By Maksim Koval, 8 June 2024

How to book cheap Cathay Pacific flights?

From booking directly with Cathay Pacific to leveraging loyalty programs and curated deals services, the table below outlines effective strategies to help you secure affordable flights. Discover each method, its potential savings, and the reasons it works.

How to get cheap flights
MethodSavingsWhy it works
Booking directly with airline2% — 10%OTAs and travel agents often add service fees
Flying on weekdays
5% — 10%Weekend flights tend to cost slightly more
Layovers / stopovers10% — 20%Non-direct flights to often cost less
Flying early morning
15% — 20%Lower demand for flights departing 1am - 5am
Early booking
10% — 30%As departure day nears, airfares start to rise
Flying during low-season10% — 30%With fewer people traveling to , prices drop due to lower demand
Booking round-trip flights10% — 35%Airlines encourage longer commitment by offering discount
Frequent flyer programs10% — 40%Discounts, travel perks and benefits to foster customer loyalty
Sales and promotions10% — 50%Airlines often offer special promotions to boost demand
Air Traveler Club BEST 40% — 80%Exclusive, handpicked SuperDeals deliver the highest savings ( learn more )

Asian destinations served by Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific flight network spans a variety of destinations in Asia and the wider Asia Pacific region:

Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam

Cathay Pacific ticket price

What is the fair price of a Cathay Pacific flight? While airfares constantly fluctuate, we can estimate costs based on historical data. If you want to know if you’re paying a fair price and not overpaying, check the figures below to gauge what to expect.

Assuming that you are flying one-way in economy class, your Cathay Pacific flight ticket will cost:

  • $50 – $200 for an ultra-short-haul flight up to 500 km (310 miles)
  • $150 – $300 for a short-haul flight ranging 500–1,500 km (310–930 miles)
  • $150 – $400 for a medium-haul flight ranging 1,500–3,000 km (930–1850 miles)
  • $300 – $600 for a long-haul flight ranging 3,000–6,000 km (1850–3700 miles)
  • $400 – $1000 for an ultra-long-haul flight above 6,000 km (3700 miles)

Round-trip (return) flights with Cathay Pacific generally provide some cost savings compared to purchasing two separate one-way tickets. As a general guide, you can expect a savings of approximately 10–30% potential savings with round-trip bookings for extensive, ultra-long-haul flights.

It is a raw estimate on what ticket price you can expect and can serve as a guideline for what might be considered a reasonable, ‘fair’ fare. It’s based on key factors like flight distance, fuel cost, aircraft types used by the carrier, and the fact that Cathay Pacific is a full-service airline.

Price-drop alerts

Price drops present an excellent chance to score an inexpensive flight. They are typically caused by an increased number of passenger cancellations — when the pricing algorithm is forced to return to lower price levels.

The same happens when the airline adds extra, unscheduled flights shortly before the departure date.

Air Traveler Club is a great source for tracking price drops. With its mobile app and email notifications, you’ll never miss a great bargain on Cathay Pacific flights.

Cathay Pacific upgrades

How to get free upgrade to Cathay Pacific Business Class?

Free upgrades to Cathay Pacific Business Class are quite rare. The Chinese carrier doesn’t offer them unless necessary – such as when the Economy Class is full. However, some tried-and-true methods (hacks) to increase your chances include joining Cathay loyalty program, traveling solo, booking flight times less popular among business travelers, or simply asking politely for an upgrade at check-in or the gate.

Let’s delve into the specifics:

  • Be loyal. Joining an Cathay – Cathay Pacific frequent flyer program – boosts your odds of free business class upgrades. Earning air miles through regular travel can lead to preferred status with the airline and possible complimentary class upgrades.
  • Know your aircraft. Wide-body planes used by Cathay Pacific have more business class seats, increasing the likelihood of empty seats. Check the aircraft type when booking and seat availability in business class close to departure. The more empty seats, the better your chances of an upgrade.
  • Fly midweek or redeye. Book a flight on the less popular times for business travellers. Flying on midweek days, or late-night hours is a good way to reduce competition for business class seats.
  • Go solo. If there is an upgrade to happen, the staff will look for solo bookings. Consider booking your flights separately even when traveling with friends.
  • Volunteer for next flight. Like many airlines, Cathay Pacific oversells flights to maximize their profit. If your flight is overbooked, consider volunteering to be “bumped” to the next flight – in exchange for an upgrade.
  • Ask for an upgrade. Asking for an upgrade at the check-in or departure gate can be effective. Inquire politely about last-minute upgrade opportunities. It will help if you have a good reason: having a bad back problem, being exceptionally tall, celebrating a honeymoon, etc.
  • Arrive early. If there is an upgraded seat available, being among the first to check in and request an upgrade often puts you in a favorable position.
  • Bid for upgrade. This method, while costing money, has been effective for many passengers. After booking your flight, you may receive an offer from Cathay Pacific to a blind auction for unsold business class seats. If your bid is successful, an upgraded boarding pass will be issued between 72 and 24 hours before departure.

