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Advice Please-JFK-HKG-SYD and back on Cathay Pacific

Advice Please-JFK-HKG-SYD and back on Cathay Pacific

Oct 28th, 2009, 08:40 AM
  #1  
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Advice Please-JFK-HKG-SYD and back on Cathay Pacific

I want to return to Australia in May 2010 using FF miles on American. I have 125K which is enough for RT business. I called last night and there was barely anything on Qantas (my preference - to go JFK/LAX/SYD) but the agent found me flights on Cathay Pacific both ways. I've only flown business on Cathay and that was in 1996. Is it comfortable and worth the time? I'd have a 16 hour flight from JFK to HKG, then a 5 hour layover then a 9+ hour flight to SYD.

If I took the Qantas flight I'd go JFK-LAX (6 hr.30 min), a 3 hr.30 min layover, then an almost 13 hour flight to AKL, and finally a 3.hr.30 min. flight to SYD. I've done this trip 5 times and can handle the long flights. I just don't want to have to change in AKL.

I also got return flights on CP that are much better. Leave SYD at 7:35 AM (yuck), arrive in HKG at 3:10 PM, then go HKG at 5 PM and arrive in JFK at 8:55 PM. If I'm in business I think I will be totally fine sitting for that long period of time. I've only done it in coach and not this year as I'm going for a BIG birthday and I have the miles to spare.

Thoughts? I will also call back tonight and again and again to see if I can get o Qantas but CP seems good to me too. Thank you!
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 09:24 AM
  #2  
 
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Overall, CX is one of the better airline, I wouldn't hesitate to fly them especially in business class for a long haul flight. I've flown QF alot too, but only on domestic flights within OZ and flights to/from NZ, so I really cannot compare the two airlines.

I should add that the seats in CX's business class cabin have changed since 1996 and IMO, the newer seats are not as comfortable.

HKIA is a comfortable airport to transit throught and the CX lounges, the Wing and the Pier are both good. Althought on the way back to JFK you won't have enought time to use the lounge.
justshootme is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 09:44 AM
  #3  
 
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I'm a OneWorld traveler and here is how I rate the airlines:

1. Qantas
2. Cathay Pacific

and then the rest....


I would not have any problem with CX. Grab the seat(s) and go with the flow. The wonderful lounges in HKG will make up for any other problems. The Wing and Pier lounges are just superb.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 10:12 AM
  #4  
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Thanks! Do I have to pay to use the lounge or do I automatically get to since I'm flying business? I also asked about Air Tahiti Nui and Air Pacific as other options to get on better-timed flights but the agent wasn't all that into looking so much up...typical, despite my being sweeter than pie and explaining this was for my big birthday! Whatever...

How are the Cathay seats not as comfortable as 13 years ago? That was the first time I flew biz and I just remember them putting slippers on my feet and being on the 2nd floor of the airplane. I mean, isn't anything better than economy? I actually flew Cathay Business to Hong Kong that time.

PS What's with no more stopovers!!! I used to stop in NZ, Fiji, Tahiti to go to Sydney. Sucks.
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 10:32 AM
  #5  
 
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You will be allowed into the business lounges just because of you ticket. Unfortunately, you won't see the first class lounges... unless you have Executive Platinum status with AA... but that's another story for another day.........

oh well... you will still have a wonderful time in the lounges.

Have a great trip! (grab the seat(s)) NOW!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 10:50 AM
  #6  
 
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I would take the better schedule on CX. Their new business class seats are partitioned flatbeds http://www.designq.co.uk/images/desi.../Cathay_03.jpg which some find confining/claustrophobic. I personally don't have a problem with them and prefer them to angled lie flats as I find it much easier to sleep in a fully flat bed.

Only North American gateway stopovers are allowed now with the new one way awards.
Patty is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 11:05 AM
  #7  
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Thank you everyone. I love the flat beds. I'm only 5'2 so I don't have height/length issues in seats like this! I have until Sunday to decide. I went onto the Cathay site and saw that with my ticket I can use the biz lounge which is great. Happy Birthday to me (5 months early!).
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #8  
 
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And if you're traveling alone, the privacy is great. If you're traveling with someone else, save the talking for later
Patty is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 11:39 AM
  #9  
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One of my friends wants to come (I'm doing another house swap in Sydney that I've done twice before with the same person) but I know she won't get her sh++ together nor will she spend her miles to fly business. So she can suffer in economy like I used to do!
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 01:10 PM
  #10  
 
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I would take the seats in a heartbeat, and I'd do it pronto, because I think the agent made a big mistake.

AA has gone to one-way mileage redemption ticketing, so the 125K mile "cost" cited is actually 2 trips at 62.5K each.

