Cathay Pacific’s Hilarious New Ad Encourages You To Arrive Early To Enjoy Lounges

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific, Videos

For me this is possibly the most relatable airline ad ever. Cathay Pacific recently opened their newest lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, The Deck, and they’ve made an ad centered around it. The ad is called “Make Time For The Deck,” and it’s a minute-long slot where you see a couple running through the airport. You see a sign showing “final call” for a flight, though that’s not where they’re headed.

Instead they show up at The Deck out of breath, and the friendly desk agent informs them “you’re a few hours early for your flight.” Then you see them enjoy the lounge for a few hours, and as they leave, another person is arriving a few hours early. The ad ends with the tagline “Arrive Early.”

For anyone who wants to see the ad, here it is:

Obviously this is hilarious and so relatable. I remember when I was maybe 15 or so, I took my brother on a Lufthansa first class trip. We were departing Frankfurt, and our flight must have been at like 1PM. However, I insisted on going to the airport at 6AM, so that we’d have plenty of time to enjoy the First Class Terminal.

My brother decided to go out the night before (or something — I wasn’t having any of it, because 15 year old me thought alcohol was evil), and I remember he overslept the next morning, and we only ended up going to the airport at around 8AM. I remember being so angry all day. How dare we reduce my First Class Terminal time from seven hours to five hours. Heh. Fortunately I’m not quite that extreme anymore. 😉

Anyway, I just love this ad and find it to be hilarious. That being said, I feel like it’s a bit cheesy in terms of the over-the-top music transitions and what seems like obvious voiceovers. But maybe that’s what’s needed for an ad like this.

It’s certainly a bit off-brand for Cathay Pacific as well. Their tagline at the moment is “Life Well Travelled,” and without exception the ads are soothing, and that’s not the case here. For example, here’s one of their ads as part of this campaign:

Off brand? Yes. A bit cheesy? Yes. But I absolutely love the new ad, and I’m sure others can relate to the “arrive early” concept as well.

What do you think of Cathay Pacific’s “Arrive Early” ad?

(Tip of the hat to Travelling The World)

  1. Can relate 1000%.
    I still remember the first time I visited The Wing, and they would stamp your boarding pass in case you would later exit and come back. I asked them to stamp on my hand like a carnival fair and wanted to collect all the stamps from The Cabin and The Bridge. For the next 12 hours, I left and re-entered 3 times just to show them my stamp on the back of my hand. I am mentally 12 years old.

  2. I can totally relate and have had to control myself to not laugh out loudly when I saw the ad showing up on my feed this morning. I think it’s brilliant !

  3. Dang. I just came back from Hong Kong on the 20th and missed this one by 2 days.

    First time flying business back to the us on AA business class. I showed up early to the airport just to find out no one from AA was there to check us in until 3 hours before my flight and I was there 4 hours early to try to visit all the lounges.

  4. Jerry,

    Yes, for airlines that aren’t at their home base you often cannot check in more than 3 hours before.

    However you can check in up to 24 hours before a flight and that can be helpful. when staying in an airport hotel I usually check in the evening before.

    Otherwise for a long-haul flight I get to the airport 4-5 hours early so I can enjoy one or more lounges

  5. I love it!!! However, what I’m always afraid of if I’m jetlagged and hanging out at the lounge is falling asleep on one of the lounge chairs and missing my flight!

  6. I remember arriving at 8am for a 1.30pm flight the first time I had a chance to try Singapore’s The Private Room. The check-in agent made a comment about my arriving too early, I made an excuse about having to meet a colleague who was on transit airside :). Love the ad btw!

  7. This is perfect. Growing up, my parents had a gazillion miles and the lounge was the norm (although my brother and I were stuffed in economy) before a flight. Once I started traveling alone and funding my own travel around age 16, there was a long gap before I got enjoy a lounge again. I resembled that couple for a freaking Delta Sky Club for an LGA – BOS flight when I first got the Plat card several years ago. Too funny/relatable.

  8. Nice play by CX.
    With back to back loses, they really need to shift focus to what they are great at, and that’s a home airport with the collection of the best (business) lounges in the world.

  9. This is the most FF ad ever. I love it.
    The first time I ever flew TG F ex BKK I purposely arrived at the airport 7 hours early so I could enjoy everything.

  10. That’s awesome! I absolutely remember having to explain to my family why we should head to the airport ~4 hours before our flight. They thought I was crazy until they actually got to the cx lounge.

  11. The second ad is interesting for having a mixed race couple–with the man Asian and the woman blonde Caucasian. Very rarely, if ever, have I seen that in advertising in the U.S. (plenty of ads with a white man, Asian woman). Anyways, that stuck out.

