Cathay Pacific Business Class Awards Are Back To Normal

Several days ago I wrote about a strange trend with Cathay Pacific business class award availability. Historically Cathay Pacific has been pretty good about making business class award seats available, both far in advance and also close to departure. However, over the past several weeks that has changed.

Some significant changes were made to the Cathay Pacific Asia Miles program as of June 22, 2018, so based on the timing I had wondered if there was any connection between the lack of award availability and the new program. It’s one thing if the airline stopped releasing as many award seats in advance, but I found it especially strange that even last minute they weren’t releasing award seats when there were lots of unsold seats.

What’s also strange is that they started using married segment logic for awards. In other words, awards were available if you wanted to book a seat from Taipei to Hong Kong to New York, but not if booking the same flight just from Hong Kong to New York. They use this type of logic for revenue tickets (as do many airlines), though I was surprised to see Cathay Pacific implement this for award tickets as well.

I reached out to Cathay Pacific to see if they could investigate and they said they were looking into it, though as of now I haven’t heard back. There’s some good news on that front.

It looks like Cathay Pacific is once again releasing business class award seats as usual (without married segment logic), which is fantastic news. Cathay Pacific isn’t limiting this award space to members of their own program, but partner airline members should have access to it as well, so you can use miles from Alaska Mileage Plan, American AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, etc.

Cathay Pacific isn’t quite as generous as they were back in the day, when they’d typically release five business class seats per flight when the schedule opened, but overall I’d say availability is once again solid.

Yay!

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Yes, I’ve noticed the same thing, thank goodness they have gotten over their IT dramas and all the conspiracy theorists can relax and focus on something else.

  2. trying to find TLV – HKG space, not seeing A N Y space, and I’ve searched a lot of dates
    I really want to book the cheap Asia-Asia award on Alaska
    Help anyone?
    Thanks

  3. Business class flights within Asia are non-existent so I’d say they’re still having the issue. No, it’s not cleared up, not at all.

  4. @Chatter
    He said this in the article:

    “Cathay Pacific isn’t limiting this award space to members of their own program, but partner airline members should have access to it as well, so you can use miles from Alaska Mileage Plan”

  5. @Nick
    You can use Alaska Miles on CX. BUT Alaska’s website won’t show any space. You have to call Alaska to book CX awards.

  6. Anyone have any idea why the BA app has been useless for these flights over the last month. Shows nothing and comes up with each day in a big hodgepodge.

    Alternatively is there another way to search for these flights on an iPhone? I don’t think it’s possible on qantas (I could be wrong)

  7. Lucky the only way to get any intra-Asia award availability to show is via married segments. So its still an issue.

  8. This is far from fixed. Intra Asia awards are still not working — nor any ex-HKG awards.

    Grrrrrrr

  9. On the contrary, I’m seeing CX F availability on BA.com and nothing on asiamiles. Tried calling Alaska to book and they couldn’t see the space. Something is definitely still wonky.

  10. Lucky, you need to stop using only JFK- HKG flights as a proxy for CX award availability. I suspect CX has figured out that US bloggers only look at this flight. For some reason this flight always has tons of availability but this is just not true for many other flights. When searching HKG-YVR (admittedly this has always been bad), the only flights that are ever available are HKG-JFK-YVR. This connection certainly makes no sense for non-NYC based people but this shows that somehow HKG-JFK has more availability.

    Please check other flights (e.g., west coast or Europe to HKG) and you will see that availability is still poor.

  11. @Nick – Chris is spot on! Alaska has cheap rates but you can’t book on their site. Lookup on BA and then call Alaska. Good luck!

  12. I am still unable to find anything from SIN to HKG and therefore nothing from SIN to JFK or ORD or EWR or BOS etc

  13. NOTHING in J or F for the whole Oct JFK-HKG. Sporadic dates have PE and only on one or two flights when this route has 3 to 4 daily flights.

    This is NOT a historical pattern.

  14. With BA, I am seeing award availability throughout the year eg. flights with availability in all 3 classes from HKG to TPE in July and August , as well as June next year, so availability out of HKG, at least for TPE is as per usual. Flights HKG-SFO have availability in all 4 classes around +320-330 days, haven’t looked for more. Reasonable availability for Y, PE and J for HKG-FRA about +310 days. Good availability HKG-ADL for plenty of dates. In general looking like pretty normal for the flights I tend to check, taking into account the big block of bookings people put through in May and early June in advance of the Asiamiles changes.
    Perhaps it just needs time for equilibrium to be reached when people cancel their prospective bookings and the overall loading of award flights balances out.

  15. I just called AA to book to SE Asia, but they said that all award reservations connecting through HKG were currently blocked in all classes of service. I didn’t see availability on the BA site either.

  16. I don’t see any availability from IAD to BOM around last week of dec or 1st week of jan. Checked BA and QANTAS.

  17. Sorry, but this is what happens when bloggers get lazy and just do a glorified re-tweet of other’s already-sloppy-and-lazy “research”. CX availability on many routes is still not being released to partners despite there being Standard-level awards for AM members.

  18. Same issue here.. married segments ie CAN-HKG-SIN showing plenty of availability but this goes to zero when searching for HKG-SIN. I still don’t know if this is actual availability or if it’s an issue with BA’s booking entonces (our primary source for award info).

    I agree that there needs to be more reasearch done before a hard statement is published

  19. Agree with Tai – availability from LHR and Oz has often been very poor, I’ve found CX to have some of the stingiest availability going whenever I’ve checked!

  20. Also agree with Tai and Alan. Iam a Diamond Club member and searched J class availability from Sydney and from Hong Kong for the next 10 months which is virtuallyzero especially standard rates of which there is none at all.From other comments made here it would seem CX are penalizing their own loyal supporters based in Australia and Hong Kong given partner airlines have availability. It is time to change loyalty as the airline seems to be destroying the trust of its members not once but over and over.

  21. Managed to book two business class seats JFK to HKG then HKG to SYD yesterday with CX. Very happy camper!
    The best I could do previously was home via Shanghai on China Eastern and reading about Chinese pilots vaping and smoking on flights made me a bit nervous.

  22. Managed to book business HKG-DEL through Alaska with lots of availability showing up on BA’s Site

  23. After reading this 2 weeks ago, I checked briefly that there were availabilities ex-EUR to HKG. But now they evaporate once again. Is there still availability? I’m using Qmiles btw.

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