Cathay's New Program

 
Old Dec 29, 98, 7:02 pm
  #1  
Original Member
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Hong Kong soon to be London
Posts: 208
Cathay's New Program

Is there anyone out there who is interested in discussing the new Cathay FF program?

Hong Kong Flyer
Hong Kong Flyer is offline  
Old Dec 30, 98, 5:15 am
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: HKG
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, CX DM, QF GO, AA LT GO, UA SL, LH FT, Marr LT Titanium, Shang DM, Hyatt Glob, Hilton DM
Posts: 2,019
of course i'm one of those who're interested...
tedhl is offline  
Old Dec 30, 98, 8:14 am
  #3  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CH-3823 Wengen Switzerland
Programs: miles&more, MileagePlus
Posts: 27,029
I can't contribute on this - but I am interested to hear/read/learn.
Rudi is offline  
Old Dec 30, 98, 7:14 pm
  #4  
Original Member
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Hong Kong soon to be London
Posts: 208
All right then, let's start comparing notes:

I am a 1K on United, but as I am based in Hong Kong I have been giving serious consideration to switching to Cathay. When Cathay introduced direct HKG-SFO service (my most frequent transpacific route) and a new FF program I thought I would definitely switch.

Questions:
1) Are there elite levels on Cathay? What do they offer?

2) Will Cathay give me elite status since I am a 1K on United?

3) Would I be better off joining BA or AA and accumulating miles with those programs?

4) How is Cathay service in coach? in business?

Comments appreciated,
Hong Kong Flyer
Hong Kong Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 5, 99, 6:10 pm
  #5  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: HKG
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, CX DM, QF GO, AA LT GO, UA SL, LH FT, Marr LT Titanium, Shang DM, Hyatt Glob, Hilton DM
Posts: 2,019
Similar case for me...have been a Premier/Premier Executive with United for 5-6 years...just relocated back to Hong Kong, and now my travel are almost exclusively on Cathay...I used to choose United over Cathay for transpacific trips for the last few years because of a few reasons...ability to get miles in economy class, 25% / 100% Premier bonus, limited opportunity to fly Cathay otherwise...now that I'm in Hong Kong and flying Cathay every single week, I'm becoming more and more interested in learning about Cathay's program as well...

now, to answer your questions...

(1) Cathay, kind of similar to Singapore Air, has 2 separate programs, one for accruing miles (Passages / Asia Miles) and one for status (The Marco Polo Club)...Passages will be replaced by the new Asia Miles program starting from Feb 99...I didn't see anything about elite status in Asia Miles, and they do have some major changes in place for the Marco Polo Club to be introduced in Feb 99...so I guess they tend to keep these two separate in the future...one drawback compared to other programs in this case is that I haven't heard anything about elite mileage bonus...i.e. it seems that members of the Marco Polo Club will not get any elite bonus in Asia Miles...

other than that...members of the Marco Polo Club get the usual elite benefits...check in at business (for green/gold) and first (for diamond/lifetime) counters...business class (for green/gold) and first class (for diamond/lifetime) lounges...complimentary CX flight schedules or OAG flight guides...advance seat reservation...extra baggage allowance...priority baggage handling...upgrade certificates (2 each year for lifetime members, not sure for others)...priority in getting upgraded when economy is overbooked (my friend, who's gold, said he got this almost 50% of the time)...

btw, fyi...starting from Feb, green will be renamed silver, while lifetime renamed invitation...if any of you are interested in the details...you may want to check the message I posted here a while ago...

(2) As a UA Premier Executive (not 1K), I tried faxing them a request to get a similar (Gold) or lower (Green) status in the Marco Polo Club...but I didn't hear back from them at all...Hong Kong Flyer, if you want to try, let me know of your result...

