November 29, 2017
How to Book Cathay Pacific First Class Using American Airlines Miles

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Cathay Pacific consistently ranks as one of the best First Class products out there. The First Class cabin on the Boeing 777 consists of just six seats laid out in a 1-1-1 configuration, ensuring quite a bit of privacy onboard. Passengers receive a seat which fully reclines into a bed, sparkling Krug champagne, Bose headphones, caviar, and fine dining at 40,000 feet. Save travelers can use several frequent flyer programs to book these seats instead of shelling out tens of thousands of dollars.

Image Courtesy of Cathay Pacific

Calculate How Many Miles You Need

You can use American Airlines miles to book Cathay Pacific award flights since they’re both part of the oneworld alliance. American adjusts its partner award chart from time to time, so be sure to check here to find the most recent award pricing. The exact number of miles you’ll need will vary based on the regions you’re flying between.

As you can see from the current chart, First Class partner flights between the United States and Asia Region 2 (which includes Hong Kong) currently cost 110,000 AA miles one-way.

Find Award Space

Now that you know how many miles you’ll need, you need to find Cathay Pacific First Class award space. American Airlines does not show Cathay award space online. You should make a free British Airways Executive Club account (that’s the BA frequent flyer program) and search for award flights through British’s website. Navigate to the “Executive Club” tab, hit “Spending Avios”, hit “Book a Reward Flight”, and search your desired route and date. If you find Cathay Pacific award space through British, it should be bookable with AA miles.

Book the Award Ticket

Finding Cathay Award Space through British Airways

Once you find the award space, just call American Airlines, give the agent the flight information, and book the award seat over the phone. Note that Cathay Pacific usually releases one First Class award ticket at a time. If you’re traveling with a group, one strategy is to book the available First Class seats for one passengers and book Business Class award seats for the remaining passengers. Then you’ll have to keep checking to see if Cathay Pacific opens up additional First Class award seats. If they do, just call American Airlines again and redeem the AA miles needed to upgrade the Business Class award seats to First Class.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

There’s several ways to earn American Airlines miles besides just flying American Airlines or partner airlines.

Credit Cards

Citi bank issues three American Airlines credit cards with sign-up bonuses ranging from 50,000-60,000 miles each. You can sometimes find these available with much higher bonuses. Barclaycard also offers an American Advantage credit card with a 60,000 mile sign-up offer.

Starwood Preferred Guest

Finally, you can transfer SPG points from Starwood to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. You’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points you transfer. If you’re low on SPG points, you can transfer points from Marriott to SPG at a 3:1 ratio, and then transfer the points to AA.

Safe travels! (Courtesy of Cathay Pacific)

Featured Image Courtesy of Cathay Pacific