In one of my first posts on this blog, I complained that Cathay Pacific didn’t seem to be releasing many business class seats for purchase with miles. Fortunately, this seems to have turned around. While only a couple of direct flights were available, many flights with stops were available: LAX-SFO-HKG, LAX-NRT-HKG, LAX-KIX (Osaka)-HKG, mostly on JAL, but sometimes Cathay Pacific. We were perfectly happy to take whichever of these was available. As I mentioned in this post, all of these options cost just 55,000 AAdvantage miles, and with AA’s recent really crappy award devaluations, there seemed to be more incentive to burn some AA miles.
As part of my family’s around the world trip in a couple of weeks, we were looking to book Cathay Pacific business class from LAX to Hong Kong. In order to do this, we have been using British Airways’s award search tool to try to find availability.
A few days ago, while I was lying incapacitated on the sofa
watching reruns of Law and Order pondering the deeper questions of life, my dad found what looked to be five seats in Cathay Pacific business class from San Francisco to Hong Kong. While I knew that the search tool we were using, BA.com, sometimes showed ghost award space, we decided to jump on it and call AA to try to book the seats.
And the AAgent (I’m so clever, aren’t I?) couldn’t see them.
I guess it must have been a glitch. The number of seats went from five to zero in about ten minutes, which is pretty much impossible if these seats were real. The number didn’t go from five to three to one to zero, but they were here one minute and gone another. Must have been an issue with the booking system.
So we waited and kept checking.
Then, two days later, we found more seats: six out of LAX. This was awesome, since it was, a) a direct flight, and b) on the exact day we wanted to depart. So we got on the phone immediately and called American to make the reservation. Sure enough, the agent could see the seats and quickly booked us into them.
I even created a meme to celebrate!