I was originally going to discuss this as part of my Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf review yesterday, but I thought it deserved a wider audience.
Few people know that Cathay Pacific flies from Dusseldorf to Hong Kong.
You may wonder why you need to know this! The answer is:
availability is amazing
taxes are minimal
I picked a random set of dates in January. For the outbound, I can see EIGHT business class seats and TWO first class seats available for Avios redemption.
For the return, I can see SEVEN business class seats and TWO first class seats.
Looking at other dates in early 2015, 8 business class seats and 2 first class seats appears to be the standard release.
With a 12.35 departure time from Dusseldorf, you do not even need to stay over the night before as long as you get a very early flight from the UK.
When it comes to tax, you are only paying £92 return in business class. This compares to well over £500 for a British Airways redemption in Club World – and Cathay Pacific has a substantially better reputation.
The snag ….
ALL partner rewards are now treated as peak dates with BA.
This means that Dusseldorf to Hong Kong prices at 180,000 Avios + £92 return in Business Class. (Cathay also flies from Amsterdam and Manchester, for completeness.)
On British Airways, it would be either 150,000 Avios or 180,000 Avios + £503 depending on whether it was a peak or off-peak day. Cathay is still a better deal on this basis if you do not have a 2-4-1 voucher.
With a 2-4-1, you would be paying between 150,000 and 180,000 Avios + £1,006 on British Airways compared to 360,000 Avios + £184 with Cathay Pacific, for two people.
Of course, if you can’t get BA availability then it is a mute comparison – although you can usually get something into Chengdu or Kuala Lumpur and pay or redeem on Cathay for a connection to Hong Kong.