Review: SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong Airport

Filed Under: Korean Air

I arrived in Hong Kong at around 8:30AM, while my connecting flight to Seoul Incheon on Korean Air was departing at 12:15PM. I wasn’t able to check in online for my flight, so my first stop was the Korean Air transfer desk.

Unfortunately the desk wasn’t open when I got to the transfer area, so I had a seat and spent some time working on my laptop, which was easy enough since wifi at the airport is fast and free.

The Korean Air desk ended up opening at 9:30AM, and I was issued boarding passes all the way to San Francisco.

Hong Kong Airport transit desk

With boarding passes in hand I cleared transit security and headed towards the SkyTeam Lounge, which is what Korean Air uses at the airport. The lounge is located near gate 15, so it’s near the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge, not that far from the security checkpoint.

Hong Kong International Airport terminal

The SkyTeam Lounge is located one level below the main concourse, so you take an escalator down. In that sense (and only that sense) it reminded me a lot of Cathay Pacific’s Pier First Class Lounge.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong entrance

At the entrance I was welcomed and informed that there would be a boarding call for my flight.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong entrance

Across from the reception desk were a selection of magazines and newspapers.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong magazines & newspapers

The SkyTeam Lounge is about 11,500 square feet, so it’s a good size, but it was quite crowded, which isn’t too surprising, given how many passengers it serves.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong

There was a long corridor that went along the side of the lounge, which had benches that stretched the length of it, along with some tables.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

The furniture itself was similar to the other SkyTeam lounges I’ve been to (including in London and Dubai), and consisted of swiveling chairs, chairs in rows facing one another, and some slightly more private chairs.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

Overall I really didn’t like the lack of natural light in the lounge. There were only windows in the back corner of the lounge, and the blinds were down, so it made the lounge feel like a basement.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

Also in the back of the lounge was a small business center with three iMacs.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong business center

Then the other main area of the lounge was a dining area with a bunch of tables, as well as some high-top seating.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong seating

There was a buffet setup with hot and cold options.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

This included croissants, pastries, cereal, chips, nuts, yogurt, veggies, rice, cheese, and even a pancake machine, similar to what you’d find in an Alaska Lounge.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong pancake machine

They even had a “create your favorite sandwich” area.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

Am I the only one who thinks this looks like a pretty sad setup for something that’s supposed to allow you to create your favorite sandwich? Like, more than one type of meat would be ideal, in my opinion.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

Then there were a few hot options as well.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong buffet

There was also a noodle bar, where you could order congee, Hong Kong style fish ball rice noodle soup, or a vegetarian noodle soup.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong noodle station

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong noodle station

Then there was a bar with self serve soft drinks, water, liquor, wine, and beer.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong drinks

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong drinks

There were also coffee machines.

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong coffee machine

A few minutes after walking in I ran into Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai, and then a few minutes later I left the lounge, even though I had plenty of time to spare.

The lounge isn’t horrible, by any stretch of the imagination, though it did disappoint me. Hong Kong is probably one of the best airports in the world when it comes to lounges, and the SkyTeam Lounge simply isn’t great. I wasn’t hungry or thirsty, but rather just hated that the lounge felt like a dungeon. So I just headed up into the terminal and sat in an empty gate area for a while, where I had plenty of natural light and more room to myself.

Boarding was scheduled to start at 11:45AM at gate 24, so I arrived there around 11:30AM.

Hong Kong International Airport terminal

The plane was already there, and sure enough boarding started at exactly 11:45AM, as expected.

Korean Air A330 Hong Kong Airport

SkyTeam Lounge Hong Kong bottom line

This is probably my least favorite SkyTeam Lounge I’ve been to (the other two I’ve been to are in Dubai and London). The lounge was fairly crowded and felt like a dungeon to me.

I enjoyed sitting in the gate area more, given the amount of natural light.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to spend much time here again, especially when Hong Kong has some of the best airport lounges in the world, (minus this one).

If you’ve visited the SkyTeam Lounge HKG, what was your experience like?

  1. Generally I agree, but I find the Skyteam lounge still better than the *A options.. SQ lounge is an even darker cavern.

  2. keitherson – got you but United Club is great option in HK. I’ve been to SkyTeam lounge many times and breakfast really sucks. Lunch and dinner options are a bit better and noodle bar helps it so much. They have Moet in the bar area however the lounge crew is too slow replacing empty bottle for a new one. The showers are okay too. It’s nothing bad but nothing good.

  3. I feel really sorry for the folks travelling from HKG airport with Sky team and/or Star Alliance Airlines. Oneworld airlines offers such a better experience overall with fantastic lounges. And you don’t even need to buy a First class ticket (as I do each week) to enjoy them. The Pier Business or the Qantas lounges are decent enough

  4. Delta used to use the Virgin lounge, which was great. Then they switched to this one, which is depressing. I suppose it doesn’t matter now as they’re killing off the SEA-HKG flight.

