Cathay Pacific plans to reboot or replace its stand-alone Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles programs in the first half of 2022 as a rewards spearhead of its push into the broader lifestyle market beyond travel alone.
Described as a “premium travel lifestyle brand” to be known simply as Cathay, the move will see the airline – which will continue to be called Cathay Pacific – become just one pillar of the parent Cathay super-brand.
In turn, Cathay will reach into retail, wellness, hotels and dining through new partnerships aimed at transforming Asia Miles – or its successor – into Hong Kong’s de facto second currency.
Although the Cathay push will gather momentum over the coming six months, the airline says it “will culminate in a refreshed customer relationship programme in the first half of 2022.”
While little else is known about this program, which is expected to carry a fresh name, the airline has acknowledged the sometimes confusing coexistence of Asia Miles as its rewards currency alongside Marco Polo Club as its frequent flyer scheme.
“Many members have told us they would like their experience with Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club to be more seamless” the airline states.
“That’s why we’re bringing together Cathay Pacific, Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles under Cathay – to simplify the way you interact with us, including how you earn status and use your miles.”
A Cathay Pacific spokesman declined to offer Executive Traveller more clarity on the fate of the Asia Miles and Marco Polo Club programs, apart from confirming that “the miles balance and expiry date of Asia Miles, and the club points balance and mid-tier benefits of Marco Polo Club, will be carried over when the refreshed programme goes live.”
Additionally, Cathay Pacific’s Cathay FAQ page notes that “all existing Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles members will automatically become members of the refreshed programme once it launches.”
“Once the refreshed programme launches, there will be greater clarity and convenience when earning and redeeming miles, an improved integrated experience, and new offerings for members to enjoy.”
As part of this, Marco Polo Club members will be able to earn vital Club points, which are used to determine frequent flyer status, on the ground as well as in the air.
Cathay is also tipped to launch a new co-branded credit card with Standard Chartered HK – which already offers an Asia Miles Mastercard – in the coming weeks, which will be followed by a new online shopping channels, “an exciting dining platform” and “a new and engaging wellness platform.”