Chasing the Sun: Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Hong Kong

Introduction
Lufthansa First Class Seattle to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Lounge & Senator Lounge Frankfurt
Thai Airways First Class Frankfurt to Bangkok
InterContinental Bangkok
Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge Bangkok
Cathay Pacific Business Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco


We got to the airport shortly before noon for our 2:05PM departure.


Terminal exterior


Terminal interior

Cathay Pacific’s first class check-in is at the far end of the terminal, and they have an interesting setup, in a way similar to what’s found at Andaz hotels. Instead of having traditional check-in counters, you approach the first class check-in area, where an agent welcomes you and walks you to a “podium.” They’re by you as they check you in, and there’s a screen which displays all your flight information.

The process took only a few minutes, and aside from the lounge is unfortunately the extent of Cathay Pacific’s ground services in Hong Kong. There are no escorts to the lounge or gate, though Cathay Pacific has never really excelled when it comes to ground services.


Cathay Pacific first class check-in

After checking in we headed towards security and immigration, which had among the shortest queues I’ve ever seen in Hong Kong.

We also really lucked out in terms of gates, as we were departing from gate four and “The Wing” is near gate two, both of which are only a couple of minutes walk from the security checkpoint.

Once in “The Wing” we handed over our invitation and took the elevator up to the second floor. Somehow as we exited the elevator the agent knew to direct us to the first class portion of the lounge.


The Wing” entrance

Now, here’s the thing — “The Wing” first class lounge has been closed for a while now as it’s being renovated, so they just have a temporary area partitioned off for first class passengers. However, you can find previous reviews of “The Wing” first class lounge here, here, and here. Cathay Pacific’s other first class lounge, which was open, is called “The Pier.” However, it was at the far end of the terminal and didn’t seem worth the walk to visit. Here’s a previous review of “The Pier” first class lounge, though.

Anyway, back to this lounge. The first class portion of the lounge was surprisingly empty, and for the first hour we had the lounge to ourselves. There was a waitress roaming around offering drinks, I suppose to differentiate this lounge from the business class one.


First class portion of “The Wing”


First class portion of “The Wing”

To drink I ordered what any sane person would — Hong Kong milk tea and champagne, of course!


Drinks with a view

The food spread is located in the business class lounge, so I walked over there to see what they had on offer.


Business class portion of “The Wing”


First class portion of “The Wing”

At the far end of the lounge is the noodle bar, which has a few options to choose from. Once you place your order you’re given a buzzer, and within five minutes your food is ready.


Noodle bar

There’s also a small buffet with fried rice, soup, etc.


Buffet

I ordered some wonton soup and dumplings.


Wonton soup and dumplings

At around 1:40PM we left the lounge to head to our gate, where boarding was well underway.


Departure gate


Our beauty to San Francisco

I had flown this exact flight in 2010, so was excited to see how it compared a couple of years later.

Cathay Pacific’s first class ground services are relatively “no frills” compared to the likes of Lufthansa and Thai, though it’s always the onboard experience that has drawn me to Cathay Pacific.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the ongoing excellent reports, as usual! I read your blog every day!

    IMHO, not only are the CX ground services absent, but for a flagship lounge, both CX F HKG lounges have been very disappointing to me in terms of their food offerings. That being said, they remain one of my favorite, if not favorite, carriers.

  2. The lounge photos of the F seating area are post-renovation. I was at HKG last March soon after the first class section was closed. The temporary lounge was a partitioned-off area to the right of the upper-level check-in desk with very old-looking furniture. I don’t know whether the area you were in is part of the new business lounge that has been temporarily repurposed or a completed portion of the new F lounge, but it’s much nicer than what I saw.

  3. Was there a week ago, took my shower downstairs and sat on the business side and didn’t bother with the limited first class seating area. Looking forward to the renovated opening ~ February!

  4. I love CX, but my only annoyance with CX is the lack of any priority security or customs fast track. I am fine with a no frills ground service, but at bare minimum F passengers should be able to expedite through security/customs. When I transferred in HKG, I was stuck in transit security for 45 mins. Not fun. Customs is usually 20-30 minutes.

  5. Does any airline/airport with a HLG-style transit process offer priority security for transit passengers? I don’t recall seeing such lanes at HKG, NRT, or ICN. I also don’t recall it at immigration for arriving pax. Of course, that’s not to say it shouldn’t exist…

  6. @ Loran — The lounge I was in was actually in the same area. I guess they just updated the furniture. Don’t think I’ve ever seen priority transit security, unfortunately. Would be nice, though!

  7. I just came back from HKG Gate 4 on 11/23. I saw a HK celebrity there at the Wing business class lounge, noodle bar.

  8. I thought there was priority security at FRA when transiting? I seem to recall when arriving at a B gate, and re-clearing to the B departure areas there was a line for First/Business passengers. Perhaps I’m mis-remembering things though.

  9. @ Joe — You’re correct. Frankfurt is unique in that connecting passengers and passengers originating in Frankfurt use the same queues, so I don’t think they’re transit queues, per se.

  10. If flying Emirates through DXB T3 you pass through transit security and there is indeed a dedicated priority line for F/J pax. Additionally, if I remember correctly there is a priority line at transit security in LIM.

  11. Lucky – you give any thought to visiting The Cabin? No F section but that seems to be the newest lounge at HKG.

  12. @ UA-NYC –Would have liked to check it out, though the walk in both directions would have taken a while, and given the short amount of time I had it didn’t seem worth it. Hopefully next time.

  13. For my transfer at HKG (BKK-HKG-LAX in F) I got a great escort. Met at the gate, had to go through security again, and my wife didn’t realize she had a pen knife in her purse (that cleared about 20 security checkpoints!!). It was a momento from her deceased uncle and meant a lot to her – they wanted to confiscate it. Our CX escort took charge, had the knife checked in as luggage while we were in the lounge and came back to give us the claim check!

    I’m wondering whether it’s only the transfer passengers that get the super ground assistance – we didn’t get any when we checked in after an overnight in HKG on the outbound.

  14. @ Lucky LOL!

    BTW, Cathay used to have the best wine list in F as of Feb 2012, but they have downgraded it too.

    There flagship red wine is Lynch Bages, a truly excellent Bordeaux. Now they rotate 5 bordeauxs, of which a few are not up to standard.

    The Girardin seems to be just a village.

    Thankfully the Krug is unlimited!!

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