  5. Agreed that the lounge is not that good at all. I use this lounge frequently as I depart from HK quite often. Sometimes, I just rather use AMEX Centurion lounge instead. Not sure is SkyTeam lounge better than the Plaza premium lounge or just about the same…what do you all think?

  6. @Stanley
    Plaza Premium opened a new “Plaza Premium First” lounge in HKG, and based on the description and photos on loungereview(dot)com, I’ll gladly pay the $25 as a PP member to get in.

  7. While I made an exhausting run to peek at the Centurion Lounge, my wife was wondering who the guy taking all the pictures in SkyTeam is. Fun to see you. Agree on the lounge as middling. She approves of the fish ball soup and the rice rolls.

  8. @ Stanley — Definitely think the Centurion Lounge is nicer. Haven’t visited the new Plaza Premium First Lounge, but I imagine that’s nicer than this. Am curious to check it out the next time I pass through Hong Kong.

  9. Lucky, I’m curious what you needed to show at the Korean Air transit desk for them to issue boarding passes. I’ve landed in Hong Kong before on separate itineraries with the incoming on Cebu Pacific and the outgoing on Cathay. The CX transit desk said they don’t support issuing boarding passes if you arrive on another airline. So I had to enter Hong Kong and go to the ticket counter. Are there certain airlines/airports that we can’t expect to use a transit desk to get a boarding pass? My guess is this is related to low cost carriers but I can’t figure out why it would matter

    I realize that’s not the subject of your post, but it would be nice to know how to take advantage of it

  10. Aside from the rather paltry options at the sandwich bar, I found it amusing they felt the need to publish instructions on how to make a sandwich. I’ve been to several countries in Asia and have not found sandwich-making skills to be lacking in any of them.

  11. Ben there was an airside traffic desk for KE? Are the airside traffic desks @ HKG before you clear security again or after clearing security when coming off a flight on a different ticket? This process is more convenient in SIN where there is no security upon exiting the aircraft and only security upon entering the gate. Thanks!

  12. @ happyprime23. If you only have hand baggage there is no reason at all Cathay cannot issue a boarding pass at the airside counters. It performs the same function as the landide check in with the same system and printers The agent performs the same entries
    If you have separate tickets then cebu Pacific should not check bags to your final destination on CX. In that case you have to collect them and check in again However that’s pretty quick at HK although you have to take the train from the satellite.
    If Cathay is refusing to issue a pass with hand luggage whilst airside I would ask them for explanation based on my comments above as they have no reason to refuse

  13. I’m surprised that you think this is worse than the Skyteam KAL lounge at LAX – or else you forgot about that one! The buffet here at least looked expansive!

  14. @ Mike — The Korean Air Lounge LAX is operated by Korean Air, and while it’s accessible by SkyTeam passengers, it’s not a lounge run by SkyTeam. SkyTeam has lounges in London, Dubai, Vancouver, etc., but Los Angeles isn’t one of their lounges.

  15. Agree the Skyteam lounge falls below expectations, the new Plaza
    Premium First class lounge is much better, I hope VS don’t switch and direct us to the Skyteam offering!

  16. Hi Lucky,

    I’m thinking of trying Saudia B787 business class out of Istanbul airport around the time of the move between the “old” and the “new” airport. Do you (or someone else who’s reading this) have any expierence with newly opened airports (like within the first few days) like this? It seems like a fun way to see two airports in one go without spending miles/cash on an additional trip. Thank you:)

  17. @Chub I am still deciding on whether I should pay to try out the new Plaza Premium Lounge First. I would have to wait on a full review and some comments on it. Hehe.

  18. @Lucky I hope one of these days, I can have such an honor to bump into you at the AMEX Centurion Lounge, Plaza Premium Lounge or SkyTeam Lounge.

  19. For all you Star Alliance fans, I found the Thai Airways to be quite nice. It’s a huge lounge but partitioned all over so you can find a private alcove throughout. I still preferred the food at AmEx Centurion.

  20. If you think this is bad then visit the amex lounge in SYD, at least in this dungeon the food looks edible and you may even get a seat…….

  21. Hong Kong is one of my favourite (if not favourite) airports to travel and even with no lounge it is still great. Apparently the Sky Team Sydney lounge is one of the better ones.

  22. The KAL lounge at LAX could be so much better. It needs a refurb. It’s fine but nothing special unlike the other lounges in the terminal
    The new midfield concourse will have room for 2-4 lounges and an wondering which ones I also believe there’s space for a new lounge at the “ gateway “ which will be the access point between the main building and concourse.
    The 2 delta skyclubs at LAX are not good
    So potentially with all the rebuilding and expansion LAX could host a top noch SkyTeam lounge. Let’s see

  23. It’s worth mentioning that this used to be the Qantas Business Class lounge when it first opened. Qantas decamped to the current location (the former BA lounge) only 2 years later – I guess they shared the view that open views are paramount.

    From the pictures, the layout looks quite similar, but the decor is quite different.

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