Confused - How to look for award flights using AA miles for Cathay Pacific?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by syphlix, Apr 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm trying to book a trip for me and my wife to asia early August. We need to go to Seoul(SEL) and Taipei(TPE), and were hoping to fly Cathay business class (we are coming from AUS).

    I tried the thing where you sign up for a Qantas account and look on their website, but all it says is that there is nothing available, and I'm not sure if that just means there are no award seats or if they don't fly those ways.

    I have a good amount of AA miles so if I need to give a little extra for the trip between the two asian cities that's fine... or I could pay for that leg outright if need be.

    Can you guys give me some hints on how to look for these flights? I'm excited I finally have the miles to do a nice premium international flight, but have no clue where to start.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    Daraius has a good write-up on this topic that should help you out.

    Here (using BA website) and here (using JAL website)

    Good luck!
     
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  3. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    Great write up - thanks for the links!

    A couple follow up questions -

    1. I've found availability for JFK > asia on cathay using those methods, though most flights only have 1 business class seat avail. Is this normal? Or do they usually add more seats when it is closer to the flight?

    2. When I call AA to book, am i allowed to ride AA to JFK and Cathay to asia and have it all count as one reward ticket? Like can i go AUS > DFW > JFK on AA, then JFK>HKG>TPE on Cathay, all for 65k miles each way?

    3. Can I stop over in JFK for a couple of days on the way?

    4. I know AA only allows stopovers in US cities on awards, but since the Cathay flight goes through HKG anyways, can i take a free 1-2 day stopover in HKG for free?

    5. Are there cheaper discount asian airlines that don't show up on places like kayak.com? It looks like the roundtrip from TPE to ICN would cost 30k aa miles or $330. Are there other options for that part of the trip?

    Thanks!
     
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  4. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    1. Not necessarily. if load is light they may release more, but I wouldn't count on it. I've booked 3 people in J on CX flights if you're looking far enough out. Obviously that doesn't help here, but for anyone else wondering.

    2. Yes as long as routing is valid, which i haven't checked (MPM +25%)

    3. Yes, AA allows a stopover at your north american gateway (ie JFK on the above)

    4. No, you could shoot for <24 hours though which I've done in the past which is allowed, otherwise you're looking at multiple tickets.

    5. I'd pay the $330.
     
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  5. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    ah thanks

    one last question - if i book a business class award, aa doesn't have domestic business that i know of... so for the AUS > DFW > JFK does that put me in economy, then JFK>HKG in business cathay, the HKG>TPE in economy again?
     
  6. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

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    The domestic part will be in first if a saver ticket is available. It is called business/first.
    I am not sure about HKG-TPE. Is it two class flight? Some Asia route has only Business/Economy. If that's the case, you would be in Business.
     
  7. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    ah great - thanks!
     
  8. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    ok one more question -

    can i book one way on first class and the other way on business? would they charge me 90k for the first leg and 65k for the business leg?
     
  9. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Yes.

    I thought you're doing USA to Asia Zone 2, in which case it's 55K in business and 67.5K in first.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  10. thrashsoundly
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    thrashsoundly Silver Member

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    Alternatively, provided you use 2 or more OW partners (CX and JAL for example), you could try a One World distance based award and stop over in multiple cities during your trip. A whole trip, like AUS-JFK-HKG-TPE-ICN-NRT-LAX-AUS would probably be around 130K in business or 180K in first.
     
  11. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    ah - daemon i think maybe i was looking at the wrong award chart... was looking at

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/oneworld_awards.jsp

    that's where i was getting my 65k/90k numbers from

    that sounds interesting too thrashsoundly... didn't know you could do something like that as well
     
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  12. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    The award chart you are linking to is actually the type of award thrashsoundly is referencing. ;)

    If you are doing a oneworld and other airline award, you need to use this chart: LINK.

    If you are trying to do the multi-stop Explorer award thrashsoundly is referencing, you use the chart you linked to above.

    Keep in mind that the oneworld explorer award has a lot of value and utility, but has some complex rules. You can read more about those rules here: LINK.
     
  13. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    Glad I just found this site. I am new to travel awards, and the more I read the more I seem to confuse myself. If someone could help me with a question:
    Based on this chart, lets say I am flying a round-trip 700 miles each direction (1400 miles total), and I wanted to fly business class. I would need 60,000 points, but is that each way? Would I really need 120000 points for the round-trip?
    I keep seeing deals on different sites like " you get 80,000 points, enough to fly around the world!!" I am having trouble finding anything that looks like a good deal on my own, but then again I don't know what I am doing.
    Thanks for any help,
    Jason
     
  14. syphlix
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    syphlix Silver Member

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    60k in that case is round trip

    80k can get you to europe i think (not sure exactly what)
     
  15. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    Great, thank you.
     
  16. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    What a helpful thread.
     

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