This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series Booking Alaska Partner Awards

If a psychiatrist asked me what makes me content, happy and satisfied … I’d probably say an Alaska Airlines award ticket on Cathay Pacific with a stopover. Why? Because it’s an incredible value and I’m a sucker for deals.

As you know Alaska Airlines award tickets permits one free stopover on an one way ticket and two free stopovers on a roundtrip. What’s more amazing is for some Alaska partner carriers like JAL, stopovers are allowed even on a ticket within a continent.

In comparison, Aeroplan does not allow stopovers on one way tickets and permits two free stopovers on a roundtrip ticket that crosses continents. With that said, Alaska’s stopover rules are generally better and Aeroplan’s policies are already extremely generous.

Too good to be true?

Yeah a little bit. The knock on Alaska is that they are not part of a global alliance and they only allow you to redeem an award ticket with one partner per one way. Although you can still add positioning flights on Alaska Airlines, you wont be able to add a flight on JAL to a flight on Cathay Pacific as you would be accustomed to doing on an oneworld award ticket.

Being unable to mix partner carriers will absolutely limit your selection of cities to place a stopover at. This means if you are redeeming Alaska miles on Japan Airlines and are looking for a stopover in Asia, you are limited to stopping somewhere in Japan where you can continue your journey onward on another Japan Airlines flight.

Sometimes your international stopover option is limited to just one city on carriers that only have a single hub. Redeeming Alaska miles on Icelandair means your only international stopover is Reykjavik. And when Alaska introduces award redemptions on Finnair, the only stopover there is Helsinki.

I thought this was also true for Cathay Pacific with a single hub in Hong Kong … until I remembered Cathay operates several flights between cities outside of Hong Kong which would open up more stopover cities, including one close to home.

Outside of Hong Kong, here are the other 5 stopover cities for Alaska awards on Cathay Pacific you may have not known about.

1. Vancouver, Canada

Stop on by my friends. Vancouver (YVR) is a stopover city as Cathay Pacific operates flight CX888/889 between Vancouver to New York. This means that on an Alaska award from Hong Kong to New York, you can choose to fly direct or fly Hong Kong to Vancouver to New York and place your stopover in Vancouver.

For those living in Vancouver, a stopover at YVR is the way to build a stopover at home and get a free one way flight from YVR-JFK.

Cathay Pacific HKG-YVR-JFK

The route is operated by their 777 four class configuration which means international First Class is available on this flight.

Cathay Pacific First Class

2. Bangkok, Thailand

Not that you need another reason to visit Bangkok (BKK). Make it your stopover city on route to Singapore (SIN) on Cathay Pacific flight 711. As much as I love making a pit stop in Hong Kong, if I was travelling to Singapore, a stopover in Bangkok seems like the better choice. The tandem of cities would satisfy both the resort and city traveler in you. 

Cathay Pacific HKG-BKK-SIN

3. Brisbane, Australia

If you’ve never visited Australia, you can visit two cities on one award ticket with a stopover in Brisbane (BNE) and then fly CX146 to Cairns (CNS).

Cathay Pacific HKG-BNE-CNS

The route is operated by a A330 with reverse herringbone seats for business class.

Cathay Pacific Business Class

4. Dubai, UAE

Probably not the most popular stopover city on an Alaska award but you can stopover in Dubai (DXB) and fly onward to Bahrain (BAH) on Cathay Pacific flight 745. Not expecting you to take the flight but this 1 hour 15 minute hopper is no doubt a trivia worthy fact for PointsU 😊

Cathay Pacific HKG-DXB-BAH

5. Taipei, Taiwan

Stop it. This is crazy. Cathay Pacific has FOUR flights from Taipei (TPE) that fly onward to Seoul (ICN), Osaka (KIX), Nagoya (NGO), and Tokyo (NRT). As someone with family living in Taipei a stopover here is much preferred than Hong Kong on a trip from North America to South Korea/Japan.



Remember you get two free stopovers on a roundtrip so you can mix and match your stopover cities. For example you could fly YYZ-HKG-BKK-SIN with a stopover in BKK and return SIN-HKG-YYZ with a stopover in HKG.

If you want to visit even more destinations, Alaska’s intra-Asia award redemptions on JAL allow a stopover starting at 15,000 in economy and 25,000 in business. A future post on that. Unfortunately stopovers are not permitted on intra-Asia awards on Cathay Pacific. H/T Allan for the correction.

If you’re short of Alaska miles, remember to check out our MBNA Alaska Mastercard review. Have fun planning your next stopover-filled trip!

Series Navigation<< Fascinating Alaska Airlines DiscoveryOpen jaw tickets on Japan Airlines with Alaska Mileage Plan >>
Chao is not your typical Asian: he’s good with numbers, likes deals, and loves to travel on miles. He calls Vancouver, Canada home and travels to Asia and Europe once a year visiting family and exploring new sceneries. He is best known for helping beginners grasp the concept of points and sharing unique methods to earn and redeem miles efficiently. Chao is one of the main content writers for PointsNerds.


