I’m flying Cathay Pacific first class from Chicago to Hong Kong today, and have a wee bit of a long layover after an early morning flight from Seattle.
Unfortunately Cathay Pacific uses the SAS lounge in Chicago, which really isn’t very nice. In the past they used the Swiss lounge which at least had a first class section, though that’s not the case anymore. That being said, Cathay Pacific does try to add a touch of class to the lounge by reserving the instant noodles and stale sandwiches exclusively for their passengers.
I’ve been sitting in the SAS lounge since noon, and noticed that at 2PM the British Airways lounge opened, so at that point decided to meander over there. Great, I’m both traveling in first class and a British Airways Gold Card Holder, and the OneWorld lounge access policies are pretty clear in that either of those “credentials” entitles me to access a British Airways lounge.
Well, apparently not in Chicago. I went to the British Airways first class lounge and the agent informed me that Cathay Pacific uses the SAS lounge in Chicago. I thanked her but pointed out the OneWorld logo on the door and said that I’d like to use the lounge on account of their participation in OneWorld. The agent informed me the lounge was at capacity. Funny, because there wasn’t a single person in the lounge. She then said “our flights today are completely sold out.” I said she could kick me out if she felt the lounge was getting too full and I’d gladly leave.
She stuck to her story and I didn’t argue further and instead decided to try my luck across the hall at the British Airways Terraces lounge. There the agent informed me that British Airways doesn’t have an agreement with “them.” Did I miss the announcement that British Airways left OneWorld?
Interestingly that lounge too was completely empty, and actually huge.
I totally understand an airline should be able to pull the “we’re at capacity and can only accommodate our own passengers” card, but is it okay to do that when the lounge is empty?