This is our review of Cathay Pacific’s ‘The Wing’ First Class lounge at Hong Kong International Airport.
Two of the best regarded lounges across the entire oneworld airline alliance, which includes British Airways, are the two First Class lounges run by Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong’s Terminal 1 – The Wing and The Pier.
Having not been to Hong Kong before, I decided to visit as many Cathay Pacific lounges as I could. Currently, five are open and I managed to visit four of them – both the business class and first class lounges in The Wing and The Pier.
Whilst The Wing First Class Lounge is generally overshadowed by its counterpart at The Pier, The Wing is still an excellent lounge and well worth a visit, particularly if your flight is from a gate in the low twenties and below.
You can find out more about Cathay’s Hong Kong lounges on this page of the Cathay Pacific website.
The Wing, First Class lounge, access requirements
The Wing First Class lounge is one of two Cathay Pacific First Class lounges at Hong Kong International Airport.
You can use The Wing First Class lounge if you hold any of the following:
- A same-day first class ticket on Cathay Pacific or another oneworld airline
- oneworld Emerald (British Airways Gold or equivalent) status
- Cathay Pacific Diamond members
Note that if you are entering the lounge based on your status you will need to be flying Cathay Pacific or another oneworld airline to qualify.
First Class passengers and oneworld Emerald status cardholders can bring one guest, whilst Cathay Pacific Diamond members can bring two.
Where is The Wing First Class lounge?
Although they are two halves of the same lounge, the entrance for the First Class section and business class section are on separate sides.
The First Class entrance is immediately to the left after security, near gates one to four. It is literally ten paces away. Make sure you stay on the same level and do not head down to gate level, which is one floor below.
Because of this, it is the most convenient of Cathay’s lounges if you are starting your journey in Hong Kong. It is particularly convenient for any flights departing from the mid twenties and under.
The Wing First Class Lounge is open from 5:30am until the last Cathay Pacific departure of the day, which is usually around midnight.
Inside The Wing First Class lounge
Two lounge staff are on hand to check you in. The entire lounge is at mezzanine level and occupies a long, thin space overlooking the gates below. You can see what I mean here:
It is an open ceiling lounge, which means there is plenty of natural light but also means that you feel part of the terminal. In contrast, Cathay’s other first class lounge The Pier is the opposite – cocooning you in luxurious mid-century modern cosiness.
First up after check-in is a sort of lounge-lobby area. I suspect this is rarely used, as it feels quite exposed to everyone coming and going, although you can find some self-pour champagne here.
After this, you’ll find the main lounge area with leather armchairs and benches:
I’m not quite sure what the benches are for – napping? – but they were largely unused. Unsurprisingly people prefer a chair with a backrest! A number of padded booths were also available for anyone travelling solo:
There were mains sockets in the floor at regular intervals. I thought the glass light tubes at (almost) every seat were a nice touch and looked great:
At the far end of the lounge area is a stunning staffed bar:
You can order virtually anything, including cocktails. Champagne included a 2017 Drappier Millesime Exception and a NV Thienot Brut.
If you are hungry, you should head to the dining room and buffet area. Depending on how much time you have, you can either choose to head to the a la carte dining room with table service or pick up a bite from the buffet in the open-plan area:
The buffet is impressive, despite being supplemental to the ‘proper’ dining room. At breakfast you can find a range of hot items as well as pre-packaged salads, yoghurts, fruit and more.
This area is also more suited to working, with a range of high tables and hot desking zones:
If you have a bit more time to spend, you can also book one of the lounge’s five cabana suites which come with a rainfall shower, bathtub, day bed and work space.
If you don’t have time for a bath but would still like to freshen up then you can also use one of the shower suites.
I didn’t try either in The Wing Lounge, but I did use one of the shower suites in The Pier First Class Lounge – look out for my review of that following shortly.
Overall, The Wing First Class is very different in design to The Pier, with harder, shiny surfaces in black, white and red. Personally, I prefer the warm tones in The Pier but The Wing is still an attractive lounge.
Food and drink at The Wing First Class lounge
If you fancy something more substantial, then you should head to The Haven – the name for the lounge restaurant. This is in a stunning, cave-like room that’s very atmospheric and a contrast to the bright, open-plan areas of the rest of the lounge:
If you’ve been to the Cathay Pacific lounge at Heathrow then the menu shouldn’t surprise you. It features the same Cathay signature dishes as you’ll find there, including dan dan mien and wonton noodles.
You can also choose from the Chinese and Western Sets (dumplings & congee vs English breakfast) as well as made-to-order items such as Vietnamese wok fried crab omelette, croque monsieur, Belgian waffle and more.
This is all supplemented by an additional buffet inside the restaurant, which features a range of pastries:
…. plus a number of hot items, charcuterie and cheeseboard:
Together with the a la carte menu, the food is at the same level as you’d find at many luxury hotels.
In the end, I went for the eggs royale off the menu as well as the wonton noodles:
Cathay Pacific’s lounges in Hong Kong have a stellar reputation, and rightly so.
The Wing First Class lounge sits comfortably as one of the best first class lounges in the world with beautifully designed spaces and impressive dining. Unlike the business class lounge next door, it is also much quieter.
Its location close to security means that it mostly caters to passengers originating in Hong Kong. If you are transiting then The Pier lounges may be more suitable (and less of a walk!)
As you will see over the coming days, though, better is yet to come. However good The Wing First Class Lounge is – and it is excellent – The Pier is (at least to my tastes) even better. Stay tuned for that review.
You can learn more about The Wing and The Pier lounges on this page of the Cathay Pacific website.
How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (December 2023)
Here are the four options to get FREE airport lounge access via a UK credit card.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with two free Priority Pass cards, one for you and one for a supplementary cardholder. Each card admits two so a family of four gets in free. You get access to all 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.
Additional lounge visits are charged at £24. You get four more free visits for every year you keep the card.
There is no annual fee for Amex Gold in Year 1 and you get a 20,000 points sign-up bonus. Full details are in our American Express Preferred Rewards Gold review here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free LoungeKey card, allowing you access to the LoungeKey network. Guests are charged at £24 although it may be cheaper to pay £60 for a supplementary credit card for your partner.
The card has a fee of £195 and there are strict financial requirements to become a HSBC Premier customer. Full details are in my HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review.
PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.