If you’ve departed from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) recently on a Singapore Airlines flight, one thing you’ll probably have noticed is that the carrier’s dedicated SilverKris lounge remains closed, which has led to lounge-eligible passengers being directed to a third-party facility.
More specifically, Singapore Airlines has been offering access to the Plaza Premium Lounge on Level 6, near Gate 1, or as an alternative a HK$150 (~S$25) dining credit voucher has been available, redeemable at a list of terminal restaurants.
Overcrowding is bad
We’ve been hearing reports from readers of serious overcrowding here at the Plaza Premium Lounge, with long queues stretching outside during peak periods, which has come about since Hong Kong relaxed its border restrictions and reopened to tourism test-free and quarantine-free.
In many ways taking the voucher alternative has therefore offered a more peaceful experience at an airport restaurant, rather than a dedicated lounge, ahead of departure!
The Plaza Premium First Lounge is back – and SIA is on board
There’s a new lounge on the list at HKIA this month, with the Plaza Premium First Lounge reopening its doors on 1st April 2023.
Prior to COVID-19 this facility was open 24 hours a day, but it has initially reopened with a 6.30am to 1am schedule for the time being.
The lounge has capacity for 250 guests.
Good news is that Singapore Airlines is now officially directing all its First Class, Suites, Business Class, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members departing on SIA flights from Hong Kong to this lounge, which should provide a significantly less crowded and more premium experience, compared to the previous arrangement.
The lounge is located near Gate 1, on departures Level 6 in Terminal 1, in fact just along the corridor from the Plaza Premium lounge and close to Cathay’s The Wing lounge, which is further along opposite Gate 2.
This is a far superior facility to the adjacent Plaza Premium (non-First!) Lounge, and pre-COVID offered:
- A tended bar with Champagne, wines and spirits
- Its own à la carte restaurant – Primo – allowing guests to order one dish from the menu.
- Spacious private shower rooms with branded toiletries
- A complimentary 10-minute massage
- A whisky bar (chargeable)
We can’t guarantee that all these perks have been re-established since day one, but this lounge is certainly a step above your average third-party offering, so it’s great to see Singapore Airlines securing an agreement for its passengers to use it while the Hong Kong SilverKris lounge still remains closed.
Lufthansa and Swiss were both using this lounge for their First Class passengers and HON Circle members before the pandemic, as was Qatar Airways for its Business Class passengers and Virgin Atlantic for its Upper Class passengers.
Prior to COVID-19, Priority Pass members could access this lounge with a co-pay of HK$400 (~S$68), but this option has not yet been reinstated.
The lounge has also not made its online booking service available again at the time of writing, with full paid access for 3 hours pre-pandemic coming in at a rather steep HK$880 (~S$149).
It seems, for the time being at least, that the lounge may be exclusive to those travelling in premium cabins or with status on contract airlines, now including SIA, which is great news for a (hopefully) peaceful crowd-free experience.
For a comprehensive review of this lounge – see this OMAAT visit from December 2019.
Still no sign of the SilverKris lounge
Unfortunately Singapore Airlines has still not been able to reopen its own dedicated SilverKris lounge at HKIA, with the airline confirming to Mainly Miles today that there is still no firm timescale for this one yet, but that it will “announce more details at the appropriate time”.
Lack of demand during COVID-19 unfortunately also caused SIA to permanently shutter similar lounges in Adelaide, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur, but the strategically important Hong Kong SKL was thankfully immune from this cull and will be making a return – sooner or later.
The SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong has an internal position with no natural light (much like the reopened Plaza Premium First Lounge), but boasts a tended bar, plenty of the airline’s first-generation productivity pods, and three private shower suites to freshen up before your flight.
The lounge also features a separate First Class section, for those departing in Suites or First Class, or holding Solitaire PPS Club status.
This includes à la carte dining, which has traditionally offered local noodle soup among other favourites like laksa, while Champagne upgraded from Moët in the Business Class section to Veuve Clicquot over here.
Hopefully we can report on a reopening of this SilverKris lounge in the coming weeks or months.
Hong Kong – Singapore flight schedule
Singapore Airlines is operating its Airbus A350 Medium Haul, Airbus A350 Long Haul, Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 aircraft on its three daily Hong Kong – Singapore flights during the northern summer season between April and July 2023.
Do be aware – the A380 sadly takes a break from the route during the month of July.
- 09:05 HKG-SIN
SQ899, A350 MH
- 12:25 HKG-SIN
SQ875, A350 LH
- 15:40 HKG-SIN
SQ893, A380 (777-300ER during July 2023)
From August 2023, a fourth daily service is added to the three listed above.
- 18:50 HKG-SIN
All of these flights fall comfortably within the 6.30am to 1am opening window for the Plaza Premium First Lounge.
Unfortunately there is no planned return announced at the time of writing for the carrier’s “fifth freedom” Hong Kong – San Francisco service, but hopefully this will make a comeback eventually.
Since Hong Kong reopened its borders to tourists via a simple almost pre-COVID arrival process, travel demand has spiked and the return of more lounges at HKIA has been long overdue.
Sadly this latest announcement doesn’t include SIA’s own SilverKris lounge, but the airline is now thankfully directing all its lounge-eligible guests to the reopened Plaza Premium First Lounge near Gate 1, which offers an above-average experience for a third-party facility.
Crowding will hopefully also be addressed by this move, an issue that has plagued the previous Plaza Premium Lounge in recent weeks as flight schedules from the city have ramped up.
(Cover Photo: Plaza Premium Group)