are any of the KA flights with F guaranteed? e.g. KA900, the early flight to PEK?
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Old Feb 25, 19, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by zeltergiset View Post
Are any of the KA flights with F guaranteed? e.g. KA900, the early flight to PEK?
yes, all KA flights to PEK are guaranteed. KA has a subfleet 33R which has F in it. It's a proper F product, although the seats are same bones as CX longhaul J. Still considerably better than regional J.
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Old Feb 25, 19, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by QRC3288 View Post
This isn't totally correct, unfortunately. It's less than that.

Just to be clear, the routes I've highlighted in your post do not have guaranteed long-haul J. (there are a few others you're missing too, like daily PEK, occasionally CGK, etc.) Allow me to explain. Yes, they are loaded in the schedule. Yes, the schedule usually holds. Yes, they might have longhaul product now and recently and into the future on the schedule. But what happens is seasonally, things change, and all of a sudden flights that had guaranteed J do not anymore. 3-6 months yes there is some predictability, although I caution even if things look regular, even if the schedule is loaded, the only thing you can 100% guarantee is CX548/549. Routes/flight numbers people thought were guaranteed in the past (NRT, ICN, PEK, SGN, KIX, TPE, NRT, PEK, CGK, BKK, SIN, there are probably more) suddenly aren't, or then they are again. Especially for the award bookers on here, which seem to be a lot of people and booking farther out in the schedule, you cannot guarantee any of the flight numbers you said will have long haul except for CX548/CX549.

The only safe thing you can hang your hat on, if you're booking now or making assumptions about future flights, into future scheduling periods is that CX548/CX549 have long-haul product. And the reason for this is simple: CX is committed to offering at least once daily F class to Tokyo, and all F class planes have long-haul J. The F class airport used to be NRT a long time ago, but once HND slots opened up the "guaranteed" airport for F class has been HND. Everything else you cannot hang your hat, unfortunately. Sadly, HND even used to two have two daily F flights but that has since been reduced to just one.

Many of the peopls on here are very familiar with Cx. It's true, you can make very smart bets on which planes will have longhaul J and keep regional F. (to the Osaka flight, that has had very high variance in the past, fyi. Years ago it had F, then it had regional J, then long-haul J, back to regional J, and now long-haul J again). But I'm saying overall, nothing is truly guaranteed except CX548/549.

Ultimately it is demand for cash F class that guarantees a route having long-haul J, nothing more. And only Tokyo has demanded this continuously without fail for years/decade. I have indeed heard PEK and sometimes PVG have solid demand for cash F fares, but the "problem" is KA has an F class too, and CX in a somewhat shady move can sell KA "F" (8 seats, long-haul J on CX) at the same price. And then use more dense CX birds if they have extra J and Y demand. BUt those are special cases because they are dual KA/CX destinations. Generally speaking continuous F O&D cash demand = long-haul J guarantee regionally. Unfortunately for a decade or longer, the only city to satisfy this continuously is Tokyo.
One addition to this excellent post. Most CX longhaul ac used on regional routes are arriiving from a longhaul origin in the morning and leave for a longhaul destination in the evening.
If there are delays on arrival of that ac in the morning it will be substituted by a regional ac. They might also delay the regional flight a bit if needed.. It is a complex game to assign many longhaul frames to many regional routes; CX has a big team (and IT programs) to do it depending on punctuality of arriving ac. DPS is a long return flight and the ac has to be back for its evening longhaul departure. Hence it is at more risk of last minute sub.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 6:22 pm
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Thanks all for the comments on this - canít say Iím overly hopeful of getting the better seats.

annoyance is that all 785ís before and after our flight have the ďproperĒ 1-2-1 business class config A333ís... ah well!
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Old Mar 2, 19, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by noggin2k1 View Post
Thanks all for the comments on this - canít say Iím overly hopeful of getting the better seats.

annoyance is that all 785ís before and after our flight have the ďproperĒ 1-2-1 business class config A333ís... ah well!
Their big rival on the route is HX with two daily on A330. There are rumors that they will cede some of their A330 soon.
If HX flights are cancelled, be ready for CX to use a high-density ac on the route. So even the other days might get your regional ac.
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Old Mar 3, 19, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by noggin2k1 View Post
Thanks all for the comments on this - canít say Iím overly hopeful of getting the better seats.

annoyance is that all 785ís before and after our flight have the ďproperĒ 1-2-1 business class config A333ís... ah well!
Think it this way ó Those days with 1-2-1 are a lot more likely to have last min equipment change, and disappointment, than yours
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Old Mar 3, 19, 1:44 am
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non regional business on regional route on a thin route?
low...
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Old Mar 3, 19, 2:45 am
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I thought the sweet spot for long haul equipment on regional routes are medium-length regionals like KIX and SGN still operated on CX metal:

TPE: planes make multiple turnarounds, Low
PEK/PVG/FUK/KUL: KA, no
SGN/KIX/NGO: most prevalent - ideal length and load
BKK: probably but may need regional for more capacity?
SIN/NRT: same as BKK/KIX but less due to length?
CTS, DPS: too long. Risk that the long-haul equipment don't return to HKG in time for night depatures.

All in all, getting long-haul in regional does not occur according to our needs (CX isn't Marxist), it occurs if it works for CX.
And it occurs if scheduling and loads allows it.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by percysmith View Post
I thought the sweet spot for long haul equipment on regional routes are medium-length regionals like KIX and SGN still operated on CX metal:

TPE: planes make multiple turnarounds, Low
PEK/PVG/FUK/KUL: KA, no
SGN/KIX/NGO: most prevalent - ideal length and load
BKK: probably but may need regional for more capacity?
SIN/NRT: same as BKK/KIX but less due to length?
CTS, DPS: too long. Risk that the long-haul equipment don't return to HKG in time for night depatures.

All in all, getting long-haul in regional does not occur according to our needs (CX isn't Marxist), it occurs if it works for CX.
And it occurs if scheduling and loads allows it.
Interesting point.
I wonder what is the "optimal" length for longhaul routes.
BKK sees a lot of those birds scheduled, except for the late BKK departures. That's 8 hours (including 30 min for embarking/disembarking).
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