Since virtually everyone in Hong Kong is an Asia Miles member, I created a series of posts advising the methods I use to search for award seats on Asia Miles or one of the oneworld partners. Therefore, these posts also apply to members of British Airways Avios, American Airlines AAdvantage, Qantas Frequent Flyer, JAL Mileage Bank, or another oneworld program.
Here is the list:
The best way to search for Cathay Pacific CX or Dragonair KA flights is to use their own web sites or the British Airways tool. However, I find using the CX/KA web site to be better since you can use flexible dates to see available seats.
The CX/KA tool is the same, so it doesn’t matter which web site you go to. Once on the homepage you need to click ‘redeem flights’ and enter your Asia miles details. Once logged in you’ll search for your flights. I suggest always searching for one-way tickets, as it will show you if seats are available on your outbound and the classes available. If you only search for roundtrip, if either your inbound or outbound aren’t available, then it won’t show available at all.
For example, lets say you want to go HKG – Shanghai (PVG) but only the leg from HKG – PVG is available, PVG – HKG is not. If you search one-way you’ll see the outbound leg and nothing for the return. So you’ll know you can try booking an outbound on CX and a return on MU perhaps. But if you searched roundtrip, you won’t see any flights available on your selected date.
If flights aren’t available on your selected date, you can search flexible dates and it’ll show you flights available (if any,) a few days out on either side of your selected date. The tool will also show you other booking classes available.
The tool overall isn’t great, but shows accurate inventory bookable using Asia Miles, and usually the same inventory is available on partners, though not 100% of the time. Most of the time inventory will not change until you get closer to your date of departure. I’d say within a month, then CX/KA will release seats if they know they cannot sell them.