Singapore Airlines has announced the long-awaited reopening of its SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong today, with the shutters raised on the facility for the first time since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold.
This will see a daily opening window catering to three of the airline’s four daily services departing from Hong Kong, though sadly it appears that renovations are not complete, with the lounge lacking both showers and toilets for the time being.
Despite some basic facilities still missing, the return of this lounge to the network will still be welcome news for SIA passengers, who have been enduring overcrowding and reportedly lacklustre service at the airport’s third-party Plaza Premium lounge.
News of the Hong Kong lounge reopening means that only one of the carrier’s overseas SilverKris facilities remains shuttered at the time of writing – in Taipei.
Prior to COVID-19, the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong was open from 6am to 12.30am, however the reopening will see the facility initially having a more limited operating window, effective from 30th August 2023:
- 9.30am to 7pm daily
Immediately that rules out access for those departing on the carrier’s first flight of the day to Singapore – SQ899 at 9.05am. Eligible passengers on that service will continue to be directed to the Plaza Premium First lounge, which opens at 6.30am each day.
Those departing on:
- SQ875 (A350 LH) at 12.25pm
- SQ893 (A380) at 3.40pm
- SQ895 (777-300ER) at 6.50pm
will be the only SIA passengers who can benefit from SilverKris lounge access, for the time being.
The lounge is managed by Sodexo, the same company responsible for Cathay Pacific’s lounges in Hong Kong, and the reopened Qantas lounge (formerly managed by Accor-Sofitel, like the carrier’s Singapore lounges).
The SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong is located on Level 6, one floor down from the check-in level, on the right side directly after passing through immigration and security, near Gate 5.
The lounge is now the only Star Alliance facility at the airport, with the United Club near Gate 61 still closed, and the Thai Airways facility permanently axed, so it will no doubt become the go-to lounge for all eligible passengers departing on Star Alliance carriers from Hong Kong.
This includes those departing on the following Star Alliance flights from Hong Kong each day.
Star Alliance and SIA departures from HKG
11.15am – 8pm
Note that if you’re departing on a Star Alliance flight and you’re eligible for lounge access, your airline will probably still direct you to a third-party lounge to minimise costs.
You are still eligible to use this SilverKris lounge, and SIA certainly won’t mind – they get paid each time you do!
Renovation (or lack thereof)
When we passed through Hong Kong in June this year, we noticed that the lounge entrance was covered in construction sheets, with a posted public construction notice (required by HKIA) confirming that a three-month refurbishment was underway behind the dust sheets.
Sadly according to one of our readers who passed through the airport last week and took another look, with all the construction sheets removed there appears to be no major renovation conducted at all here. The entrance is identical to pre-COVID times.
Even worse, the lounge is reopening today with no restrooms and no showers. Quite how that “enhances” the experience, as was promised, is anyone’s guess!
Shower facilities in this lounge were always available on a hit-and-miss basis over the years, due to ongoing works. We missed out in 2018 having flown First Class from San Francisco to Hong Kong, and had to trek to the Thai Airways lounge at the other side of the terminal to get a shower. Not a very First Class experience!
It’s frankly amazing that this is still an issue in 2023.
We will await some data points from readers passing through the lounge in the coming days, but it looks safe to say there’s sadly no 2022-style SKL refit completed here, with the lounge’s existing dated interior probably largely untouched.
That likely means the old ‘Home Away From Home’ design by ONG&ONG back in October 2014, nearly nine years ago. Hong Kong was only the second overseas lounge to get this treatment, after an initial debut in Sydney was unveiled in December 2013.
Four further lounges then picked up a similar refresh, in London, Manila, Brisbane and Bangkok, followed by a final refit in Seoul that really moved away from the concept to a more ‘halfway house’ style by Singapore’s DP Design, much closer to the finish seen at the latest Changi T3 lounges.
The SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong has an internal position with no natural light, but prior to the pandemic boasted a tended bar, plenty of the airline’s first-generation productivity pods, and three private shower suites to freshen up before your flight.
While the tended bar is back, as we know the showers are under renovation (along with the toilets too!) until further notice.
Hopefully those issues can soon be permanently fixed in this latest upgrade and (reliable) shower suites can be a feature here.
The Hong Kong SKL also features a separate First Class section, for those departing in Suites or First Class, or holding Solitaire PPS Club status.
With only 70 departing First Class and Suites seats from Hong Kong per week at the time of writing, compared to 154 before the pandemic, expect this area to be quieter than ever!
