How to reserve seats 2A & 2K in Cathay Pacific 777 first class

Cathay Pacific has one of the smallest first class cabins out there on their 777s, with just six seats spread across two rows. Despite the small cabin, award seats are generally quite easy to come by.

Often tougher than snagging the actual award seats is assigning seats, given that Cathay Pacific blocks two of the six first class seats. Specifically they block seats 2A & 2K, which are reserved as bassinet seats. It’s kind of a silly policy given that I’ve never actually been in a Cathay Pacific first class cabin with a baby, so I’d rather they let you assign any seat, and then later swap your seats if there’s a situation where a bassinet is needed.

Anyway, if you try to assign a seat online you’ll always see that seats 2A & 2K are blocked.

And if you try calling Cathay Pacific’s US call center, they’ll usually tell you that the seats can’t be assigned in advance, and that they’re saved for airport assignment.

Maybe this is common knowledge, but if you call Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong call center, they’ll always let you assign seats 2A & 2K, though they’ll add the disclaimer about your seat being subject to change if a bassinet is needed.

And that’s pretty valuable, since 2A is my favorite seat on the plane whether I’m traveling alone or with someone. The two center seats in first class (1D & 2D) open towards the right aisle, so the only seats with access to the left aisle are 1A & 2A. Therefore if I’m alone I like the privacy of 2A, while if I’m traveling with someone I’d rather that we have the whole aisle to ourselves.

Hopefully that’s useful to some of you. As always, Cathay Pacific only allows seat assignments at most 180 days out.

Comments

  1. @Lucky: May be missing something, but I was able to assign seat 2A by calling the local number and that too my travel is in January 2014. So more than 180 days out. You cannot assign “online” 180 days out, but agent can do on phone.

  2. @ David — I still like 1A and 2A, since even if you’re in 2D & 2K you can’t really talk to one another. But 2D & 2K would definitely be my favorites if you want to sit “next” to one another.

  3. I didn’t have any problems with 1A when I sat there last year. Will do so again later this year. They keep the curtain closed so there’s no real issues with the galley as far as I was concerned. Not sure why you rate 2A as being any better than 1A.

  4. @ RakSiam — Well all seats in Cathay Pacific first class are great, but I do think 2A is a bit more private than 1A. There’s more foot traffic between the forward galley and 1A than there is between the curtain behind the cabin and 2A.

  5. I prefer 1K. Easy to get and the incremental foot traffic is so minor that it is not an issue.

  6. I had the center rear sets assigned on my reservation, at the airport ( both lax and hkg) I asked for 2A and got it no problem, just lucky 🙂

  7. Very timely, just called the US call center this morning as it was the second time my assignment of 2A was switched by Cathay to 2D in an otherwise empty cabin. This time the rep wouldn’t put me back in 2A saying it is impossible to assign that seat in advance and must be done at the airport day of departure. I’ll try the Hong Kong office when they open.

  8. @lucky – I have always been able to reserve 2A well over 180 days in advance by calling the call center in India. I think the 180 day limit is only online or maybe just isn’t enforced by some agents.

  9. Must be a popular seat. Seat 2A on CX 806 in March HKG to ORD did not work. Electrics failed seat got stuck and the wood on the left was all scratched up. Went to 1A and all was well.

  10. This is why I love this blog. I’m pretty sure that the fact that, specifically, the Hong Kong call center of Cathay Pacific will allow you to assign specific seats that are normally blocked in First Class on a single specific aircraft configuration is kind of the opposite of “common knowledge” But then again, I guess it depends on your audience!

  11. Just got off a great flight in 2A. Very private and quiet seat. Was glad I was able to switch from 1K

  12. This was last year, but I was able to reserve 1A and 2A at ~275 days out by calling the Singapore office. USA and HK offices would not do it for me, but Singapore did.

  13. The US call center reserved 2A for me without the disclaimer twice in the past month. Perhaps due to being OW Emerald?

  14. @ phazedowt — Even as a OneWorld Emerald haven’t had much luck with the US call center.

  15. I have a flight to MNL on CX First leaving December 7 and returning Dec 29 (180+ days form now). Got curious about this post so called Chicago’s contact number just this evening. Spoke with an agent, requested 2A for all flight segments, was told 2A “is a bassinet seat and will be changed at the airport as needed” but gave me 2A anyway! Checked CX’s website and there it was! Happy 🙂

  16. @ Carole — No, Cathay Pacific has a bunch of airline partners, including all OneWorld airlines. So you can redeem lots of other mileage currencies for Cathay Pacific as well.

