Executive Traveller exclusive
Cathay Pacific’s rebooted loyalty scheme – formerly the Marco Polo Club, now known simply as Cathay – has retained the familiar tiers from Green to Diamond, and even the invitation-only Diamond Plus level.
But the airline says it won’t be bringing back Lifetime Diamond status, which was once awarded to very frequent flyers, guaranteeing them a lifetime of practical perks such as access to first class lounges, priority services and upgrades.
As part of the relaunch, Cathay informed former Marco Polo Club Lifetime Diamond members of their renewed lifelong Cathay Diamond status, sending out fresh membership cards and baggage tags to match.
However, a Cathay Pacific spokesperson tells Executive Traveller that those members were simply being ‘grandfathered’ into the new scheme due to their previous status.
“We’re not bringing back the lifetime program, “ the spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller, adding “we have a small numbers in that segment which was grandfathered from earlier.”
While lifetime membership at the highest frequent flyer level obviously holds plenty of appeal, it’s also an exceptionally long journey.
Only a handful of airlines in the Oneworld alliance, of which Cathay Pacific was a founding member, now offer lifetime status at the top Oneworld Emerald tier:
- British Airways Rewards Club serves up Lifetime Gold at 35,000 lifetime tier points
- Finnair Plus sets its Lifetime Platinum milestone at 5,000,000 lifetime tier points
- Qantas Frequent Flyer has a Lifetime Platinum threshold of 75,000 lifetime status credits
Holding lifetime Oneworld Sapphire status – such as BAEC Lifetime Silver, Finnair Plus Lifetime Gold, Qantas Frequent Flyer Lifetime Gold or American Airlines’ Two Million Miler AAdvantage lifetime Platinum status – is a more realistic proposition.
It’s also the point at which many frequent flyers consider spreading their travel to competing alliances – most often Star Alliance – to shore up status with other airlines outside the Oneworld arena.