Cathay Pacific’s Marco Polo Club (their status recognition program) has now decided to change their initial “relief scheme” for elite members whose flight activity is curtailed for a good part of the year.
When John wrote about Cathay’s initial effort about status relief at the end of February which was already quite late for Hong Kong I couldn’t help but wonder why CX Marco Polo Club would make it so complicated especially since there was no end to the pandemic in sight.
With most of the competition having moved to extending members status levels and associated benefits for a full year, Cathay Pacific has now realized that the incremental adjustments for their members are simply not good enough.
You can access Cathay Pacific here.
You can access our page for hotel loyalty programs’ status extensions here.
Here is the email Cathay sent out to tier members today:
Dear Dr XX,
Since I last wrote to you about our club points relief scheme, the COVID-19 situation has evolved into a global pandemic, and many countries have instituted travel bans and restrictions to curb transmission of the disease. This in turn has lowered demand and we have reduced our capacity by 97% across our passenger network in April.
Renewal of your club tier
Knowing this has seriously affected your ability to travel, we will renew your Diamond status for another 12 months when it expires this year, even if the normal renewal requirement has not been met.
With possible delays in postal service, your membership pack for the new membership year may take some time to reach you, so I would encourage you to download our mobile app and use the digital membership card.
Reissuing of mid-tier benefits
We will also reissue any unused mid-tier benefits that expire between May and December 2020 for another 12 months, so you can enjoy them when your travel resumes. The reissue should take 7 working days from the date of expiry.
We hope you and your family remain healthy and safe, and we thank you for your continued support.
With Cathay Pacific (similar to other airlines) having pretty much ceased their operation except for two handful of flights a day it’s apparent that the initial approach wasn’t working and I think for the good of both the company and the customers going for a simple extension is the best thing to do.
I wish programs would do the right thing straight away and this business out of the way instead of trying to cheapen out, offering as little as possible and see if it’s possible to get away with that. It’s no secret that travel is severely disrupted so why airlines such as BA or Lufthansa still holding out is beyond me.
Passengers don’t like uncertainty so this attempt to hold out until the very last minute will be remembered by many. At least Cathay finally came to the same conclusion and decided to wipe the plate clean per blanket policy.