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-   -   Is Gold worth it? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cathay-pacific-marco-polo-club/705139-gold-worth.html)

hau cheng Jun 18, 07 3:49 am

Is Gold worth it?
 
Hi, first of all let me say what an interesting board this is.

My question is by the time my silver level is meant to have been reached, ie, August 31st, I have a number of regional and long haul flights over the next two months, but calculating the mileage gained, I will be only about 2,500 miles off my next level, Gold.

Is going to Gold worth it?

Is it worth me paying quite a deal more to go J class on a longer haul flight or contacting CX for a one month extension and booking a flight in September (when I hadn't planned on doing so)?

Many thanks.

sxc Jun 18, 07 6:38 am

How much extra money will you spend in order to attain gold? Which of the Gold benefits do you think you will appreciate most? Do you only fly CX?

hau cheng Jun 18, 07 6:56 am

It would probably cost me 12000HKD plus. I generally only travel on CX, so I suppose it may help with future upgrades I assume.

cxfan1960 Jun 18, 07 7:14 am

I encountered the same situation a few years ago. I did not do a mileage run. I traveled around CNY the next year and ended paying K fare instead as I could not use seat guarantee. I still did not regret it. This depends more on the traveler.

Currently, long haul J cabins often get full before Y. Even as Diamond, the chance of op-up from Y to J is low, but from J to F is high. On mileage award upgrades, the chance of getting should be higher for Gold compared with Silver.

jwrhn Jun 18, 07 11:49 am

I think with the changes coming to the asiamiles program in the fall, it is kinda hard to predict the relative worth of any of the tiers until the new changes are implemented and people have first hand experience with award/upgrade availability.

So if it was me I might hesitate to go for the gold unless I was planning to do a lot of traveling on cx between now and october under the old rules...

Dave Marsh Jun 18, 07 2:13 pm

Actually it really depends where you actually NOT fly with CX or not. BEcause if you are SL already, you get Lounge access/ excess bags, priority bags on all CX op flights. However with Gold that entitles you to Oneworld Sapphire benefits and that will give you Oneworld Lounge access.

ny911 Jun 18, 07 2:40 pm

EY (down to V) Seat Guarantee does help me to save quite a lot of money. Moreover it increases the flexibility of your travel (to decide and grab a seat lately). Personally I would go for a run if you are very close to it.

fakecd Jun 18, 07 4:01 pm

Just to avoid doubt, if you are green now, and you qualify for Silver for first time in Aug31, you will need to have another 60,000 in 2months to attain gold. If you are already silver and you meant you will "requalify" by 31 Aug by getting 30,000 miles, you simply need additional 30,000 prior to your current silver membership expirary date. From your post, I can't ascertain which of these category you fall in.

hau cheng Jun 18, 07 5:32 pm

Thanks for the responses. Fakecd, I'm currently at silver and have already requalified.

Dave Marsh, that's what I was thinking.

LapuLapu Jun 18, 07 8:22 pm

I currently 6 months into my gold level and 1 of my LAX-HKG and 2 of my HKG-LAX Y flights were upgraded to J. All of my HKG-MNL-HKG segments have been upgraded to J as well. On silver, I was upgraded once MNL-HKG.

Needless to say, I'm enjoying being gold at the moment. One other benefit is being able to get a friend/relative into the lounge.

nemofly Jun 18, 07 9:59 pm

Go for Gold! It is worth the your mileage run efforts. Used to be gold and enjoyed every moment of it.

christep Jun 18, 07 10:09 pm


Originally Posted by fakecd (Post 7922271)
Just to avoid doubt, if you are green now, and you qualify for Silver for first time in Aug31, you will need to have another 60,000 in 2months to attain gold.

Just to minimise confusion, "2months" is obviously a typo for "12 months".

cxfan1960 Jun 18, 07 10:40 pm


Originally Posted by LapuLapu (Post 7923451)
I currently 6 months into my gold level and 1 of my LAX-HKG and 2 of my HKG-LAX Y flights were upgraded to J. All of my HKG-MNL-HKG segments have been upgraded to J as well. On silver, I was upgraded once MNL-HKG.

