Cathay does lounges well. Its pretty much a fact considering its focus on customer service. In Hong Kong alone the Airline operates 4 different lounges – The Wing, The Pier, The Deck and The Bridge – with several internationally including Manila, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt and Shanghai to name a few.
The question today relates to what routes are available to gain access into these lounges and while Cathay names a few on their own website – Link here – it does not name them all.
1Travel in Cathay First or Business.
It is no surprise that the most direct route to gaining access into a Cathay business or first lounge is to fly in business or first class on a OneWorld airline.
While there are some obscure limitations to this rule, the main one is that the airline (both marked and operated) must be on a OneWorld carrier. If one attempts to use the lounge when only the ticket is marked but the carrier is not a one world airline, such as a Cathay flight on Philippines Airlines or a Malaysian Airlines flight on Emirates, then you may be denied access. However, this rule is only applicable when entering lounges other than the carrier who sold the ticket.
Unlike status benefits, passengers travelling in either class can enter into Cathay’s Arrivals lounges
2Have a Status with Marco Polo
One of the better benefits of the Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Scheme compared to say the British Airways Executive Club is that a Marco Polo Silver entitles holders access into Cathay Lounges whereas the OneWorld Equivalent by nature does not provide lounge access at all.
The limitation to this rule is that to make use of this status benefit, one must be flying on a ticket marked and operated by Cathay. Therefore, those outside Hong Kong many see little benefit to this unless one flies through Hong Kong Frequently.
In terms of Gold and Diamond Members, Cathay allows 1 guest into its business lounges and 2 guests into the first and business lounges for their respective members.
Additionally, arrival lounge access is only available to Diamond members with Gold members only able to use the arrivals lounge in Frankfurt.
3Have One World Status
OneWorld offers a pretty uniform playing field when compared to Star Alliance or SkyTeam. In my commentary of OneWorld lounge access rules there a set minimum that airlines within the alliance have to meet. In terms of lounges, the main minimums are that:
- Emerald tier frequent flyers can use First Class, Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.
- Sapphire tier frequent flyers are welcome in Business Class or frequent flyer lounges.
- Emerald and Sapphire members may invite one guest to join them in the lounge.
As such, if you are flying on a OneWorld carrier and hold the relevant status, you can access the respective lounge with 1 guest.
4Hold OneWorld Connect status
As a OneWorld Connect frequent flyer member (ie. Fiji Airways Tabua Plus Cardholder), members are able to use the lounges on specific flights if the flight is marked or operated by either Cathay Pacific or Fiji Airways
The flights are specifically as followed
|Route||Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge, Hong Kong||Cathay Pacific Lounge, Bangkok||Cathay Pacific Lounge, Singapore|
|Hong Kong to Nadi, Fiji||Passenger +1 guest||–||–|
|Hong Kong to Bangkok||Passenger +1 guest||–||–|
|Hong Kong to Singapore||Passenger +1 guest||–||–|
|–||Passenger +1 guest||–|
|Singapore to Hong Kong||–||–||Passenger +1 guest|
5Have Cargo Clan Elite Status
Another lounge access method unique to Cathay is the Cargo Clan Elite Status. Cargo Clan is Cathay’s loyalty programme for logistics professionals. Elite member status seems to be invite only based on revenue spend considering the little information on the subject and as such is out of the reach of most outside the logistics profession.
6Using a Cathay Lounge Pass
A nice quirk of the Cathay loyalty scheme is that upon reaching a certain number of club points in a membership year, a person can earn a lounge pass to use as a onetime access into a Cathay lounge. This seems to be one of the easier routes and is available to all four membership tiers (yes even including Green).
There are multiple ways to use this perk. For insance:
- If you are Green and want to enter the lounge for a special long haul flight
- If you are a Silver member and want to enter with a companion
- If you are a family and while Gold Status only allows 1 guest, you can use the pass to bring in a 2nd member – remember Children over the age of 2 are classed as a regular passenger for the purposes of entering the lounge.
The rule is that the person using the pass must be travelling with you on a Cathay operated flight unless the lounge pass is earned as a Gold or Diamond member in which case the pass can be nominated to a person (ie. Used without the earner being present).
It is important to note that a Diamond member who holds a lounge pass earned while they were a Gold member will not be allowed to redeem the pass into the First Class lounge.
7Purchase Lounge Access with Money
Cathay Pacific has joined a handful of other airlines that have begun offering travellers the ability to pay to access its airport lounges. Marco Polo Club members are now able to pay a HK$600 (US$75) fee per visit using their credit card to enter its facilities in selected airports
Purchase of lounge access this can be done online or at the airport lounge desk.
However, unlike Asia Miles redemption, passengers must be a Marco Polo Club member and hold a valid booking on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon to enjoy paid access to the selected lounges.
8Purchase access via Asia Miles
As of 2016, Cathay Pacific has extended their redemption option of redeeming miles for lounge access to all their worldwide locations, allowing non status Economy Class passengers to enjoy the facilities.
Previously this was only an option for the Hong Kong lounges but now it has been rolled out to the entire network of Cathay Lounges including an instant redemption option at the lounge desk.
Like the Cash redemption, access can be ascertained via online portal (login required) or at the airport lounge desk.
Access requires 9,000 Miles for entering the Business Class Lounge or 12,000 Miles for the First Class Lounge. The redemption rate is $0.6HKD an Asia Mile.
This redemption is also available if you’re an Elite Member traveling with companions and the amount of people you like to guest into the lounge exceeds the limit extended to you through your membership.
Important points to note that:
- All Marco Polo Club members can instantly redeem access to the worldwide Cathay Pacific Business Class lounges. Only Diamond members can redeem First Class Lounge access for friends and family members.
- You can be flying any airline, that is, not limited to flying Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any other oneworld carrier.
- Members may use Asia Miles to redeem lounge access for their companions, friends or family members; this is not limited to the Redemption Group.