$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: Thank You Cathay Pacific! Another First Class Flight on American Airlines

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Thank You Cathay Pacific! Another First Class Flight on American Airlines

By now, you should have seen news about Cathay Pacific selling cheap Business and First Class ticket at Economy prices on the first day of the year. That was how CZM and I were spending our morning! Even though the tickets were really cheap, we could not decide on when and where to go. CZM has this month end stuff at the start of the month (it doesn't make sense to me) so technically, we can only travel from mid-month to the end of the month. It becomes more complicated when you add in quarter and financial year end. Oh well, the life of an auditor/accountant @_@"

Some of the screenshots we took while hesitating/thinking if we should be booking it:

You know it is a mistake/glitch/bug when the Business price is so much more expensive than First Class.

Must we really fly to Vietnam? I guess so... 
We even had the real deal at one point in time until the session timeout -.-"
When we finally decided to just whack, it turns out Cathay has already taken action to "fix" the cheap tickets by zeroing out all the Business and First Class seats so we could no longer reach the above pages. Disappointed - 失去了才懂得珍惜. After all, this was such a good deal in so many ways!

Meanwhile, I was still following the flyertalk thread (you can see who managed to book and when/where they will be flying now) closely and saw someone commented that HAN - IAD (Hanoi to Washington) was still available. We went in and booked it immediately despite it being operated by partner airlines - American Airlines!

We can experience Economy, Business and First Class all in this trip!
The original fare is around 12,114 USD per pax.
I manage to find a pretty similar flight (same timing and same operator but returning 1 day later) which cost $24,228 USD. We are paying only ~12.16% of the original fare. In addition, we purchase this as a "full" price ticket so we will be credited the full amount of miles (31,810 Asia Miles each, 63,620 in total). Asia Miles can be redeemed using Citi Miles (10,000 for 10,000) or Citi Rewards (25,000 for 10,000). Assuming if we were to convert our Citi Miles/Rewards over to Asia Miles, we would need about $53,000 SGD spending (general spending at 1.2 mpd) or $15,905 SGD spending (specialized spending at 4 mpd). We are getting First Class flights + Asia Miles for only ~$4,125 SGD (assuming 1 USD to 1.4 SGD).

Ideally, one should be crediting their miles to Alaska Airlines Mileage Program since there are 350% bonus miles but you should be aware of the T&Cs for those operated by partner airlines. I will be highlighting some of them here:
- Flights must fall within the eligible flight number range below, and your flight must be marketed and operated by Cathay Pacific. Eligible flight numbers: 0100–0999
- To ensure flight credit for international travel on American Airlines, the two-letter airline code (AA) must precede the flight number (for example, AA XXXX) on your ticket receipt or boarding pass.- American Airlines domestic flights with an "AA" flight number will no longer earn Mileage Plan miles.

Our CX 7XXX flights operated by American Airlines is pretty grey because it is definitely out of the 999 CX code and there is no AA code on our ticket receipt. Pretty sure it will not appear on the boarding pass too. Alternatively, what you can do is to leave it blank and do a retro claim on miles as suggested by someone in the Milelion telegram chat. Feels like there is too much trouble so we will probably just stick with Asia Miles.

Anyway, with the ~30,000 Asia Miles, we will be able to easily redeem another Cathay Business/First Class flight :) What a great start to the year 2019! Bravo to Cathay Pacific for honouring the fares and accepting it as their mistake. Having said that, I feel sorry for the shareholders >.<"

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  1. They have not cancelled you out on the flight?

    1. Hi Lizardo,

      Hahahaha. Cathay Pacific has gracefully accepted their mistake and will be flying those who manage to bought the tickets :) They made the announcement on their Twitter and FB yesterday. Not sure about that one guy that claimed his got cancelled though.

      "Happy 2019 all, and to those who bought our good - VERY good surprise ‘special’ on New Year’s Day, yes - we made a mistake but we look forward to welcoming you on board with your ticket issued. Hope this will make your 2019 ‘special’ too!"

  2. Replies
    1. Hi CompoundingDividend,

      I know! Must have used up all the luck. Would have been much better if I save it and become the solo guy to win 9 mil ToTo. Hahahaha.

  3. While cx allow you to fly with the glitched fare. You should mke sure AA allow it to

    1. Haha. Cathay Pacific will make sure of that, that's how code sharing works - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codeshare_agreement