BUT... the rules also prohibit connecting in a second region, in your case N. America (>Asia II) > SW Pacific. In those cases they're supposed to charge you with two one way awards, i.e. NA > Asia II and Asia II > SWP. The only exception is when no AA partner flies directly between two regions, e.g. N. America and Africa. This is not the case with NA and Oz, since AA has three partners (Qantas, Air Pacific and Air Tahiti) which so so.

So grab 'em and don't talk too much about it.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 01:38 PM
  #11  
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The AA agent did tell me that they now do it on one-way tickets for 62.5K each which is how I came up with the 125K I need for business class.

Now I'm freaking out about what Gardyloo is saying. What if I call back and they try to charge me double the miles? Is that really fair? I asked the agent about Qantas, Air Pacific, AND Air Tahiti Nui and her response was "Oh, I didn't check the second 2." One you think - HOPE - they would have checked all possible avenues of getting to SYD. That was when she mentioned Cathay. I understand what you are saying but this is the first I've heard about it.

What about if I was going thru Tahiti? Wouldn't JFK-PPT-SYD be like my JFK-HKG-SYD route with 2 different regions?
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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What about if I was going thru Tahiti? Wouldn't JFK-PPT-SYD be like my JFK-HKG-SYD route with 2 different regions?

PPT and SYD are both in the South Pacific region and Gardyloo is correct. I'd totally glossed over the fact that you can't connect in a second region. Can you see the mileage requirement for an award itinerary on hold on aa.com?
Patty is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 02:37 PM
  #13  
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I logged onto aa.com and can see the reservation that is on hold but not how many miles it requires. The agent said 125K plus $127.60 in taxes/fees. That's it. I'd book it right now but I'm waiting on my Aussie swap mate to let me know if those dates are okay. I am officially FREAKING OUT.
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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I'm really sorry about upsetting you; obviously mistakes like this can be very frustrating. The booking might go through, or it might not. In general, AA's tariff people normally pick up these things when it actually goes to ticketing (not just hold) so I think the odds are fairly low.

However, never slam a door without opening a window to jump through, as I say...

What are your preferred travel dates? Reason I'm asking is that there's actually quite a lot of business class availability on Qantas in May 2010 between LAX and Oz, also a few between San Francisco and Sydney. Some flights are nonstops, some would go through Brisbane or Melbourne, and some through Auckland, but they'd all be shorter than the Hong Kong routing. AA would have no problem getting you to the west coast to connect (assume you're coming from NYC.)

The fact that the agent you spoke to sent you via HKG without knowing about the redemption rules says to me that he/she was a newbie and probably didn't look at all the other alternatives available - not just the other carriers, but alternate ports of departure (SFO) and entry (BNE, MEL, AKL...)

So, don't give up hope, but post your dates and we can help...

And for what it's worth, I'd take Qantas business class over Cathay Pacific's most days of most weeks.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:30 PM
  #15  
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Gardyloo-I completely appreciate you pointing this out to me! Yes I'm upset, but it's directed towards this agent if she messed things up for me.

I can really leave most anytime in May 2010 JFK-SYD, preferably about May 5-6-7 and return approximately 2.5-3 weeks later. She quoted me one flight which went JFK-LAX-AKL-SYD and I didn't want to do that (Qantas). She didn't even think to check Tahiti or Air Pacific until I asked her to. She said nothing was available. I did ask about SFO as well. I've done this trip 5 times before but now I think about it it seems I knew more than she did!

How are you able to check on all of this for me? If you want to that'd be FABULOUS. I of course went to aa.com and it won't let me do it since they are technically not American flights but partners.

I would be happy to fly Qantas again. I want Business class as I have almost 126K miles and it's my birthday!
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:35 PM
  #16  
 
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Why do you not want to do JFK-LAX-AKL-SYD? Just because of the extra connection or some other reason?

You can check Qantas and Air Pacific availability on qantas.com by signing up for a Qantas FF account (free). You can check Air Tahiti availability on expertflyer.com (subscription but with 5 day free trial).
Patty is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:26 PM
  #17  
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No major reason except for the several connections. I much prefer going to LAX or SFO (or HKG) and then on to Sydney.
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:37 PM
  #18  
 
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As of now, and these things change, there's a nonstop seat LAX-SYD on May 4 (actually, it's on QF 108, which starts at JFK, so undoubtedly available from JFK) then various options via Fiji or Auckland on May 5, 6, 8 and 9, and a nonstop from SFO to SYD on May 12.

Coming back, on the 25th through June 2, pretty much everything goes via Fiji or Auckland; most days have availability.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:43 PM
  #19  
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I just joined Qantas FF and there are a lot of seats available! What is up with the agent I spoke to last night??? Should I call AA and change my ticket?
Skiergirl is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:48 PM
  #20  
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Sorry, Gardyloo, I posted before seeing your new response. Thank you for your help! When I got the availability I did it from LAX to SYD and most said no stops (and this is in Business class too). Did you only do a search from JFK-SYD?
Skiergirl is offline  

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