After the speedy delivery from the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui via taxi, we were back at Hong Kong International Airport. We already had boarding passes that we were given in Bali, but I went to the check in desk in the airport, where they reprinted our boarding passes and provided us lounge invitations (that were likely not required). We were pretty early, so we had time for some lounge hopping.
HKIA departure hall from flickr
After a brief wait for security then customs formalities, we were back airside. Unfortunately The Wing First Class Lounge was closed for renovations, so we first headed to The Pier. (Update: The Pier has since been renovated and is greatly improved.)
I visited the Business Class side of The Pier lounge on our flights to Bali, and unfortunately I was a little underwhelmed by the First Class side.
The Lounge was pretty crowded and the amenities weren’t that much more than was available for Business Class. The location isn’t great either, as I found the lounge rather dark and almost claustrophobic. Understandably if 50% or more of the lounge space dedicated to First Class flyers is not available, the exclusiveness of what is available will be reduced. Its hard to nit pick a first class lounge, but this didn’t leave me as impressed as Thai and Lufthansa First lounges.
self service dining area in The Pier. Thanks Tom Mascardo
Darren has a nice review of his time in the First Class section of the pier, with more photos that I had to share.
After a little bit of food and relaxing, I wanted to see what other options there were. One of the check in agents reminded us of a Qantas First Class lounge that is shared by British Airways as well. Having never been in a lounge for either of those airlines and carrying a First Class boarding pass for a OneWorld Carrier, my wife and I walked over to this lounge. It is very close the security area, after a hike through the food court. Location-wise, it actually would have been more convenient than going out to The Pier.
Qantas First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
We entered a nearly empty Qantas First Class Lounge. There were no other passengers, just some cleaning crew, and the front desk staff. There was a wide array of reading materials, and several food and drink areas.
More photos of the Qantas lounge can be found in this flyertalk post.
The lounge is nice, but nothing outstanding. Qantas is refurbishing it, and will have a new lounge open at HKG in late 2012. Based on most reviews and my experiences, I think The Wing is the best First Class Lounge in the airport. I guess I’ll have to visit next time I’m in First Class on Cathay Pacific. (Soon I hope!)
The Qantas lounge closes late morning, but we were welcomed in for the little bit of time before it closed. We had to head to our departure gate, so it was not an issue. As we left, they offered us to visit the Qantas Business Class lounge, which remained open. It was tempting, but my wife had enough lounge hopping, so we headed off to our gate for our flight back to North America.