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If you’re a mile enthusiast, the most painful of the AAdvantage award changes coming in March of 2016 is the increase of a First Class award to South Asia to 110,000 miles one way from 67,500 miles today.
The most coveted (and usually only practical) way to get to South Asia in First Class with AAdvantage miles is by flying Cathay Pacific.
Their First Class is luxurious, with Krug champagne, caviar, and multi course restaurant style dining.
Cathay flies to Hong Kong from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York JFK / EWR, San Francisco, and Vancouver.
First Class seats can be hard to come by if you don’t plan almost one year in advance, or if you aren’t flexible enough to change plans within a week of departure.
Two routes are your best bet.
Chicago is a perennial ‘easier’ route.
And last Spring Cathay Pacific started a new route from Boston to Hong Kong nonstop, and it’s flying 777-300 aircraft with full First Class cabins four days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday).
It’s also among the easier routes to find space.
Easier is relative here.
Availability is still really, really spotty. But it’s better than the high demand West Coast routes, or the New York nonstops.
Some of the dates below are available in First Class using the Qantas website to search (some, because there are British Airways flights that display in the calendar on the Qantas website on days there is no Cathay availability).
Space for 2 seats on one flight is rare, but not impossible.
Space for 1 seat is much better.
Once you get to Hong Kong it’s easy to get to Bangkok, Singapore, Saigon, or anywhere else in South Asia you want to visit.
Don’t expect these seats to last as people scramble to get awards in at the bargain price of 67,500 miles.
You’ll have to call American AAdvantage to book them, but expect long wait times after the announcement of the award chart changes and a bug on American’s website that’s giving errors when many people search for awards.
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