Back in late August this year, Singapore Airlines announced the long-awaited reopening of its SilverKris lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, nearly three and a half years after it was first shuttered due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately the initial opening of the facility featured restricted hours of 9.30am to 7pm each day, which wasn’t any good for those departing on SQ899 to Singapore each morning at 9.05am, who have instead been directed to use the Plaza Premium First Lounge in the meantime.
Morning opening extended
From 16th October 2023, the Hong Kong SilverKris lounge is now open as follows:
- 6.15am to 7pm
This will allow those departing on SQ899 lounge access, as well as those on the carrier’s three later services each day.
From 29th October 2023, SQ897 is added to the airline’s roster of services as a fifth daily service on the route for the upcoming winter season, so hopefully we will see a further extension of the evening opening to at least 8pm.
Prior to COVID-19, the Hong Kong SKL was open from 6am to 12.30am each day.
Which flights now benefit?
The extended morning opening is welcome news for SQ899 passengers, since the (often crowded) Plaza Premium First Lounge has been getting some decidedly average reviews since Singapore Airlines first started using it, when the SKL was still completely closed.
However, it will also mean this lounge is a good option for eligible passengers departing on other Star Alliance carriers, as shown in the following table, based on November 2023 schedules.
Star Alliance and SIA / Scoot departures from HKG
7.45am – 8.20pm
|AI315||07:45||DEL||Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat|
* Lounge access for Solitaire PPS Club members only
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 is now the go-to lounge for all eligible passengers departing on Star Alliance carriers from Hong Kong.
Restrooms and showers are still under renovation
Unfortunately there is no good news to report on two major (and somewhat essential) facilities at this lounge – the restrooms and the showers.
These both remain “under renovation”, just as they have been since the lounge reopened seven weeks ago.
Regulars will know that the shower facilities in particular were always available only 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 en-route to Singapore, and had to trek all the way to the Thai Airways lounge at the other side of the terminal to get a shower before the next leg of the journey. Not a very First Class experience!
It’s frankly amazing that this is still an issue in 2023.
Other Hong Kong SKL features
Unfortunately the Hong Kong SilverKris lounge didn’t get a significant makeover during the COVID-19 closure, as we had hoped, with only a minor revamp including new flooring in some sections.
That means the relatively dated 2014 interior still features here, one of the first ‘Home Away From Home’ designs by ONG&ONG.
The SilverKris lounge in Hong Kong has an internal position with no natural light, but does boast a tended bar and plenty of the airline’s first-generation productivity pods.
While the tended bar is back, sadly as we know the showers are under renovation (along with the toilets too!) until further notice.
Hopefully those issues can soon be permanently fixed and (reliable) shower suites can finally 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.
As we recently reported, SIA is cutting its First Class capacity on the Hong Kong route by 40% this winter (it was only at 45% of pre-COVID to start with!). There will be only 42 departing Suites seats from Hong Kong per week from 29th October 2023, compared to 154 before the pandemic, so 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)
The dedicated section for First Class passengers in Hong Kong is connected to the main SilverKris 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
Hong Kong flights are ramping up
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 10,731 seats per week, though that will still represent only 71% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity.
Here’s how the schedule for SIA’s five times daily Hong Kong route will look from 29th October 2023 through to the end of the IATA northern winter schedule on 30th March 2024, with the additional flight SQ896/897 highlighted.
Singapore Hong Kong
29 Oct 2023 – 30 Mar 2024
Hong Kong Singapore
29 Oct 2023 – 30 Mar 2024
A sixth daily flight isn’t planned on this route for another nine months – 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.
While that one was briefly reinstated post-COVID in November 2021, it ceased in January 2022, when Hong Kong banned transit passengers, in another of its ever-changing policies during the pandemic era.
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|
All overseas SKLs have now reopened
The Hong Kong SilverKris lounge was the ninth SKL outside Singapore to reopen its doors since the pandemic, but soon afterwards the final facility in Taipei also followed suit, rejoining the network in early September 2023.
Here’s how the progressive reopening schedule looked during the pandemic recovery.
|Overseas SilverKris Lounge Reopening post-COVID|
(having briefly reopened in late 2020)
|Hong Kong||August 2023|
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.
Singapore Airlines has extended its Hong Kong SilverKris lounge operating hours to include the carrier’s morning departure SQ899, which means those eligible who are travelling on all four daily services (five from late October 2023) can now use this facility before their flight.
That’s good news for SQ899 passengers who 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 extended reopening.
Unfortunately, the lounge continues to be without both toilets and shower facilities – making it potentially the worst-equipped SilverKris lounge on the Singapore Airlines network.
(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)