Possible Wide Open Cathay Pacific First Class Award Space Up to 4 Passengers

Cathay Pacific first class is a fantastic product. There are only 6 seats in the cabin, and the bed is very comfortable. It used to be easy to get a couple of award seats but now they usually release just one first class award in advance and then if seats go substantially unsold more seats will become available close to departure.

Points M.D. reaches out to let me know that right now there’s as many as four first class award seats on Cathay Pacific, New York JFK – Hong Kong.

  • The award space shows up searching New York JFK – Bangkok, but not if you search just New York JFK – Hong Kong

  • You can find it on the British Airways website (ba.com)

  • You need to search for just one award seat, and the availability shows up. If you search for more than one seat it shows up as unavailable.

This appears to be true for several months booked far in advance. I haven’t done a comprehensive search but Points MD flagged October and it shows up after that too. And it seems to be the case most days other than Saturdays.

Seats that show up at BA.com may be bookable over the phone with American. I managed to get them to find seats for me when I called, though Points MD mentions that while he successfully booked for himself one of the days he asked about the American agent couldn’t find space for even though it appeared available on the British Airways website.

Here’s an example:

In December:

And in January:

Cathay Pacific doesn’t usually release more than one first class award seat at a time, at least when booking far in advance. And their product is excellent, this is an opportunity worth jumping on. Note as well that departing Cathay Pacific first class passengers from New York JFK have access to American’s Flagship Dining there. And of course in Hong Kong inbound first class passengers can use the first class section of The Pier (as well as The Wing).

There doesn’t appear to be any ‘extra’ space in the other direction (Bangkok – New York JFK) but booking Japan Airlines first remains an option to get home.

The search here will become frustrating for some, many of you will give up in frustration, but I wanted to flag this because some bookings are indeed possible right now.

If you do manage to find an agent that can book something for you have them use your first and middle name as well as last name on the ticket, Cathay Pacific has been insisting on that.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. When you called in to AA, they actually saw 4 available seats on certain days? I’ve seen this before but haven’t ever been able to get an agent (AA or AS) to see those seats. I also had no luck today with a very few random dates.

  2. Nothing available for the NOV dates I’m looking for (per BA) from JFK.

    Is this window already closed or just not available for early NOV?

  3. What about Alaska? Can they see spaces? Might have to give them a call and see, trying to use these AS miles for a while now.

  4. I saw a bunch of 3 and 4 seats availability online through BA in Jan 2019, but when I called Alaska they couldn’t only one a few of the days for Jan.

  5. I saw nothing on BA for awhile but called Alaska and AA anyway to check and they had plenty of seats available on all the HKG-JFK flights for next week. I was very surprised.

  6. @G, CX F availability within a week of flight is very common. BA.com doesn’t show CX availability within 6 days of flight though.

  7. Gary,
    Cathay seems to be “hiding” their bookings by doing “paired” bookings. I have seen this by accident when doing my July 2018 bookings by entering lhr-hkg-sin and sin-hkg-lhr. instead of lhr-hkg or hkg-lhr.
    I was able to “mine” out the mid and end July dates for this year.
    So for folks out there try different combination end Locations to see if you can see it.
    Just my .01 cents worth.

  8. What’s the deal with the middle name thing? Is it AA-on-CX-specific? I have a recent booking using Alaska miles and no middle name. Alaska just took the passenger name from my Mileage Plan account and didn’t include the middle name.

  9. Gary,
    I did a lhr-bkk on July 27 and managed to fish out a lhr-hkg leg that way. I just appended hkg-mnl at the end of it in biz class using american airlines mileage.
    I specifically requested the american airlines agent to indulge me by doing it this way.
    She was very surprised when the segment was found using this method.


  10. No update that this is typical BA website behavior and that only one seat was actually available per transpacific flight? Shame, but not surprised.

  11. Do we have to call Alaska to use their miles? Or is this available on AS website to book? I see 4 JFK to BKK via Hong Kong on several dates. Can we call AA or AS and book just JFK to Hong Kong?


  12. ? Define “many”. I count maybe five folks in the comments reporting being successful. And not counting the folks who bought a single ticket because that is the usual availability.

  13. So if you are wanting to book 2 First class tickets at the same time, is it best to look for availability for just one award, when you find it, book it, then go back and search again for another award for the same date and flight? When using AM I can find availability for 1 award if I select one person, but every time I select 2 awards it always shows no availability, frustrating.

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