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Cathay Pacific announced the launch of “elevated” loyalty program changes in an email to its members. These new changes came into effect on August 17, 2022. These changes were to coincide “with the easing of COVID-19 entry rules for international arrivals into Hong Kong,” according to the email sent out to members.
But, all of that isn't quite accurate.
Cathay Pacific Program Changes
For years, Cathay Pacific has teased an overhaul to its loyalty program. The biggest concrete change: Cathay Pacific would combine its mileage program with its loyalty program.
Historically Cathay treated the Marco Polo Club (which gave you status with the airline) as a completely different entity from the Asia Miles program (which let members earn and burn miles). Combining these two into one program — like virtually every other airline on the planet does — makes sense for everyone involved.
But, the Hong Kong-based airline teased a much more comprehensive “elevate your life” overhaul:
We’re launching a new era of Cathay Pacific, where we’ll be elevating your every bite, swipe, step, stay and flight to greater heights. We’ll be bringing you exciting offers, unmissable rewards, meaningful experiences and hand-picked partners. Shop for curated products; enjoy unique meals; achieve your personal wellness goals; fly to life-changing destinations. We’ll help you every day, every step of the way. Cathay Pacific. Move Beyond.
Now that the changes are live, we can find any notable changes. Instead, Cathay simply combined the Marco Polo Club and Asia Miles into one program called “Cathay”.
A Note About Easing Restrictions
If easing of restrictions conjures up images in your mind of no restrictions at all — similar to traveling around Europe — you are mistaken. To access Hong Kong, you need to submit to three days of hotel quarantine, then an additional four days of monitoring.
In all, you will have to take more than 10 Covid tests during that period. Far from being easing, these restrictions still make Hong Kong one of the more restrictive countries to get into at the minute.
Hopefully, the next time Cathay Pacific announces program changes, there will be much more substance to its announcement.
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