Update: A Cathay Pacific spokesperson has reached out to tell me that there are no plans for a Cathay Pacific lounge at Hong Kong Airport to join Priority Pass. That’s bizarre, since Priority Pass doesn’t usually add lounges to its app for no reason. I’m curious if there’s more to this story, and to see how this evolves. You can find the full original (unedited) blog post below.
If this isn’t a sign of the times, then I don’t know what is…
Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge joins Priority Pass
As of June 21, 2021, Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge in Hong Kong will open to Priority Pass members. This is already reflected in the Priority Pass app, and should also be reflected on Priority Pass’ website soon.
The lounge is open daily from 5:30AM until the last Cathay Pacific departure of the day. It’s located in Terminal 1 — as soon as you pass through security and immigration, the lounge is on the same level on the left.
Priority Pass members will be able to bring two guests with them into the lounge, and it’s noted that lounge access may be restricted due to capacity constraints.
This development comes as Plaza Premium is cutting ties with Priority Pass, which means Priority Pass members will lose access to three Plaza Premium lounges in Hong Kong as of July 1, 2021.
While Cathay Pacific was previously unwilling to add its Hong Kong lounges to Priority Pass, clearly the lounge program and the airline were able to work out some sort of a deal, as part of Priority Pass’ goal of increasing the size of its lounge network by 20% in 2021.
The one catch about this lounge being added…
If Cathay Pacific were to add a lounge to Priority Pass, you might be wondering why a first class lounge would be added, rather than a business class lounge.
That comes down to Cathay Pacific’s current lounge situation in Hong Kong. While you might forget about the pandemic if you’re traveling through airports in the United States nowadays, that’s not the case in Hong Kong, due to a combination of entry and travel restrictions.
Hong Kong International Airport saw a total of 59,000 passengers in May 2021, which is fewer than 2,000 passengers per day. Since demand for flights is so low, Cathay Pacific only has a single lounge open, and that’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge.
So all Cathay Pacific customers eligible for lounge access — whether on account of a first class or business class ticket, or oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status — have access to this lounge. As you’d expect, service has also been scaled back considerably compared to what used to be offered.
One has to wonder how temporary this lounge addition will be. Obviously this works while passenger numbers are still extremely low, but will Cathay Pacific cut ties with Priority Pass as soon as passenger numbers start to recover?
Cathay Pacific’s “The Wing” First Class Lounge will be joining Priority Pass as of June 21, 2021. This comes around the same time that three Plaza Premium lounges in Hong Kong are leaving the Priority Pass network.
While the prospect of a Cathay Pacific first class lounge joining Priority Pass might sound exciting (and it is), just manage your expectations, as it won’t offer the typical first class food & beverage offerings.
But still, this so perfectly sums up the times — there’s so little demand for travel in Hong Kong that Cathay Pacific is sending all customers to its first class lounge, and now Priority Pass members have access as well.
Will anyone be able to take advantage of this Priority Pass addition?
(Tip of the hat to Preeti)