A Very Special Frequent Flyer New Year’s Opportunity: Down Krug and Say Farewell to Cathay’s 747

Tom Allen makes a really great suggestion for New Year’s Eve.

Cathay Pacific makes its final 747 passenger flight from London on December 31. And you can be on it!

It’s a fully catered party in the sky, with all the champagne you can drink!

And as of this writing there are (5) first class award seats available, and (4) business class awards. It’s a great business product of course, but redeeming for business would mean giving up glass after glass of Krug to ring in the New Year.

This flight should cost 90,000 British Airways Avios in First or 70,000 American miles.

With American miles you pay taxes including the UK’s air passenger duty (aka ‘luxury tax’ or ‘premium cabin departure tax’) but not the fuel surcharges. With BA Avios you pay taxes and also the fuel surcharges. But Hong Kong is a low fuel surcharge market, and that only adds an additional $120.

I’ve always preferred to fly the 777 which has just six seats (and the same number of flight attendants!) but the 747 had the advantage of better award availability in first given its nine seats.

The last Cathay 747s flying to the U.S. is out of San Francisco and that ends in October. After this flight there will not be any to Europe. If you still want to fly a Cathay 747 long haul, Johannesburg is also scheduled for a couple of them a week.

Thanks for the heads up, Tom!


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. Cathay flies a 747 to San Fran. Booked it in First for October. Unless that equipment will be switched out, hope not.

  2. Just FYI, with Avios the fuel surcharge you pay is according to Cathay’s fuel surcharge schedule. They have fuel surcharges for intra-Asia that cost about $30US and about $120US for long hauls. Nothing to do with Hong Kong being a low YQ market, rather CX being a low YQ carrier.

  3. @Amol – HKG *is* a relatively low fuel surcharge market though, and it’s driven by Cathay. While flying BA LHR-HKG entails a higher fuel surcharge than this, it’s still under US$300.

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