Review: Hong Kong Airlines Lounge Hong Kong Airport

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Lounge Reviews Art

My flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles was scheduled to depart at 12PM. However, when reviewing lounges I always like for them to be as empty as possible so I can freely take pictures, so I decided to the airport shortly before the lounge was scheduled to open (which worked out well for me, since it meant I could just work from the lounge before my flight).

The Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus Lounge opens at 6AM, so I arrived at the airport at around 5:30AM. Hong Kong Airlines departs from the midfield concourse at HKIA, which I had never been to before. I entered the terminal the same way I usually would when flying Cathay Pacific, and was through security and immigration within about 10 minutes.


Hong Kong Airport check-in hall

Once airside I followed the signage towards gates 201-230, which are the midfield concourse gates. Typically this would require taking the train, though as it turns out the train doesn’t start running until 6AM. Fortunately there’s a bus running between the terminals from gate 520. So I headed there, and within a few minutes found myself in the midfield concourse.


Hong Kong Airport terminal signage

While the architecture in HKIA’s main terminal is beautiful, though the midfield terminal was even more beautiful — my gosh, this has to be one of the nicest terminals anywhere. The terminal consisted of one long concourse — the train and bus lets out right in the center, and then it’s about the same distance to both ends of the terminal.


Hong Kong Airport midfield concourse

I still had some time before the lounge was opening, so I wandered around the terminal for a bit.


Hong Kong Airport midfield concourse


Hong Kong Airport midfield terminal

The center part of the terminal had plenty of shopping, though it was still closed at this time.


Hong Kong Airport midfield terminal

I was excited when I saw signage indicating that there were observation decks on both ends of the concourse, which is a nice treat for aviation geeks.


Hong Kong Airport midfield terminal observation deck

Unfortunately I was pretty disappointed when I actually saw them. This was a small enclosed space, and was primarily used by people smoking. That was fine before 6AM when there was no one else in the terminal, but when I visited it a few hours later, there were probably two dozen people piled into this small space.


Hong Kong Airport midfield terminal observation deck

The views from the observation deck weren’t that special either.


Hong Kong Airport midfield terminal observation deck view

At 6AM I headed to Club Autus, which is Hong Kong Airlines’ new lounge at the airport (it opened in September 2017). The lounge is located in the center of the midfield concourse, one level up from the rest of the terminal.


Escalator to Hong Kong Airlines Lounge

The lounge is open daily from 6AM until 1:30AM, and can be accessed by all Hong Kong Airlines business class passengers, as well as elite members in the Fortune Wings Club. On top of that, the airline sells day passes to the lounge. You can buy them in advance for ~45USD per person, which seems like a fair price given the quality of the lounge.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus exterior

I didn’t really know what to expect from the Hong Kong Airlines experience (both on the ground and in the air), but my gosh was I impressed. This lounge is beautiful. I loved the design of the lounge, as everything about it felt fresh and deliberate (which might sound like a silly way to describe a lounge, but I feel like so many new lounges leave me wondering what the designers were thinking).

Upon entering Club Autus there are a variety of seating areas. The first seating area has a bunch of chairs facing one another.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus seating


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus seating

Past that are some curved communal tables at different heights. The way in which they mix up the seating options impressed me.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus seating


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus seating

Past that was another seating area with some dining tables.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus seating

They used an area with some high-top seating to create some separation between this space and the buffet.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating

This part of the lounge faces the interior of the terminal, with the apron visible in the distance.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge view

Past this section were some more communal tables.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus

Then there was an entertainment section with some workstations, TVs, magazines, and newspapers.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge seating


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge magazines & newspapers

Then the lounge bent a bit, and in the back corner was some more seating.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus

There was a section with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the apron.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge view


Hong Kong Airlines A330

Also near this section was the relaxation area, which had five daybeds and one massage chair.


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus relaxation area


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus relaxation area


Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus massage chair

The buffet area was back towards the center of the lounge, and was extensive.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge food & drink selection

The first section primarily had drinks, including juice, a coffee machine, tea, alcohol, soft drinks, water, and more.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge drink selection


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge coffee machine


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge drinks


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge tea selection


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge tea selection

Next to that was the food selection.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet

This included a salad bar, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, wrapped sandwiches, cereal, fresh fruit, dim sum, and a variety of other hot options.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet

On top of the extensive buffet, there’s also a made-to-order section, with a few noodle and egg options.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge noodle bar


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge noodle bar menu

Once you place an order you’re given a buzzer, and then within a few minutes your order is ready. I ordered the instant noodles with satay beef, which hit the spot.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge instant noodles with satay beef

The other side of the buffet had silverware, condiments, etc.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge buffet

The bathrooms were to the side of the buffet, closer to the entrance.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge bathrooms

In addition to the bathrooms themselves being nice, there were also several shower rooms.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge bathrooms

I decided to get a shower mid-morning, for which there was no wait. The shower room was large, had a private sink and toilet, and then a walk-in shower. Toiletries were from L’Occitane.


