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CX close-in award availability declining?
I’m going on my honeymoon in about a month, and some ten months ago or so I snagged two business class seats from JFK-HKG on CX. I was even luckier a few months later when on a whim I checked first class availability and was able to snag one seat in first on our flight. I know that close-in to departure they tend to release unsold first class seats to award inventory, and since I now only need one seat my odds are much greater.
Since I’m obsessed, I tend to check my flight to see how many seats they’re still selling in first, and it’s still at least four seats, so I’m keeping my hopes up, but I’m getting worried that I’m not seeing the same level of availability on flights that are a few days out. I used to be able to go onto the BA website and search for a first class seat on the JFK-HKG route for any time in the next few days and get numerous options, when I do the same now I’m lucky if I see one seat in first class open in the next few weeks.
There was talk earlier about CX changing their award program and limiting availability for partner miles so I’m especially nervous now. Has anyone noticed a similar trend? I really hope I don’t regret sticking my future wife up in front while I’m slumming it in business, haha.
It’s mainly that September/October is the peak time of year for business travel, so those seats aren’t going out empty, and thus aren’t being released to award inventory. The odds are still very good that space will open up for your trip (though not 100%, of course)!
I wouldn’t worry too much. Even though, as Tiffany mentioned, September/October are peak travel times for business over the last couple weeks I’ve seen as many a 3 F seats open within a few days of travel. I think you’ll be fine, especially since you already have one F seat and your flight is in November. Just remember to check frequently for space to open up, especially when you’re within 5 days or so from your departure.