Hello from the Cathay Pacific first class lounge in Hong Kong!

It’s almost time to fly to Manila, so I wanted to provide a quick update of the ground services Cathay Pacific offers here in Hong Kong. I had low expectations from the beginning despite Cathay’s top five ranking in first class airline lounges, and my expectations weren’t exceeded either.

Let’s start with first class check-in area. It’s fast and efficient with agents ready to help immediately, but that’s about it. No escort through immigration or security. No escort to the lounge. The agent simply said the lounge was “past security on the left,” which was far from adequate for describing the location.

After getting through security we walked to gate G16 (since the boarding pass said “The Wing/The Pier/G16,” which I thought meant the lounge was near gate 16. Little did I know “G16” was the location of a different lounge we could use. After the 30 minute hike back and forth we found the lounge near gate two. I’m not sure whether this is “The Wing” or “The Pier,” but I hear there’s not much of a difference.

Simply put the first class side is like a nice business class lounge. It totally lacks any feeling of exclusivity, and can’t be compared to Lufthansa in Frankfurt or Thai in Bangkok. There are plenty of comfortable couches with drink service, which is nice, and there’s also a dining area with some food, although it’s not designed for full meals. What was most impressive were the “Cabanas,” which were nice showers rooms. I’ll post pictures later, but they’re the nicest airport showers I’ve ever seen. Trying to explain to the shower attendant that I didn’t actually want to shower but rather just wanted to take some pictures was a bit of a challenge, though.

The ground services by no means match Cathay’s ranking as the world’s best airline. Nowadays first class lounges lacking five course meals, massages, golf cart rides, or Porsche transfers just aren’t all that. 

By the way, the most entertaining part of sitting here has to be the guy sitting across from me. I’m not sure what nationality he is (I’d guess French), but he has been on his phone for the past five minutes trying to make an “appointment” for tonight. He’s requesting a “female” show up at his hotel at 10PM tonight for 90 minutes. Maybe he wants a massage….. or a “massage?”

Comments

  1. As you say the showers are great! It makes a big difference when you need to go for a meeting straight away. And if you like asian food the freshly made noodles are great.

  2. My only experience with F lounges is the oneworld one in LHR, old Concorde Room in LHR T4, oneworld F lounge in SIN, Qantas F lounge in SYD, and the new T5 Concorde Room in LHR (in that order and all visited on the same trip last fall).

    Forgive my ignorance, but how do those lounges stack up against the ones you mentioned (especially compared to Thai’s in BKK or LH’s in FRA)? That might help me understand where you’re coming from.

  3. Er, sorry, first lounge mentioned should have been the oneworld one in LAX, not LHR. Silly iPhone… :p

  4. jackal, to be honest I haven’t been to any of those lounges. I’m a OneWorld newb. I have heard great things about the Qantas lounge at SYD, though.

    Nowadays it takes more than a spacious lounge with good food to “wow” people. Take the Thai lounge in BKK, for example. First class passengers arrive at first class check-in and porters help them with their bags. You sit down, are given towels to cool off, and in minutes you have your boarding pass. Then you are driven through immigration and to the lounge in a golf cart. In the lounge you get your own private “room,” sort of. They also have a spa, where first class passengers can get a 1.5 hour massage. They then escort you to the gate. It’s simple a seamless experience.

    The First Class Terminal doesn’t need a whole lot of explaining, I think. It revolutionizes the concept of first class lounges, and allows you to totally avoid the typical airport experience. The lounge has five course meals, sleep rooms, great showers. You’re also driven to your plane in either a Porsche or a Mercedes.

    Good food and nice showers don’t make a first class lounge excellent anymore, IMO.

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