Some airline experiences just ruin you, and not in a bad way either. It’s just that, after you’ve been to a space which feels more like a refined hotel, with borderline priceless airplane views, it’s very, very hard to turn the snobriety down on your subsequent airport visits. Like: what do you mean there’s no sit down dining room with plane noses parked only feet away? Cathay Pacific’s “The Pier” First Class Lounge will forever be on the all time great list, so here’s what to expect…
Entry: Entry is reserved for OneWorld Emerald members, or those traveling in first class on a OneWorld airline like Cathay Pacific, with a same day confirmed airline ticket. Entitled passengers may bring one guest.
Entry to the lounge is fairly unique. After check in and immigration, guests proceed on the train toward gates 40-80, or something like that. Following the signs for Gate 63, you’ll eventually find an escalator going down, with clearly marked signage. There just aren’t that many airport lounges where you go downstairs, but you’ll be glad you did.
There’s an instant wow factor. Check in is generally prompt, and then you quickly find yourself in a “where do I start” situation. You see, this lounge is more like a hotel. There’s a hall, which acts as a lobby, with separate areas for nap rooms and showers, the pantry, the sit down dining room, the office and of course, areas where you can sit and have a drink.
Turning an immediate left, as first class travelers tend to do, will bring you directly to the lounge bar. There’s ample seating all around, which leads to the primary “chill zone”. You’ll also quickly notice that planes park directly in front of the lounge, with mere feet separating nose to glass. It’s awesome. The bar mojitos are a delight.
Functionality is often overlooked in luxurious settings, but not here. Each chair has a desk combo and if you pull out the drawer, you’ll find power ports both USB and generic. Basically, any seat will get you juiced up and ready to travel.
Speaking of nourishment, at the far other end of the swoon worthy hallway sits the dining room. The decor is simply iconic, an ode to Hong Kong. If we had to be picky, the food has somewhat gone downhill since changing to Sodexo catering. It’s still awesome to have free noodles, curry and other treats brought to you by an always friendly member of staff, but if you’ve been for years, it’s just not quite the same. Costs cuts have consequences, sadly.
On the other hand, the beverage selection remains first class, with Rothschild champagne, amongst others. There’s a selection of beer, signature cocktails, mocktails and a very solid red and white wine selection.
If you’re tired, nap room setups can be secured, which also offer amazing views. You can even draw yourself a bubble bath and chill out, if you’re into those kinda things. It’s the kind of novelty that’s very hard to resist, and there’s nothing better than a shower while traveling. Actually, maybe a foot massage?
Taking pictures in bathrooms is a bit frowned up, but it was impossible to resist at least one capture of the Pier First Class bathrooms. They’re outstanding. The more you look around, the more you see. The work spaces are private, the pantry is well stocked and it’s just a great place to spend time. That’s the big takeaway: you’ll never be bored here. Who better to sum up the experience than Cathay themselves. Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport really is best summed up by the airlines recent commercial, we’ll leave you with it…