Watch Out For Cathay Pacific Intra-Asia Equipment Swaps (Invol F Downgrades)


Many are burning their American Airlines AAdvantage miles before the award chart devaluation that happens tomorrow by booking tickets on Cathay Pacific (and hopefully many in F).

Cathay Pacific

Just a word of warning for those that book intra-Asia Cathay Pacific segments in F. You may end up riding in regional business class instead. Cathay Pacific is notorious for subbing equipment at very last minute and this happened to me last week.

So, when someone from Cathay Pacific is holding a sign with your name at the gate upon disembarking, it is probably a very bad sign.

Cathay Pacific had subbed CX506 (Hong Kong to Osaka) this past Saturday from a 747 to regional 777 and the flight now was also oversold.

The agent rebooked me on an earlier flight that was first delayed until noon and didn’t take off until 3PM. I certainly wasn’t a happy camper.

Cathay Pacific Form

Cathay Pacific issues a goodwill compensation of 1,500 HKD ($194) in case on involuntarily downgrades plus possible fare difference. The cash is given even if you are on partner award.


If you are booked in Cathay Pacific F for intra-Asia travel, it is lottery what equipment is used. They use long-haul ones that otherwise would sit idle between their European and North American rotations.

It is good that they issue goodwill compensation on the spot, but they certainly aren’t selling business to first class upgrades on these same routes for 1,500 HKD.

I originally had an option of booking JAL F to Tokyo. I thought that Cathay Pacific would be a better option due to it getting to my final destination fully in first, however this did not turn out to be the case.

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