Back in 2021 Australian carrier Qantas revealed that it would be permanently shuttering its lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, withdrawing this popular alternative to Cathay Pacific’s facilities at the poplar hub.
However, in a surprise move the Oneworld carrier did an about-turn nearly 18 months later – announcing in February this year that its Hong Kong lounge, one of our personal favourites, would survive after all.
The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is back
Earlier this week, on 3rd May 2023 to be exact, Qantas reopened its 290-seat Hong Kong lounge for eligible travellers on its own flights and those operated by other Oneworld alliance partners, more than three years after it was originally closed.
Opening hours are from 2.30pm to the last Qantas departure of the day, which currently goes wheels-up for Sydney at 7.40pm.
From 20th June 2023, the opening will also extend to include those departing on a three-times weekly Melbourne departure at 9.55pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, plus Mondays from 17th July 2023.
That could make this a useful alternative to the Cathay Pacific lounges for those flying on Oneworld carriers from Hong Kong in the afternoons and evenings.
The lounge is located on Level 7 at Terminal 1, near gate 5, which is a right turn after the North Immigration clearance gate, adjacent to Cathay Pacific’s recently reopened The Deck lounge.
About the lounge
When Qantas first announced this lounge was gone for good, the carrier was so dead set on the idea that it actually removed all the furniture from the facility and shipped it back to Australia!
As a result the 10-year old lounge has had a refresh, with new seats and tiling installed, with what the airline describes as a “warmer colour palette” by Australian designer David Caon, the man responsible for the revered Qantas First Lounge in Singapore.
The lounge first opened in April 2014, nearly a decade ago, so this refresh is probably a timely one anyway.
Food and beverages
A tended bar remains the centrepiece, with premium Australian wines, beer and spirits poured alongside “Neil Perry mixologist designed cocktails”.
Here are the wines currently on offer in the lounge, along with their Vivino ratings.
- Counterpoint Brut, N.V., Australia: 3.8 stars
- Calabria Guiding Star Chardonnay, 2022, Australia: 3.7 stars
- Kalamanda Cellar Select Sauvignon Blanc, 2022, Australia: 2.8 stars
- Peter Lehman Portrait Reisling, 2021, Australia: 3.8 stars
- Rumours Pinot Grigio, 2022, Australia: 3.3 stars
- Rumours Pink Moscato, 2022, Australia: 3.7 stars
- George Wyndham Cabernet Sauvignon BIN 444, 2021, Australia: 3.6 stars
- Red Bridge Shiraz, 2020, Australia: 3.5 stars
- Santa Helena Reserva Merlot, 2021, Chile: 3.1 stars
- Sileni Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, 2021, New Zealand: 3.5 stars
Offering 10 different varieties of wine, including sparkling brut and a rosé option, is an impressive array for a Business Class lounge, even though Champagne sadly isn’t on offer.
There’s also a new Quench hydration station, something Qantas is increasingly offering at its lounges lately, offering hot and cold beverages that are designed to support wellness while travelling.
On the food front, Neil Perry has once again designed “a menu of local dishes inspired by regional flavours and ingredients, and [he] said there was one key element from the previous offering that had to be included”.
That of course is the lounge’s popular Yum Cha dumpling trolley, and the char siu Chinese barbecue pork.
Passengers can dine in the more formal, dining area, which includes large communal dining tables (if you are a party of 12!) or tables set up for couples.
This also boasts nice views of the new Sky Bridge, opened in November 2022 while this lounge was still shuttered, which links HKIA’s Terminal 1 with a new satellite concourse T1S, and can accommodate Airbus A380s taxiing underneath.
Guests can also dine at one of the more relaxed sections in the lounge seating area.
Other facilities in the lounge include power outlets, high-speed Wi-Fi and 12 private shower suites with Li’Tya amenities.
The lounge was previously run in partnership with Accor-Sofitel, in common with many other Qantas outstation facilities including those in Singapore, but Mainly Miles understands that Sodexo is now managing this particular lounge – the same company responsible for Cathay Pacific’s lounges in Hong Kong.
Let’s hope the same service standards can be maintained with this new provider running the show.
The Qantas Hong Kong lounge is available to passengers flying on a Qantas or Emirates flight, or on a Oneworld member operated flight:
- in First Class or Business Class; or
- in Premium Economy or Economy Class and holding Qantas Platinum One, Platinum or Gold status, Emirates Platinum or Gold Skywards status* or Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire status**.
* Qantas or Emirates flights only
** Qantas or Oneworld flights only
If you are a Qantas Club member flying on a Qantas (QF) flight number, you are also permitted access.
Passengers using this lounge on the basis of their Qantas Frequent Flyer status can bring one guest into the lounge with them. The guest must be travelling:
- on a QF or oneworld flight number, if the member is flying Qantas or oneworld; or
- on the same flight as the member, if the member is flying Emirates.
Passengers using this lounge on the basis of their Oneworld status can bring one guest into the lounge with them. The guest must be travelling on a oneworld flight number.
Passengers using this lounge on the basis of their Emirates Skywards status can bring one guest into the lounge with them. The guest must be travelling on the same flight as the member.
Passengers using this lounge on the basis of their eligible travel class can bring one guest into the lounge with them, provided the passenger is travelling:
- Qantas or Emirates First Class; or
- Qantas Business Class
The guest must be travelling on the same flight as the passenger in these cases.
Note that Emirates Business Class passengers without Platinum or Gold Skywards status are not entitled to any guest allowance.
We rate the Qantas Hong Kong lounge as one of the nicest on the carrier’s network, and we always enjoyed visiting as an alternative to the Cathay Pacific facilities at HKIA prior to the pandemic.
It’s great to have this option back when departing from the hub on a Oneworld carrier, or on an Emirates flight in the right cabin class or with elite frequent flyer status.
Cathay Pacific will also reopen its much-loved The Pier First Class lounge in Hong Kong by August this year, as part of its plan to have all lounges back in action by the end of September.
(Cover Photo: Qantas)