To put things all too lightly, Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong have had quite a rough year. In fact, it’s now 2020, so bad news has officially spanned “years”. Due to dwindling demand and the spread of Coronavirus, Cathay Pacific has been forced to suspend roughly 1/3 of all routes, with no imminent sign of that changing.
With fewer travellers, that naturally means cutbacks, as evidenced by unpaid leave for thousands of staff, and now lounges are being hit too. Cathay Pacific will temporarily shutter three of its best lounges, which means transiting Hong Kong just won’t be as fun for the foreseeable future…
Effective February 17th, Cathay Pacific has informed customers that the Bridge, The Deck and The Pier First Class Lounge will remain closed until further notice. Staff are being shuffled to other outposts. Despite rumours of Oneworld frequent flyers being shut out in favour of only allowing Cathay Pacific elites, that information has not been substantiated.
Angry Cathay Pacific elites feel superior to elite flyers from other Oneworld airlines and have long wanted Pier First Class all to themselves, going as far as petitioning Cathay Pacific’s CEO to remove access for other flyers. Apparently, they just don’t like American salesman wearing dad jeans, New Balance shoes and loose fitting polo shirts who like Bud Light and Lenovo laptops.
At the time of writing, it’s hard to say how they’d feel about being shut out of Qantas First Class or other leading Oneworld lounges in retaliation for their superiority pledge. Spoiler alert: they wouldn’t like it.
Read as – Oneworld flyers will still have lounge access, just not at the Pier First Class or these other spots. No one will have access to these outposts while they are closed.
So, What Lounges Are Left At Hong Kong International?
With the news, many Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald as well as business and first class fliers will find themselves shut out of their favorite places to pass time. That’s unfortunate, but with fewer passengers, it would have been quite hard for Cathay Pacific to justify staff costs in so many locations.
Even with the closure of the Bridge, The Pier First Class and the Deck, travellers still have numerous choices. If you’re getting in based on Oneworld alliance elite status, you’ve still got the business class “The Pier” offering, as well as the first and business class iterations of “The Wing”.
Travellers getting in via credit card or PriorityPass still have the American Express Centurion Lounge for Platinum and Centurion Amex cardholders, as well as Plaza Premium and it’s first Plaza Premium First Class location. The Plaza Premium locations can be accessed via PriorityPass, and users can pay a small fee for the first class option. GSTP higly recommends paying the modest circa $30 upgrade fee for Plaza Premium First Class.