Cathay Pacific: change necessary for Marco Polo Club

16 Jan 2015 by Clement Huang

Just days after it was first reported that Oneworld member Cathay Pacific was considering implementing changes to its Marco Polo Club programme (see here), the airline has confirmed that changes to its FFP model are indeed necessary.

In a statement to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific stated that the airline has been closely monitoring the perceived weaknesses of the existing Marco Polo Club system, in which tier ascension is based on miles earned and sectors flown.

“We are aware that airlines all over the world are recognising the anomalies created by a mileage or sector-based reward and recognition system,” said the airline. “The simple fact is that miles or sectors flown are not always the best measure of value”.   

Cathay Pacific has confirmed that it is looking closely at the implications of the existing Marco Polo Club model on its members in terms of how they ascend through the programme’s tiers, as well as the benefits and recognition that they receive.

The Asian carrier also stated that it is well aware that many of its most loyal customers have felt alienated due to the many attractive benefits that lower tier members of the Marco Polo Club already receive.

Cathay Pacific's spokesperson said: “We have had feedback from members that some of the benefits they receive as our most loyal passengers have lost some of their exclusivity, with sometimes-crowded lounges and long waits in priority queues.

“We have been carefully looking at their feedback and will take passengers’ preferences into primary consideration, along with interrelated factors such as our operation, infrastructure, capacity and prevailing market trends, when we effect any changes”.

While the airline did stress that its study of the Marco Polo Club was ongoing and that no conclusion had been made, it stated: “the overarching belief is that the current approach has to change”.   

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Clement Huang   

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