Needless to say, I'm enjoying being gold at the moment. One other benefit is being able to get a friend/relative into the lounge.

Good for you. I am a DM member. I fly SFO-HKG often. After a double op-up around CNY, I flew 14 sectors, including four long hauls. Guess what - I only got an op-up on HKG-TPE once. With a full J but not completely full Y, I got zero chance of op-up on those long hauls. Nevertheless, I am still very pleased with the service I received.

CX100Silver Jun 18, 07 10:51 pm


Originally Posted by cxfan1960 (Post 7924010)
Good for you. I am a DM member. I fly SFO-HKG often. After a double op-up around CNY, I flew 14 sectors, including four long hauls. Guess what - I only got an op-up on HKG-TPE once. With a full J but not completely full Y, I got zero chance of op-up on those long hauls. Nevertheless, I am still very pleased with the service I received.

Haha... it's ok... I have same situation with you. I am Gold and only got HKG-MNL upgrade once in past few months. All my long-haul and regional flights had NO op-up... :p

After I read quite a few op-up stories here and flyertalk, sometimes I think ==> Am I in the black list of having op-up for whatever reasons??? (At least you got your double-op up...haha...)

cxfan1960 Jun 18, 07 11:25 pm


Originally Posted by CX100Silver (Post 7924045)
Haha... it's ok... I have same situation with you. I am Gold and only got HKG-MNL upgrade once in past few months. All my long-haul and regional flights had NO op-up... :p

After I read quite a few op-up stories here and flyertalk, sometimes I think ==> Am I in the black list of having op-up for whatever reasons??? (At least you got your double-op up...haha...)

I think that may have to do with the routes, and possibly your point of origin. Some routes have a lot of J passengers and the chances of op-up are much smaller. Also it seems to be quite direction-dependent.

jwrhn Jun 18, 07 11:40 pm

Im kinda cheap so for me $1500 US for 2500 miles seems kinda steep....
Especillly given the fact the upgrade classes are going to cost more in October. I would assume you will only be eligible for an opup from one of the fare classses that are eligible..but I could be wrong.

cxfan1960 Jun 18, 07 11:55 pm

A roundtrip mileage run to PEK costs much less and will add a little more than 2500 miles.

The biggest benefit to me is seat guarantee, not op-up, because I need to travel on very short notice. Still, I did not like to do mileage run for some unknown reasons.

The traveler has to decide whether that is worthwhile.

kaka Jun 19, 07 12:55 am


Originally Posted by cxfan1960 (Post 7924159)
I think that may have to do with the routes, and possibly your point of origin. Some routes have a lot of J passengers and the chances of op-up are much smaller. Also it seems to be quite direction-dependent.

Agree: Cargo+Y thick routes - AMS/SFO... it might be easaier to nick one than F/Y thick routes - LHR/JFK

In fact I've got opuped once being Silver HKG-AMS.
not putting on any hope for the coming LHR-HKG... In fact I'm trying to see if i should reroute to AMS-HKG instead. but with the extra tax cost and 1 day delay AND a far from full Y class.... forget it.

Guy Betsy Jun 19, 07 7:24 am


Originally Posted by hau cheng (Post 7918910)
...
Is going to Gold worth it?

Is it worth me paying quite a deal more to go J class on a longer haul flight or contacting CX for a one month extension and booking a flight in September (when I hadn't planned on doing so)?

Many thanks.

Gold is worth it when you need to book the lowest class of economy class ticket and its sold out and GOLD status gets you that guaranteed seat more than 72 hours of travel! Great during peak travel days!

cxfan1960 Jun 19, 07 11:06 pm


Originally Posted by cxfan1960 (Post 7924249)
A roundtrip mileage run to PEK costs much less and will add a little more than 2500 miles.

The biggest benefit to me is seat guarantee, not op-up, because I need to travel on very short notice. Still, I did not like to do mileage run for some unknown reasons.

The traveler has to decide whether that is worthwhile.

