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Cathay Pacific is a Hong Kong-based member of oneworld with a mind-blowing First Class and a top-notch business class.

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Cathay Pacific First Class Bed

Cathay Pacific flies from six North American cities to Hong Kong (and from there to the rest of the world), plus Boston to Hong Kong starts in May 2015.

from gcmap.com
from gcmap.com

Cathay Pacific flies 777s between the United States and Hong Kong, which have only six First Class seats. Because of that, you rarely see more than one First Class award seat per flight.

But lately Cathay Pacific has been increasing its capacity to the United States so much that there are occasional flights with award space available for two out of the First Class cabin’s six seats.

  • What are the new routes/services from the United States to Hong Kong?
  • What is the pattern for Cathay Pacific First Class award space?
  • Which flights have two seats?
  • What are the best miles to book Cathay Pacific First Class award space?

Cathay Pacific has been aggressively adding more flights and seats to/from North America in the last few years.

More seats overall means more award seats because airlines release as award seats the seats they don’t expect to sell. Cathay Pacific, in particular, is famous for releasing award space in premium cabins as departure dates approach.

Where is the Award Space

Cathay Pacific has some patterns to its award space. Many flights have 1 award seat in First Class the moment they open up 11 months in advance. Many flights get 1 or more award seats in First Class in the last few weeks or days before departure.

Search the date range and cities that interest you to figure out the exact pattern for your route.

I took special interest in searching the newest extra First Class capacity. Specifically I was intrigued that Ben reported seeing two First Class award seats in January between Chicago and Hong Kong just after extra capacity comes online.

I searched Chicago to Hong Kong from January 15 – January 30, 2015 for one First Class award seat and there in one direction almost every day.

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I ran the same search for two passengers in First Class between Chicago and Hong Kong from January 15 – January 30, 2015. There is award space three days in each direction over the two week period.

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That’s pretty good to get 1/3 of one of the world’s best cabin for you and your travel companion, especially since Cathay Pacific is one of those airlines that often charges $10,000 one way in First Class.

How to Book Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific is a member of oneworld, so its award space can be booked with American Airlines, US Airways, and British Airways miles.

You can also book the space with Alaska Airlines miles.

American Airlines, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines don’t collect fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific award flights. British Airways does.

To book with American Airlines, US Airways, and Alaska Airlines miles, call the respective airline. You can book with British Airways Avios on ba.com.

American Airlines charges 67,500 miles each way to Hong Kong or anywhere in Southeast Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class.

US Airways charges 120,000 miles roundtrip in Cathay Pacific First Class to Hong Kong, 160,000 if you continue to Southeast Asia, and 140,000 if you fly all the way to Australia.

Alaska charges 70,000 miles each way between the United States and anywhere (including Johannesburg, South Africa) in Cathay Pacific First Class.

All these miles are fairly easy to get. We know that the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will no longer be offered as soon as the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer programs integrate, some time in early 2015. That means that the chance to earn 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase will disappear soon. Check out all the places you can go with just the sign up bonus.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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