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?”