When transit gets ugly and showers backfire…

When transit gets ugly and showers backfire…

39

Yesterday after an amazing flight in Singapore Suites including sleeping in a double bed for nearly 10 hours, it was time to transit Hong Kong.

My connection was off to a great start when an agent met the plane to escort me through transit security. I figured that was excessive since there couldn’t possibly be a queue at 5:50AM in the morning, but boy was I wrong. We must have walked past a 45 minute queue. The issue is that while the escort guided me, he kind of just kept walking without looking back, so I kind of followed him like this duck:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUNbvhcaXwA

I’m hoping that visual clarifies things a bit. 😉

So to some people it wasn’t apparent I was being escorted, and apparently some thought I was cutting the line.

I get to the front of the security queue and there’s a British guy who had already been complaining for the 15 seconds I was near him. “I thought this airport was supposed to be efficient, what the hell is this?”

So anyway, I’m directed to cut him in line, and this bloke loses it — “and who the hell do you think you are?” Now there are a few douchebag responses you could dish back, though I wasn’t looking to be an ass, so I simply signaled that I was following the escort. He then continued with “well why are you so special that you get escorted through?” Oy, this is awkward.

It was kind of like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV0tCphFMr8

I made it to the Silver Kris Lounge and was alone in it for about 30 minutes, because I guess all the other premium cabin passengers were stuck in the queue.

I asked about the possibility of a shower, and was informed they didn’t have showers. Shoot, I guess I should have researched that before the flight. I asked if there was another lounge with a shower in the area (I knew the Thai and United lounges had them, though they’re near gate 35, which is a real haul), and the agent informed me there was a Priority Pass lounge with showers near gate one — “just keep walking that way, there’s a big black, uh, door, you can’t miss it.”

So I did that, and after they registered me asked about getting a shower room. “Ohhhh, long queue for shower, at least 3-4 hours.” I did a double take as I looked at the lounge and it was more or less deserted, so I asked him if there was somewhere else I could shower. He said there was a Priority Pass lounge near gate 35 that had available showers, and I should go there.

At this point I was crunching numbers in my head. There was about an hour till departure, so I figured I could swing it if I hurried.

Hong Kong is one of the most visually stunning airports in the world, in my opinion, though can also be a real pain to haul through.

So after walking at a fast pace for 15 minutes I made it to the lounge with showers. Unfortunately these weren’t the shower rooms I’m used to at airports with sinks and toilets (let alone bath tubs and rubber duckies), but rather tiny individual shower rooms with communal sinks and toilets, and this warning sign in the shower:

I was so curious about the enforcement of this that I… well, nevermind.

Anyway, the problem with tiny showers rooms isn’t the lack of amenities, but rather how hot they get when water is running, meaning you’re sweating by the time you get dressed.

So after the shower I was sweatier than when I got in, and with 20 minutes to go till departure I hauled back to gate 15, where my flight was just boarding.

And the greatest surprise of the entire trip was no doubt this:

Anyway, I learned my lesson — no showers in Hong Kong!

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  1. Shannon Guest

    The ventilation of Cathay Pacific shower rooms in three lounges at HKG was really bad. I usually feel I need a shower after shower. I have been complaining this before renovation and the problem still exist. The CX staff it is more like the problem of airport management as they have hard time to get them improve the ventilation

  2. Rami Guest

    That would have taken her a few days of work. Simply wow

  3. BFrankley Guest

    Re: the Python video. You should have told the guy "Well, you have to know these things when you're a blogger"

  4. lucky OMAAT

    @ Rami -- I believe she made it herself. Amazing, isn't it?

  5. Rami Guest

    Was that Big Ben cut-out from Janesis?

  6. lucky OMAAT

    @ Mike -- Thai almost always provides buggies, though didn't have one on Singapore. That being said the flight arrived right next to the security checkpoint, so it really wasn't needed.

  7. Mike Guest

    Did they provide an electric cart with the escort? Last time I flew TG in F they provided a buggy to immigration.

  8. Arcanum Member

    Twice daily at home? You must be one dirty boy! ;)

    I totally agree with you on the post-long-haul shower. I also try to get in a pre-long-haul shower. On my last trip to MEL, I managed to shower en route at YUL, EWR, ZRH, BKK, and SYD.

  9. Kevin Guest

    Funniest post in a while when you watch the videos... Nice job!

  10. lucky OMAAT

    @ Troy -- I usually shower twice a day when at home, and it's no different when I travel. After a longhaul flight I feel much more refreshed after a shower, so I do everything I can to get one.

  11. Ryan Guest

    Remember that there are 4 transit security points at HKG. If one is backed-up, it makes sense to try the others.