    The first ad was well done. A few weeks ago, got to HKG four hours early to hang out in the Wing and Pier, and wished I’d come at least another hour earlier. Next time.

  12. CX does have some of the best lounges to relax in, along with consistently good food at the Noodle Bar. I do try and make sure I’m either at HKG a few hours early, or schedule a longer layover so I can have a nice meal before/between flights.

    Once they opened their new lounge in YVR, I’ve been flying them more often than not for TPAC flights; a good pre-flight meal makes sitting on a plane for 10-12 hours a lot more enjoyable.

  13. too bad its not open 24 hr, I have a 14 hr layover in oct. headed into Hong Kong to use some of the time. any suggestions on room, I looked at the Rvergreen near Nathon rd. ?

  14. I love the add. This is why I planned a 17 hours layover in April to try both First class lounges plus the new Amex Lounge.

  15. Hong Kong is a place where I always like to take a a night flight, so I can spend pretty much all day lingering through the airport. Really. Singapore is always regarded as the best, but for me there’s something really special about HKG.

    PS: I so remember Lucky coke with lime as PDB.
    PS2: I’m still a ginger ale guy.

  16. Did Hong Kong in Dec, and had an 8 hour layover…on purpose! I planned on trying to do all Cathay business lounges (missed only one, the bridge I think) and the Centurion Lounge. I dont have the map with me, but my take away was: The Cathay lounge beside the Centurion lounge has the best showers.

  17. Not impressed with their promotional video
    Although it may certainly resonate with some
    My experience with Cathays First Class lounge is highly negative despite the facility being atttactive
    First up their Apple computers have no signal on numerous occasions and that has been confirmed by a number of other business travelers
    My inquiry to them went unanswered on several occasions
    Why have a business center if it doesn’t work or operate
    Their food in the lounge is highly sub par despite being elegantly displayed
    And in my decades of flying their First Class lounge isn’t even in the running to compete with Lufthansa Emirates or Qantas for that matter or
    Having said that I do like their First Class Cabins and the food can be satisfactory if you get lucky
    Their flight attendants always kind heart felt and professional
    On the other hand I stopped flying them over the past years for revenue or award as they manipulated award availability down to the last few days before departure to open up space

  18. I did laugh out loud. Loved the ad and agree with the views of others that it is perfect for readers of this blog (I’ve been to all of the CX J lounges in Hong Kong except this one and also make it a habit to get to the airport early or arrange longer layovers than necessary to try out new lounges).

  19. @JW~ If you are travelling BA on a Business or First ticket you will be eligible for any of the CX lounges since BA is also OneWorld.

  20. Yea I do this every time in HKG with getting to the airport way early to enjoy the lounges, so this commercial is basically how I am. The lounges are a big part of the reason I try to fly CX if I am going to be in the region.

  21. …and I thought I was the only one who did this.

    The funny part is that only business travelers & frequent fliers will understand, which is fine by me, and probably the airline too. That’s where the gravy is.

  22. Advert is very Hong Kong style and I presume aimed at HK audience. People in Hong Kong like something for nothing and this gives them breakfast and even lunch if they wish to stay that long. Ad is a bit cheesy, but no doubt in my mind that Cathay Pacific lounges in Hong Kong ( there are about 4 as I recall ) are excellent and far better than any in USA or Europe

  23. Some lounges are worth getting to the airport early for, but I just don’t understand why Cathay lounges are so beloved. The noodle bar – please explain the attraction? I live in HKG and the last thing I want is a cheap and nasty bowl of noodles that I can get anywhere here. Not to mention anyone with dietary restrictions isn’t very well catered to. I much prefer to QF lounge at HKG – great staff, variety of food, and more relaxing for me. I guess I’m just not CX’s ideal customer.

  24. I’m at The Deck right now. Very nice lounge it’s interesting because it’s at the very end of the terminal near gate 16. Super quiet even at 8pm on Friday evening. The Noodle Bar is the exact same execution as at YVR but the food is much much better with more selection.

    It’s kind of funny right now because there is a big presence of senior CX staff here, overseeing operations and staff. Even the Chef is out on the floor with his big hat.

    I enjoyed the food here but the ambiance and bar/atmosphere at The Bridge is much better there not a huge amount of lounge seating and I will like it will get crowded. The showers are quite nice as they are brand new. Going to head to The Bridge now. I’ve got 6 more hours before my flight ugh.

  25. JW

    Evidently you don’t have elite status with BA because you get to use Firstwing and the First lounge at LHR T5.

    Sucks to be you, as the kids say

  26. Made a mistake and scheduled 14 hour layover in Taipei instead of 7 hours in HKG and 7 hours in TPE. (Best I could do).

    Nothing compares with CX lounges in HKG. However their outstation lounges in JNB and DPS suck like a Hoover!

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