Review: Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction
American Business Class 777-300ER Dallas To Hong Kong
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui
Cathay Pacific “The Bridge” Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong
American Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Dallas


After a brief visit to The Bridge, we headed towards The Wing, which houses one of Cathay Pacific’s first class lounges at Hong Kong Airport. I’ve reviewed The Wing First Class Lounge before, so I’ll keep this review brief.

I really planned the order of our visits poorly. The Wing is located just past immigration, while The Bridge is located near gate 35. Our flight was leaving from gate 43. So really we should have visited The Wing, then The Bridge, and then gone to our flight, rather than The Bridge, then hauling back towards immigration for The Wing, and then to the gate.

If it’s any justification, I was hoping to have lunch in The Wing, and they weren’t yet serving that when we cleared immigration.

While there’s a train running between gate 1 and gate 35 at Hong Kong Airport, it’s one-way, so you can’t take it in the other direction. So we made the roughly 15 minute trek between lounges, which is always a nice walk.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

The Wing has both a first and business class section, and the first class section has a side entrance on the second floor, so we took that. If you enter through the ground floor entrance you’d have to take the elevator up a level, so I find going directly to the second level to be faster.

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Entrance to the Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport

The Wing First Class Lounge reopened last year after a lengthy renovation. The lounge isn’t huge, and does tend to get crowded during peak periods.

Keep in mind that not only first class passengers are eligible for access, but also oneworld Emerald members. So there are lots more passengers than you’d otherwise have in a first class lounge.

Closest to the entrance is the champagne bar, which features two types of champagne and rose. It has plush leather chairs, though usually I just grab a glass or two and then head somewhere else.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Hong Kong Airport

Then there’s a long, sleek hallway which leads to the rest of the lounge.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge seating Hong Kong Airport

There’s a fair amount of seating, though during peak times most seats are occupied. In fairness, the seating is nicely spread out, so that even when the lounge is full it doesn’t feel too crowded. There are servers roaming the lounge to service drinks, and they’re usually quite good at staying on top of things.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge seating Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge seating Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge seating Hong Kong Airport

If you do want to pick out your own drink, the bar is at the opposite end of the lounge as the champagne bar, and features a good selection of booze and cocktails.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge bar Hong Kong Airport

The Wing is “open air” in the sense that it’s on the second level and overlooking the rest of the terminal. As a result you do hear a fair amount of terminal noise.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge view Hong Kong Airport

In this case we didn’t have much time, so we headed straight to the dining area, which is catered by Peninsula Hotels.

The lounge features both individual tables along the center of the room, plus some booths along the side of the dining area.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge restaurant Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge restaurant Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge restaurant Hong Kong Airport

As we arrived they were just clearing breakfast. The dining area has both a buffet and a la carte menu. The breakfast menu read as follows:

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At 11:30AM they switched to the lunch menu, which read as follows:

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In addition to the excellent a la carte options, the buffet is quite good. It’s not huge, but well prepared and nicely varied.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

In terms of cold options, they had several types of salads, salmon, etc.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

Then there’s a nice sushi spread.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

And then they have more than a handful of hot options, including Western and Asian options.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

The dessert spread is possibly the best part, though, with fresh fruit and all kinds of stuff I shouldn’t be eating.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge buffet Hong Kong Airport

Service in the dining area is generally attentive and friendly, so it’s a really solid dining experience.

While I didn’t have time to use it this time around, a highlight of the lounge are the cabanas. They have well over a dozen shower rooms, though only a handful of cabanas, as pictured below. While you can usually get a shower without a wait, the cabanas do tend to have a queue during peak hours. So if you want one, be sure you get on the list as soon as you arrive at the lounge.

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Cabana Hong Kong Airport

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Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge Cabana Hong Kong Airport

Given our 1:30PM departure time, we left the lounge at around 12:45PM, given that it would take about 20 minutes to get to our gate. We took the train to gate 35, and then walked from there.

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

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Hong Kong Airport terminal

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Hong Kong Airport American departure gate

By the time we arrived at the gate boarding was well underway. While our boarding passes were quickly scanned, there was a further security checkpoint on the jet bridge, which took about 10 minutes.

