The Last Aeroplan Hurrah: United Club Hong Kong and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong

Filed Under: Thai, Travel

We got to Hong Kong Airport via the Airport Express at around 12PM for our 1:30PM departure. The departures area at Hong Kong Airport is impressive, though it can be a bit of a haul to walk from one end to the other, since Asiana’s counter is all the way at the far end of the terminal, in aisle “J.”

Hong Kong Terminal

Check-in was efficient, and we asked if we could switch our seats for our flight the next day from Seoul Incheon to Frankfurt. One of the most frustrating aspects of Asiana first class is that they block almost all of their good first class seats for airport assignment. So we requested two seats together in the center section of first class, given that we were previously assigned seats 2K and 3K. Fortunately they were able to handle the request and didn’t make us wait till check-in the following day.

Asiana check-in

Security and immigration took about 20 minutes, at which point we decided to visit the United Club and Thai Royal Orchid Lounge. Again, the terminal is stunning, though it can be quite a hike to some of the lounges, especially since the Thai and United lounges are located at the far end of the terminal (close to gate 40), while we were leaving from one of the gates close to security (gate 17).

After a 15 minute walk we made it to the United Club, where we were promptly admitted.

United Club

The United Club is definitely the nicest in the system. It sits one level above the terminal and boasts great views of the tarmac, and there’s no shortage of interesting planes in Hong Kong.

United Club

The food spread is also impressive, with several cold and hot options, from hot dogs to spring rolls to finger sandwiches.

United Club

Food spread

Food spread

Alcohol spread

Food spread

Food spread

After spending about 15 minutes there we headed to the Thai Royal Orchid Lounge, which is located right across the hallway. Our boarding passes were photocopied and we were promptly admitted.

Royal Orchid Lounge entrance

Back when it first opened the Royal Orchid Lounge was one of my favorites, though it’s starting to show it’s age a bit. It’s a bit more “open” than the United Club with great views of the concourse, and the food spread is pretty good too.

In addition to the lounging areas there are several work stations with PCs.

Work stations

Food spread

Food spread

Food spread


Food spread

Ice cream!

After hanging around for about 15 minutes it was off to gate 17 for our flight to Seoul Incheon. This time around we decided to skip the Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge, which is the other Star Alliance lounge option in Hong Kong. While it would have been more convenient for our gate, it’s a rather dark lounge without any natural light.

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I usually go to the royal orchid lounge too even when I fly UA. It’s just better all around. The Silver Kris lounge has Hagen Dazz among other nice amenities.

  2. I was in the HKG TG/F lounge a few days after you. They offered a nice menu of cooked-to-order food in addition to the buffet on the C side that was available. But I’m glad I held off until the HKG-BKK/F flight – that was a great meal.

  3. @Frank – I failed to see where he was actually “whining” about the distance. In fact, all he really did was inform the reader that it “can be a bit of a haul to walk from one end to the other”. This is actually good information for those of us traveling with artificial joints and limited ambulatory capabilities.

    Thanks for another job well done, Lucky.

  4. Frank you have so much negavity in your life. You must be surrounded by all sort of hates that in return it makes you a supreme hating person. Your every single comments on this blog are to insult Ben.

    You can’t find anything good out of anyone. I see that you have to live through other people happiness (like Ben’s) then insult others because you can’t have one, can’t own one, can’t do one. I feel so bad for you.

    I really wish you can be banned from his blog. idiot! And I’ll be praying for you tonight, hater.

  5. I’ve added Hong Kong to my list of places to visit after your write-ups, Ben! Thank you for your attention to the details that make reading your blog so informative and interesting. I, personally, appreciate you mentioning about the long haul between points at the airport, despite what Frank whines about in your writing. I’m a below knee amputee and long walking distances are good to know about so I can plan accordingly in advance.

    Keep up the good work. Don’t let the haters out there get to you. They aren’t worth occupying any space in your brain whatsoever.

  6. Lucky, what’s your HKG lounge preference then TG or UA? I would think the TG lounge would offer better food and other amenities.

  7. @ chitownflyer — I’d say the Thai lounge is a bit nicer, though they’re right across the hall from one another, so might as well check them both out. 🙂

  8. So those are the only 3 Star Alliance lounges? I’m surprised ANA doesn’t have a lounge there…

  9. Lucky, another great report. Thank you. I also want to thank you for not censoring any or all of the replies.. I’m starting to find Frank’s posts entertaining lol.

  10. I really don’t get most of the appeal for frequent flyer clubs. For one thing I really dislike buffets. I find them to be of poor quality. I wonder about the vectors for communicable diseases that buffets seem custom made for. I also dislike the smell of stale food. There are computers that may be modern and nice but that I wouldn’t trust with anything important. Do either of these clubs include things like showers or rest areas?

  11. Well, Dax, one thing is the privacy aspect…granted, sometimes lounges get over crowded, true, but generally, there’s lots of comfortable seating with power outlets for people with laptops/iPads/etc, which you don’t always find in the main airport.

    “For one thing I really dislike buffets. I find them to be of poor quality. I wonder about the vectors for communicable diseases that buffets seem custom made for.”

    Then you haven’t eaten in all FFCs, quite a few of them have truly delicious food. If you find them to be of poor quality then you’ve probably only visited a few of the crappy ones. Also, as far as “vectors for communicable diseases”…as opposed to what, the rest of the airport which is probably far, far worse than anything you’ll end up with in a FFC?

  12. Thanks for the report! I was just in the Royal Orchid Lounge in Nov. for an AC flight HKG to YYZ. Did you try the massage chair? It looked worn but did a nice job on my sore back 🙂

  13. @ Joseph — I’ve tried it in the past, though not this time. Definitely hurts at first though feels great after.

  14. Personally, I think the showers in UC is better, but TG has the better food options (only by a slight margin). Oh, and you get to play video games in TG lounge.

  15. As for flying 1st on Asiana LAX-ICN, THAI BKK-HKG, Asiana ICN-FRA, I’m able to visit any of the lounges? Thai, UAL, Asiana or all 3?

  16. Hi,
    I will have a layover in HK tomorrow and have a couple of the United lounge passes from signing up for the credit card. Can I use these passes at any of these lounges you discussed? And if so, which one should I choose? Thank you for any help!

  17. lucky, I share Arthur’s (#22) question. As a non-elite FF, are we constrained to the individual airline’s lounge? Or can Arthur enter any/all of the *A lounges? Thanks.

  18. @ Colleen — Nope, if you’re in Star Alliance business class you can use any Star Alliance business class lounge, and the same is true in first class with a couple of exceptions (including the Lufthansa and Swiss lounges).

  19. Thanks! Here’s an odd one: OZ says they book 2 classes only on OZ746 HKG-BKK. Think I’ve figured out why – what a mishmash of equipment they run on that route!
    The rest of my trip is in F – do you think they’ll upgrade closer to departure if using 744? IT’s a UA award.

  20. @ Colleen — That route is often operated by 747s, though they’re usually only sold as two class planes, with some business class passengers being seated in first class. Even then the service in first class is the same as business class.

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