A cool Cathay Pacific Diamond perk: use the airport's crew lane...

By David Flynn, July 10 2019
A cool Cathay Pacific Diamond perk: use the airport's crew lane...

Which line at airport security is the shortest?

It's often not the queue you're in, and it's usually not even the priority lanes set aside for 'premium' travellers in first or business class, or holding the appropriately shiny status card.

No, the fastest lane is almost always the one reserved for airline crew – and that's the path Cathay Pacific has tapped to give its top-tier frequent flyers a fast-track at Hong Kong.

It's a canny solution to the fact that Hong Kong International Airport has no priority lanes: all passengers are funnelled into the same, often-crowded channels for their security check, before proceeding to passport control.

But if you're a Diamond member of Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo Club rewards program, you can expect to receive this invitation to use the crew lane from the first class checkin area (that makes it worth dropping by even if you've checked in online).

With this 'courtesy channel' pass in hand, head to the counter at the far right of the Departures entrance just beyond the Cathay Pacific checkin desks (this is the Departures South zone).

You'll be waved through to the crew lane, and in no time at all you'll be zipping through passport control (especially if you have access to the automated e-channel gates) – after which comes the hardest decision of the day: which lounge to visit?

It's worth noting that this perk is exclusive to Marco Polo Club Diamond card-holders: it's not available to other Oneworld Emerald-grade members such as Qantas Platinum or BA Executive Club Gold.

Also read:  How to fast-track your transit at Hong Kong airport


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.

05 Jul 2016

Total posts 22

It's not the crew lane, but as stated on the pass the Courtesy Channel. Recently quite clogged too on busy days, with elderly passengers also eligible for using this channel. The true crew lane is right next to the courtesy channel and cannot be used even when it is empty (no crew lining up) and the courtesy lane is quite long. Still a nice perk though as the security scan is usually very fast despite the rather slow staff checking boarding pass and travel document before the Xray station (now further delayed by compulsory picture taking).

I went through this last weekend and we were directed into the crew lane. Maybe this is the arrangement during off-peak times?

05 Jul 2016

Total posts 22

That would make sense because the one guy was busy like hell and the other one bored but did not really offer to help...

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 40

Yes, sometimes the crew lane. A nice perk indeed but I wouldn't say its anywhere near the best. I would rate the fantastic onboard service given to DMs and priority access to award inventory, among others as the best perks.

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