Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles & Marco Polo Club Changes (Cuts) Coming In 2016

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a link to an English article that was mainly translated from a local language piece on Apple Daily published here in Hong Kong (happen to be in the city now).

Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles Marco Polo Club

Seems that there are some drastic changes coming to its Marco Polo (status recognition) and AsiaMiles (award miles) programs by the end of this year or sometime in 2016.

You can access the entire piece (on Apple Daily) and the English edition of it on ejinsight’s website here of which below is an excerpt:

Cathay Pacific Airways plans to cut some of the benefits offered to members of its frequent flyer program, despite criticism that the quality of its service has been worsening in recent years.

As soon as by the end of this year, the Hong Kong carrier will change the way it calculates the mileage accumulated by members of its Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles from actual flying distance, which is the current method, to one based on airfare, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the airline also plans to limit access to its VIP lounges by Marco Polo Club silver card holders, who currently enjoy unlimited use, while those holding gold and diamond cards will be unaffected.

Chu said the planned change was in response to complaints from some members who said the VIP lounges are often too crowded.

As for green card holders who account for the largest portion of its members, Cathay is expected to cancel their current benefits of priority check-in and priority boarding.

Conclusion

Not sure how Cathay Pacific will cut the number of award miles given to economy fliers, as some of the lower fares already earn next to nothing (25%). This change is likely to hit harder those that fly medium priced economy fares.

Those Marco Polo Silver members (requires 30,000 elite qualifying miles) that maps to Oneworld Ruby will lose the lounge access (or it will be severely restricted). Green Card (no requirements beyond 4 sectors) lose their Priority Check in and Boarding Privileges.

I have credited all my Cathay Pacific flights to either British Airways Executive Club or American Airlines AAdvantage already for years. I would encourage those that fly on Cathay Pacific to check if they would be better off by using some other Oneworld Alliance program and maybe start diversifying their flying to other alliances or Oneworld member airlines.

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