The First Class section traditionally included à la carte dining, offering local noodle soup among other favourites like laksa, while Champagne upgraded from Moët in the Business Class section to Veuve Clicquot over here.
Access (Business Class section)
The following passengers are able to access SIA’s SilverKris Business lounge in Hong Kong, when departing on a Singapore Airlines or Star Alliance member operated flight:
- in Suites Class or First Class (+1 guest)
- in Business Class (passenger only)
- in any cabin class when holding KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS or Solitaire PPS status (+1 guest)
- in any cabin class when holding Star Alliance Gold status (+1 guest)
In all cases your guest (where permitted) must be departing on the same flight as you, as part of a policy that was tightened last year.
Additionally, only when flying on a Singapore Airlines flight:
- Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum and Gold status members, in any cabin class (+1 guest)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold status members, in any cabin class (passenger only)
Additionally, only when flying on a Scoot flight:
- in any cabin class when holding Solitaire PPS status (+1 guest)
Again your guest (where permitted) must be travelling on the same Singapore Airlines, Star Alliance member or Scoot-operated flight as you.
Access (First Class section)
We assume the Hong Kong SKL has retained its dedicated section for First Class passengers, connected to the main lounge.
The following passengers are entitled to access the First Class section:
- Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance First Class (or Suites) travellers
- Solitaire PPS Club members travelling on Singapore Airlines or Scoot
SIA’s Hong Kong flight schedule is increasing
Singapore Airlines is currently operating to and from Hong Kong only four times per day, offering 9,037 seats per week in each direction, compared to seven flights per day and 15,106 seats per week prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That puts seat capacity on the route at just 60% of January 2020 levels.
The good news is that the route picks up an additional flight from the start of the upcoming winter season on 29th October 2023, for five daily services and 10,808 seats per week, though that will still represent only 72% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity.
Here’s how SIA’s Hong Kong schedule looks from now until 30th March 2024, with the fifth additional service from 29th October 2023 highlighted.
Hong Kong Singapore
Now – 30 Mar 2024
A sixth daily flight isn’t planned on this route for another year – starting from 1st August 2024, while there is no sign of the carrier’s former “fifth freedom” Singapore – Hong Kong – San Francisco link making a comeback.
Hong Kong redemption rates
These are the KrisFlyer miles needed for the Singapore – Hong Kong route.
Singapore ⇄ Hong Kong
|First / Suites||45,000||73,000|
Note that the First Class and Suites option on this route are currently only available on SQ894/895 and SQ892/893 respectively.
Premium Economy is not available on SQ898/899 flights, which use the Airbus A350 Medium Haul.
Which overseas SKLs have reopened?
The Hong Kong SilverKris lounge will be the ninth SKL outside Singapore to reopen its doors since the pandemic, with eight other reopenings in recent months:
|Overseas SilverKris Lounge Reopening post-COVID|
(having briefly reopened in late 2020)
As mentioned earlier, this only leaves the carrier’s Taipei lounge still to reopen, with eligible passengers there currently directed to the Plaza Premium Lounge, but also having the option of the EVA Air lounges.
In case you think some SKLs are still missing, don’t worry – you’re not going mad! Six months after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, SIA decided to permanently shutter its own lounges in Adelaide, Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.
Partner lounge arrangements at these airports can be found here.
Some overseas lounges are in line for a refit
While it seems that the renovation to the Hong Kong SilverKris lounge sadly hasn’t lived up to our expectation of a complete refresh to match SIA’s latest lounge design, there’s still reason to be optimistic.
Singapore Airlines has commenced a new project to renovate selected SilverKris lounges on its overseas network.
Perth is the first lounge to go under the knife, with a brand new SKL in a new location occupying the former Qantas Business Class lounge due to open by the end of 2023.
That lounge will boast double the seating capacity of the old one, and will offer both shower facilities and specially designed productivity pods for the first time.
There are still no confirmed details about which lounges will be renovated next, but the oldest in the stable are Melbourne and Taipei, so watch this space.
We had high hopes that a three-month refurbishment of the SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong meant a brand new lounge in store for SIA passengers from this month.
Unfortunately, it seems like the facility has reopened today not only in its original guise, but without both toilets and shower facilities – making it potentially the worst-equipped SilverKris lounge on the Singapore Airlines network.
Despite those limitations, this will probably still be a relief to regular travellers on the Hong Kong route, many of whom have been enduring an overcrowded or sub-optimal lounge situation at the Plaza Premium “First” facility, which hasn’t exactly been getting rave reviews.
Many eligible travellers on Star Alliance flights can also benefit from this reopening, for similar reasons.
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)