Cathay Pacific has had a busy 2023, taking advantage of no COVID restrictions and booming global travel, and reasserting its position as an international hub. In the midst of all this, the carrier is making changes to its loyalty program, both business and personal. This week, the airline announced a revamp of its Business Plus program, adding benefits such as transferring Asia Miles to employees and special promotions for companies.
With Hong Kong and China closed to the world for three years, business travel was hardly at the fore. However, companies are getting busy again, and Cathay is responding with a new Business Plus program. Growing businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now earn Business Status Points and Asia Miles that count towards three tiers. The passengers (i.e. employees) continue to earn their own personal status points and miles as usual too.
Earn rate means that businesses earn 30-40% of the Asia Miles earned by employees on their ticket.
While bonuses get more generous as a business spends more, Cathay’s main additional perk is the ability to redeem for Silver memberships that can be gifted to one to three employees. Meanwhile, you can redeem miles for access to Cathay’s iconic lounges in Hong Kong (the Pier, the Wing, and the Deck) and more locations. If you don’t choose to spend your miles, Business Plus allows you to transfer them to employees as well, a new provision, similar to Delta’s revamped SkyMiles for Business program.
There are several softer perks as well. Cathay says the program will award access to discount fares, special promotions, and even flight upgrade vouchers to premium economy or business class. However, this is likely linked to the level of spend and can’t be quantified until we know the frequency of such deals. For employees, you’ll get priority baggage handling while traveling if booked through Business Plus.
Love learning about points and miles? Read more of our loyalty news and guides here.
Asia Miles devalued (sort of)
Last month, Cathay also announced a revamp of the loyalty program for individuals (now renamed just ‘Cathay’) starting 1st October. According to the South China Morning Post, this came with, unsurprisingly, major devaluations for premium economy, business, and first class award tickets, the first change in five years. Premium cabins have seen a 20-30% increase in mileage requirements, with ultra-long-haul (US East Coast) and long-haul routes (Europe, West Coast) hit the hardest in business (30%).
However, economy long- and ultra-long-haul redemptions have come down slightly, by 10% across the board. This does mean upgrades are more viable in the future, although still more expensive. However, expect to shell out more to test Cathay’s new business class seats on its 777-300ERs, set to debut in early 2024.
The devaluation isn’t surprising considering there have been no changes for five years, especially since Cathay was in considerable tumult. As it finds its feet, it’ll be important to shore up revenues as more residents fly abroad for the first time in years. For better or worse, programs will continue to up prices, at least there’s no spend-based earning (yet). However, you have until October 1st to lock in some good redemptions, so transfer or spend your Asia Miles wisely.
Source : Simple Flying