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Review: Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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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.

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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.

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

After this, you’ll find the main lounge area with leather armchairs and benches:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

At the far end of the lounge area is a stunning staffed bar:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

…. plus a number of hot items, charcuterie and cheeseboard:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

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:

Review Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class lounge, Hong Kong

Conclusion

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.


Getting airport lounge access for free from a credit card

How to get FREE airport lounge access via UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 1,500 lounges in the Priority Pass network – search it here.

You also get access to Eurostar, Lufthansa and Delta Air Lines lounges.  Our American Express Platinum review is here. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

If you have a small business, consider American Express Business Platinum instead.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for the first year. It comes with a Priority Pass card loaded with four free visits to any Priority Pass lounge – see the list here.

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard gets you get a free Priority Pass card, allowing you access to the Priority Pass 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.

HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard

A huge bonus, but only available to HSBC Premier clients Read our full review

PS. You can find all of HfP’s UK airport lounge reviews – and we’ve been to most of them – indexed here.

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • masaccio says:

    You can also get to the First entrance from the main transit security by taking the lift to the top floor rather than exiting by the escalator.

  • HH says:

    It’s a real shame you didn’t try the cabanas because they’re a pretty unique facility and nothing like the showers at the Pier / any other lounge I’ve used. They also offered a complimentary ironing service here the last time I used them.

    • Paul Burrell says:

      I’ll take my washing next time 🙂 I always put starch above rowdiness, booze and food.

    • Andrew says:

      +1

    • Cat says:

      I’m with HH – if you’re transiting through Hong Kong, it is the most incredible feeling, having a lovely bubble bath (honestly – the toiletries are divine, the bath is huge, the day beds are wonderfully comfortable) then having your clothes returned to you, all crisp and pressed. I felt fresh as a daisy after that, which is astonishing after a very boozy flight from London!

      • Lady London says:

        Yes I remember your very memorable earlier review article which Rob published here on HfP, @Cat 🙂

        • Cat says:

          I did have such fun planning the trip @Lady London (the heavily ruched Vivienne Westwood number was very deliberately chosen, to see how they would cope!) exploring the lounges and writing the reviews.

          I’ll be back in the business lounges at the end of next summer, but I couldn’t get a first ticket, sadly…

  • SM says:

    Typo – crab and not cab?

  • Greenpen says:

    It has been many years since I last visited this lounge. It seems to have been refurbished in that time as my over-riding memory is of an open canteen like dining area, with cheap tables and chairs. Good that it now has some ‘atmosphere’.

    The view from the lounge of aeroplanes coming and going from the gates below is great.

  • PhillC says:

    Was in The Wing 14 hours ago before flight to LHR. It is, as you say, very good. So much more pleasant than the Concord lounge at LHR.

  • Numpty says:

    Dont know now, but the catering used to be done by the Peninsula Hotel (it stated it on the menu card). Although it’s all very good, i was never a fan of all the dark shiny marble – it felt more nightclub(y) than lounge(y).

    On my first visit to HKIA on a First ticket i think i managed to use every CX lounge while walking from security to departure gate – wouldn’t do it again, not worth the hassle, but curiosity was the motivation.

  • Jimmy says:

    Still the best lounge I have ever visited.

    It hasn’t changed much in the last 10 years…. But then it doesn’t have to.

  • Oliver says:

    Thanks Rhys, nice review!

    I was here in May when the Pier First was still closed. It’s a great space, although we arrived during the breakfast rush (midweek 10am departure) and had to queue about 15 mins for a table. Unlike the LHR T3 First lounge, that meant waiting in line, rather than leaving your name for them to call you.

    It seemed to quieten down pretty quickly after we were seated, though, and I expect it’s much quieter now that the Pier has reopened. I’ll have to try one that whenever I’m next out there.

    Would love to know what you think of the JAL First lounge in HND. I would say the food is better than Cathay. Plus, on a Saturday lunchtime we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

    • Rhys says:

      I would love to do a JAL trip!

    • DeB2020 says:

      Wasn’t blown away by the JAL F lounge at HND. The Wing used to be my preferred lounge at HKG ten years ago and as it was always close to the departure gates of my flights, I never went to The Pier.

      Perhaps I’ll try the Pier next time I get to HKG, if I ever do, but great memories of The Wing First Class lounge linger in my brain. The food, lounge layout and views were always fantastic.

      • mzb says:

        Agree, I visited the JAL HND F lounge in 2019 and it wasn’t very memorable (food was fine, drinks were nice, but the decor was otherwise stuffy). I always rated The Pier F in HKG as probably the best OW Emerald lounge in the world (Qantas SYD F is up there as well).
        Have not been back to the Pier since Covid, and have since dropped from the heights of Emerald, so will just keep the great memories (and read with interest Rhys’ review of the J offerings in HKG).

        • Will says:

          Yes, Qantas Sydney F lounge is a good one.
          Different to Cathy’s in terms of style but I found the food there excellent.

          • Lyn says:

            The food in the Qantas Melbourne F lounge is excellent as well, at least it was the one time I’ve been there, pre-pandemic.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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