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Hong Kong Airport American departure gate

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American 777-300ER Hong Kong Airport

Cathay Pacific’s The Wing bottom line

The Wing First Class Lounge is definitely the nicest lounge at Hong Kong Airport, and a solid oneworld first class lounge. Ultimately it’s not quite to the level of the top first class lounges in the world, like the Air France First Class Lounge Paris, Emirates A380 First Class Lounge in Dubai, Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok.

But in terms of the showers and dining area, I do think the lounge deserves high marks, especially when accessing it as a oneworld Emerald member. In terms of the experience from the perspective of a Cathay Pacific first class passenger, I really do wish they’d spruce up ground services aside from the lounge (like a dedicated immigration and security channel, for example), but that’s a whole different story.

If you’ve visited The Wing First Class Lounge, what was your experience?

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. I´ve been to the wing a couple of times, The Cabannas is an amazing way to relax and take a shower during the wait. I find the food very good and the service excellent.
    As I only fly OneWorld (and some star alliance mainly in Americas) I have to say that this is the best lounge I´ve ever been.

  2. Maybe Gary knows who serves the best wonton soup. His face is starting to look like a big fat soup wonton! Just want to stick a straw in his face and slurp out that hot mess.

  3. Yes, the ground services are really poor. If you arrive at peak times, can take an hour to go thru security as a F pax. Hardly the experience one would expect for someone who might be paying ~$10K a seat for TPAC.

  4. This is the nicest lounge I’ve ever used. Excellent service, food, seating. I didn’t even use a cabana (will make sure to do it next time). Conversely, I used the Concord Room at LHR last week and I was very, very disappointed with its mediocre food and service.

  5. Lucky, thanks again for a comprehensive review! I do think the food looks a bit more upscale than The Bridge.

    Is the famous Noodle Bar located in The Wing?

  6. Sorry one more question! Which parts of The Wing do only Fs have exclusive access to?

    E.g. can passengers from both classes access The Noodle Bar and The Coffee Loft?

  7. @ ILDC — Yep, first class passengers can use the business class section as well, but not the other way around.

  8. Cathay needs to step up their champagne game and serve something better than veuve in their “champagne bar” given that Qatar is serving Krug in their BUSINESS class lounge.

    which lounge in the world would you say serves the best food?

  9. Transferred through HKG a couple weeks ago. Had another nice visit at the Wing (a relaxing counterpoint to the very unusual experience of watching a guy completely undress in front of HKG terminal monitors and then walk 10 gates before he was pulled aside by authorities…no joke).

    Two questions:

    Has anyone had an issue as a One World Emerald getting access to the CX first class lounge? The lounge rep tried to send me to the business side because my continuing ticket was in C class. My emerald status was clearly on my ticket but she wanted to see my original first class CX segment before letting me through. I actually thought the policy might have changed.

    Also, any tips as a transfer pax at HKG? I was surprised how long it took to clear the transfer checkpoint/security this time. I think there is more than one transfer area. Is one of the areas less busy or is it just flight/time dependent?

  10. Hi Lucky, I though the Wing F lounge is airside, i.e. you don’t clear immigration as a transit passenger just to enter this lounge?

  11. was just there today. had both moët champagnes, however didn’t have Veuve on offer. Instead they had the Deutz Peninsula Champagne.

    all passengers can access the noodle bar, but it is in the business class section. in the past I have found they are very lax about people going between sections, however they had it more separated today. keep your boarding pass on you in case.

  12. @ Ben — Is that picture of Veuve current or old? I thought they had dropped Veuve for The Peninsula.

  13. Always good tomread your reports. I am basically a OneWorld flyer & usually frequent the CX Lounges with a meal at F Wing. I would however love to see you review the new QANTAS Lounge. It is a combined First & Business Lounge, but hopefully will surprise you with areas reserved & dedicated to high level members. Service is personable & food excellent.

    Quick entry & exit at HKIA is so much easier with a Frequent Traveller access card or sign up for the Frequent Traveller e-channel. This AusBT story tells you the full story.

    http://www.ausbt.com.au/how-frequent-flyers-can-get-fast-lane-access-at-hong-kong-airport-frequent-visitor-echannel

  14. @Liam: I had no issues… in fact, when I tried to enter from downstairs, they sent me up in the elevator and someone was waiting to escort me up top to make sure I knew to use the first class lounge

    Lucky: I hear the new Qantas lounge is pretty nice. It sounds like you didn’t get a chance to check it out though?

