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Back in October 2018 Cathay Pacific opened up a trial in which Marco Polo Club members flying with Cathay Pacific (in any cabin) could pay to enter three of the Business Class lounges in its worldwide network. This trial is still in progress and was set to end on 31 March this year but, according to recent reports, Cathay Pacific has just announced and extension to the trial and added more lounges to it.
AUBT has reported that Cathay Pacific is launching a new four month lounge access trial between 4 March and 30 June 2019 which will see the following 7 lounges participating:
- Hong Kong – The Pier Business Class Lounge
- Kaohsiung – The Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Melbourne – The Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Manila – The Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Paris – The Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge
- Penang – The Cathay Pacific Lounge
- Vancouver – The Cathay Pacific Lounge
The Melbourne, Manilla and Vancouver lounges were already participating in the existing trial but the other 4 lounges are new additions.
As with the existing trial this offer is only open to members of the Marco Polo Club which costs $100 to join but, if you have a business which is eligible for the Cathay Pacific Business Plus program (which is free to join), you get Marco Polo membership thrown in.
Access to the 7 participating lounges will cost HK$600 (~$76) per person and, at six of the lounges, payment can be made on the door.
The rules for paying to access the Pier Business Class lounge in Hong Kong are different as there’s no option to pay on the door – passengers wishing to access the lounge will need to pay at either the check-in desks at Terminal 1 or at the Cathay Pacific transfer desks near gates 1, 15 & 36.
Is It Worth It?
it depends on which lounge we’re talking about and how long you have to spend in the lounge.
The Pier Business Class lounge is definitely one of the better Business Class lounges you’ll come across so, given enough time, the entry fee is almost certainly going to be worth it.
On the other hand, reports say that the Cathay Pacific lounge in Melbourne is small and nothing special whatsoever so that’s a space that’s unlikely to offer great value for money.
My personal experience of the Cathay Pacific First & Business Class lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle T2 suggests that it’s a perfectly acceptable space to spend some time (and it had a small noodle bar) but I think that I’d want a layover of at least 3 hours before I started to consider paying $76 for entry.
The best suggestion I have is that anyone considering paying for access to one of these seven lounges should take a look at what each lounge offers via Cathay Pacific’s lounge page.
Different people will have different ideas of what represents ‘good value’ and what’s worth a HK$600/$76 entry fee so it’s not really anyone’s place to give more than their opinion.
I confess to be ing slightly disappointed to see Cathay Pacific open up its premier Hong Kong lounge to paying customers as it’s only going to add to the crowds already in the lounge – I can’t see how the experience won’t be worsened for travelers who qualify for entry through their airline status.
Still, if you’re not usually eligible for lounge access and have a long layover before a Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon flight then this could be an option to consider – just be sure to check what the lounge is like and what it offers before you part with your money.
Featured image courtesy of Cathay Pacific