  17. Gee, thanks for reminding me about this after I’ve flown to Narita. 🙂 I meant to call CX about my seat for November while I was in freakin’ Hong Kong. However, I kept myself too busy and forgot. I thought of it when I was in the air on DL156 today. Maybe will give it a try via Skype tonight.

    I get a rather different picture when I look at the seat map for a November JFK-HKG flight I’m on. The *only* seat that can be selected on the CX website is 2D. EF shows 1D vacant, but the four window seats as “preferred”. (I have no oneworld status.) Oh, the flight is F5 right now, so there’s no one actually occupying the seats.

  18. Just called the Hong Kong number and was told 2A is a bassinet seat and cannot be assigned in advance. She said they can put a request in but I would need to ask to have it assigned at the airport.

  19. Thanks I will try again tomorrow – didn’t have another 30 minutes to spend on hold with Hong Kong again this AM!

  20. Just as a follow up, I got an explanation from an agent on the US number. She put me back in 2A but said that they often move people out of that seat if there is no indication that the passenger is traveling with a baby, which is why they bumped me out if twice before. She said to monitor it and unfortunately I’d probably be moved again and would have to keep calling back to try and get someone to reassign that seat. An annoying game of cat and mouse.

  21. Know other people have had different experiences so wanted to report mine.
    I called HK office 3 times this past week and couldn’t get it… was about to give up and just now called US office and they were able to get 1A and 2A for us.

  22. Good news, this still works great. For my upcoming flight, the online map says that the *only* available seat is 2D, even though the first class cabin is otherwise empty. 2A and 2K were blocked for bassinets, but I’m not sure why 1A/1D/1K were blocked too. Maybe it’s an exit row? Anyway, I called the Hong Kong service center and they moved me to 2A without any problems.

  23. @ Adam — Not that I know of. It’s fairly cheap if you call over Skype or Google Voice, but no way to call toll free.

  24. Thanks for the advice, I called the Hong Kong number and she switched me to 2A right away, really easy.

  25. Just did this to book seat 2A from HKG to LAX 1 month out. No questions from the agent at all and changed it immediately. Thought I was out of luck with the seat showing as taken on CX site until I stumbled back across this blog post. Thanks Ben! (FYI the new number for Hong Kong call center is +852 2747 3333)

  26. Thanks for the advice. I had no idea 2A was set aside due to the bassinets. On the seat map it just shows as filled with no explanation. I called the US number and they changed the seat, no problem. They did tell me I could be moved if a parent needed the seat, but that would only mean I would be put back in 2D where I was anyway.

  27. I also tried online to get 2A booked to no avail as the above rules are obviously still in place. Contacted the CX Singapore call center as someone suggested and had no problem switching all four of my F legs from 1A to 2A.

  28. Hi Lucky,

    I called Cathay and they can assigned 1A for me but didn’t mention 2A was available. But I’m okay with 1A – My departure date is > 180 days.

    I booked two oneway award tickets using AAdvantage miles. The outbound trip is DCA-JFK-HKG-CGK (US, CX, CX). The inbound trip is CGK-NRT-ORD-DCA (JL, JL, AA). To select a seat, I used US Airways record locator and went directly to US Airways website. I was able to pick a seat there, but my reservation on my AAdvantage account is number updated. It still shows unassigned. The same thing for the JAL flights. I used JAL record locator and was able to pick a seat through JAL website, but my reservation on my AAdvantage account is never updated.

    Do you know why this is happening? Is there any way to fix it?

    Thanks!

    John

  29. @ John W — That’s normal. As long as the site of the airline operating the flight shows it correctly, you should be fine.

  30. HI Lucky: Stumbled across this post (we have CX F scheduled in June) and tried it out. I was able to score 2A on two separate flights from HKG-LAX. The number we called was different though–011-852-2747-3333. I was only able to select 2D (middle seat) when I went line. As always, great information. Thank you.

  31. Just to confirm: all of this information is still correct except the HKG phone number which is indeed now +852 2747-3333. I was through the voice menu, changed to 2A on both SIN-HKG and HKG-LAX, and off the phone in ~3 minutes. This after checking back on availability got me out of Coach in into First when someone apparently turned back an award seat this morning.

    Thanks for all this Lucky, and for your (and Tiffiny’s) recent coverage on the recent Alaska Airlines redemption issues with Cathay!

  32. Such great information – was able to call the Cathay Pacific US Reservation number to get my award ticket (booked through BA) changed to seat 2A (from seat 2D)!!! When I called BA first, she said seat 2A was “restricted” and I gave up hope… until reading your post. I called Cathay and the nice gentleman assigned me seat 2A no problem. Thanks for the info and tip!

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