Cathay Pacific frequently releases five Business Class and one First Class award seat on its flights between the United States and Hong Kong 11 months out. If you miss those, there are often up to two First Class and up to nine Business Class seats within a week of departure.
You can book these fantastically luxurious products with American Airlines miles and Alaska Airlines miles. Of the two, Alaska’s redemption prices are much better post-American Airlines’ devaluation.
- 70,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific Business Class
- 110,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class
- 50,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific Business Class
- 70,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class
Alaska’s prices are so cheap that Delta charges more miles to book Business Class to Asia than Alaska Airlines charges to book Cathay Pacific First Class.
Neither American nor Alaska Airlines charges fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific awards, you will only pay the standard taxes that apply to every award (plus $12.50 per one way when redeeming Alaska miles to fly a partner.)
How to Get Alaska Airlines Miles
25,000 Alaska miles is the public sign-up offer for both the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card. The personal card gives you the bonus upon signing up, and the business card after one purchase. Although this is planned to change in May, when the sign-up bonus for the personal card will increase to 30,000 Alaska miles after spending $1,000 within three months of the account opening.
There are other offers out there as well at the moment:
- Follow this specific link and you will find an offer for a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus plus a $100 statement credit for spending $1,000 within three months of opening the account. This card offer also includes the $75 annual fee like the public offers, but the statement credit is more than the annual fee.
- If you are a member of Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, their frequent flyer program, check your email. You might have a targeted offer for a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus for spending $2,000 waiting for you. If not, become a member and opt in to receive partner offers. This could help your chances for the targeted offer according to the opinon of some Flyertalkers.
And as far I can tell, all signs point to these cards still being churnable–for now.
Cathay Pacific Business Class is a stunner with fully flat 6’10” beds.
Cathay Pacific First Class is an even wider and more spacious bed, mixed with very personalized service, and great food. Here’s my trip report of Cathay Pacific First Class.
Award Space 11 Months Out
Alaska Airlines allows bookings 330 days out. Right now that means through March 24, 2017 according to alaskair.com’s calendar.
I searched Cathay Pacific’s American routes for award space on ba.com as it is not searchable on alaskaair.com (read this to learn how to search ba.com). I looked for availability on March 24, 2017 to see what space you can book 11 months out to Hong Kong. (Cathay Pacific space is available with Avios even further out than 330 days in advance, but almost all of that space is still available 11 months out.)
There are three Business Class seats on one flight, and one First Class seat on the same flight.
There are five Business Class seats on one flight and one First Class seat on two separate flights. These are the maximum amount of premium cabin award seats I’ve seen on any of Cathay Pacific’s American routes 11 months out.
It looks like five Business Class seats is Cathay Pacific’s pattern for releasing Business space 11 months out. No First Class seats are available on March 24, 2017 but there are First Class seats (up to one per flight) open on nearby dates.
Boston has five Business Class seats and one First Class seat available.
Note the different headings for the cabins–Newark does not have First Class cabins. It offers five Business Class seats like most of the Cathay Pacific American routes.
11 months out is the second best time to book Cathay Pacific award space between the United States and Asia. Many flights have five Business Class seats that you can book for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles each. Many flights have one First Class seat you can book for 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles each. But if you’re flexible, you’ll see even more award space open up right before departure.
Award Space Within a Week of Departure
If you miss booking space 11 months out, there is still space six months out, but it isn’t nearly as plentiful. I didn’t see any space in Business or First Class three months out.
If you have the flexibility to wait until the last minute, the best time to book Cathay Pacific award space is within a week of departure. They release more premium cabin award space close in to the travel date (up to nine Business Class Seats and two First Class seats) than they do 11 months out (five Business Class seats and one First Class seat). I took a look at award space today through a week from now in both directions on Cathay Pacific’s five American routes with First Class.
Note that days displayed below are not the only options within a week before departure, but they are the days with the most premium cabin space.
Up to nine seats in Business Class (on the flights that just say “Available” without a qualifier that only X seats are left), and up to two in First Class. That’s the most I’ve seen on any search so far.
There are seven Business Class seats open May 4 and one First Class seat May 5.
From Boston, there are two Business Class and two First Class seats available May 5.
There are three First Class seats from Hong Kong to Boston on May 2! This is the most seats (and only time) I’ve seen that many seats available for Cathay Pacific First Class. I do not think that is normal, although I would love to be proved wrong (anybody?). There are also five Business Class seats open on May 4.
Award space is better within a week of departure compared to any other time that I’ve seen, and it looks like it’s the only time you can book two people in First Class. You’ll have to tough it out in Business Class if you’re a party of two that can’t wait until the last minute to book.
Cathay Pacific Business and First Class are two of the most luxurious ways to get to Asia, and using Alaska Airlines miles is by far the cheapest way to book the premium cabins.
Cathay Pacific Business and First Class are widely available 11 months out. Think five Business Class seats and one First Class seat on most flights. Premium cabin space is even more available within a week of departure. Think one to nine Business Class seats and one or two First Class seats on some flights.------------------------------------------------------------
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.