Amazing Cathay Pacific Business Class Award Space for 4+ Passengers

Cathay Pacific is a member of oneworld and a partner of airlines like American, British Airways, and Alaska. They also generally have good business class availability between the U.S. and Hong Kong and beyond to destinations in Asia.

Cathay has scheduled service to 8 US cities including New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They fly to Toronto and Vancouver as well. That’s a lot of options for getting to Asia.

Cathay Pacific U.S. Routes

I find that booking six months out gives great options for award redemption. Booking towards the ‘end of the schedule’ around 11 months out is even better if you want to redeem for four or more seats.

Early in the week One Mile at a Time reported that Cathay Pacific would be downgauging their Washington Dulles – Hong Kong flight from an Airbus A350-1000 to an Airbus A350-900 between October 28 and March 30. The A350-900 has 8 fewer business class seats.

The Washington Dulles route has been great for award space, and I wondered what fewer business seats would do to that. Supposedly Cathay will put the larger plane back on the route, but as Lucky observed “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the aircraft downgrade extended beyond the winter.” And neither would I. At least I’d expect Cathay to consider it, and perhaps be cautious releasing business class awards as a result.

So I had a look at business class award space on the route in July, searching for four business class award seats. And what I found is that availability is still pretty good.

What’s also striking is how much availability exists on Cathay’s other routes, too. In fact with so many ways to get to Hong Kong there’s usually a means to do it for the family with some flexibility if you’re booking far in advance. Here are the results I came up with — showing flights out of other gateways where those were available and there was also connecting space for four passengers on American Airlines, which is certainly a limiting condition.

That’s space for four or more award passengers in business class every single day (although not in both directions every day).

Flights between the US and ‘Asia 2’ are 70,000 American AAdvantage miles in business class. Alaska Airlines charges 50,000 miles — or if you connect to Australia it’s 60,000 — 62,500 to Africa or India. And you can transfer American Express or Citi points to Cathay Pacific directly.

Searching for two passengers is much easier of course but the ability to redeem a top flight business class product for four or more passengers is worth noting when availability is this good.

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. What? I cannot find space for 1, for LAX to HKG. That route has been tough. I’ve been searching for November for 6 plus months everyday. Finally booked SFO to HKG but still checking everyday for LAX

  2. I thought CX has really good close in availability? I can’t find anything for 2 weeks from LAX/SFO. I do see availability from IAD 10/23 and 10/24

  3. Hi Gary
    I am looking for biz or first class availability 15Dec flying from SFO to HKG
    Any idea when I should try (best window). I am have been looking for last 2 months

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