How to redeem seats with Alaska Mileage Plan?

Hi All,

I am looking at taking advantage of the 40% bonus miles on offer from Alaska Airlines.

I am hoping to travel from Melbourne to Hong Kong return business class on Cathay Pacific in the period of May - September this year. Cathay Pacific is selling this airfair for around A$4.500.00. By taking advantage of the promotion by Alaska Airlines I would only need to buy A$1,620.00 worth of miles (43,000 + 17,200 bonus miles - $1,217.19 USD) - what great value!?

However, every time I search for any Melbourne - Hong Kong rewards seats I get the below message:

We could not fulfill your request. This could be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • There are flights, but all award space is taken.
  • There are no flights for the city pair entered.
  • There are no flights operating on the specific day of the week entered.
  • The routing requested may not be allowed.
    Please change your search.
    Error Code: -1580

I have tried changing dates and months many times but nothing seems to be available? I understand the available seats Cathay provides Alaska Airlines for miles redemption would be low however is there something I am missing? Should I call Alaska Airline and try book through them?

I look forward to hearing any advice you can offer!



Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is a fantastic way to travel business class for premium economy prices, but its even better to occasionally experience 1st class between HKG and Europe or North America. I’ve been redeeming award seats ex Adelaide to HKG then Europe for about 4 years, and the availability on CX is always excellent about 300-330 days out, and usually opens up again for multiple Business Class seats on many flights between 21 and 7 days out. But availability is very spotty between those two extremes. To find award seats on CX you need to use wither the Qantas FF website, or British Airways Executive Club site to find availability and then call Alaska Air’s call centre - the number I use on Skype is 0011 1800 252 7522 as this goes through as a free call.\r\nAs long as you are somewhat flexible you can usually snag the seats you want, by booking early, or just a couple weeks before you travel. I have sometimes locked in a few economy seats, just to make sure I won’t be stranded, and then monitor every day, and sometimes a few times a day in the last 3 weeks before travel. Of course one of the strengths of Mileage Plan bookings is that you can change or cancel flights for free up to 60 days before travel, but even if you have to make the changes in the last few days, the change fees are reasonable, considering the excellent value of CX Business at that price. One other thing, whenever I know I will be booking in future, I make sure I buy the points when Alaska Air offers 35% or 40% discount, on a couple occasions the discount has been slightly better, but this is quite rare. Alaska Air is also great value if you are holidaying in Asia and want to travel from say Singapore to Tokyo, because you can break your travel in HKG , and it can be cheaper even than using AVIOS for these longer regional flights.

Thanks for this helpful info bails369. Just wondering if you have any advice on finding J & F awards on CX. Is it just a matter of checking the BA site regularly? Or there is some alert I could set up somewhere. TIA.

Hi Thomas,

you have to call Alaska Airlines call Centre for CX redemption. Unfortunately the toll free number provided on the website does not work for me on either mobile or VoIP phone. I used to call the regular number using free call credits on my mobile. 80% of the calls were answered/put through within 3 minutes. Better hang up and call again if you have been put on hold longer than that.

Also, it may not be easy to get a business class redemption on CX just 3 or 4 months away. I have been looking for an award booking (Sydney/Hong Kong) for just one seat in late November for the last few weeks but still have no luck. There can be last minute award seats released closer to the flight date but it does not work for me as there are so many other arrangements (accommodation, etc.) that need to be firmed up much sooner.

Good luck and please share with us your booking experience.