Cathay Pacific Closing Some Hong Kong Lounges

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific
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Hong Kong is one of the best airports in the world in terms of the quality of alliance lounges. In particular, oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members are used to having access to a bunch of awesome lounges.

Well, it looks like that is changing soon.

Cathay Pacific temporarily closing three lounges

As of February 17, 2020, Cathay Pacific will be closing three lounges at Hong Kong International Airport until further notice:

Cathay Pacific Pier First Class Lounge

With this change, the following Cathay Pacific lounges will remain open:

  • The Wing First Class Lounge (oneworld Emerald)
  • The Wing Business Class Lounge (oneworld Sapphire)
  • The Pier Business Class Lounge (oneworld Sapphire)

Cathay Pacific Wing First Class Lounge

There’s also a Qantas Business Lounge in Hong Kong, which is operating as usual, as far as I know.

Qantas Business Lounge

There are some other solid lounge options in Hong Kong, including:

Plaza Premium First Lounge

This comes as Cathay Pacific is cutting capacity

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but the reason Cathay Pacific is closing half of their Hong Kong lounges is because of huge route cuts that they’re making due to decreased demand.

Cathay Pacific recently announced that they’re cutting 30% of their flights, and all employees are being asked to take three weeks of unpaid leave.

Cathay Pacific is cutting a bunch of routes

Closing half of lounges with 30% flight cuts seems aggressive, though I’m guessing even the flights that are operating are much emptier than usual. Furthermore, The Pier and The Wing are the biggest business class lounges.

Bottom line

Just as the airline is reducing seat capacity, I guess it’s logical enough that they’re also trying to reduce lounge capacity to cut costs.

I’m partly sad about the lounges they’re choosing to close, as The Pier is my favorite first class lounge offered by the airline (and one of my favorites in the world). However, if they’re only going to keep one first class lounge open, I understand how the location of The Wing is better.

Only time time will tell for how long these lounges stay closed, since it doesn’t look like there’s any end in sight for the reduction in demand.

Anyone traveling through Hong Kong who will miss access to these lounges?

(Tip of the hat to God Save The Points)

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  1. I will miss them especially if the offering will be packaged food and noodles in the first class? Though there is not even a noodle bar in Wing First. I was there at 6 pm today and in the first dining room there were only 6 people altogether, with a handful or two of others scattered around the lounge.

  2. I’m connecting through HKG in business class from Ireland to Australia in April, sad to see how much CX is deteriorating and none of it is their fault, very sad! I’m not really sure what to expect about my 30+ hour business class experience with them by the time April comes around! I booked DUB-HKG-BNE-ADL for 85,000 AAdvantage miles!

  3. For the last 10 years I’ve traveled from LAX to HKG 10 to 12 times per year. Hong Kong is like my second home. Like most companies we are no restricted from traveling to or from there or mainland China. Multiply this by thousands of companies and you can guess the impact. It does sadden me that they are closing the Pier. Also my favorite lounge at HKG. Having said that I have spent countless times sitting in those red leather chairs in The Wing enjoying champagne after a long week or so in Asia. I miss not only the lounge but the great city and people of Hong Kong. What a brutal year they have had.

  4. Corona virus are contributing low demand of CX Flight and some people will avoid transit via HKG due to outbreak

  5. Poor Hong Kong, first protest ended (or not yet?) in police brutality and now COVID-19 outbreak. The economy of Hong Kong is basically crushed. The saddest thing is that while the vaccine will come out soon eventually, but Hong Kong remains in hell in another way.

    Aside from being sentimental, I am wondering if this is the end of Cathay Pacific and for other airlines, they are going to switch their Southern East Asian hub to other airports in long run? I mean seriously even if it’s not the virus outbreak, HKG is very unstable as its conflict with China.

  6. Flying CX from JFK to CPT with HKG transit next Thursday. Having to update my lounge visit list now to account for the CX closings. Disappointing but understood.

  7. Like the ME3, Cathay overextended itself and has long needed to scale back.

    The 77W-fuelled superconnector expansion to North America and Europe (aka the Tony Tyler business model???), the high frequencies to NYC and LON, may have ALWAYS been unsustainable. It’s not really the Chinese; EVA and ANA are just 2 rivals who despite having sizeable home markets, aggressively, shamelessly chase Cathay’s SE Asian business, plaigiarising them but can’t even build a shower room properly…but I digress.

    I always say if worst comes to worst, a (much?) smaller Cathay can easily be the Swiss of the Air China group, and easily have more purpose and value than Swiss can only dream of.