I made a little mistake. Round-trip PEK will add a little less (not more) than 2500 miles.

kaka Jun 20, 07 3:18 am

Singapore or Seoul is what you should be looking for....
I'd be surprise if you need to whack out more than 5000 HKD for a ticket to SIN for V above.
Even D to BKK is just below 6000. (CX.com)

snowmilky Jun 23, 07 9:40 am

I joined MPC Dec, 2006. During the last 6 months, I collected almost 100K miles starting from zero. I took the HKG/PEK/HKG trip weekly and HKG/YYZ/HKG once every 2 month. I can tell you that I never get an op-up. I was on J only if I paid for it. So disappointed. I also wonder if I am black-listed.

I had an argument with the ground support staff in HKG when I was travelling with my wife to PEK. At that time, I was still silver. They declined my wife the lounge access. I am aware guest is not allowed for silver. However, we are talking about a close family here. The rule is so un-human.

I have been an Elite (Star Alliance Gold) with Aeroplan for 6 years. Their upgrade rules are well defined. The lounge access extends to all close family members travelled with me.

Perhaps, they treat the DM as a king. I can't tell as I have not been a DM. They certainly don't offer too much to middle tier members including silver and gold.

cxfan1960 Jun 23, 07 10:32 am

I never argued with anyone in CX, so I cannot comment on whether there is any black list for that. If you read my posts, you can also tell that I have not been op-upped often lately. With all cabins full, the chances of op-ups on many CX long-haul flights are small these days. For my flights to/from the Mainland, I mostly take KA, and I have never had an op-up on KA flights.

Some airlines have some well defined op-up/upgrade policies - AA, BR, etc. However, in the end, it is just a trade-off.

Guests are not allowed for lounge access for the lowest tier, but as I remembered (I still have 150,000 miles in UA, but I have not flied UA for years), in the case of Star Alliance Silver, there is no lounge access even for the member.

You should be a Gold member by now. You can take your wife with you.

kaka Jun 23, 07 10:52 am

I'd say they are quite tight on lounge access. There was once i was in the airport being told i was already silver prior to flying my last 3000 miles. Outcome? no way.
Another time it was "miles not posted yet". Also, its a no no no. That was in BKK.

Another time i was trying to force my gf and myself on the liast flight to TPE on waitlist. 15 mins before checkin close, i went to B18 and gave them my silver card and had my fingers crossed. I told them i'm not getting on the bloody flight by myself. 10 mins later we both had our BP(of coz, we didnt sit together). Had i not been a silver or them seperating the waitlist i dont think i could have forced my way in. There was like 10-15 ppl waiting statusless.

TBH, the CX ground staff stands no obligation to argue with you. If the first answer is no, the rule says no. the answer from their superior will also be no. The more you argue the more you look like an idiot.

cxfan1960 Jun 23, 07 12:44 pm

I have the feeling that there is a MPO guide for members and there is one for the staff. Often the one for members shows the minimum they can do. There seems to be some additional guidelines on what the staff can do from my experience with CX, e.g. accessing CX lounge on KA flights (I believe also for Gold and Silver members too), award redemption, priority boarding with traveling party, etc.

However, in terms of the number of guests allowed for lounge accesses, there is very limited flexibity, and spending 7000 or 10000 miles for a lounge pass is really not worthwhile.

Getting back to the subject, while I never did, and probably shall never do, a mileage run for Gold or Diamond, being a high tier member is really worthwhile. I get a lot of convenience and flexibility when I fly - especially on CX and KA - and on other OW airlines as well.

jjpb3 Jun 23, 07 3:19 pm


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7946789)
I had an argument with the ground support staff in HKG when I was travelling with my wife to PEK. At that time, I was still silver. They declined my wife the lounge access. I am aware guest is not allowed for silver. However, we are talking about a close family here. The rule is so un-human.

