Best perks of elite Marco Polo Club status for business class flyers

By Brandon Loo, July 16 2019
Best perks of elite Marco Polo Club status for business class flyers

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Holding a Gold or Diamond Marco Polo Club (MPC) card affords you many perks when travelling with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, such as priority check-in and lounge access. Of course, these benefits also come standard with business class tickets.

But even for the most frequent of Cathay Pacific business class flyers, having Marco Polo Club elite status can still enhance your journey with extra perks on top of what is already included with business class. Here's a look at our top picks.

Relax in the lounge with a friend, or two

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon don't allow business class passengers to bring any extra guests into its lounges, which is in line with official Oneworld policy.

(If you're used to bringing in a guest when flying Qantas business class without elite status, that's because Qantas generously goes above and beyond the minimum Oneworld rules).

However, attaching your Marco Polo Club Gold number to the booking will entitle you to bring in one guest, who simply has to be flying a Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon or Oneworld flight later that day. Indeed, this benefit is also extended to Oneworld Sapphire members of other airlines, such as Qantas Gold frequent flyers, as per Oneworld guidelines.

Diamond members of Cathay Pacific's scheme can do better and have access to Cathay Pacific-operated first class lounges with two guests in tow. Oneworld Emerald members of other Oneworld airlines (e.g. Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge) can enjoy access to the same first class lounges with one guest, even when flying business class.

AusBT review: Cathay Pacific The Pier first class lounge, Hong Kong

Bring more baggage, onboard and checked-in

A Cathay Pacific business class ticket already comes with a hefty 40kg (over two bags) allowance on most flights or 2x 32kg bags on routes to the Americas, plus a boosted 10kg hand-carry allowance.

Marco Polo Gold, Qantas Gold and other Oneworld Sapphire equivalents can check-in 55kg of luggage over three bags for most routes, or 3x 32kg bags for those other flights.

For Diamonds, Platinums and other Oneworld Emerald passengers, that allowance becomes 60kg over three bags for the majority of journeys, while flights to the Americas have the same allowance of Gold, being 3x 32kg bags. The hand-carry allowance is also increased to 15kg for Marco Polo Club Diamond members only.

Upgrade to first class, easier

Where Cathay Pacific operates its most luxurious cabin, Asia Miles upgrades from a paid business ticket to first class will be much easier with Marco Polo Gold or Diamond status. Naturally, MPC Diamonds (and elusive Diamond Plus) members have first dibs at these seats, followed by MPC Golds.

Gold members also get four bookable upgrades at 1,000 Club Points, valid for up to medium-length flights. Diamond members get another four bookable upgrades at 1,600 Club Points, valid for any flight lengths. These special upgrades can give you an instant confirmed 1-up from business to first class, where eligible. They also let you earn Asia Miles and Club Points at the new upgraded rate – win-win!

Breeze through the Courtesy Channel at Hong Kong International Airport

A unique perk for Marco Polo Club Diamond members is access to the Courtesy Channel (or sometimes the crew lane) for outbound security processing at Hong Kong – something that isn't usually offered with a business class ticket.

Read more: A cool Cathay Pacific Diamond perk – use the crew lane

More tailored assistance when you need it

Lastly, having elite status makes everything a little easier when things don't go to plan. A dedicated club service centre means calls can be answered quicker, and there's greater waitlist priority when it comes to being on standby for flights.

Want to learn more? Read our detailed guide on the Marco Polo Club.

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.