American Airlines has been adding online booking of award travel with several of their partners, most recently Japan Airlines awards in July and Etihad awards back in May.
Now Cathay Pacific awards are bookable at the aa.com website but only if you use the old search tool. This is the same tool that lets you search revenue trips, including multi-city trips, or search for awards.
Make sure you select ‘redeem miles’ at the top of the page.
And make sure you select ‘all airlines at the bottom of the page.
Here’s a search for New York JFK – Hong Kong non-stop space in business class, a route only served by Cathay.
Click through and you’ll see that Cathay Pacific flights are now a bookable option.
You won’t find Cathay Pacific award space using American’s new (default) award search which is more focused on dynamic pricing of awards. The pricing for award space on American’s own flights is interesting however. Notice:
- Different prices for business class. Saver is 70,000 miles, but there’s a flight option for 87,500.
- The pricing of first class. Saver is 110,000 miles one way, but they’ll sell you seats on these flights for 120,000 miles (just a 9% premium for additional inventory).
You may not want to travel to Hong Kong right now for a discretionary trip (then again, maybe you do!). However with travel down to and through the Chinese Special Administrative Region award space is better than usual – and this will get you to numerous destinations throughout Asia.
Cathay Pacific flies to a number of U.S. and Canadian destinations: New York JFK, Newark, Washington Dulles, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle plus Toronto and Vancouver. They have a very good business class and my favorite first class for sleep (not all aircraft feature first class).
This won’t be good news for everyone, though it’s certainly good news for the median American AAdvantage member. More members will be aware of more options to fly to Asia with their miles. Until today most members would never know they could fly Cathay Pacific with their miles, since it wouldn’t come up as an option when searching on the American Airlines website. With this improvement of course comes more competition for limited space for those of us who already knew what we were doing!
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