  12. NYCWahoo Guest

    TG shower in HKG is quite ghetto as well

  13. Raf Guest

    You probably just drew a bad lounge hand. I used the facilities in the QF F lounge last month and while spartan for an f lounge it did the trick. The CX arrival showers are nice and open at 5am, but that's landslide.

  14. Teddy Guest

    It's really cute. Didn't know you been through such hassle getting back on plane ;)

  15. Bob Guest

    Big Ben?

    Someone enjoyed themselves on your San Francisco date!

  16. Ray Guest

    I transited through HKG on SQ back in 2006 when they still had the old lounge with showers; it's a shame they did away with them when moving to the new lounge! I was surprised to read the reason was that "there was no demand for them", as I know I had to wait at least an hour for a shower slot and totally appreciated it after a a 12 hour flight. They're definitely not catering to the crowd from the US.

  17. lsed Guest

    @ Troy: I shower on average 4 times a day. When you're in humid weather it's a big difference.

    United F lounge shower in HKG is not too bad

  18. Troy Guest

    It seems you always have to shower at the airport? Most people shower every 24 hours unless they have a workout then twice a day. Why dont you just shower when you get to the hotel? Your travel time is less than 24 hours on this journey right?

  19. lucky OMAAT

    @ greatmoosy -- Good to know, thanks! Will wait it out next time then.

  20. greatmoosy Guest

    in my experience, the main plaza premium (priority pass) lounge that you were sent to always gives ludicrous wait times for the showers. in the past they have quoted me: three hours and called me up after twenty minutes; two hours and then paged after fifteen minutes; three hours and a thirty minute wait; etc. additionally, they page with the softest voice over the loudspeaker, it barely clears the average lounge noise level.

  21. HoKo Guest

    @Raksiam LOLLLL

    P.s. same issue with showers in Doha when flying QR. temperature was ridiculous, drenched in sweat as I'm sitting in the lounge post shower. Not pleasant

  22. cloudybw Guest

    Yes, e-channel is for immigration. But it is probably quicker to pass the immigration and go upstairs to get back from landside in your case. I did once around 7pm and total time from landing to airside -- 10 mins.

  23. lucky OMAAT

    @ BFrankley -- Yup, and it's definitely the better option if you're in Suites.

  24. BFrankley Guest

    How about lounge options at SFO? Were you able to access United's IFL?

  25. Scottrick Guest

    I ran off to use the UA shower while at the SilverKris lounge. Left my fiancee at SilverKris, and when I came back I got so much grief for leaving her alone for what must have been an hour or more. I take quick showers, but it's a real trek!

  26. lucky OMAAT

    @ Carl -- While the food is good, I'm not a fan of the lack of views (which most other lounges have) and lack of showers.

  27. Carl Guest

    I love the SQ lounge in HK. Excellent food, one of the better business class lounges in my opinion.

  28. lucky OMAAT

    @ karung99 -- Isn't that just for immigration and not security?

  29. lucky OMAAT

    @ Papa Smurf -- Didn't ask for it, they were just waiting at the door to the plane for Suites passengers. Not sure if that's normal or not.

    @ AdamH -- Yeah, though it's only a one way train, and by the time you factor in the wait isn't that much quicker than walking.

    @ nathan fruchter -- True, though I also wouldn't have had the "problem" of two first class suites. :p

  30. nathan fruchter Guest

    you would not have had this problem had you flown cathay. plenty of wonderful nice private showers available.

  31. S Guest

    that duck video is the cutest thing I've ever seen. WOW to the Big Ben paper cut out!

  32. karung99 Guest

    Ben, you should apply Frequent Guest Card, it is similar to Global Entry, free of charge and no line.

  33. AdamH Gold

    You can take the train down to the UA gates where the TG lounge opens early and has a shower. Doesn't take more than 7-10 minutes from the SQ gate/lounge area. Better food there too usually.

  34. Papa Smurf Guest

    How did you get the escort for transit security? I did the same SFO-HKG-SIN flight, but there was no one to escort us. Is this something new or because the security was backed up that day?

  35. lucky OMAAT

    @ Frank -- Grrr, fixed, thanks.

  36. Frank Guest

    Rubber dickies are the showers u are used to in airports?

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Dangers Lurk in the Airport Men's Room. - View from the Wing Guest

[…] couple of years ago One Mile at a Time was ordered not to use the shower as a toilet in a Hong Kong airport […]

0
Shannon Guest

The ventilation of Cathay Pacific shower rooms in three lounges at HKG was really bad. I usually feel I need a shower after shower. I have been complaining this before renovation and the problem still exist. The CX staff it is more like the problem of airport management as they have hard time to get them improve the ventilation

0
Rami Guest

That would have taken her a few days of work. Simply wow

0
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