Cathay Pacific Promotion: $100 Roundtrip Flights (Incl Taxes) Chicago to Hong Kong
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
On September 1, 2011 Cathay Pacific begins flying Chicago to Hong Kong non-stop. To celebrate, they are selling $100 roundtrips (including tax) for the next four Thursdays. Each day there will only be 25 tickets on each day (100 total), so have your browser loaded and ready to go at exactly 3:25pm CT on this special offer page.
While this is a longshot, TPG readers are extremely savvy and I'm confident at least one of you will get in on this deal (and hopefully many more). I'm always surprised at how good you all are at snagging good deals - during the Discover America promotions, I was constantly amazed at proportionately how many of you were able to snag the best packages - sometimes half of them went to TPG readers!
TPG readers also may have a little bit of luck. Jamie won 100,000 Southwest points from entering their miles giveaway.
Full rules of the promotion unfortunately nowhere does it state whether these tickets will be eligible to accrue miles. I doubt it, so I'd go into this assuming you won't, but be pleasantly surprised if you do. I emailed their press team for clarification so I'll update this post when I get a response (hopefully before Thursday).
Even if this contest doesn't appeal to you, this a good reminder that Cathay is starting the ORD-HKG route. As with most new routes, award availability is usually pretty good because they haven't had as much time to sell seats as with normally scheduled flights (and people in the market may not be aware that the flight exists). As of writing this blog post on July 6, there is a decent amount of award space and it's one of the best uses of British Airways miles (50/100/150k roundtrip in coach/business/first, plus you can stop in Hong Kong and continue onward in Asia).
If you didn't get in on the 100,000 mile BA credit card - don't worry, there are other ways to get BA miles cheaply. Currently, Chase is offering 50,000 miles for the Sapphire Preferred card and waiving the $85 annual fee for the first year. These points can be transferred to British Airways instantly at a 1:1 ratio. So getting this card is enough for a one way North America to Asia (with stop in Hong Kong and continuing flight) on Cathay Pacific in business class or a roundtrip coach award. Not bad for a card with the fee waived for the first year! The notorious BA fees aren't too bad either- I just pulled up a sample one-way award from Chicago to Hong Kong non-stop and the total cost was 50,000 miles and $139 in taxes and fees. Not bad for a $4,000+ flight!
American Express also has a 50% transfer bonus to British Airways until July 31, 2011, so 67,000 points will get you a roundtrip business class ticket to Asia using BA miles. Cathay awards can be booked through britishairways.com, but it's been very buggy lately, so you may have to call to ticket (though they should waive the phone ticketing fee since the website has been broken). Several TPG readers have sent me a link to a 50k sign-up for the Platinum card, but I've been told that offer is no longer active. However, in my opinion, it doesn't really matter, because you can still apply for the legitimate 25k bonus and and then bump your bonus to 100,000 miles, like many people have been able to do recently in the comments section to this post.