American Expands Options for Booking Flights to Asia

Meghan Coyle
By Meghan Coyle 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Getting to Asia might require a long-haul flight and probably a stop or two, but at least it’s getting easier to book through American Airlines.

The carrier has launched a new codeshare agreement with Cathay Dragon that allows American Airlines passengers to connect to four new destinations in Asia. American also recently added the ability to book award flights on Japan Airlines online.

Here’s what American Airlines customers should know about the new Asia flight offerings.

Buy flights to new destinations

The new codeshare agreement means American Airlines can begin selling select flights out of Hong Kong International Airport operated by Cathay Dragon.

From Hong Kong, passengers can connect to four new destinations:

  • Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  • Da Nang, Vietnam.

  • Phuket, Thailand.

That means you don’t have to leave the American Airlines site to book flights all the way to these airports. The Cathay Dragon leg of these flights will still have an AA flight number.

More availability to existing destinations

The partnership with Cathay Dragon will also increase the number of flights American offers to several existing destinations:

  • Penang, Malaysia.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  • Hanoi, Vietnam.

Nonstop flights to Hong Kong are your gateway to Asia

Since all Cathay Dragon codeshare flights originate in Hong Kong, you’ll want to find nonstop flights to Hong Kong for the shortest possible trip to these new and existing destinations, if you can.

Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific flies from several U.S. cities nonstop to Hong Kong, and American Airlines itself flies nonstop from Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Redeeming miles for Cathay flights

According to American's partner award chart, a one-way economy ticket from the continental U.S. to Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam will cost 37,500 miles; it could cost less (or potentially more) if your overseas leg is on American rather than Cathay Pacific.

Note that you can't book Cathay flights on American's website; you have to call American to do so.

Book travel on Japan Airlines online

You might not be able to book Cathay flights on American's website (yet), but as of June it's now possible to book Japan Airlines flights on

If you're using points, an economy award from Los Angeles to Tokyo on JAL can be booked for 32,500 miles one-way.

This is just the most recent airline to be added to American's online booking system. Over the past year, customers have gained the ability to book flights online via partner airlines such as Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui,

The bottom line

Asia just got a little more accessible for American Airlines customers. The Cathay Dragon codeshare agreement opens up access to more flights and destinations. Award travel to Asia on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines won’t cost you a ton of miles, either. It’s one good option for redeeming miles earned from an American credit card.

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