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge shower room


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge shower room


Hong Kong Airlines Lounge shower amenities

I expected that the lounge would get really crowded, but to my surprise it didn’t. It filled up quite a bit at around 7AM, but then emptied out again, and it never really got full again.

The only other things I’d mention about the lounge is that the wifi was fast, there were plenty of outlets, they didn’t have any boarding announcements, and they even had some ambient bird chirping noises. I really appreciate those last two points — I find a lounge is so much more soothing when there isn’t a loud announcement every few minutes.

Boarding for my flight was scheduled for 10:50AM. I managed to get quite a bit of work done, and then at around 10:30AM started wandering around the terminal. The midfield terminal is excellent for plane spotting, given the large windows, so I took pictures of a ton of planes (only a few of which I’ll post below, but they make great stock footage for future posts about a variety of airlines). 😉


Hong Kong Airlines A330 HKG


Cebu Pacific A330 HKG


S7 737 HKG


Jet Airways 777 HKG


Scoot 787 HKG

My flight to LAX was departing from gate 201, located at the very end of the concourse. I arrived there at around 10:50AM, right as the gate opened. While boarding didn’t actually start at 10:50AM, that was the time at which they started letting people into the gate. There was a separate line for business class passengers, as there were first a bunch of security questions, as is the norm for US-bound flights.


Hong Kong Airlines departure gate

Once in the secure area I was asked to take a seat, as boarding wasn’t starting yet.


Hong Kong Airlines A350

The crew arrived at the gate at around 11:05AM, and 20 minutes later boarding started. Those who needed extra time were invited to board first, followed by business class passengers.


Hong Kong Airlines departure gate

Hong Kong Airlines Club Autus bottom line

Hong Kong is a fantastic airport for lounges. Cathay Pacific has some of my favorite lounges in the world at the airport, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from Hong Kong Airlines. Suffice to say that I was very impressed by both the midfield concourse as such, and Club Autus.

Not only was the lounge spacious with a solid food and drink selection, daybeds, and shower rooms, but I also really loved the design. I feel like the pictures may make the lounge design look a bit cheesy, but that’s not at all the impression I got in person.

This is an excellent lounge, and I think it’s also a great value on a day pass, if you have a long layover.

After having such a great experience in the lounge, I was curious what the onboard experience would be like.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. Just curious — how did you check in for this flight? Is there online check-in for flights to the US? Or did you use a desk/kiosk (and, if so, any problems checking in for the flight at 530am?)?

  2. Funny, the article about the A350 flight to Los Angeles was on OMAAT a few minutes ago but it is gone!

    I was going to compare how Hong Kong Airlines compares with its parent, Hainan Airlines. Hong Kong Airlines is really a mainland China airline, not a Hong Kong airline. Any opinions, Lucky, on how Hong Kong Airlines compares with Hainan?

  3. Look of lounge looks great. For a longer layover I may pay to go here rather than use the Centurion Lounge.

  4. @ Michelle — Per the terms of the day pass agreement, you have to be flying Hong Kong Airlines, unfortunately.

  5. @ derek — The Hong Kong Airlines review should be up now. It’s tough to say which is better, since I haven’t done Hainan’s new business class with reverse herringbone seats. I’d say they’re both very good airlines, and it probably depends on the particular route. Maybe I need to fly with Hainan again on one of their planes with new seats.

  6. Hey Lucky, for the past two days your emails are being sent in a very weird format that I think is a mistake, if not broken…the ENTIRE first couple of articles are in the body of the email, and you cant click on the blue links for the other articles, they dont open…can you PLEASE go back to the old format???? Your content is ALL over the place in my email inbox….

  7. OMG!! is this your longest lounge review ever? Waaaay too much information (and pictures) Lucky! I’m exhausted.

  8. Great review Ben! Thank you!

    It’s a bit of a missed opportunity for the midfield terminal and HK Airline to work together with Star Alliance. There’s a bunch of Star flights regularly leaving from the midfield terminal (Turkish, Austrian, Lufthansa). Would be great to be able to use the HK Airlines lounge, especially if it’s relatively empty anyway.
    Unfortunately they haven’t made that happen yet. Maybe some day when they realise they need the money 😉

  9. @ CS – LMAO they don’t need the money, they’re fully funded by HNA (which isn’t going bankrupt anytime soon).

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