Unlike Star Alliance and SkyTeam, oneworld Alliance rewards its top-tier frequent flyers with global access to First Class lounges. One of the best among the bunch is Cathay Pacific’s The Wing, First Class Lounge in Hong Kong. Home to private cabanas with a separate room just for Champagne, it’s well worth an early arrival.

A great thing about Cathay Pacific is that oneworld Emerald frequent flyers share the same lounge space as the airline’s actual First Class customers. It’s a tremendous reward for a traveller’s loyalty – being able to use the same lounge before a quick Economy hop to Taipei as a First Class passenger bound for the likes of London.

Knowing what awaits, I make use of Hong Kong’s In-Town Check-In to get my boarding pass early and my bag tagged and taken. From there, it’s just a quick Airport Express ride to Hong Kong International Airport, where Cathay Pacific’s The Wing, First Class Lounge awaits.

Location, layout and seating

The First Class section of The Wing isn’t far from Cathay Pacific’s main check-in. Once you’ve dropped your bag, venture through the nearest entry to security and passport control. That’ll be on the left-hand side of the check-in hall. After clearing the formalities, stay on the upper level and make a sharp left to find the lounge.

The Wing, First Class Lounge enjoys arguably the best location within Hong Kong Airport. That’s not only for its convenience from check-in but also because of the views it provides. Residing on the terminal’s upper level affords some great vistas across the airfield. High ceilings, an abundance of natural light and wave-like windows combine to provide a great sense of space and overall roominess.

You’ll enter the lounge through a club-like Champagne room. This flows through to a warm-toned lounge space where the lamps and reflections evoke a ‘cabin in the woods’ feel – ever so slightly, anyway. Continue strolling, and you’ll uncover a sea of comfortable pinkish-maroon seating: a complement to Cathay’s usual jade brand colour.

Keep on walking to find a cafe zone where you can really take in the airport views. A restaurant is tucked around the back of the lounge, along with a library for reading or quiet reflection. All in all, the space may not be as new as The Pier, First Class Lounge… but The Wing has its own charm. For instance, in which other lounge can you find an entire room dedicated entirely to Champagne? Exactly.

The Wing, First Class Lounge opens daily at 5:30 am and closes only when the evening’s last eligible flight departs.

Food and beverage in Cathay Pacific’s The Wing First Class Lounge, Hong Kong

When you have a room that’s just for Champagne, one mere bottle isn’t enough. Instead, Cathay Pacific serves three types of French bubbles inside The Wing, First Class Lounge. It starts with Ayala Brut Majeur (NV) – a very dry and drinkable drop. There’s also Drappier Carte d’Or (NV), which I’ve previously seen poured in the ‘Centurion only’ rooms of Hong Kong’s American Express Centurion Lounge. For a vintage choice, there’s also Drappier Premier Cru Rosé 2015.

This isn’t my first visit to The Wing, so I don’t feel the need to try a sip of everything. Instead, I stroll through to The Haven – The Wing’s in-lounge restaurant – and order a glass of the Rosé to enjoy there. The Haven offers a small buffet, but à la carte is the reason you come here.

The menu offers a few tasty choices, but the selections in 2024 aren’t as broad as I recall from previous visits. It seems dining at The Wing is now more for travellers in a rush to get something to eat before they fly – whereas the true restaurant experience is now a staple of The Pier.

At first, it’s hard to get a waiter’s attention. Staff repeatedly walk past me without stopping – and tables that’ve come in after me are getting food before me. Eventually, we’re back on track. My Shanghainese dan dan mien is delicious. But that’s my ‘usual’ here, so I try the Chinese crispy lemon chicken next – and it’s worth the wait. A manager comes over to apologise for the earlier mishap and to offer a not-on-the-menu dessert. It’s a simple tub of Häagen-Dazs, but it’s the gesture that counts.

I then migrate to Cathay’s separate cafe towards the back of The Wing, First Class Lounge. Here, my latte and macaron are on point. It’s hard to pass up trying a simple mini ‘pig in a blanket’ just for the novelty. Yum.

Amenities in The Wing First Class Lounge by Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong

Just about every international lounge has shower suites. But the First Class section of Cathay Pacific’s The Wing has something special. Here, you can book a private cabana for 90 minutes of relaxation.

