25

Apr

Maximizing Miles: A Guide To Cathay Frequent Flyer Program

By: Mary Briscoe Categories: Airline Miles

Cathay frequent flyer program

Marco Polo Club, the Cathay frequent flyer program has undergone several changes recently and this has been a matter of debate ever since then. Cathay Pacific is one of the finest airlines when it comes to premium classes. Considered as the gateway to Asia, the wonderful services of the airline are extremely pleasing no matter what route you may be taking.

The Marco Polo Club, the loyalty program of both Cathay Pacific and Dragonair is designed in such a manner that the frequent flyers can benefit through getting more perks and enjoying a better status as they fly more. Green, Silver, Gold and Diamond are the four tiers in this program. While each tier has its own benefits, the more you progress, the better your benefits are likely to get.

Since April 15, 2016, Cathay Pacific has introduced several changes to its frequent flyer program. Let’s examine how these might affect the travelers who often fly with Cathay Pacific.

1. Club Points

If you wish to get a better Marco Polo Club status, ‘Club Points’ are everything. Initially, the ‘Club Sectors’ and ‘Club Miles’ were considered equally important. With the recent changes introduced, ‘Club Points’ are the determining factor to secure a better status.

Getting around Club Points might be very confusing for a beginner since the rules are now different. But it is important to know it inside out to assess the amount of points you’ll be getting once you fly to different corners of the world.

The amounts of Club Points you earn depend upon several factors. Typically, it depends upon the airline you choose for your travels, the class of service you pick, the distance of the journey and the fare class you choose.

Naturally, according to the new system, you will earn more points if you’re traveling with a premium class at a higher fare. In premium economy, you also have chances of earning points depending upon your fare.

2. Oneworld Flights Less Beneficial

The world has already seen this happening when in 2014, there were significant changes introduced in the Qantas frequent flyer program. Similar changes have been implemented in Cathay Pacific and the implementation is quite the same too.

As per the new rules, frequent flyers will be better off with Dragonair and Cathay Pacific flights. When it comes to earning points through oneworld partner flights, it is not as beneficial.

3. Changes in Tier Qualification of Cathay Frequent Flyer Program

This is the change that has been criticized most often since the new rules came into being. Now if you wish to retain your existing status or even more up the tier, you’ll have to fly more often. Alternatively, you’ll have to book high-fared flights to earn more points.

This has been seen across all the four tiers and adds to the frequent flyer’s misery because now they’re have to make more efforts to retain their status whether they are a Gold or Diamond member.

4. Diamond Members Lose the Anytime Lounge Access

Sadly, Diamond members are not that lucky any longer. Initially, they were allowed to use the premium lounges when traveling with any airline but this is no longer a facility to these members.

According to the new rules, members must present oneworld alliance, Cathay Pacific or Dragonair boarding pass to access the first or business class lounge. On the bright side, they can still bring two guests along.

5. Economy Fares and Club Points

The changes in the Cathay frequent flyer program are likely to affect a number of travelers. However, here’s good news for the economy travelers. Cathay Pacific has favored passengers traveling in the premium classes for too long. Now the economy travelers can accrue status for the first time. This is beneficial even if they wish to retain their existing status!

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"The frequent flyer scheme has become as much part of the business traveler's life as a mobile phone or a passport. Indeed, when they were launched twenty-five years ago, air miles promised to be the passport to riches for those flyer loyal and busy enough to earn them."
"For the average traveler, that means buying miles or points in order to reach a threshold for an award ticket. Most airline charge 3 to 5 cents per miles."
"There is a group of traveler junkies so obsessed with racking up frequently flier miles, they scour the internet for deals that take them through little known airports."

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