AAdvantage Trumps Alaska Mileage Plan Again

AAdvantage Trumps Alaska Mileage Plan Again


AAdvantage Trumps Alaska Mileage Plan Again, For a Last Minute Asia Business Class Award. Alaska Mileage Plan has a great award chart. The problem is that it doesn't have access to all the business and first class partner award availability that AAdvantage does.

I experienced this when originally making our award bookings from Asia to NYC JFK, many months ago. Only Cathay Business Class was available for Hong Kong to JFK, while on the Denpasar to Hong Kong flight only coach was available, so I booked my ticket DPS-HKG in economy, and HKG-JFK in Cathay Business Class with Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Meanwhile, with American AAdvantage, Business Class was available DPS-HKG and Cathay First Class HKG-JFK, so I booked my son's ticket with AAdvantage miles.

Fast forward and I've been monitoring to try to get my flight from DPS-HKG in Cathay Business Class. Since British Airways Avios doesn't display last minute Cathay Pacific award availability, and even Qantas Frequent Flyer doesn't display all availability as you get close in, I've resorted to checking Cathay Asia Miles (insufficient on its own, as Asia Miles can offer greater award availability than Cathay offers to partners) and then calling AAdvantage and Alaska Mileage Plan.

Unfortunately, no Cathay award availability using Alaska Mileage Plan miles opened up whatsoever. Meanwhile, AAdvantage has continued to have one Cathay Business Class award seat for this flight, for 22,500 miles, which Cathay Asia Miles also has for 30,000 miles. This has persisted over a few days now.

Suffice to say I'm giving up on Mileage Plan, and plan to book the DPS-HKG with AAdvantage, even though naturally I'd have loved to include it for no extra mileage had it ever opened up on Alaska. It's just another reason to diversify your miles and points to include AAdvantage miles, no matter how attractive the Alaska Mileage Plan award chart appears to be.

Have you had better luck with last minute Cathay First or Cathay Business Class award availability with Alaska miles?

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6 years ago

I had the same experience last year trying to Mileage Plan to book a CX J or F award. The thing is that it does make sense. CX will offer the best award availability to it’s own members, followed by members of programs in OneWorld Alliance, and then non alliance partners get the worst availability. Having said, that AS miles are very useful when booking Japan Airlines first class awards as they allow online booking and seem to have the same availability as American.