Update: Cathay Pacific’s final JFK-Vancouver-JFK flight will be on March 27, 2020.
Originally posted on 9/9:
5th freedom flights, where an airline sells tickets between 2 foreign cities, are a dying breed. Once upon a time airlines like Northwest and United operated extensive route networks in Asia, but the ability to fly nonstop from the US to more remote locations on fuel efficient planes have meant that those are becoming increasingly rare.
But the latest route cut hurts most.
Cathay Pacific currently flies nonstop between JFK and Vancouver. Sadly it will be discontinued next March. It’s the best flight within North America by a long shot. The flight is operated by a 777 with 4 classes of service, including a first class cabin that is among the best in the world, let alone in North America where true first class fell out of fashion long ago.
Mileage availability on the flight is excellent and I’ve flown the route several times in business and first class using miles. I wrote about our first trip to Vancouver on Cathay Pacific some 7 years ago here. Mimi and I flew back to Vancouver a few years ago and once again had an amazing trip to the beautiful city, with fantastic Cathay Pacific first class service.
If you want to book an award to Vancouver it just takes 17.5K Alaska miles for coach, 20K for premium economy, 25K for business, or 35K for first class. Note that you need to call to book Cathay awards using Alaska miles. Or you can use 13K BA miles for coach, 38,750 miles for business, or 51.5K for first class. Note that you need to call to book Cathay awards using BA miles if you want to travel within a week, but you can search for award space using Qantas.
Cathay Pacific is known for releasing lots of award space as it gets within 2 weeks of a flight. They increase the amount of award space with each passing day if the flight has seats for sale.
Have you flown Cathay Pacific between JFK and Vancouver?