Flying Cathay Pacific (CX) as a Code-share
Cathay Pacific is one of my favorite airlines for flying to Asia. My first flight on Cathay Pacific was a flight from JFK-HKG in economy. I have since flown on Cathay Pacific and its sister airline Dragonair a number of times for both long haul and regional trips. Some were code-share flights; I ended up having to figure out how to get my seat assignments for my CX flights.
How To Select Your Seats
The key is to get your CX’s booking reference number. To get this number, you can:
- Call your booking airline and ask for your Cathay Pacific’s booking reservation number. Most agents can get this info for you quickly. You can then go to Cathay Pacific’s website to lookup the reservation and select your seats.
- If you have trouble with the Cathay Pacific’s website, you can also call Cathay Pacific to request your seats directly. Representatives can look up your reservation by name and flight details. However, they’d be able to pull it more quickly if you give them the CX’s reservation number.
Options for Non-CX flights
There are external sites that allows you to check on your flights, which can be helpful if you book on a partner flight. You can use sites like checkmytrip.com (Amadeus CRS) to retrieve information about your reservation, assuming the airline that you book uses the same system. For example, I had a code-share on Japan Airline (JAL) booked through British Airways (BA) earlier this year. I went to checkmytrip.com, plugged in my BA’s PNR and was able to get my JAL’s PNR. I was then able to pull up my reservation on JAL’s website and choose my seats!
Unfortunately, this option does not work on Cathay partnered flights booked through American Airlines. Even though both carriers are part of the Oneworld alliance, AA uses the Sabre CRS. While there are equivalent sites for Sabre (e.g. virtuallythere.com), I have not used it personally to see if it works for looking up CX’s PNR. I tend to just call AA and request my CX reservation number.
Ideally, things would be easier if the PNR on the code-share flight is provided on the original reservation, or if the same PNR is used across the same systems. However, airline systems — especially when airlines use different systems — can be quite complex. So, if you are particular about your seat preference, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and get your seat assignments in well before your trip.
If you have other tips or advice on how to look up partner airline’s PNR number, or a recent experience with choosing seats on a code-share flight, please share in the comments below.