  15. @lucky Are you able to use the Cathay lounges upon arrival if HKG is the destination (ie you don’t have a connecting Oneworld flight that day)?

  16. I have a long layover (~12 hours) in HKG coming up, inbound flight arrives HKG at about noon, onward flight departs at around midnight. How easy would it be to visit the Wing to freshen up, then exit the airport to go have some fun in the city for a few hours?

  17. ” If you arrive at peak times, can take an hour to go thru security as a F pax”

    Uh-oh. We have a @9am departure on Cathay to NRT. Is that peak time? I’d hate to needlessly wake up hours early, since we are going on to LAX from NRT the same day, and that will be tiring enough. Hate even more to miss our flight though.

  18. @MDR – with a 12 hour layover, you should have more than enough time to check out the lounge and go into the city for a few hours. The Airport Express train takes you right into Kowloon and from there, you can transfer to wherever you want to go.

  19. @MDR, it’s more efficient to use the arrival. If you visit the wing first, you’ll have to ask a lounge attendant to escort you to immigration as there’s no direct path to take without an agent helping you. While I’ve never done that, it’s apparently not too big if a hassle, but I would prefer the arrival and more time in HK…

  20. @ Luis — That’s a toughie. Can’t beat the Air France first class lounge in Paris in terms of quality, in my opinion. But there are quite a few just one notch below.

  21. @ liam — Oneworld Emerald members are absolutely allowed. Next time just be sure you emphasize you’re an Emerald member, in my opinion.

    As far as transfer security waits go, I find it to be HIGHLY variable. Sometimes there’s no wait, and sometimes there’s an hour wait — very rarely is it a moderate wait.

  22. @MDR: I had a similar situation in February. My flight got in at 6am. Went to the Wing, took a bath, had breakfast, then tried to leave the airport to visit some friends in town. Turns out that you can’t just walk out of the airport once you’re airside. The Cathay Pacific transfer desk tried to tell me I was stuck until my 9 pm flight, but I told them I really had to leave, that as an F passenger wasn’t there some way they could help me? They sent someone who walked me through different doors/elevators and through to passport control. Makes total sense why I shouldn’t have done that, but I’d probably do it again (though I’m not likely to have a similar itinerary).

  23. @ Jerry — Correct, it’s airside, so as a transfer passenger you just have to clear security before entering the lounge.

  24. @ justin — You can’t since you have to clear transit security to access it, which requires an onward boarding pass. Cathay Pacific does have an arrivals lounge past immigration for eligible passengers, though.

  25. @ Robert Hanson — Shouldn’t be too horrible at that hour, in my experience. For the early morning bank of flights, most passengers are connecting from elsewhere, so transit security is worse than the security/immigration checkpoint for passengers originating in Hong Kong.

  26. Other than the noodle bar, The Wing is over rated. I had a horrible experience there a few months ago, and took Lucky’s advice and complained to Cathay directly by email. They sent me an upgrade certificate valid for one year. I was impressed, and will continue raving about their great first class product that makes me feel like a king.

  27. I find the Haven to generally be dreadful. I was there with my children last Monday and the eggs were wet, the waffles inedible and the coffee cold. I actually think the options at dinner are marginally worse. The service is slow to the point of glacial and somehow identifying it as being from the Peninsula manages to drag both brands down.

  28. my data points from visiting twice last week:

    – very long queues for the restaurant in the morning
    – champagne bar was full of aussies loudly drinking from about 9-11am
    – asked to sign up for a cabana and was flat out told “no, no cabanas” by a cleaning staff member. when i tried to clarify with a lounge staff member, there seemed to be a language barrier issue and they reluctantly agreed, “no, no cabanas”. kind of astonishing because i had an 8 hour layover.
    – seats extremely comfy in the first class section and the view is amazing if you’re an aviation geek
    – best place IMO to sit is at one of the iMacs in the “IT” area. you can check out the view, do some work and still get drinks service
    – for a 9am TPAC departure, i arrived at about 7am and the queue for exit immigration was about 20 minutes long. looks worse than it is but does move a bit sluggishly. make sure you’ve got your departure card, boarding pass, etc or they will rudely send you to the back of the queue.

