Cathay Pacific Airways, the Marco Polo Club, and Status Matching

by James Andrew Scott on November 28, 2012

in Cathay Pacific, Marco Polo Club, Status Matching

Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways, based on Hong Kong, is one of just a handful of 5 star rated airlines by SKYTRAX–an airline rating company. Founded in 1946 by an American and an Australian, today Cathay Pacific is the third largest airline in the world by market capitalization and is very profitable. Focused in Asia, Cathay Pacific flies to 112 destinations worldwide with a fleet of 111 aircraft (all wide bodies). Hong Kong’s flag carrier also owns 100% of Dragonair and has lesser stakes in Air China. Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the oneworld alliance and also operates a sizable international air cargo fleet.

Within the United States, Cathay Pacific flies from Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), and New York City (JFK). From other U.S. cities, you will need to codeshare on a oneworld partner.

How to Status Match into the Marco Polo Club:

Cathay Pacific’s loyalty program is the Marco Polo Club. Cathay Pacific will consider matching elite status on another airline on a case by case basis, but generally only to Cathay Pacific’s  lowest elite status level–Marco Polo Club Silver.  Typically Cathay Pacific will require a copy of your elite status card, your most recent statement, and any planned Cathay Pacific travel.  Email to inquire.

Marco Polo Status Levels (Tiers) Summary:

The Marco Polo Club is unique in a number of ways. First, Cathay Pacific charges an entry fee of $50 to join. You will achieve Green status upon joining. Second, the Club miles you earn are not earn-and-spend miles, but rather are for tier qualification only.Your tier status lasts 12 months from the date you enrolled, renewed, upgraded or downgraded into your current tier, and your account will automatically reset to zero when a new membership year begins. Third, members can only be upgraded one tier per membership year.

Cathay Pacific Status Match to Marco Polo Logo Members are required to travel at least one eligible sector ( flight segment multiplied by the fare class factor) on Cathay Pacific or Dragonair per membership year in order to retain Silver, Gold or Diamond status. You can earn qualification miles by flying with oneworld airlines in eligible fare classes.

Asia Miles is Cathay Pacific’s earn-and-spend miles program and is distinct from Marco Polo Club.  Earned Asia Miles can be redeemed for free flights, upgrades, hotels, and more.

We’ve summarized the Marco Polo Club Tier benefits. Full details are available here.

Green Marco Polo Club Benefits:

  • Dedicated Club 24 hour reservations phone line.
  • Extra-leg room seats available with miles (5-20,000 Asia Miles or $25-100)
  • Designated Check-in counters
  • Priority Boarding
  • Personalized name tags

Silver Marco Polo Club Benefits:

Requires 30,000 miles or 20 sectors.  In addition to the above, Marco Polo Club Silver members receive:

  • Advance seat reservations (for member and spouse).
  • Priority wait listing (for member and spouse)
  • Extra legroom seats (free for members only; not spouse or companions)
  • Business class Check-in counters
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Access to Cathay Pacific Business Class and Dragonair lounges (only if flying on Cathay Pacific or Dragonair)
  • oneworld Ruby status

Gold Marco Polo Club Benefits:

Requires 60,000 miles or 40 segments.  In addition to the above, Marco Polo Club Gold members receive:

  • Higher Priority wait listing (for member and spouse)
  • Guaranteed Economy Class seat (at least 72 hours prior)
  • Access to Arrival lounges in Hong Kong, London, and Frankfurt
  • Can bring 1 guest to lounge (except arrival lounge)
  • One more free checked bag (to/from the Americas)
  • oneworld Sapphire status

Diamond Marco Polo Club Benefits:

Requires 120,000 miles or 80 segments.  In addition to the above, Marco Polo Club Diamond members receive:

  • Top Priority wait listing (for member and spouse)
  • Guaranteed Economy Class seat (at least 24 hours prior)
  • Guaranteed Premium Economy Class seat (at least 24 hours prior; fare class W fare required)
  • Guaranteed Business Class seat (at least 24 hours prior; fare classes C or J required)
  • First Class Check-in counters
  • Can bring 2 guests to lounge (except arrival lounge)
  • oneworld Emerald status

Cathay Pacific’s new long-haul international economy seats which recline. The airline is transitioning away from older fixed shells economy seats that were widely panned for not reclining. Credit: Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific recently added Premium Economy Class. The seat pitch is 38 inches–6 more than regular Economy. It reclines 8 inches and is 19.5 wide (1.5 wider than Economy).



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