Cathay Pacific currently offers 9 weekly roundtrip flights between Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok Int’l airport (HKIA) and Paris Charles de Gaulle Intl (CDG), although that number will rise to 10 weekly roundtrips in December 2016.
CX 261 departs Hong Kong shortly after midnight local time, and arrives into Paris slightly after 6 am local time, 7 days per week, on a 777-300ER aircraft, with 6 seats available in First, 53 in Business, 34 in Premium Economy and 182 in Economy. Return service on CX 260 leaves at 12:25 PM local time in Paris and lands in Hong Kong at 6:55 AM the following morning.
For the two (soon to be three) additional weekly frequencies between Hong Kong and Paris, Cathay Pacific operates one of its newest Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft into CDG. It is actually slightly higher-density (seating 280 passengers vs. the 275 seat configuration used on CX 260/261), but does not offer First class (it seats 38 in Business, 28 in Premium Economy and 214 in Economy). CX 279 leaves Hong Kong around 10 AM local time and arrives into Paris at 16:00. It currently operates on Mondays and Saturdays, and will soon also operate on Thursdays. Return service on CX 278 leaves Paris around 20:00 local time and arrives into Hong Kong around 15:00 the following day.
About the Lounge
Due to these reasons, Cathay provides a very generous schedule for passengers wishing to use their lounge at Charles de Gaulle. The operating hours are from 0600 AM to 2130 PM, and is located air-side, level 2, at the connection bridge between Terminals 2A and 2C at Charles de Gaulle.
Other than customers traveling on Cathay Pacific, this lounge is accessible to certain oneworld elite flyers on American Airlines flights to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Miami, New York JFK and Philadelphia (year-round), as well as Charlotte, Chicago O’Hare and Boston Logan (seasonally) and British Airways passengers traveling to London.
This is a nice perk for oneworld elite flyers who have either Sapphire or Emerald Status, even if they are not traveling on Cathay. The American Airlines Admirals club is located adjacent to the Cathay lounge, but I wanted to try out the Cathay Lounge instead since it is much more of a rarity for me.
Per Cathay Pacific’s website, if you are traveling in First or Business Class on a oneworld carrier, you are entitled to bring an additional guest only if you are in first. If you are OneWorld Sapphire, you can access the lounge even if you are traveling in Economy Class, and even bring an additional guest, as long as you are departing on Cathay Pacific flight, or a OneWorld carrier flight. This logic, if I am correct, seems a bit counter-intuitive.
Per the Cathay Pacific website, the lounge contains a, “Self-service Buffet Counter and Noodle Bar Facilities.” In addition, customers can find the following in the lounge:
- Reading Materials
- Internet Access/ Computer Workstations
- Toilet Facilities
- Shower Facilities
- Phone (for local calls only)
When I arrived at CDG, I made my way to the lounge, which, as I mentioned previously, is located adjacent to the Admirals Club between 2A and 2C. The lounge isn’t too difficult to find, but one does have to take an elevator and a few twists and turns to get there. To be frank, though, this is something I’ve found to be common place with all of the non-Skyteam lounges at Charles de Gaulle.
The check-in staff at the lounge were super friendly, and I made my way in, to discover that it was relatively empty. Although the furniture was by no means modern or cutting-edge, I did find the lighting and the layout to be soothing. In particular, I liked the semi-circular chairs that featured a swivel tray-table which allows one to eat, work or relax, while offering an extra layer of privacy in a cocoon-like shape.
Since my US Airways flight to Philadelphia departed around 11:30 AM local time, I had plenty of time to enjoy both the brunch options on offer and the noodle bar.
I helped myself to the English breakfast hot items that were available, and the food was marvelous. They had fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, freshly-baked bread and various cheeses. I am so glad that I tanked up given what I was about to experience on my US Airways flight with the catering that would be served in Envoy class.
The bar is self-service, and even at that hour, I was able to serve myself a mimosa (with Moet!). Very well-done, Cathay!
After tanking up and relaxing with a cappuccino, I spent some time planes-potting from the lounge. Sadly, it was an ugly day in Paris, weather-wise (it was January, after all) but CDG provides an array of exotic carriers for #AvGeeks to enjoy. This is one of the nice selling points about the lounge, with the views that it provides.
I did not get a chance to visit the shower facilities, but the WiFi was exceptionally fast.
Cathay Pacific Lounge at Paris: Bottom Line
This lounge is one of the better OneWorld lounges I’ve visited (granted, I have not been to many, but it certainly met expectations). If you are a OneWorld Sapphire, I highly recommend checking out this lounge if you are departing on a OneWorld flight from CDG. This is particularly useful if you are traveling on British Airways or American Airlines from Terminal 2 out of CDG.
Stay tuned for the next installment of my experience of my onward journey on US Airways Envoy class from Paris to Philadelphia!