Cathay Pacific Awards Now Bookable On American’s Website

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage

There are lots of things that contribute towards a great frequent flyer program. Obviously award redemption rates and award availability are both important, but there’s also something to be said for the ease with which you can search and book award seats.

American’s website is fairly good when it comes to searching award availability. Their website is my favorite for searching space for the airlines that they do display, given that you can search nonstop award availability on any partner that they display for a month at a time (at least this is the case when you’re using the old version of their website — the new version of the website is awful).

The catch is that American doesn’t show all partner airlines online. Fortunately this is something they’ve been working on. In May they added online award bookings on Etihad, in July they added online award bookings on Japan Airlines, and now they’ve added yet another partner to aa.com.

You Can Now Book Cathay Pacific Awards On AA.com

American Airlines has just added award redemptions on Cathay Pacific to aa.com. However, in order to see this you have to click on the “Advanced/Multi-city search” button at the bottom of aa.com, and then search from there.

That’s quite a positive development, and means there are only a few airlines remaining that they don’t display availability for online.

Cathay Pacific is one of my favorite AAdvantage partners, so I’d consider this to be good news.

Cathay Pacific A350 business class

Redeeming American Miles On Cathay Pacific

American has a zone based award chart, with the same pricing for all partners. Here are the one-way award prices for some popular markets in which you can fly Cathay Pacific:

  • US to Asia 2 — 37,500 miles economy, 70,000 miles business, 110,000 miles first
  • Asia 2 to Asia 1 — 20,000 miles economy, 30,000 miles business, 40,000 miles first
  • Asia 2 to South Pacific — 30,000 miles economy, 40,000 miles business

Here’s everything you need to know about earning American miles through credit cards.

One other option worth mentioning is redeeming Alaska miles for travel on Cathay Pacific. They have lower redemption rates and even allow stopovers, so you could fly from the US to Hong Kong, have a stopover, and then continue to somewhere else.

Here’s everything you need to know about earning Alaska miles through credit cards.

Cathay Pacific A350-1000

The Double Edged Sword Of Online Award Bookings

While I’m generally excited about this development, I do think it’s worth mentioning that making award availability easier to search makes the research process easier for everyone, though it’s arguably not good for savvy consumers.

That’s because it means that these limited award seats can more easily be found by more people, and that increases the competition for these seats.

Most people don’t even realize you can redeem American miles on Cathay Pacific, and for that matter wouldn’t even know how to search space themselves.

So there’s a tradeoff between the space being easier to search, and there now being more competition for those seats.

Cathay Pacific’s first class lounge Hong Kong

Bottom Line

All things considered I appreciate an airline that makes it easy to redeem miles through their website, so I commend American for this move. However, it’s not all good news, as there will no doubt be more competition for these seats now.

At this point there are very few American Airlines partners that can’t be booked on aa.com.

Are you happy to see American add Cathay Pacific redemptions online?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. The new award search tool is unspeakably bad. Basically unusable. Is there a way to use the old tool still? Sometimes the old one pops up and sometimes the new one does, but I’m not sure how to ensure that it is the old tool always.

  2. “At this point there are very few American Airlines partners that can’t be booked on aa.com.”

    Please list them. TY, Ben.

  3. Is there anyway to find 2 seats in F, I’ve been trying for months, but even 330+ out, I can never find more than one. I booked one in J & F through alaska thinking that a second F might open up, but never did.

  4. @Ryan @CR I am glad neither of you is in charge of an airline rewards program. Having a program that requires people to do more research and digging in order to use their miles is not customer-friendly and not respectful of our valuable free time.

    Time is money. I would rather pay some more AA miles to be able to book an award on CX quickly than spend hours looking up availability to pay fewer miles. Just how many more miles one is willing to pay for this customer-friendly convenience varies on how much one values his free time.

  5. @NewtoMiles, CX typically only opens 1 F seat per flight in advance. They may release a second seat around 72 hours prior to scheduled flight time.

  6. I agree — this is a lucky change for those of us have lots of miles but not a lot of time; it not a lucky change for the Lucky’s of the world.

  7. I prefer it this way. There’s nothing more frustrating than searching on BA, finding space, pulling an itinerary together, spending an hour on hold waiting for the mileage desk to book a ticket, just to find out the space was phantom.

    Second, we keep getting told that few people actually want to fly international premium cabins, that those of us who want to do so are in the minority. So perhaps the “increased competition” is more bluster than reality.

    Third, it’s only a matter of time before partner J seats become dynamically priced, putting them out of reach for most of us anyway.

  8. I won’t fly Cathay again because they’ve been firing air crew for supporting or participating in lawful protests in Hong Kong. Cathay’s Beijing’s masters are not mine.

  9. Great news! Lot of us weren’t aware of using AA miles on Cathay. Flew using BA avios but not the boatloads of AA miles…

  10. I think this is nothing but good news. If you can get an award booking and not have to wait on hold or do the “call back” routine to get an agent that knows their product, so much the better.

    FWIW, just a few minutes ago I did a search and did not have to do the Advanced option.

  11. Been waiting for this CX feature for many years! So glad as I visit SE Asia a lot! The CX Avios US sectors are so expensive and need so many points. The AA is high miles but 110,000 for FC CX @$70 is amazing! Held it this morning with AAdvantage miles LAX-BKK and booked return with expiring Krisfkyer SQ points BKK-LAX biz class! Traveling in off season June into July.. thanks Lucky!
    RE

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