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Act Fast: Cathay First Class Award Space Between Hong Kong and London (Nov/Dec 2023)

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On a route historically known for stingy award space, Cathay Pacific is offering an unprecedented amount of award availability in first class between Hong Kong and London as of November and December, 2023.

Cathay Pacific’s generous November/December First Class award availability

From November 1 to mid-December, Cathay Pacific has released one award seat in first class on many first class flights between Hong Kong and London. This is a prized route that many readers would fly pretty often, and now’s probably a better time than ever to book, given Asia Miles’ upcoming devaluation.

This doesn’t seem to be a coincidence, as not all of Cathay Pacific’s first class flights to London are offering heaps of award space. Specifically, only CX253/4 are offering award space in first class – that’s the afternoon flight out of Hong Kong, and the last evening flight out of London.

CX253 Hong Kong – London Heathrow dep. 13:45 arr. 20:20
CX254 London Heathrow – Hong Kong dep. 22:05 arr. 18:45 (+1)

A one-way flight costs 100,000 Asia Miles (if you’re booking with them), so a roundtrip would cost double that (a dummy booking has priced HK$4,345/£434.50 in taxes, with HK$1,074/£107.40 for the Hong Kong – London segment and HK$3,271/£327.10 for the London – Hong Kong segment). You can acquire Asia Miles through a variety of transferable points currencies, including AmEx Membership Rewards points. Unfortunately I’m not currently seeing the space while booking through American AAdvantage (this flight would’ve cost 90,000 AAdvantage miles), though you can always call.

CX253/4 doesn’t currently offer first class (in fact, I’m writing live from a business class seat on a CX253 flight on a 777 without a first class cabin), so my guess is that they’re offering some introductory award space to ease in the introduction of a second first class flight. CX251/2 will continue to feature a first class cabin, though there continues to be no award availability in the foreseeable future.

Cathay Pacific’s 777 First Class

Cathay Pacific has a very rock-solid first class cabin, with six seats laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration. These seats have been around for a long while, though they’re some of the plushest and widest in the sky.

a seat in a planea bed with pillows and a watch on it
Cathay Pacific’s 777 First Class

The soft product is super great, and expect hotel-quality Bamford bedding, Krug champagne, a caviar service, and restaurant-quality dine-on-demand meals. I’ve only flown Cathay Pacific’s first class once, though had a great experience.

a glass of champagne on a tablea plate with food on ita plate of food on a tablea plate of food on a table
Cathay Pacific’s 777 First Class

There are probably more over-the-top first class products out there, though Cathay Pacific’s first class definitely is worth going out of your way for if you’re booking on miles. Business class and premium economy award space continues to be almost non-existent during the same period.

Bottom Line

Cathay Pacific is re-introducing first class on a second flight between Hong Kong and London, and introductory flights are being complemented with at least one first class award seat on most flights. I’d encourage you to book now if you’re thinking of flying the route, as this award space is unlikely to last.

Let me know through email if you’ll be in London to take advantage of this!

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