    What CX can’t survive from is the people of HK being so baselessly hostile to it for so long.

  8. …and yet Asia Miles still will not cancel CX award tickets travelling via HKG without the $120 cancellation fee.

  9. IAD route has been suspended. They wanted to add a connection at LAX with an overnight (on my own dime) to an itinerary that already had to be amended once before to add a connection. A simple CMB-HKG-IAD became CMB-SIN-HKG-LAX-IAD. So I just got a refund and booked CMB-DOH-IAD on Sri Lankan and QR for just a couple hundred more in business class. But I have an overnight at DOH now.

  10. Closing the Bridge but not the Pier. How stupid of CX. I guess corporate people usually hit the Wing and hop on the train and not realize how much walking if you are transiting through HKG.

    Same as how useless the the Deck (at the expense of the Cabin) is with QF right over there.

    Am I the only one who misses the Cabin and thinks CX is all over the place with trying a different design for each lounge. I prefer (nicely design) consistency, over unique design.

    HK is in a big mess and seems the Swine has fumbled too many times.

    By the way, where are all those dumb kids. They are free to wear masks now. I guess the virus is mightier than bullets.

  11. There are still at least two Qantas flights a day from Hong Kong to Sydney and most days have 4 (to Brisbane and Melbourne). There’s currently absolutely not reason for the Qantas lounge to close.

  12. Ben, where did you hear Qantas was suspending flights to Hong Kong? They’ve reduced Melbourne and Brisbane by a couple if flights each week but that’s it. Unless you have other information?

  13. @raksiam they should have paid for your hotel That said , if it’s an EU carrier they would have refunded you or arranged themselves.

  14. @Eskimo – those “dumb kids” whose protests against and warnings about mainland contagion are now literally accurate?

  15. I’m feeling so lucky now since I just visited both Pier and Wing F lounges few days ago.. 😀

    See what I did there?

  16. This is a pretty overdramatic article – demand for flights to and through HKG is way down. When and if it recovers then CX will reopen the lounges. No point in staffing a bunch of mostly empty lounges – it’s not like they are closing them but keeping the same number of passengers using them. I was in the Pier on Jan 31 – i think there were 5 people in the entire lounge. And that was before it got really bad.

    And to the poster complaining about the lack of a noodle bar in the Wing: walk down the hall. Nothing stopping you from using the business side of the lounge.

  17. @stratifier: “The 77W-fuelled superconnector expansion to North America and Europe (aka the Tony Tyler business model???), the high frequencies to NYC and LON, may have ALWAYS been unsustainable.” – where do you get that from? CX has a long history post-Tony Tyler of prudently adding frequencies and destinations in Europe and North America, and axing them if they don’t work. Many of these routes, btw, have been operating sensibly on A350s (and some on A330s before that).

    The current double-whammy situation has proves nothing about what, on balance, has been a successful and profitable approach for CX.

  18. Sad but understandable given the protests, virus and airline issues. Its questionable if CX will survive long term at this point. I don’t think they can keep going on like this.

  19. Funny how everyone saying CX flights not full however AS agents still unable to find me Bus Class seats for 3 from Ceb to Sea via HK on March 21 or anywhere around that. I did get Prem Econ but that is all.

  20. I am reluctant to even connect through HK given the number of countries banning people from HK from entering. I have canceled a trip to SE Asia as it seems many countries are under-reporting COVID-19 as they can’t test properly. I will now fly direct to Australia and back. Countries with robust healthcare systems are likely to be better equipped to test. I do worry about the US given the number of un/underinsured people. Ripe for COVID-19 to spread like wildfire.

  21. Sad for CX and the region as a whole. Had to cancel 2 HKG trips so far for the next 2 months, unfortunate but prudent.

    I wish my colleagues based in the region all my best.

    I can only imagine that HKG and mainland China airports look like aircraft parking lots now.

    I’m sure CX and most airlines will recover, though maybe not Hong Kong Airlines.

  22. Its sad that they are closing the FIrst Class Lounges but it has been a few years since i have been able to find First Class availability on CX so it really doesn’t matter to me.

    Cathay – if you want to fill your planes open up the availability please!

    Just flew JAL 787-8/9 and loved the experience and subsequently flew SQ and hated their new seats in J on the 350-900 and 787-1000 (claustrophobic city with no shoulder room – will never fly long haul). QR 787-8 to come in 1 week so can make a decent comparison then.

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