Please note: not all fares can be upgraded. Don’t buy the cheapest possible Cathay Pacific ticket with that expectation.

How much is Cathay Pacific Business Class?

The cost of Business Class on Cathay Pacific flights can vary, typically being 50-200% more expensive than its economy class. For international flights, fares usually range from $2,000 to $5,000 or even higher for ultra-long-haul flights. Yes, business class tickets can be shockingly unaffordable!

On average, Cathay Pacific Business Class tickets cost $300 to $800 for short-haul (under 2 hours), $800 to $1500 for medium-haul (2-6 hours), and $1500 to $5000 for long-haul flights (over 6 hours). For ultra-long-haul flights (10 hours or more) prices start at $2500 and can go much higher, up to $8,000.

This premium price depends on factors like the type of aircraft, route, flight duration, time of booking, and demand. Additionally, business class features like spacious seating, lie-flat beds, gourmet meals, advanced entertainment, increased luggage allowances, priority boarding, and lounge access also contribute to its higher price tag.

Cathay Pacific Premium Economy: seat upgrade cost

Cathay Pacific offers a Premium Economy Class as a middle ground between Economy and Business Class. Seats in Premium Economy cabin are wider, with more generous legroom and recline than standard economy seats. They also come with exclusive amenities, a wider selection of complimentary meals and beverages, and priority boarding. Depending on the route, Premium Economy ticket may come with a higher baggage allowance.

Premium Economy Class fares typically range from 25% to 80% more than Economy tickets on the same flight. However, this is just an estimate — the upgrade cost can vary depending on travel season, demand, and time of booking.

When booking closer to the departure date, Premium Economy is generally only 10–30% more expensive than Economy fare. Cathay Pacific might offer discounted upgrades at check-in if premium seats aren’t filled.

Is the Cathay Pacific Premium Economy worth it? This decision hinges on your priorities. It may be a worthwhile investment, ensuring you arrive rejuvenated — especially if you’re heading for a medium– or long–haul flight. If your journey consists of two or more connecting flights, opting for a premium cabin on just one leg can still provide a superior journey compared to the standard economy throughout.

Why is Cathay Pacific so cheap on ATC?

Cathay Pacific can be extremely cheap when you seize opportunities such as ‘mistake fares‘, sudden price drops, sales and promotions, or employ strategies like hidden city ticketing.

Moreover, flights connected to their main Chinese hub airport — Hong Kong International Airport HKG — are typically priced lower due to the benefits of economies of scale, negotiated airport fees, and streamlined operations.

On average, ATC members save $500–$700 on flights.

Air Traveler Club (ATC) capitalizes on these opportunities by tracking over 100 airlines, including Cathay Pacific. We seek out heavily discounted deals, which we refer to as SuperDeals. All SuperDeals are 40%–80% off regular prices.

Browse SuperDeals

Airline SuperDeals showcase

Cathay Pacific tips

5–20% off when booking group flights with Cathay Pacific

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights with Cathay Pacific can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the group size and travel dates and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Cathay Pacific website typically limits automatic group bookings to 9 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline directly.

A travel agent may be better if you want more personalized service. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates for Cathay Pacific and can help with logistics and scheduling.

Cancelled Cathay Pacific flight. What are your rights, and how to rebook or refund your ticket?

Even in normal times, Cathay Pacific cancellations happen more than travelers realize. It is normal to expect around 1–2% of flights to be canceled. There are plenty of reasons why flights can be canceled: air traffic control delays, bad weather, late-arriving aircraft, mechanical issues, and staffing shortages.

Having your flight canceled is always an unfortunate situation, but if you know the rules, you can understand what you might try asking for.

If you choose to proceed with your journey after a flight cancellation, Cathay Pacific might be able to arrange an alternative flight for you, typically within a reasonable timeframe. Should Cathay Pacific fail to resolve the issue promptly, you might have the option to travel with a different airline and receive compensation for the canceled flight.

