Cathay Pacific to start service to Chicago

While this blog is much more miles/points/travel focused than “industry” focused, I do try to announce new airline routes when they’re significant to consumers, and this one probably is. Starting September 1, 2011, Cathay Pacific will launch daily nonstop service from Chicago to Hong Kong on their Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The flight will operate on the following schedule:

CX807 Chicago to Hong Kong departing at 3:25PM and arriving at 8:00PM
CX806 Hong Kong to Chicago departing at 11:45AM and arriving at 1:45PM

This is significant because Cathay Pacific is actually pretty good about releasing award space in premium cabins, especially in first class. If award availability is anything like on their Toronto to Hong Kong flight, it won’t be unusual to see two of the six first class seats available for award redemption.

Furthermore, Chicago is a very easy connecting point, given that American has a hub there. It’ll be much easier to make connections there than Cathay Pacific’s San Francisco or Toronto gateways.

Comments

  1. I spoke with a great RCC agent yesteday, and he also mentioned this startup service by CX. I hope it lessens United’s ORD-HKG flight bookings enough to let UA allocate a bit more award space on the HKG flights.

  2. Thanks for posting this! I flew CX F for the first time recently HKG-LAX and it was quite a treat. And I agree on award availability – especially close in. This route just gets me that much closer to final destination and less time on domestic F.

  3. Award availability is pretty good, not as good as ex-YYZ and perhaps not quite as good as ex-SFO but better than LAX/JFK/YVR. And of course it’s an easy connection… those redeeming BA miles don’t want to mix carriers, of course, and most of those using AS miles prefer the LAX/SFO/YVR flights. But AA mileage holders have it good with this change, because Chicago usually means just one flight to the international gateway instead of two.

  4. Award availability will probably be good at first on this route since it is new and not well known, but over time I would expect it will diminish somewhat due to the easy connections with AA.

  5. Great news indeed. Took the RDU-LGA-YYZ-HKG in early december and would prefer RDU-ORD if possible. Maybe this will open up award availability for JFK-HKG.

  6. Also, remember that BA awards to East Asia and much of SE Asia are 50000 miles if you use only one airline, so if you can’t get across the Pacific on the JAL flight, this is another option for those of us here in Chicago.

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