February 14, 2018
Booking Cathay Pacific First Class Award Seats Just Got Harder
Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific offers a fantastic First Class experience for travelers visiting Asia. I’ve already explained how to book these award tickets using Alaska Airlines miles, American Airlines miles, and Cathay Pacific miles. Redeeming Alaska miles has traditionally been the best value. You can fly from North America to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, or India in First Class for just 70,000 miles ones way.
The only caveat is that Cathay typically releases just one First Class award ticket to partner airlines well in advance. Once that award seat is booked, Cathay releases additional award seats about 48 hours before departure. That means the easiest time to book Cathay First Class, and the only way to book more than one seat, is within 48 hours of departure.
Alaska Airlines changed their award booking policy for Cathay Pacific, Japan airlines, and Hainan airlines a few days ago. Alaska no longer allows members to book awards on those airlines within 72 hours of departure. This makes it nearly impossible to book Cathay First Class with Alaska miles since Cathay releases those seats 48 hours before departure.
Overall this is very frustrating news for miles and points junkies. You’ll either have to get very lucky to find award space bookable with Alaska miles, or redeem a lot more miles through American or Cathay’s frequent flyer programs.
Images Courtesy of Cathay Pacific