Even though my flight was not scheduled to depart until 01:00A, I arrived at the airport by noon because one of the people in my party had a flight to Australia leaving in the afternoon and we all decided to go together after checking out of the hotel. This would give me the perfect excuse to do some lounge hopping and get well acquainted with HKG airport. I had the opportunity to visit the QF, KA, and CX (The Bridge & The Pier F) but will mainly elaborate on QF and CX The Pier.
We checked in at the CX F counter and the agent was very professional and efficient. Passport Control and security did not take long and once we were inside we headed to the QF lounge.
The lounge is located above gate 15 right after Passport Control. We presented our credentials to the robotic receptionists and proceeded inside. The lounge was fairly empty which allowed me to explore at ease. The bar is a neat feature right after you enter and the staff there were much warmer than the ones at reception.
The buffet had plenty of salads and healthy choices. No surprises since Aussies are pretty health conscious.
I then accompanied my relative to her PER flight on CX and after she boarded I went to the KA lounge. This lounge was very average with acceptable catering consisting of soup, sandwiches, pastries, a few hot dishes and a noodle station. It was average but since I had plenty of time I decided to take a look. KA Lounge.
We then moved to CX's The Bridge with is actually composed of two areas right after you check at reception. The left side contains the showers and seemed to be less crowded. There was also a computer room with several terminals, a buffet area and a cafe.
Stairs down to reception.
CX The Bridge - Left side.
CX The Bridge - Right side.
The right side room can be very crowded. There was a bar, WC's, and a buffet with pizza and bread stations. At times it felt claustrophobic with people trying to find a vacant seat to settle down.
CX's The Pier F Lounge.
Considered a favorite by many experienced travelers, the Pier F has also been featured as one of the best airline lounges in the world by several publications and online sources, not to mention rave reviews from members of this site as of late. This lounge is the pride and joy of an airline with a top reputation and a showcase at its hub.
Once you are granted access inside, you can't help it but feel that you are part of a very privileged group of travelers. First thing you noticed is that it is not crowded at all. Exclusivity is indeed a luxury that is rare in today's hectic airport environment. True to its marketing, the lounge aims to make the visitor feel like he or she is in a relaxed ambiance, just like at home. There is a well stocked pantry with light bites if you feel peckish and want to grab something on your own, or a dining room for those who prefer a proper sit down meal. It's all about choices.
I decided to take a shower before my meal and was escorted by an efficient staff member. The shower suite was spacious with plenty of room to set up your belongings. The combination of marble and brass inside gives it a classy touch and it is well stocked with Aesop toiletries.
Menu by The Peninsula
Black pepper seared tuna for appetizer.
Braised barramundi for main dish.
Chesnut mousse for dessert.
The Retreat - private nap rooms.
Up to now, everything about this lounge was perfect. However, when it came to this area, this is where I came across some issues.
Let's start with the pros - there is about a dozen of these rooms that afford some much needed rest for tired passengers. My room had a view of the tarmac and there are sockets to plug in your electronics. In addition, the mattress was firm and comfortable. The cons - I could feel a draft of air directly above me. This was very annoying and also there was a sign advising guests to limit the use of the room to 1.5 hrs. The last thing I want to do when I am resting is to count the minutes and worry about my check out time.
Rest of the lounge.
We headed to the gate 4 for the SFO flight and there was a security check before people were allowed inside the gate area. Boarding started at about 45 min. before dept. in an orderly fashion.
There was a designated entrance for F and J passengers inside the jetbridge and we entered through door 1L. The purser was positioned at the door welcoming passengers and when she saw us, she called for 2 other FA's to come up front to assist.
Inside the J mini cabin.
Seat - the strength of CX's J product.
Once at my seat, I was given a personal welcome by the purser and the J cabin manager. I have read that CX is consistent in acknowledging Oneworld Emeralds and my experience confirms this.
Hot towel, pre-dept. drink and amenity kit distributed.
The excellent CX Studio entertainment system.
Followed by the menu.
The tray set up.
Main dishes offered from the cart. I had the beef pie.
Followed by the cheese plate on request.
I was looking forward to the Sauternes to accompany my cheese plate and the flight attendant brought me a glass of port apologizing that the Sauternes was not boarded. She then advised me that she will write a report about this mistake.
Chocolates offered from a box.
And another round of hot towels to end the meal service with distribution of water bottles.
I took a nap and woke up 2-3 hrs later. i then visited the galley for some snack.
I gave the burger a try which was delicious and not overcooked. The flight attendant told me that this might take a few minutes which was OK.
Time to visit the WC'"/>
A few hours later breakfast service commenced with hot towels.
Breakfast breads and condiments.
Beverages offered from a cart. The smoothie was great - flavorful and not too sweet.
Hot towel to conclude the breakfast service.
Cathay Pacific The Pier - First Class Section
Hong Kong - HKG
San Francisco - SFO
A comfortable late night flight with light catering. The cost cutting is obvious given the quality of the supper courses, especially the appetizer and dessert. The snacks available after the meal service are adequate and the beef burger proved to be satisfying.
The seat is the best feature of flying CX in addition to the crew. Studio CX offers a great assortment of programs and there is something for everyone.
It was a nice touch to receive a personal welcome from the purser and the cabin manager. Apart from these two, the rest of the crew was efficient and polite, if not overly warm.
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