  29. @Lucky – flying AA F class from HKG to DFW next week. No oneworld status. Can I access the Wing? I believe the answer is yes but just wanted to get your thoughts.

  30. I’m oneworld Sapphire and will be going through HKG en route to SYD. Between The Bridge and The Wing business class lounge, you’d go with The Bridge, yeah?

  31. Also: from HKG to SYD, do you know if CX tends to board the normal 60min before departure? Or 30, 45min? On my outbound, I have very little time: I land at 7:40am and depart at 8:50am. I’ll have a couple hours on the return though, which will be nice.

  32. Hi, I am a new one world emerald for 2015 and will have a 10 hour connection in Hong Kong but I am flying Singapore Air first class. Do I need to be flying on Cathay to use this lounge, or is my emerald status (american airlines emerald card) enough to get me in?

  33. Thanks so much for the quick reply Ben! Looks like I’ll have a 10 hour Hong Kong day trip rather than a 10 hour lounge visit. Although I will at least check out the first class Singapore lounge while I’m there. Maybe my F class ticket can get me into a better star alliance lounge 🙂

  34. @ AJ — Definitely makes sense to go into the city with that much time. In terms of Star Alliance lounges in Hong Kong, I’m afraid they’re not that exciting. Though the Thai and Singapore ones are definitely decent.

  35. Someone commented they went into the cabanas with their partner. haha Is that possible?
    Also, I also noticed a very long wait for the restaurant after the 8am hour.
    One of my favorite things of the cabanas is the “Iron Service” that discretely takes place from within the clothes closet. haha

  36. I’m sitting in the wing writing this. Agreed it’s not on the level with other flagship lounges and the 30-40 min thru security and immigration probably thins out the lounge crowed quite a bit! 1845 hkg-jfk and it’s still only about half full.

  37. are all the cathay pacific flight gates in the same area as The Wing? flight from chicago gets in at 19:50 and have to catch connecting flight at 22:05? enough time to at least check it out? thanks!

  38. @ c. decena — It depends where you’re headed. For the most part the US bound flights leave from the area of the pier closest to The Wing. Yes, if you’re on time that should be enough time to check out the lounge.

  39. Hi Ben,

    I’m flying from LAX – HKG in F in a week and arriving at 3pm in the afternoon, then staying overnight in HKG. My connecting flight, same award ticket/PNR is on Dragonair and it leaves at 7.40am the next morning. Only problem is Dragonair doesn’t operate any premium cabin on this flight, J or F, so that sector is in Y.

    Wondering if you think there is any chance accessing The Wing F lounge if I show them my inbound F boarding pass and explaining the situation? I know that the oneworld rules state that the connecting flight needs to be before 6am – but this is the very first/only flight to the destination that they operate that day..

    In your experience, are the desk staff at The Wing / CX lounges very by the book or possibly flexible, YMMV?

    A side note – what is the reasoning behind a 6am cutoff for connecting flights? Should it not just be within 24 hours?

    Thanks!

  40. @ L84 — Could go either way on that. Technically you don’t get access and I think they’re mostly by the book, though you may lucky out. But I’d say unfortunately odds are probably against you. As far as the 6AM cutoff goes, I think the idea is that they don’t want to cut you off if you have a really early morning flight, for example.

  41. Lucky just to clarify, if I am arriving in the afternoon on an LAX-HKG in F, then 4 hour layover and connecting to another CX flight to BKK in C (all they offer) I can use the F section of the wing?
    ~First time on CX 🙂

  42. Another similar q regarding access policy, flying HND-HKG-BKK-DOH (with Cathay F into HKG, Cathay C to BKK and Qatar F, would I be directed into the F or the C lounge at HKG?

  43. @ Eric — Assuming you’re connecting same day, I think you should get first class lounge access in Hong Kong.

  44. I will have nearly 12 hour layover in HKG (from 10:30 pm til 10 am ) and am wondering if the lounges are open 24hours or if they close at some point? I have Emerald One World so would have access to one of the nicer lounges so it wouldn’t be too bad… or do you know if they provide F and BC customers with complimentary hotel rooms for long transit times? Thanks for any insight you can offer.

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