(3) This is a question I've been thinking about too...one thing I'm not sure...since Asia Miles and the Marco Polo Club are kind of 2 separate programs...I'm wondering if it's possible for me to accrue AAdvantage miles (instead of Asia Miles) and at the same time have the segment counts/miles credited for status in Marco Polo...if so, that means I will be able to get elite status on both airlines with the same flights...and, if I'm not mistaken now you get elite bonus miles in AAdvantage for not just AA flights, but also sfor ome partners like CP or BA...so if it works the same for CX (which are all in the oneworld alliance)...I may be better off getting elite status and bonus miles in AAdvantage for CX flights, if Asia Miles really doesn't give any elite bonuses...

but, of course...this decision a lot depends on the types of awards you're targeting for...for example, intra-Asia awards vs Asia-North America vs within US...in HKG I guess of course you'll most probably find Asia Miles to be better in terms of award choices...but each program definitely has its own merits in terms of award choices...maybe we want to do a comparison chart for elite status on oneworld alliance airlines, like what BlondeBomber is doing for Star Alliance ??

(4) So far I've only traveled with Cathay on short-haul flights...all less than 4 hours...in terms of service, I think Cathay is definitely much better than United and most other US-based airlines...even in economy the FA are very friendly and helpful...the leg room is a bit better too I think (34" compared to 31" in United Economy)...the business class is really business class, much better than domestic first in 2-class equipment in US...and, even in economy...you'll get a relatively complete meal even in a 1-hour flight...not just sandwich or pretzels/peanuts...maybe because all flights out of HKG are considered international flights...

one thing that I want to see offered is advance seat reservation...now this can be done in economy only for Marco Polo members...I can understand why...they want to keep the best seats and choices for their elites...but it would be nice if they could do it the way most US airlines do it...reserve a few front economy rows for elites and open the rest for advance seat reservation...that way I don't always have to sit in row 50 or 60+ if I'm in economy...or so that people who travel together can sit next to each other...the flights I'm on are usually so full that I see people who travel together cannot sit together because they could not reserve seats in advance...
tedhl is offline  
Old Jan 5, 99, 7:23 pm
  #6  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 1,433
If you'd like to set up a oneworld comparison chart I'm more than willing to contribute to the BA (US) information. BA differentiates among geographical regions in its ff plan (UK/Europe, Africa, US, etc) and targets promotions at specific markets. The US version seems to be competitive with other (US) ff plans...

It may be worth trying to get information on the Asian flavour of this program.
baobab is offline  
Old Jan 5, 99, 9:31 pm
  #7  
Original Member
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Hong Kong soon to be London
Posts: 208
I think this is an excellent idea. I will be glad to do produce the spreadsheet if we can gather the necessary information.

HKF
Hong Kong Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 5, 99, 11:05 pm
  #8  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: HKG
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, CX DM, QF GO, AA LT GO, UA SL, LH FT, Marr LT Titanium, Shang DM, Hyatt Glob, Hilton DM
Posts: 2,019
I guess BlondeBomber won't mind if we use his spreadsheet as the template for our comparison, right ?? So, let's start from there and I'll contribute to both the AA and CX portion...baobab will do BA...should we post a message in The Buzz and see if there's someone who can do Canadian, Qantas, and Finnair ?? and Hong Kong Flyer can also contribute to CX and do the data compilation ??

And, another question...should we include all elite levels, or only med to top levels, like what BlondeBomber is doing (only Star Alliance gold, not silver) ?? of course...oneworld still doesn't have an alliance-wide status system, right ??
tedhl is offline  
Old Jan 6, 99, 4:20 am
  #9  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Canada
Programs: AC SE 2MM, HH Dd, SPG; IC Pl/A; AA; DL
Posts: 13,945
This is great. Good luck. You may have to concentrate on 3 or 4 airlines that you can get info for. The toughest info is the top tier as there are few fliers on some of the smaller carriers that make that tier and fewer yet that appear on Flyer Talk. The published info is not always as detailed as the mailings one gets. The Super Elite info on Air Canada is published nowhere else but contains great info about "other benefits". The great thing about doing the chart is that people come out of the woodwork to provide info so you can update/revise.
BlondeBomber is offline  
Old Jan 6, 99, 8:46 am
  #10  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 1,433
I think it's also useful to provide a comparison of the basic (non-elite) structure - it could be interesting to see how closely the ff plans are aligned in terms of mileage redemption etc. (I've noticed some recent grumbling about LH award costs compared to other Star Alliance airlines)
baobab is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread