Cathay Pacific now allows frequent flyers to put their hard-earned status on hold if they find they're about to become infrequent flyers.
Diamond, Gold and Silver members of the airline's Marco Polo Club loyalty scheme can apply for what the airline describes as a 'membership holiday' lasting up to one year, after which they can resume travels with the same shiny status.
But unlike the 'parental leave' status hold introduced this week by Qantas and offered by Virgin Australia since 2011, Cathay Pacific's status pause is available for almost any circumstance such as a change of job, inability to travel due to extended illness or simply a winding back of your business trips.
"We realise the pace of life is always changing, and personal matters may impact how frequently people travel – such as pregnancy, job changes or medical reasons," Marco Polo Club Manager Nicolas Masse told Australian Business Traveller.
"We’re introducing the membership holiday to give our members increased flexibility when it comes to how and when they take advantage of their membership benefits."
What if you fly during your holiday?
However, Marco Polo Club members who do end up flying during their status pause will not be able to take advantage of that status – there'll be no lounge access, no priority check-in or extra baggage allowance, and no earning of Marco Polo Club points.
By comparison, Qantas and Virgin Australia allow travellers to continue enjoying all the benefits of their status during the parental pause period.
"Since the membership holiday places a member’s current status on hold, they will not earn club points or access tier benefits, such as lounge access if they fly during this period" Masse says, "however they can still earn and redeem Asia Miles as per usual."
Marco Polo Club members can enjoy three status holidays, each for up to 12 months, "during the course of their membership lifetime" says the airline.
Applications for a status pause can be made by emailing [email protected] between 7 and 90 days before the desired start date of the membership holiday.
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