Cheap Cathay First Class with AAdvantage miles

In my last post (Buy AA Miles – up to 60% bonus), I mentioned how you can get cheap British Airways first class flights from Hong Kong to Rome for 25k HKD if you bought AAdvantage miles.

Although that is a great deal already, given that American Airlines is part of OneWorld also means that you can also redeem Cathay Pacific flights with those miles – although it does take a bit more work.

After buying the maximum miles in both Ms Buddha and my own AA accounts (200k Miles) for about 3,950 USD (about 30k HKD) – it was time to go flights searching for our 2016 trips.

Given that we both grew up in the Land Down Under, we normally take a trip back home on a yearly we needed to allocate 70k miles of the 200k miles we just purchase for our trip home:

HKG2SYD(35k miles each way from HKG to SYD)

This in addition to the 140k miles required for our trip to Europe meant that we will be 20k miles short in aggregate, the fortunate thing was that I had some Starwoods point sitting in my account and I made up the difference by transferring those points (more on that later).

One thing that is quite unfortunately about AA’s search platform was that you can only search for Qantas, British Airways, and AA flights (there are a few other airlines – but not ones that I would comfortably fly on).

So in order to search for other One World availabilities, you actually have to call their call centre and ask them to do the search for you – the great thing about this is their call centre is actually incredibly friendly and professional!

Contact Details.PNG

(Call centre details)

With a few calls (and a lot of good luck), we managed to place a hold on a return Business Class trip to Sydney and a set of First Class tickets from Hong Kong to Milan next year!

One of the wonderful thing about AA’s program is that you’re allowed to place a hold on tickets for 5 days – which is a blessing for those who needs to check whether they can get leave (and you know how long you’ll be away).

Once you’re comfortable with your flights – all you need to do is call back and release those tickets (make sure your account has those miles already) – and if you’re a Marco Polo member like me, make sure you quote your MP number so it shows up in your account:

Booking confo.PNG

(Bookings confirmed!)

So let’s do the maths!

The total cost for the miles equated to approximately 33k HKD all up including Taxes and the additional 10k miles per person (assuming about 0.16HKD per miles).

A quick search on First Class tickets on CX from Hong Kong to Milan equates to about 132k HKD and Hong Kong to Sydney is 35k HKD:

Mil Price

(HKG to Mil = 132k HKD)

Syd Price

(HKG to SYD = 35k HKD)

So the total trip all up would’ve been 167k HKD – while with AAdvantage miles, we were able to book it for 33k HKD.

Whilst this is definitely not easy and does take a fair bit of fortune (especially with the award spaces), it is certainly worth the effort in my opinion. And since that 33k HKD is quite a bit to spend just on 2 flights, I like to squeeze as much value out of each dollar as I can!

That said – if you want to take advantage of the AAdvantage bonus, you’ve only got a few days left and you can do it via this link: Buy AAdvantage Miles and do keep in mind that they have also announce that they are devaluing their awards table – so make your bookings soon! (more details of the devaluations here.

We’ll be heading off on holidays next week so hopefully I can provide more updates and also a review of our flights/food/hotels!

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