Flight cancellation could entitle you to compensation from Cathay Pacific, in a form of a cash refund. Depending on where your flight is canceled, you might also receive food vouchers and complimentary accommodation until your next flight.

Cathay Pacific may try to offer you a travel voucher in lieu of a cash refund. You don’t need to accept this, and shouldn’t, as travel vouchers can expire and may be nontransferable.

If your Cathay Pacific flight is cancelled, visit the airline’s official website and read through the specific cancellation policy. Additionally, check the regulations of the originating country for precise entitlements. Lastly, reach out to carrier’s customer service for available options tailored to your situation.

What to do if you miss your Cathay Pacific flight?

Every day, anywhere from 2% to 8% of passengers miss their Cathay Pacific flight. It can happen to even the best-prepared travelers. However, if you act quickly, know your rights, and stay polite, you can minimize the potential fallout:

  • Notify Cathay Pacific immediately. Giving the airline a heads-up improves your chances of being rebooked on the next available flight, space permitting.
  • Ensure you call the airline before your departure. While Cathay Pacific typically charges for a new ticket if you miss your flight, there are notable exceptions. If they can release and possibly resell your seat (offsetting lost revenue), you might be rebooked without extra charges. In some cases, you may only need to pay the fare difference.
  • Assess the flight schedule board. Look for later trips with Cathay Pacific. Verify if seats are available; if not, ask the check-in or gate agent to place you on the standby list.
  • Do not expect a refund if you miss a flight due to being late. Cathay Pacific will classify you as a “no-show” and no refund will apply. Note that your return flight will also be canceled automatically. However, contacting the airline before departure might secure a partial ticket credit, depending on your ticket type.
  • If you missed a connecting flight and your checked luggage has gone ahead without you, immediately contact an airline representative. The carrier may be able to track your bags and hold them for you or reroute the bag to your new flight’s destination.
  • If you miss your flight and it is the airline’s fault, you could be eligible for options like automatic rebooking, complimentary overnight accommodations, or meal vouchers.

How to ensure smooth transit between Cathay Pacific connecting flights

Before your trip, research your connecting airport. Familiarize yourself with its layout, terminals, amenities, and the location of your connecting gate. This will save you time and stress during your layover. Every airport has a minimum connection time — make sure your layover is longer than this minimum time.

Additionally:

  • You may need to move between terminals if you have a connecting flight with a different airline or separate point-to-point tickets with Cathay Pacific. Each flight may require individual check-in procedures and an additional pass through security. As your luggage may not be automatically transferred to your final destination, you’ll need to retrieve your bags and check them in again for your subsequent flight.
  • When flights are booked on separate tickets, Cathay Pacific is not responsible if you miss your connection due to a delay with the first flight. Allow plenty of buffer time between flights to account for any potential delays.
  • Gate assignments can change. Regularly check the flight information boards to ensure you’re in the right place.
  • If your airport connection is tight (1-hour layover or less), pick a set near the front of the plane. It can shave 5–10 minutes off your deplaning time, especially on larger planes.

Cathay Pacific profile

Airline profile
Full nameCathay Pacific Airways Limited
IATA codeCX
CountryChina
Commenced operations1950
Typefull-service
Cabin classesEconomy, Premium Economy, Business, First
SubsidiariesAir Hong Kong, HK Express
Subsidiary of
Airline allianceOneworld
Frequent flyer programCathay
HubsHong Kong International Airport HKG
Main destinations
Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
Fleet size121
Aircraft

Airbus A321neo, Airbus A330, Airbus A350, Boeing 777

Official Websitehttps://www.cathaypacific.com

FAQ

Does Cathay Pacific last-minute flights get cheaper?

No, last-minute flights are often more expensive than booking in advance. Airlines increase prices as the departure date approaches, knowing that urgent travelers will pay a premium, especially for business or emergency travel.

Check this in-depth explanation of how last-minute deals work.

How to request a refund for your Cathay Pacific ticket?

If your flight was canceled by Cathay Pacific (due to bad weather, technical problems, strikes, overbooking, etc), you are entitled to a full refund.

If you need to cancel your flight for any reason, the refund amount will depend on your ticket's fare conditions.

You may be able to apply for a refund online through the cathaypacific.com website. Visit their refunds page and follow the instructions to complete your refund request.

Once a refund request has been submitted, wait for a confirmation email. Cathay Pacific will review your request and typically process the refund within 1-2 weeks.

