Huge Savings On Cathay Pacific First Class With Gilt

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Great Deals

Cathay Pacific first class is one of my all-around favorite first class products in the world. From the fantastic bed (among the best in the sky), to great food & drinks (caviar & Krug, what more can you really want?), to generally excellent service, it’s a very well rounded and consistent first class product.


Unfortunately redeeming miles for it is getting progressively more difficult and expensive:


The normal retail cost of Cathay Pacific first class between the US and Asia is somewhere around $15,000-30,000 roundtrip, which is insane.


While it’s by no means cheap, Gilt is launching a promotion today for discounted Cathay Pacific first class tickets. The promotion isn’t live as of the time of me writing this, but it should go live very shortly. Gilt promotions often sell out pretty quickly, so if you’re interested you’ll probably want to hop on it ASAP.

Through this promotion, you can book a Cathay Pacific first class ticket between the US and Hong Kong for $5,000 roundtrip.


For $5,000 you receive:

  • One roundtrip ticket between the US and Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific first class (eligible gateways include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco)
  • A $500 Gilt shopping credit

Here are the basic details you need to know about the promotion:

  • Valid for bookings through December 31, 2015, though you should be able to travel on subsequent dates, best I can tell
  • Flights must originate inĀ Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, orĀ San Francisco, and terminate in Hong Kong
  • There’s no minimum stay, though there’s a maximum stay of six months
  • A $200 change or cancellation fee applies per booking
  • The terms state that this fare isn’t eligible for mileage accrual with Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program or American’s AAdvantage program (I’m not sure if it’s an oversight or not, but that still leaves lots of other programs to credit those flights to, like Alaska Mileage Plan)
  • These tickets are subject to availability; it hasn’t yet been revealed which fare class availability is coming out of, though frankly I doubt they’re selling too many of these, and therefore I doubt they’ll be too restrictive; my guess would be that availability comes out of the “A” fare bucket, but I could be wrong


Hopefully we’ll know more once the promotion goes live, but I actually think this could prove to be quite a good deal. Would I rather redeem 135,000 American miles for a roundtrip ticket in Cathay Pacific first class? Of course! But those are largely only available last minute.

$5,000 is a lot of money, but is also a huge discount over the normal paid first class price, and in most cases this is still significantly cheaper than paying for business class. So if availability is good and you’re someone who would otherwise pay cash for a premium cabin, this deal is excellent, in my opinion.


Assuming availability is good, would you consider paying $5,000 for Cathay Pacific first class?

  1. “Flights are not eligible for accrual of Asia Miles & AAdvantage Miles”
    “limited number of seats”
    “subject to availability and offered on a first-come, first serve basis”

    Sort of sounds, just as “bad” as trying to redeem 135,000 Miles. And, if you can’t redeem the miles; you just “sit on them.” Instead of having handed over $5,000 that is non-refundable, and final sale.

    But, perhaps, the other issue is this is valid ONLY for flights to Hong Kong.

    Just seems like “sort of” a risky proposition. Personally, I am fine with them requiring you book by the 31st of December. I just feel they should refund the purchase if you can’t find availability.

  2. Lucky – can you comment on the incremental ‘wow’ between Cathay’s First and Business? With next year’s changes to American, I’m now on points budget. I think Business is worth 100% more points than economy. But is First worth 100% more points than Business? worth 50% more?

  3. Appreciate the heads’ up but no mileage earning = no thanks.

    As airlines are moving towards earning “miles” based upon revenue, there is now zero excuse for a revenue fare to not earn any miles, even those fares that are “deeply discounted,” at least IMO.

    But a good fare for sure. šŸ™‚

  4. @Andy – Nice catch, I would have never noticed that (I also wouldn’t go to the promotion through this link anyway).

  5. Andy/Nick – who cares? Ben provides entertainment/enjoyment, why cant he earn a commission if someone clicks the link? (i am thinking about booking a trip to Cambodia next spring and am highly considering this). It’s not as though his link sells $5k tickets where other links sell $4k tickets.

    And if he can’t make money off his blog he’d have to go be an accountant or something lame. Lose/lose for us all.

  6. @Alex – I don’t think anyone said they cared, it was just being pointed out as surprising. I don’t fault the guy for making some $$ and he disclosed it at the top.

  7. Well, one can get a tiny number of miles.

    (1) First, buy Gilt gift certificates on ebay, getting perhaps 5000 miles if one goes through an airline shopping portal (plus, one should get something like $100 eBay bucks.

    (2) Second, for the actual purchase, go through a shopping portal to get a mile per dollar spent, or up to 6 cents per dollar if purchased through ebates.

    Still too rich for my blood

  8. Lame. Lucky is cool and somewhat genius, but really innately lame. Taking pictures, planning ahead, complaining, all this shit about everything else…..Cathay is the best. I love Cathay Pacific. I’ve been saying that forever. To read a dumb paragraph about blah blah blah it being such a good product is so lame.
    I want to start my own site.
    I like him explaining the deal, that’s good and interesting to a lot of people, but looks like it also was published after the deal was sold out. Either way, it seems like the real story is that no one should take for granted good deals. They doubled the mileage cost for first class! It is like Jetblue. IT was SUCH a good deal for so long. I cry thinking about how much traveling I should have done. It took me an almost free ticket from JFK to LAX to get my butt in gear. Like seriously?
    This is how good it was: I was crying waiting to get on the rental car shuttle to go to the airport.
    If you have a little extra income…you can do so much with it. Stuff is really so cheap.
    I think of people paying real rent to live in crappy places…
    What is really expensive is the time you think you don’t have that you waste being at the office. I can only think for a sliver of a second about how valuable that time would be if one gets older and or sick.
    I say smoke’em if you got them, and don’t be afraid to give a few smokes to others. It is really rewarding.

  9. Lucky … I am flying with my husband from Miami to Singapore on April 2016 and back. As of now I am booked from Miami to LA on American (economy) and on Cathay from LA to Singapore (premium economy). My plan is to upgrade both to business with AA miles (30,000 per passanger) for the AA flght and with Amex membership points (30,000) for the CX flight when my tickets are issued in December 2015.

    Is there a better way to do this?

    Many thanks



    Thank you in advance


  10. Lucky,
    I think a better question is why is Cathay doing this type of offer? Are they so desperate to sell First class seats this way? I know this revenue amount is way higher than they get from AA for award seats. But, again why?

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