Cathay Pacific reveals details of new The Pier First Class lounge

By David Flynn, January 22 2015
Cathay Pacific reveals details of new The Pier First Class lounge

UPDATE | Cathay Pacific's The Pier First Class lounge will re-open on June 19 2015 – click here for full details

PREVIOUS | Cathay Pacific has a full roster of lounges lined up for 2015 – with new and refreshed lounges in Manila, Bangkok, Taipei and Vancouver on the cards – but the high point will be the mid-year re-opening of The Pier First Class at Hong Kong.

“The Pier hasn’t been renovated in the 12 years since it opened” says Toby Smith, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Product (below), but he's confident the tired old bunker can be catapulted to new heights of glory.

Construction on The Pier First Class “should finish in late May 2015”, Smith tells Australian Business Traveller, with an official ribbon-cutting in June.

Travellers will discover a warmly welcoming lounge following the ‘home away from home’ design cues of Cathay’s Haneda Airport lounge (below), but with several new elements befitting the lounge’s flagship status.

Naturally enough, The Pier First Class will feature its own version of Cathay’s iconic Noodle Bar, along with an a la carte restaurant and what Smith calls a “grab-and-go area for travellers in a hurry.”

Smith also reveals The Pier will have “a full bar, with a lovely semi-circular design.”

These fully-tended drinks bars will also appear in other Cathay Pacific lounges, “space permitting,” Smith says.

“In a similar way to The Noodle Bar it will offer passengers some interaction along with flexibility. If they just want to grab a drink they can do so, but they can also sit at a bar and engage in conversation… again, it’s about adding a more personal touch.”

Unique to The Pier First Class will be private daybeds or ‘nap nooks’ with raised cushions which will overlook the runway.

“Sleep is a pretty basic human need” explains Ilse Crawford, who heads London-based StudioIlse and has been entrusted with Cathay Pacific’s lounge design portfolio.

“And we thought, if you have the luxury of space – which you do in the First Class lounge – then why not create somewhere where you can actually have a really lovely sleep between flights?” Crawford tells Australian Business Traveller.

'Well-being' zone

The Pier First Class will also have what Ilse Crawford described to Australian Business Traveller as a ‘well-being area’, although this won’t feature a day spa.

“This is one of those things that looks great but the reality is that there’s three therapists, so only three people can get a treatment and they’re probably booked up a month in advance."

What The Pier will have, Crawford promises, are “amazing showers.”

We know what you’re thinking – how can a shower be ‘amazing’?

“By thinking about how people really use them and what they do, (you can) make the ordinary extraordinary," she responds.

Travellers arrive at the lounge tired and sometimes stressed, Crawford says, a state not helped when "you’re struggling to find the (shower) switch, you don’t got enough space to hang your stuff."

“So if you find yourself in an environment where somebody’s really anticipated your needs and thought about them, to me that’s amazing.”

Bathrooms appear to be a hot topic for Crawford, who in an interview with The Wall Street Journal described the washrooms in airports and offices as her "design pet peeve."

"Doesn’t it seem that these places, with bad lighting, ugly materials and nowhere to put your stuff, are given too little thought?"

In the same article Crawford cited the work of set designer Ken Adams in early James Bond films as "inspiring interiors", so perhaps The Pier will be part classy airport lounge, part evil villian's underground lair... we'll find out in June!

Also read: Cathay Pacific's mod make-over for The Pier Business Class lounge

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 701

I'm all for "amazing showers", hopefully that includes adequate ventilation too (too many are airless boxes that turn into saunas after a shower)

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 151

Agreed!  What is it with airline lounges having showers which are so poorly ventilated that you're dripping with sweat within moments of towelling off?

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

26 Jan 2015

Total posts 7

I agree so much,the catay arrival lounge showers are great but you cant wait to get outside to cool down,its ridiculous

Oh can't wait!!!!

One is really spoilt for choice at HKG!!!! Oh Cathay we love you so....

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

I'd be more impressed if they opened a Concorde Room/Private Room-style lounge for CX F pax only.  No MP diamonds, no OW emeralds, no BA or JL or QF or AA  F pax, just CX F, and only CX F.  "The rest" can go to the another Flounges and leave us in peace.  The concept would probably only work for them at HKG, but I think it would work very well there, and would suit me just fine.

Or you could fly Singapore Airlines, where such elitist behaviour is encouraged and tolerated :)

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

I do.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

And if that makes me elitist, then so be it.  I don't understand why someone who spends $120K on F tickets every year has to share a lounge with someone who barely made QF platinum.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 40

Because that's the conditions of the One World Alliance agreement. As someone who easily makes QF Platinum and sometimes flies F I couldn't care less who shares a lounge with me as long as they meet the criteria to enter it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Sep 2014

Total posts 21

your friends must hate you...... Wait I started the statement wrong with friends...... 

01 Feb 2015

Total posts 3

If that is a "condition" of the oneworld alliance, then how do you explain the BA Concorde Room at its home airport (and JFK)?

Members are allowed to have a dedicated lounge for the exclusive use of its own F passengers and I believe CX should do so to attract additional F passengers.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

It seems logical to me.  SQ has TPR, BA has the Concorde Room, and LH has an entire terminal at FRA for LH and LX F pax and members of the insanely-difficult-to-qualilfy HON Circle.

I see no reason why airlines shouldn't have facilities that are for the exclusive use of the customers who spend the most for their tickets.  Naturally top-tier FFs in J or Y have their entitlement-bubble burst, which leaves them feeling slightly disgruntled at those who have access.  This jealous disgruntlement is evident in some of the comments on this page, and in the -11 that my original comment has scored.


PS - I do have friends, and I think you'll find that they agree with me, which is why we are friends.  So I'll see you all in first class - oh no, wait... I WON'T!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 40

I'm well aware that there are lounges existing outside the One World agreement. My point is that if by spending $120K a year on F tickets petrhsr expects to get a dedicated F lounge minus elites then he/she needs to look at purchasing tickets on other carriers as with a few minor exceptions One World allows Emerald members and their guests access to F privileges, including but not limited to F Lounge access. 

So yes my point remains valid IMO that having F Lounge access for One World Emeralds is a condition of the OW Alliance

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