Reader Abhi asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:
I visited the wing FC lounge in hkg today.
And though its only my second FC lounge visit it really seemed just meh. It’s more like a rich admirals club.
The only other FC lounge I have been to is Lufthansa FC lounge in Munich and compared to that this just seems very disappointing.
Have I just set my expectations wrong by visiting Lufthansa FC lounge in Munich first?
It’s an interesting question because I think it’s fun to look at the different thought processes people reach conclusions with.
Do I like Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge in Hong Kong? Yes. Do I think it’s one of the world’s best lounges? No.
I don’t think it’s ultimately in the same league as the Air France First Class Lounge Paris, Emirates A380 First Class Lounge in Dubai, Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney, or Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok.
But I do quite like it, and think it’s one of the better lounges in the world.
Oneworld Emerald members can access it
Perhaps this is one of the reasons the lounge felt less exclusive to Abhi. The lounge can be access by oneworld Emerald members, even if traveling in economy on a shorthaul flight. As a oneworld Emerald member, that’s something I quite appreciate. Obviously that’s not great news for first class passengers, but is great news for elite members.
The Wing has the best showers of any lounge
If you can snag a cabana, they’re the single best showers I’ve seen at any airport. Be sure you specifically ask for a cabana, because they also have shower rooms which are different (though still quite nice). There’s sometimes a wait for them, so add yourself to the list as soon as you get to the lounge.
The Wing has a champagne bar
While it’s not the best stuff in the world, I do appreciate that The Wing has a
judgment free self serve champagne bar. They have Moet (both Brut and Rose) as well as Veuve. Quite the thirst quencher before or after a longhaul. 😉
The Wing has a decent restaurant
It’s not the best food of any lounge, but The Wing has a solid restaurant, which is catered and staffed by Peninsula Hotels. They have both a buffet and a la carte menu.
Cathay Pacific’s ground experience is otherwise unremarkable
Other than the above features, I find Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong ground experience to be nothing special. There’s no escort from check-in to the lounge or from the lounge to the gate. There’s not even a priority security or immigration queue.
The Wing isn’t a great place to sit for hours (the seating is fine, but isn’t really different than a business class lounge). There’s no spa. And there aren’t really any “entertainment zones.”
But it works really well for me
Ultimately The Wing hits the spot for me. If I am originating my travel in Hong Kong I’ll usually get to the airport two hours before departure, which leaves about an hour in The Wing. That’s enough time for a nice meal and some champagne, assuming I’m not connecting to longhaul first class flight (in which case I usually save my appetite).
And if I’m connecting, I don’t actually mind a few hours there. Cathay Pacific doesn’t have wifi (frustratingly), so during a four hour connection I’ll have a meal, get a cabana, and spend a couple of hours catching up on work at the champagne bar.
Is The Wing the world’s best first class lounge? Nope, but I actually think it’s really solid. I won’t arrive at the airport much earlier than I have to just to visit, but I will plan a longer layover there, largely because I like to have a chance to catch up on work between flights without wifi.
Funny enough, though, I’m not actually that impressed by Lufthansa’s First Class Lounge in Munich. You typically don’t get a car to your longhaul flight, the food isn’t as good as in the Frankfurt lounge, it’s small, and it tends to get crowded.
If you’ve visited The Wing First Class Lounge, what was your impression and how do you rate it?