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Alaska Miles for Cathay Pacific

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Canuck, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

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    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone can figure out a way around this. This is for trip from North America to Australia in 2022.

    Currently, I can see Cathay Pacific Business Class seats available on the British Airways website. However, the Alaska Mileage Program has told me they cannot book these seats that far in advance. I think their window is 331 before departure.

    I am travelling with my family so was hoping to grab all 4 seats but I'm worried if I do not get them now then they will be gone by the time Alaska Airlines is able to get those seats using my Alaska Miles.

    Any thoughts or tips on how to get around this and secure those business class seats?
     
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  2. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Well-Known Member

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    Hi Canuck, you may be out of luck (at least until the 331 day window opens). First, I don’t think Alaska gets access to all the award seats that other partners in Oneworld may get. You may want to HUCA - see this from a OMAAT post:

    The absolute best value is to redeem 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles for a one-way ticket, and you’re even allowed a stopover. The catch is that sometimes Alaska Mileage Plan doesn’t have access to the same award availability on Cathay Pacific as other partners. Sometimes hanging up and calling again does the trick, while other times it doesn’t.”
    https://onemileatatime.com/cathay-pacific-first-class-awards/

    That said, I still don’t think that you are going to have access until 331 days out. I can’t find a post right now one way or another, but I didn’t think AAdvantage gets access until 331 out. So Alaska may not either.

    [Edit] Here is a OMAAT post about when awards seat open. While not specific to Alaska and Cathay, it has some good info. It does say that BA gets access to Qantas seats before AA and Alaska, so perhaps the same is true for Cathay.
    https://onemileatatime.com/when-do-airlines-open-award-seats/
     
    #2
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
    Clem and Canuck like this.
  3. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

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    Thank you for the reply.

    I was considering using my Avios to book the flights and secure the seats and then cancel when Alaska can potentially book the seats for me. Obvious Alaska Miles from North America to Australia is a better deal than using my Avios.

    However, my worry is that even if I secure the business class seats with my BA Avios and cancel them later, there is no guarantee that those seats will go back into inventory for Alaska Airlines to have access to and book with my Alaska Miles.
     
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  4. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    You've just found the hardest parts about getting seats to Australia:
    - you can book early with BA to snag the seats but there are fuel surcharges and it's not a great price
    - wait to book with another currency and find someone has already taken the seat
    - book with BA, then release the seat only to find it doesn't go back into inventory

    The bit about AS not being able to see all the seats is true. A friend and I were booking the only 2 J seats on Fiji Air. She booked first with AA and once she did I could no longer see the seat using AS. Fortunately I had AA miles and could book the other seat with those miles.

    With 4 seats it's always tough but I suspect that, because of the pandemic, you'll be ok. Of course at this point we're all just hopeful Australia will be open to those who've had the vaccine by then.
     
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  5. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Hah I just went through a similar scenario with Virgin Atlantic not opening up awards on ANA before 331 days out, while ANA availability opens before that... In my case I bit the bullet and went with ANA points, it was more points but still a good deal and I figured it was the price to pay to make sure I snag the seats I wanted.

    If availability is crucial to you I just would get the BA tickets if you have enough miles. 4 business class seats to Australia is something I actually never heard of before :) .
    And I confirm that you should not cancel the awards hoping they go back into inventory - that almost never happens (or at least not right away). You could wait for AS availability, but you can't be sure it'll ever happen and to your point, those seats could get snagged in the meantime. I suggest you go down that road only if you have a backup plan if all else fails. Good luck!
     
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  6. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Well-Known Member

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    I would HUCA and see if Alaska can’t see it now. It’s worth the time on the phone, right?

    If that doesn’t work, book with Avios if you really want them. You’ve got some time before you to make a decision, right? Book it, and then decide to keep them, or take the risk in a few months to see if releasing them puts the seats into an awards bucket Alaska has access to...
     
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  7. Michael M

    Michael M Member

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    It is not at all uncommon for the first AK agent you speak to not to see a CX award. It can take a few HUCAs before getting an agent that can see the award space. It often takes only a few seconds on the phone with an agent to get a sense of whether or not s/he will be successful.
     
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