Please note:

  • Low-fare tickets are typically non-refundable. You will not receive a refund if you cancel your flight.
  • Be sure to cancel your flight as soon as possible. The earlier you cancel, the more likely you will receive a full refund.
  • Cathay Pacific may charge you a cancellation or processing fee.
  • Refunds for tickets purchased through a travel agent or OTA must be requested through that agent.

Can I get a refund if my Cathay Pacific flight price drops after I buy?

Generally, no. The booking price is final, and the airline won't refund even if the price dropped for the same dates, times, and class.

However, there are exceptions:

  • Your ticket is fully refundable. You can then cancel it at any time, usually without a fee, and buy a new one at a lower price.
  • You’re fine taking another flight. Ask for rescheduling to the same or the next day. A rebooking fee may apply, but if the price difference is big enough, it could be worth it.
  • Your flight originates or ends in the U.S. Take advantage of the 24-hour penalty-free cancellation window (the rule introduced for all airlines by the U.S. Department of Transportation). You'll get a full refund as long as your flight is at least 7 days away.

Does Cathay Pacific have refundable tickets?

Cathay Pacific does offer refundable tickets depending on the fare type purchased. Here are some general rules:

  • Light: Non-refundable
  • Essential: Refundable with a fee
  • Flex: This fare typically allows for a free or reduced-fee refund

Do I have to recheck my luggage on connecting flights?

When all layover flights are booked with Cathay Pacific, your baggage will be automatically transferred through to your final destination. However, if one of the flights is with a different airline, you may have to claim and re-check your baggage during your layover.

How to get an extra legroom seat on Cathay Pacific plane?

Securing an extra legroom seat on a Cathay Pacific plane requires some planning and flexibility, but you can easily score one of these seats by familiarizing yourself with the cabin layout and checking in for your flight early. You may also consider paying for an upgrade to a seat with ample legroom and enhanced comfort.

As the location of the extra legroom seats varies depending on the aircraft, we recommend visiting the SeatGuru website. By simply entering your Cathay Pacific flight number, you can access a detailed seat map specific to your flight. Hover over individual seats to identify those with ample legroom. They are often found in exit rows, bulkhead rows (the first row in each cabin section), or other designated areas that offer additional legroom.

Due to their desirable features, the preferred seats are in high demand. They are often limited in number and typically incur additional fees. Seats with extra legroom located in front and exit rows ("hot seats") are priced higher. However, for medium– and long–haul flights, the additional cost of $10-$50 may be worth the increased comfort. Hot seats typically provide at least 36 inches of legroom (4-6 inches more than standard economy seats), wider seat pitch, and may also have adjustable footrests and recline further back.

Paying for an extra legroom seat is usually a more affordable option than upgrading to a Premium Economy.

How do I obtain my Cathay Pacific boarding pass?

Cathay Pacific boarding pass is a travel document that contains crucial information about your flight, confirms your seat and allows you to board the plane. It includes the passenger’s name, flight number, boarding time, boarding zone, gate number, seat number, and other essential flight details. The Cathay Pacific boarding pass can be in paper or electronic format. The boarding pass is issued during check-in — online on the airline's website (usually available 24 hours before the flight), its mobile app (mobile boarding pass) or at the airport. You can print your boarding pass at home or use a mobile app to store the digital boarding pass on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can check in at the airport, where the airline's representative will issue the boarding pass for you.

How to check Cathay Pacific flight status?

If you have the flight number at hand, you can conveniently check the Cathay Pacific flight status on the airline’s website. Visit the flight status page to get the reliable information regarding the scheduled and actual departure and arrival times.

There are several online platforms where you can check the status of Cathay Pacific flight: FlightRadar24, FlightStats, or FlightAware. They offer comprehensive information about any flight (regardless of the airline) – including real-time flight tracking.

Alternatively, input your flight number directly into Google's search bar. Drawing data from diverse sources (including the airlines themselves), Google will provide you with all the crucial flight information right on the search results page.

References

  1. Flight search. Online booking tool for Cathay Pacific Economy, Premium Economy, Business, First class tickets.
  2. Online check-in. Self-check in and boarding pass.
  3. Baggage policy. Checked and hand luggage regulations on Cathay Pacific flights.
  4. Fare rules. Terms, fees, and restrictions for various ticket types. Also: Cathay Pacific flexible ticket availability.
  5. Refunds and cancellations. Procedures and policies for canceling flights and obtaining refunds.
  6. Cathay Pacific help. How to get in touch with the airline: customer service numbers, call centers, offices, and more.