I'm sorry, but I can't say I have much sympathy for your side of the argument. The differential access for Golds vs. Silvers serves as an incentive to reach the higher tier; having a close family member with you does not justify undermining the structure of the FFP. If you were so concerned about leaving your wife alone, you could have stayed with her ... outside the lounge.

kaka Jun 23, 07 5:34 pm


Originally Posted by jjpb3 (Post 7947800)
I'm sorry, but I can't say I have much sympathy for your side of the argument. The differential access for Golds vs. Silvers serves as an incentive to reach the higher tier; having a close family member with you does not justify undermining the structure of the FFP. If you were so concerned about leaving your wife alone, you could have stayed with her ... outside the lounge.

I would try my luck, but would never push for entrance. (except for trying to sneak in... haha)

fakecd Jun 23, 07 5:48 pm


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7946789)

I had an argument with the ground support staff in HKG when I was travelling with my wife to PEK. At that time, I was still silver. They declined my wife the lounge access. I am aware guest is not allowed for silver. However, we are talking about a close family here. The rule is so un-human.

:rolleyes:

I just don't get it. You make it sound like you are denied something you are entitled to, where the truth is, the rule black and white crystally clear say "Gold member above can take in the guest". So what makes this so un-human? You'd be more cool if you just went it, picked up 2 bottles of water, and met you wife outside.

When I travelled with my GF last, I didn't bother asking, yet "argument". Well, you're gold by now...

jujube Jun 23, 07 9:03 pm

Not to hijack the thread but the opportunity of op-ups are definitely down in last year or so based on family members (1DM and 2 Gold) travel experiences. Even on frequent routes like HKG-SIN they have not experienced as much op-ups either and CX last minute change of planes depending on capacity has allowed them to manage that too.

cxfan1960 Jun 23, 07 9:13 pm


Originally Posted by jujube (Post 7948725)
Not to hijack the thread but the opportunity of op-ups are definitely down in last year or so based on family members (1DM and 2 Gold) travel experiences. Even on frequent routes like HKG-SIN they have not experienced as much op-ups either and CX last minute change of planes depending on capacity has allowed them to manage that too.

Do they really do a lot of last minute change in planes?
* That can put the pre-assigned seats into chaos.
* Changing to planes with more Ys and fewer Js or more Js and fewer Fs? That seems to be a lot of trouble to avoid op-ups for passengers. Op-ups are good gestures to valued customers anyway.
* Changing to a smaller plane won't help overbooked flight.
* Changing to a bigger plane is too costly - it seems to me that op-ups are better options.

tedhl Jun 24, 07 2:40 am


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7946789)
I took the HKG/PEK/HKG trip weekly and HKG/YYZ/HKG once every 2 month. I can tell you that I never get an op-up. I was on J only if I paid for it. So disappointed. I also wonder if I am black-listed.

well, for KA flights, at least HKG-PEK and HKG-PVG v.v., it's definitely the J cabin that's filled up first well before Y, esp the Sun PM / Mon AM / Fri PM flights...I'm flying HKG-PEK v.v. weekly too and I, even as a CX DM, have problems getting myself booked in full-fare J on my preferred flight every single week too...it was better a few months ago when KA Elite was separate from CX MPO, and I was KA Plat...now it just seems like there's so many more CX DMs competing with me on waitlists, and at the same time CX is probably doing a very good job feeding all their long-haul connnecting pax on KA flights...now the situation is quite a bit worse, at least from my perception. Basically I book all my flights 3 months in advance, but since I often need to change my flight in the last minute, basically I'm on waitlist for J every single week...quite annoying really.

Well - to make it short, my point is - there's really almost 0 chance getting op-up Y to J on the HKG-PEK/PVG v.v. routes (except flights like Sat morning that have much more tourists than business people) - there's so many people on J waitlist that they can easily take them (and the $) instead of op-up.

snowmilky Jun 24, 07 2:42 am

I did get in to the lounge, but I picked up more that 2 bottle water. ;) I recalled I took 4-5 cans of soft drink, some snack, etc. Put all of them in my computer bag and I met Mrs Snowmilky outside. They just watched me doing all these. Ha ha. BTW, it is the KA lounge.

Right after that I called MPC to complaint about this rule. The supervisor said they will review the policy. I bet it won't get changed soon.

