American AAdvantage Again Allows 5 Day Holds For Cathay Pacific Awards

American Airlines offers a generous 5 day ‘hold’ for award itineraries. You don’t have to put down a credit card or spend your miles to lock in an award option.

However back in April I identified that awards for travel on Cathay Pacific placed on hold were being cancelled out. So American started only allowing 24 hour holds on Cathay Pacific awards, to avoid itineraries being cancelled prior to ticketing, since American wasn’t able to restore cancelled itineraries where award space was no longer available.

Fortunately American has fixed the issue with Cathay Pacific where Cathay was cancelling out held itineraries. Cathay Pacific awards can again be put on hold for 15 days prior to ticketing.

Incidentally, the technology has been worked out to properly handle 5 day award holds on Brazilian partner Gol as well.

When American eliminated award redeposit fees last fall I worried that this would mean the end of putting awards on hold, something U.S. competitors no longer offer. Gone are the days when 30, then 14, then 3 day award holds were common. Hopefully American keeps its hold policy, which makes AAdvantage easier to use than competitor programs, and it’s great they’ve resolved the glitch of Cathay Pacific cancelling held itineraries.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Regarding “something U.S. competitors no longer offer” and “which makes AAdvantage easier to use than competitor programs” — might positive recognition be found among those wanting individuals who complain about their lack of lounge access or food offerings? AA doesn’t have to do this but they do. Let’s acknowledge it . . . and tip the guacamole lady.

    Thanks for the positive story.

  2. Twenty years ago, Cathay was at its apex for transpacific as well as intra-Orient travel.

    But unfortunately, those days are long gone; their hub city is being gradually eclipsed by an authoritarian mainland gov’t, inhibiting civil society and the business environment – and the CX own governance is tracking this development in almost exact parallel.

    In the 00s, CX was my go-to carrier for travel to East Asia; now I’d even be reluctant to fly them as part of just a connecting AA itinerary.

  3. Well I booked and holded an F ticket from HKG to LHR (CX) and then LHR to MAD (BA) on Oct 17th and according to AA I had until the 23rd to book it. I called on the 18th and everything was fine, I gave my credit card numbers in order to ticket the booking and was told It could take a few hours.
    I went to sleep and the next morning the status of the ticket was still pending but now the CX flight was gone, I only have the LHR to MAD segment in my reservation.
    I phoned AA and the agent told me that CX only holds reservations for 24hours. I asked to speak with her supervisor and she told me that since I had already sent the booking to ticketing, she would escalate this problem to an area that takes care of awards with partners. And that I should have news if they could do anything about it within 2 weeks.

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