- Fresh, modern and functional 'home away from home' design
- Variety of zones and vibes, depending on your mood
- There's a terrace, for something different
- No showers, being just two hours from Hong Kong
- The Noodle Bar is always a hit, and Shanghai is no exception
Being one of the largest destinations for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon outside of Hong Kong, Shanghai's Pudong Airport is now home to the newest lounge in the Cathay Pacific network.
Featuring a fresh look and feel, expected amenities like The Noodle Bar and pre-flight WiFi, here's what the new Cathay Pacific business class lounge has to offer in the Chinese financial capital.
Location & Impressions
After clearing passport control and security screening, you'll find Cathay Pacific's new Shanghai digs at lounge location #68 (near gate D69) on airport maps and via overhead signage. Yes, it would be clearer for these signs to read "Cathay Pacific lounge".
There's an escalator to the upstairs lounge area located not far from Terminal 2's passport control checkpoint.
If you've visited this lounge in the past, you're in for a treat – after closing for renovations in October 2018, it now sports the airline's latest look and feel.
The vibe is similar to Cathay's The Pier business class lounge in Hong Kong, and other refreshed outstation lounges such as in Taipei, Singapore and London, all of which showcase the elegant touch of English designer Ilse Crawford.
There are all the staples you'd expect of any modern Cathay Pacific lounge, including the iconic Noodle Bar for pre-flight bites.
The space takes full advantage of its location, with a design that draws in plenty of natural light, not only via the surrounding windows...
... but also from above:
Glass screens help break up the space, which avoids the lounge feeling like one large rectangle as it might otherwise appear on the floor plan...
... and, if you look closely, artwork abounds: like this subtle piece just beyond reception, in a nod to flying, the black squares representing aircraft windows:
This lounge opens to cater for all Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights.
- Business class passengers of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.
- Business class – and where available, first class – passengers Oneworld airlines flying out of Terminal 2 (among them American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Malaysia Airlines)
- Marco Polo Club Silver members prior to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights only.
- Marco Polo Club Gold, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Diamond Invitation guests plus Cathay Pacific Cargo Clan Elite members prior to flights with all of the airlines above.
- Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge members prior to all Oneworld flights.
- Other Oneworld Sapphire and Oneworld Emerald cardholders travelling onwards with a Oneworld airline.
- Marco Polo Club Green members who use their Asia Miles for one-off lounge entry.
However, with the lounge closing at 9pm, this will rule out access for passengers on the late evening flights of Oneworld airlines.
Note also that some Oneworld airlines such as Japan Airlines, Qantas and SriLankan Airlines depart from Terminal 1 at Pudong Airport, which is not directly linked airside with Terminal 2 where this lounge is located, so passengers on these flights will not have access to the Cathay Pacific lounge.
As above, this wouldn't be a Cathay Pacific lounge without The Noodle Bar, tempting travellers with a selection of dumplings, bao, and of course, noodles.
Passengers looking for old favourites like Cathay's Dan Dan Noodles aren't left wanting, with these a staple on that menu...
... or for something typically Shanghainese, try the seafood soup, which you won't find in any other Cathay Pacific lounge:
Here's a list of all your options, with the xiao long bao and the har gau dumplings also pictured above.
Bao and dumplings are usually served straight away at the counter, while ordering a noodle dish will see you issued with a buzzer.
Particularly for travellers with limited time in the lounge, this avoids having to stand around and wait for your food: you can instead continue with your work, or enjoy the company of your travel companions, and just dart back when it's time to dine.
Beyond the Noodle Bar, there's also a reasonable buffet offering, whether you're in the mood for salads, meats and cheeses...
... a variety of hot Western bites that change every 15 days for variety...
... or, just want to grab something quickly, without waiting at the Noodle Bar if there's a queue:
On the beverage front, drinks here are self-service, including range of beer, wine and spirits...
... including Laurent-Perrier Champagne:
That joins teas, machine-made espresso coffee and a variety of juices...
... plus, a tap dispensing safe-to-drink still and sparkling water:
There are plenty of places where you can enjoy your food, such as communal seating nearby the dining counters...
... booths further back, nearby the Noodle Bar...
... or, if you can snag it, a dining table with views out into the terminal and onto the tarmac.
You can also find more communal seating in the centre of those booths, all of which provide access to AC and USB power.
Absent though is a tended bar, so high flyers craving cocktails will need to take the DIY approach.
When there's still work to complete on your Shanghai business trip, hunker down at one of the lounge's many laptop benches...
... with power points tucked away underneath, providing access to both AC and USB power:
For more casual laptop work, pull up a chair wherever takes your fancy, as the vast majority of seats here provide power access, and if you can't spot an outlet, one might be closer than you think:
As you'd expect, WiFi is available throughout the lounge.
When your visit calls for kicking back rather than charging through work, you'll find no shortage of places to sit, whether you're flying solo: literally, in one of Cathay Pacific's signature Solo seats...
... which still keep power at-hand, even if just to top-up your smartphone...
... travelling with a companion...
... or jetting about as part of a larger group:
There's a range of printed reading material available (including some titles in English)...
But, as with most Cathay Pacific lounges outside of Hong Kong, you won't find showers here.
That's unfortunate for passengers with a quick connection in Hong Kong onto an onward flight, who may not have much time on the ground in between, but for those jetting solely from Shanghai to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, it's unlikely to be a pain point ahead of the sub-three-hour journey.
All things considered, Cathay Pacific's new business class lounge is easily one of the best at Shanghai Pudong Airport: and while it's fair to say that lounges in Mainland China aren't often anything to write home about, Cathay's lounge would still stand on its own in other major airports around the world, and is a welcome refresh for those venturing to China's financial capital.
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Shanghai as a guest of Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.