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Book now: Cathay Pacific business-class and first-class award availability

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Editor’s note: Citi is a TPG advertising partner. 

Looking to travel to Hong Kong in 2025? Cathay Pacific — a Hong Kong-based carrier — currently has open award availability in business and first class from January through March 2025, as first flagged by @FindFlightsforMe.

Though the airline operates using a distance-based award chart, a rarity among airlines as most have moved to dynamic pricing, finding open award availability from the U.S. to China has been limited on this airline.

According to Cathay’s award chart, you can fly an ultra-long route (7,501-plus miles) from U.S. airports, such as New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) one-way in business class for 110,000 miles or one-way in first class for 160,000 miles.


While this isn’t an amazing deal for a one-way flight from the U.S. to Asia in business or first class, it’s not terrible. If you’re looking for flexibility on your travel days or want to plan your vacation to Asia months in advance, this could be a good award flight to jump on. Plus, who doesn’t love a direct flight?

Book Cathay Pacific business-class and first-class award availability for 2025

When searching for award availability, be sure to log in to Cathay Pacific and search the day(s) you’re looking to fly. Cathay shows three days before and three days after the day you search, which is useful, as days that have no award availability will show as “not available” on that date.


Note, while business- and first-class tickets are available, finding first-class cabin fare is more limited … but not impossible.

If you want to snag this 2025 fare, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points, Bilt Rewards Points, Capital One miles or Citi ThankYou Rewards points to Cathay Pacific at a 1:1 transfer ratio. However, in tests run by TPG, not all point transfers to Cathay happen instantly; therefore, it may take 48 hours (or longer) until your points hit your Cathay account.

However, TPG senior editorial director Nick Ewen transferred Amex points to Cathay Pacific today, and they did arrive immediately.

Additionally, before committing to Cathay Pacific, it’s always best to check partner airlines to compare fare prices. For example, you may be able to book seats on Cathay Pacific for fewer miles on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines’ websites. However, availability through these partners is extremely limited.

When I searched dates in 2025 on Alaska and American, I only found main cabin and premium economy award tickets when flying from JFK to HKG. But, if you don’t mind sitting in premium economy, this is a better deal than booking the same flight on Cathay’s own website.

Cathay charges 75,000 miles for premium economy seats, while American charges just 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. However, AAdvantage is only a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards, which is ending in June. So, unless you have a stash of AAdvantage miles, it may be easier to book through Cathay Pacific.

Best credit cards to book Cathay Pacific award flights

Bottom line

Though 110,000 and 160,000 miles, respectively, for one-way business-class and first-class fares is not necessarily a “deal” being offered by Cathay Pacific, as it’s the carrier’s standard award pricing, seeing open availability across several months is rare. Plus, if you’re looking to celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, this could be a decent award fare to jump on before it disappears.