  1. But I tried to book an intra-asia stopover on CX F last year and they said it’s not allowed(BKK-HKG-SIN). So I scheduled a 23h45m layover in HKG. I think you can do intra-asia stopovers with JAL yes?

    • Hi Allan, you are correct that stopovers are not permitted on intra-Asia Cathay awards. The Alaska agent I spoke with said they were permitted but another reader just confirmed you are correct as they were also unable to put a stopover on their intra-Asia Cathay award.

      I’ve fixed the post. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi Chao, for the HKG-YVR-JFK booking on Alaska, do you need to know your exact date of YVR-JFK? Or can you put a random date in the future and then change it for free later on even after travel from HKG-YVR has been completed?

    I was also wondering if there’s no Cathay availability from HKG-YVR, could I do HKG-SFO-SEA-YVR provided that the latter flights are on Alaska metal?


    • You can put a random date in the future and change it for free 60 days before the scheduled onward journey (in your case YVR-JFK).
      Also, mixing Cathay with Alaska flights and the route HKG-SFO-SEA-YVR are definitely doable!

  3. Nice read Chao. Are stopovers defined the same way with the Mileage Plan as Aeroplan? I.e >24hrs.

    For example – if I wanted to go from YYC to DXB, could I make a booking that goes from YYC-SEA-LAX/YVR on AS and then CX from HKG and then to Dubai, as long as the stopovers are all less than 24 hrs (i.e layovers as how AP defines it i guess)?

    • Yep stopovers >24hrs and layovers <24hrs are interpreted the same on AS Mileage Plan as AP. You should be able to put one stopover and as many layovers of less than 24hrs on all the cities in your example.

  4. I thought that the stopover was only permitted in the hub city (HKG). So YYZ-HKG-BKK(stop)-SIN(dest) actually works on Cathay?!

    • The Brisbane (BNE) stopover can only be used if your final destination is Cairns (CNS). So if you had a ticket from HKG to CNS, you can stop in BNE.

      Between HKG to JFK, you can stop in YVR. Between SIN to JFK, you can stop in BKK, HKG, or YVR.

  5. What are your options if you had family in Osaka and live in YVR?

    I get the NRT-YVR-JFK trick, but is it possible to have a stopover in Osaka and visit other places in Asia, like Taipei?

    I’m not 100% how that would work?

    Can you do an open jaw? YVR-NRT KIX-TPE?

    I see how you could do YVR-HKG-KIX right with a stopover in HKG, but are there any other good options for Asia?

    • Unfortunately no. For a stopover in BKK, your origin or destination must be SIN. For a stopover in TPE, your origin or destination must be ICN, NGO, KIX, NRT. I would suggest you put a stopover in HKG between Australia and the US and then buy/redeem separate tickets from HKG to TPE/BKK.

  6. Hi Chao,

    I want to visit HKG (stopover/destination) and one other Asian city (stopover/destination) with Alaska Miles and Cathay from YVR and returning to YVR.

    What Asian cities would work in this case? I’m thinking either BKK or DPS or HAN or Singapore.

    Would I book it like this, or possible to do it as a round trip ticket?
    First ticket = YVR –> HKG (layover) –> HAN (destination)
    Second ticket = HAN –> HKG (stopover) –> YVR


    • Hi Alvin,
      For destinations, BKK, DPS, SIN would definitely work. Double check if Cathay Pacific flies to HAN on your dates because I believe only Cathay Dragon (Dragonair) operates that route. You wont be able to book Cathay Dragon with Alaska miles.

      For a roundtrip I’d aim for something like this.
      First ticket = YVR –> HKG (stopover) –> BKK, DPS, SIN
      Second ticket = BKK, DPS, SIN –> HKG (layover if you want) –> YVR (stopover) -> JFK

  7. would it be possible to do a North America –> HKG –> SIN (stopover) –> BKK award flight on CX? Is Singapore listed as a stopover destination for CX award tickets?

  8. Hi Chao!
    Thank you for all of the great tips! I was wondering, based on my churning schedule, I believe I can redeem for a CX J or F one way trip to australia. However, I’m stuck for the return – do you have any recommendations on which program would be best for me to get back to canada? Thanks!

  9. Hello, can I do YVR-JFK-HKG? I know for sure, like I said, that we can do JFK-YVR-HKG. So just wondering if putting jfk as stopover city is possible or not

  10. Hi Chris,
    Is DFW>SEA(On Alaska)-HKG-NRT(stopover)-ICN-BKK Allowed with Cathay
    Or DFW>LAX (On Alaska)-NRT(stopover) – ICN-BKK Allowed with JAL?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here