Cathay’s cabanas are so large that they’re practically a private hotel room – just without a bed. There’s an oversized bathtub, open plan shower, sofa… you get the idea. There’s also a bench with easy access to power and a mirror. Whether you use it to style your hair or as a quiet place for working is entirely your call.

Reservations for a cabana are first come, first served. I’m here around lunchtime, and the wait time is less than an hour. I’m handed a buzzer and summoned when my room is ready. As with the main lounge area, there are no announcements to disturb you. It’s perfect.

In terms of other amenities, Cathay Pacific is one of the few global airlines to still provide computer terminals in its lounges. But as with the other airlines still offering this service, I don’t see people using them. Perhaps, they’re useful to print something before moving on. Usable Wi-Fi speeds make it easy to work on your own device instead. I clock downloads hitting around 35Mbps and uploads just over 42Mbps during this visit.

Remember the quiet library I mentioned earlier? There’s seating here and reasonable lighting as you turn the pages. A broad collection of reading material runs wall to wall. Many of the periodicals here are in English, so you won’t be left wanting for choice.

Accessing The Wing First Class Lounge in Hong Kong

Reflecting its status as a First Class lounge, this section of The Wing has tighter entry requirements than most of Cathay’s other lounges. Here’s a summary of who gets in.

Signage for Cathay Pacific in The Wing, First Class Lounge in Hong Kong
The design elements here help to create a feeling of open space, even in narrow corridors like this.
  • By cabin:
    • First Class on Cathay Pacific or another oneworld airline (+1 guest).
    • Passengers connecting between a oneworld international flight of 5+ hours in First Class and a oneworld flight of fewer than five hours in a lower cabin (+1 guest). For example, arriving from London on British Airways First and connecting to Mainland China in any other cabin on Cathay Pacific (or any other oneworld airline).
    • Travellers arriving in Cathay Pacific First Class and connecting to another Cathay Pacific flight in any cabin to any destination, regardless of flight length (+1 guest).
  • By frequent flyer status:
    • Cathay Diamond Plus members departing on any airline (+ guests).
    • Cathay Diamond cardholders departing on Cathay Pacific, Qantas, another oneworld airline or a CX codeshare flight operated by any airline (+2 guests).
    • Qantas Platinum, Platinum One, Chairman’s Lounge and other oneworld Emerald members departing on Cathay Pacific, Qantas or a oneworld marketed and operated flight (+1 guest).
  • Via lounge membership or other pass:
    • Cathay Diamond members (and above) can claim a First Class lounge pass as a ‘mid-status benefit’ for use by a travel companion or a member of their Redemption Group.
    • Travellers with the Standard Chartered Cathay Mastercard Priority Private credit card (issued in Hong Kong) can redeem one of their eligible First Class lounge invitations.

The verdict

This upstairs section of The Wing is Cathay Pacific’s First Class jewel. It’s a lounge that’s easy to visit given its location, but also one that’s worth visiting. For that matter, it pays to arrive early.

Hanging out in a cabana creates the feeling of being back at your hotel room, not at an airport. A room devoted to Champagne highlights this lounge’s First Class tilt, and views across the tarmac are lovely to enjoy. But on the dining front, The Wing isn’t quite in the same league as The Pier.

Where The Wing focuses on a smaller menu of speedily made favourites, The Pier angles more towards fine dining. As it happens, flights to Australia generally leave closer to The Pier than The Wing. Your game plan could always be to visit The Wing first for the Champagne room and time in a cabana. Then, migrate to The Pier for a decadent meal, spa treatment and a day room to take in the airport views in private.

Whatever your game plan, one thing is certain. When you’re a oneworld Emerald frequent flyer, Hong Kong is one of the best airports in the world to begin your journey.

Also reviewed: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Business Class (Hong Kong – Melbourne)

Featured image courtesy of Cathay Pacific. Other photography by Chris Chamberlin, who accessed the lounge courtesy of (earned) frequent flyer status while travelling as a guest of Cathay Pacific.

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Cathay Pacific The Wing, First Class Lounge, Hong Kong was last modified: July 17th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin