Based in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific is one of the world’s most luxurious airlines, especially in First Class. With just six private suites in the sky and unlimited bottles of champagne, you’re guaranteed a great flight. Booking Cathay Pacific First or Business Class with Alaska or American Airlines miles is incredibly easy.. it simply involves searching online and then calling Alaska or American Airlines to book.
Cathay Pacific North American Routes
Cathay Pacific flies to the following North American destinations:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- New York (EWR and JFK)
Some of these routes do not feature a First Class cabin. The easiest way to check is by searching on Google Flights and selecting “First Class”, if the Cathay Pacific option does not show on your desired date/route then Cathay probably doesn’t operate First Class on that flight.
Searching Cathay Pacific Award Space
The best way to search for Cathay Pacific award space is by using the British Airways website. You will need to create a free Executive Club account if you don’t already have one. Once you do, simply go to this website:
You will need to scroll down and click on “Book a reward flight” under the “Reward flights” section.
Once you click the button, the website will ask you to login to your British Airways Executive Club account (if you aren’t already logged in). Once you have logged in, you will be presented with the “Book flights with Avios” page where you can type in your desired route and date. You will want to also check the box that says “One way only” – searching one-way at a time is much simpler and quicker. Finally, select your desired class of service.
When you click “Get flights” the website will ask you if you would like to add a stopover, simply skip this step by selecting the “NO” option and clicking “Continue“. You will then be brought to a results page:
As you can see, on our desired route and date that we initially typed in, we have 1 First Class seat and 2 Premium Economy seats available using miles. If there is no availability on your desired date, simply click on the calendar above and check other dates.
Booking Cathay Pacific Flights using Miles
Once you have located your availability, you will want to either call Alaska Airlines or American Airlines and book the flights. When redeeming Alaska or American Airlines miles, you will have to call the mileage department and book over the phone – you can’t do it online.
To find out how many miles are required, simply visit the award charts below:
You will need to look at your starting and ending region as well as the class of service you have selected to view the cost in miles. Keep in mind that you will also need to pay taxes/fees in addition to the required amount of miles. Thankfully, neither Alaska nor American Airlines charge fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific – meaning that your taxes/fees should be lower than $100 USD per ticket per direction of travel.
Once you are connected to an agent, you will want to provide them the route, date, class of service, and number of passengers. The agent will search and should be able to find the flight you have previously found on the British Airways website.
Booking Cathay Pacific with Alaska Airlines Miles
My favourite way to book Cathay Pacific is using Alaska Airlines miles since they’re so easy to earn and Alaska doesn’t charge as many miles as American Airlines does. When redeeming Alaska Airlines miles:
- you can book one-way awards
- you can add on Alaska Airlines flights for free (for example: Seattle to Los Angeles in order to connect to your Cathay Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong)
- you can add a stopover in Hong Kong for FREE, even on a one-way ticket (you can stay in Hong Kong any number of days and then fly elsewhere on Cathay Pacific)
Important: Alaska Airlines does not have access to ALL Cathay Pacific award space that you find on the British Airways website. That being said, if the British Airways website shows at least two seats available, Alaska should see the award space. This isn’t always the case and sometimes even if one seat is available, Alaska might see it.
Also Important: Alaska Airlines allows you to only have ONE partner airline on an award ticket in addition to any Alaska Airlines flights. This means that you cannot fly from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and then from Hong Kong to Tokyo on Japan Airlines, even though Alaska Airlines partners with both airlines.
Booking Cathay Pacific with American Airlines Miles
The other option is to book using American Airlines miles, which will cost you more and you aren’t allowed a free stopover in Hong Kong. You can still book one-way awards using AA miles and you can also add on domestic flights to get you to your Cathay Pacific North American gateway city.
The major advantage to booking with American Airlines miles is that you can mix & match oneworld airlines on the same ticket – you can’t do this with Alaska Airlines. For example, you could book Cathay Pacific from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and then from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines. Since American Airlines partners with Alaska Airlines, you can even add on a segment from Seattle to Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines when redeeming American Airlines miles.
Cathay Pacific First and Business Class are amazing and easily the best way to travel to Asia. My favourite way to fly Cathay Pacific is by redeeming Alaska Airlines miles as they are very easy to earn and Alaska has a generous award chart. The free stopover in Hong Kong is always a plus.