Coronavirus: Cathay Pacific extends Marco Polo Club elite status

Marco Polo Club members will be given a helping hand to retain their elite membership for another year.

By Chris Chamberlin, April 3 2020
Coronavirus: Cathay Pacific extends Marco Polo Club elite status

With the coronavirus brining international travel to a near standstill, Cathay Pacific is giving its Marco Polo Club frequent flyers a helping hand to retain their status.

The core of the initiative is a monthly serve of bonus Club Points issued to all Silver, Gold and Diamond members to help keep their status retention on track.

The airline currently has no plans to offer a blanket 12-month extension to all Macro Polo Club members – in line with what's been done by the likes of Singapore Airlines and Qantas – with a Cathay Pacific spokesperson telling Executive Traveller "our existing offer of Club Points relief and extension of mid-tier benefits remains unchanged."

However, the airline allows that "we have also granted discretionary extension to longstanding loyal members as a courtesy on a case-by-case basis."

This follows reports by several Executive Traveller readers that their Marco Polo Club Diamond status, due to expire in March 2020 following a dramatic downturn in travel, has been automatically extended to March 2021.

Other perks such as single-use lounge passes, upgrade credits and companion Marco Polo Club Gold membership which were due to expire soon are also being extended.

Bonus Club Points for Silver, Gold, Diamond

All Marco Polo Club members will receive bonus Club Points across February, March and April, and this could be extended for additional months depending on how long most Cathay Pacific flights remain grounded and per-country travel restrictions – including Hong Kong's own ban on transit passengers – remain in place.

Here’s how that looks for members at each tier:

Status

February

March

April

Total

Needed to retain

Marco Polo Club Silver

30 Club Points

30 Club Points

30 Club Points

90 Club Points

300 Club Points

Marco Polo Club Gold

65 Club Points

65 Club Points

65 Club Points

195 Club Points

600 Club Points

Marco Polo Club Diamond

140 Club Points

140 Club Points

140 Club Points

420 Club Points

1,200 Club Points

“We understand that concerns about the coronavirus and travel restrictions imposed by different countries may have affected your travel plans recently, making it challenging to reach your normal tier requirement,” Cathay Pacific noted in an email sent to elite Marco Polo Club members.

“In recognition of your support, we are offering club points relief and extending your benefits. We will continue to monitor the situation beyond April and will announce any changes at the appropriate time.”

Lounge passes, upgrades, companion cards extended

All Marco Polo Club members who have airport lounge passes linked to their account – including eligible, entry-level MPC Green cardholders – will find the validity of these extended by six months, if they were due to expire in February, March or April 2020.

These passes can still be used as normal by members who continue to travel, but if the pass reaches its expiry date between February and April 2020 and hasn’t been used, Cathay Pacific will re-issue the pass with seven days of expiry, with a new expiration date six months down the line.

The same treatment will apply for members who have flight upgrade credits on their account – “bookable upgrades”, in Cathay Pacific lingo – which will similarly be extended by six months if unused by a February, March or April 2020 expiry date.

Finally, high-flying Marco Polo Club Diamond members who’ve reached 1,800 Club Points and unlocked the gift of a companion MPC Gold card as their “mid-tier benefit” will also have more time to nominate that companion, with any ‘due dates’ for this which originally fell in February, March or April 2020 being similarly extended by six months.

Executive Traveller guide: These airline loyalty programs will extend your frequent flyer status

Additional reporting by David Flynn

 

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 692

Cathay's offer is very generous. You'd think just extending the qualifying date would have been easier but I guess Cathay's approach also encourages goodwill amongst its high value customers at a time when the airline is under major stress.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 May 2019

Total posts 7

Will QF do the same?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Feb 2015

Total posts 8

No way would Qantas do anything like this, since they will not benefit, and it will cost them.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 692

Qantas would only consider something like this if they, like Cathay, had nearly 1/2 of their fleet grounded and services cancelled so, hopefully, no.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 25

I'm hopeful! Yes there overall fleet isn't affected in the same way but many of its corporate travellers are (i.e ME as I look after APAC and have been restricted from travelling to most of the region..thus won't hit my next tier in time)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Apr 2011

Total posts 7

Qantas did extend many members QFF status by a year during the GFC as so many business travelers were effected. May depend on how much more QF travel is effected in the coming period.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 25

Great point Danny..in fact I benefited from that as well! Fingers crossed...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Feb 2015

Total posts 8

Good on Cathay and Singapore.


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