Going back to whether it worths the time and money to do a mileage run to get to the gold status, it really depends if there is any additional listed beneifit that you can take advantage of. If you simply hope that you will be op-upped (unlisted beneifit?) more often after you reach the gold tier, you may be disappointed.

christep Jun 24, 07 3:06 am


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7949375)
I did get in to the lounge, but I picked up more that 2 bottle water. ;) I recalled I took 4-5 cans of soft drink, some snack, etc. Put all of them in my computer bag and I met Mrs Snowmilky outside.

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't think we need people like you in The Club.

jjpb3 Jun 24, 07 4:23 am


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7949375)
I did get in to the lounge, but I picked up more that 2 bottle water. ;) I recalled I took 4-5 cans of soft drink, some snack, etc. Put all of them in my computer bag and I met Mrs Snowmilky outside. They just watched me doing all these. Ha ha. BTW, it is the KA lounge.

After all, stopping you from abusing MPC privileges would just be "un-human".

christep, it isn't just you.

hau cheng Jun 24, 07 5:26 am


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7949375)
I did get in to the lounge, but I picked up more that 2 bottle water. ;) I recalled I took 4-5 cans of soft drink, some snack, etc. Put all of them in my computer bag and I met Mrs Snowmilky outside. They just watched me doing all these. Ha ha. BTW, it is the KA lounge.

Right after that I called MPC to complaint about this rule. The supervisor said they will review the policy. I bet it won't get changed soon.
.

Poor, very poor behaviour.

cxfan1960 Jun 24, 07 5:54 am

I think that a reason CX DM cannot get J seat guarantee is because KA flights have very few J seats. Indeed in the last few flights on KA, I often had my next two seats empty in Y, but the J cabins were packed.

cxfan1960 Jun 24, 07 6:11 am

If anything better than expected happens (e.g. op-ups), just take it with a smile and appreciation. Otherwise if we keep our expectations in line, everyone will be happy.

Dave Marsh Jun 24, 07 8:16 am


Originally Posted by snowmilky (Post 7949375)
I did get in to the lounge, but I picked up more that 2 bottle water. ;) I recalled I took 4-5 cans of soft drink, some snack, etc. Put all of them in my computer bag and I met Mrs Snowmilky outside. They just watched me doing all these. Ha ha. BTW, it is the KA lounge.

Right after that I called MPC to complaint about this rule. The supervisor said they will review the policy. I bet it won't get changed soon.

Going back to whether it worths the time and money to do a mileage run to get to the gold status, it really depends if there is any additional listed beneifit that you can take advantage of. If you simply hope that you will be op-upped (unlisted beneifit?) more often after you reach the gold tier, you may be disappointed.

I really don't know what the f people are thinking these days, since when did opups = an official benefits of MPO. I am sure for the majority of the members they do appreciate the opup, but I have noticed recently there is a surge of people keep on DEMANDING opups and make it sound like CX owes them this benefit.

Also as for the above conduct, all I can say is that it makes me feel shameful to be in the same club. You have absoultely NO basis of complaining. Rule is that only urself can get into the club. ALSO CX is the most accomodating airline in Oneworld allowing their own Ruby members to have access into the lounge! No other Oneworld airlines have lounge access for the eqv membership.

cxfan1960 Jun 24, 07 8:30 am


Originally Posted by Dave Marsh (Post 7949939)
ALSO CX is the most accomodating airline in Oneworld allowing their own Ruby members to have access into the lounge! No other Oneworld airlines have lounge access for the eqv membership.

An extreme case is AA. Non-AA OW SA/EM, but not AA PLT/EXP, can access AA lounges except for routes outside of the Americas. (Of course, these AA members have plenty of bonus miles and can use the extra miles to purchase lounge access.)

I have no complaint about MPC benefits.

jujube Jun 24, 07 9:37 am

I think it's fairly obvious that travel is up and capacity is tight - just look at the load factor and more biz travelers and those using their miles to upgrade to J have done so leaving opups a more rarity than in years past.


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