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Cathay Pacific is expanding its roster of business class lounges into which passengers can pay their way – including its flagship The Pier in Hong Kong – for HK$600 (A$106) per person, or 9,000 Asia Miles.
From Monday 4 March until the end of June 2019, Marco Polo Club members travelling on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights will be able to purchase access to eight Cathay Pacific airport lounges around the world, even if they're not flying in a premium cabin or don't hold the appropriate frequent flyer status.
The offer includes access for any number of accompanying guests, which many status travellers will find useful if they want to guest several colleagues into the lounge.
The promotion is restricted to members of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club loyalty program – and while this has a USD100 (A$139) signup fee, complimentary Marco Polo Club membership is available through the Cathay Pacific Business Plus scheme, which is free to join and open to any Australian business with an ABN.
The four-month trial kicks off from Monday 4 March and ends on Sunday 30 June 2019, and covers the following lounges:
- The Pier Business Class, Hong Kong
- Melbourne Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Manila Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Paris Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounges
- Vancouver Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Penang Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Kaohsiung Cathay Pacific Lounge
“This is only a trial at this stage," a Cathay Pacific spokesman told Australian Business Traveller, "and we’ll be reviewing customer insight during and after the trial period to decide the next steps, if any.'
How to buy access to Cathay Pacific business class lounges
For access to The Pier business class lounge in Hong Kong, travellers need to pay at the check-in counters in Terminal 1 or at the transfer desks in areas E2 or W1 (circled below) if they're coming off another flight. Payments are not accepted at the lounge itself.
For all other lounges included in this offer, make your request at the lounge reception and pay on the spot.
In all cases, you’ll only be able to pay with credit cards, although Cathay Pacific notes that some credit cards are not eligible for payment depending on the lounge's location.
Access is for one-time entry only – you won’t be able to enter and leave as you please – and is subject to capacity restrictions.
Cathay Pacific has previously trialled paid lounge access in Melbourne, Manila and Vancouver, but this is the first time The Pier flagship lounge has been opened up for paying passengers.
If you’re not flying with Cathay Pacific or don’t have Marco Polo Club membership, your options at Hong Kong include Plaza Premium pay-in lounges which are accessible by Priority Pass, as well as the American Express Centurion Lounge.