Qantas to permanently close Hong Kong lounge

Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific will now be the go-to for all Qantas business class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers.

By David Flynn, August 26 2021
Qantas to permanently close Hong Kong lounge
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qantas' Hong Kong airport lounge will remain permanently closed after the airline resumes flying to the Asian financial hub in February 2022.

While the airline believes there will still be "significant demand" for travel between Australia and Hong Kong, it's become harder to justify having its own lounge in an airport well served by the upscale lounges of Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific, including dedicated facilities for first and business class passengers.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce confirmed the closure of its Hong Kong lounge to Executive Traveller this morning.

"All of our other international lounges will be reopened, but in Hong Kong we've come to a relationship with Cathay to use their premium lounges there."

We hope you enjoyed the BBQ pork while it lasted...
We hope you enjoyed the BBQ pork while it lasted...

Joyce said the airline had "looked at everything that we needed in individual markets" in planning its post-pandemic recovery, "and Cathay have some amazing lounges in Hong Kong, so we've worked with them to get access to their lounges, and of course they have access to our lounges here, and we think that's the best arrangement."

Qantas business class travellers and top-tier Gold and Platinum-grade frequent flyers visiting Hong Kong will still be able to visit the business and first class lounges of fellow Oneworld airline Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong lounges will welcome all lounge-worthy Qantas passengers.
Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong lounges will welcome all lounge-worthy Qantas passengers.

These will include the first class and business class sections of The Wing and The Pier, along with The Deck, which is adjacent to the Qantas Hong Kong lounge – although, as reported earlier this week, Cathay has shuttered The Bridge lounge for good.

Cathay Pacific's The Deck lounge.
Cathay Pacific's The Deck lounge.

It's expected that Qantas Club members would also gain access to a nominated Cathay Pacific lounge under revised agreements.

Joyce added that "even with the political changes in Hong Kong, it will be a very important part of our network going forward, and there will still be significant demand... with Hong Kong being the gateway to the rest of China for us and Cathay, and we think that will continue."

Qantas pulled down the shutters on all of its international lounges in March 2020 – but while lounges at key destinations such as Singapore, Los Angeles and London will reopen as international flights resume from December 2021, the elegant Hong Kong lounge – first opened in April 2014 to "deliver a new standard of luxury for customers travelling through Hong Kong" – won't return.

While undoubtedly a Qantas lounge, the Hong Kong space reflected its unique location.
While undoubtedly a Qantas lounge, the Hong Kong space reflected its unique location.

With a design which embraced and reflected Hong Kong, the 300-passenger lounge primarily catered for Qantas' evening flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but was also used as a contract lounge by a number of other airlines including Finnair and Air France.

Its hallmark feature was a BBQ bar serving local delights such as char siu Chinse barbecued pork, while a yum cha trolley rattled around the main dining area.

Guests in the evening could choose between several freshly-prepared dishes or enjoy a cocktail from the bar.

In the mood to reminisce? Look back at the Qantas Hong Kong lounge with our review from when it first opened in April 2014.

ET readers: what will you miss about the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, and which Cathay Pacific lounge will be your new go-to?

David

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

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 74

That's a shame. Was a lovely lounge to visit. 

22 Mar 2013

Total posts 29

This lounge looks great and especially perfect if you are not flying QF but other OW airlines. Unfortunately, every afternoon - evening, it's as busy as Qantas Club or more.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 48

The Deck is likely to get more crowded as the default go to option for when normal travels resume for travelers and flights leaving around those gates. On the other hand, Qantas will probably have more flexibility with departure gates for its flights now it won’t have a lounge and the preference for flights to depart from gates close to its lounge.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 623

Was a great lounge but also very busy and lacked warmth with the concrete floors - making in nosey at times. With not so many ow lounges at HKG, and now lounge closure number 2, I wonder how crowded CX lounges will become as flights resume.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 101

I think the closing of lounges is more or less related to probably the expectation the travel even when opened up will probably be subdued for the next couple of years. Coupled with the fact the airlines do need to balance the books, I see a few of these low hanging fruit cost saving measure being used over the next couple of years before hopefully things are returned back to a more normal state.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 954

It was a great lounge, way better than SIN.  Really disappointing to see it go.  It will be interesting to see what happens with QF Club members; what has been written above is pretty non-committal.  

Apart from the potential QF Club member access, there really isn't any change in the relationship between QF and CX at HKG.  QF Gold etc already had access to the CX lounges if they wanted via Oneworld reciprocal arrangements.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 93

Sad, but the CX Flounge is a great experience and I usually ended up there. We’ll all have to get used to the new normal…when it finally arrives. 

I’m going to miss the salted caramel cheesecake. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 152

The Qantas HK lounge always had better catering from Sofitel instead of the Sodexo that's used at Cathay's lounges. Will be missed, but given that the rest of their lounges are in places with limited high quality OW alternatives, I can see why its an easy pick. 

27 Aug 2021

Total posts 1

It is quite sombre to hear this news, but not surprised as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the aviation and tourism industry. My hope is QANTAS will come out of this stronger and be the enabler to unite everyone with their family and friends across the globe. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 165

It's a pity because it was superior in catering to the Business Class part of The Wing, although the Bridge and the Pier were just as good, they are further away from the gates usually used by QF (and BA which preferred this lounge).  Albeit those with OWE status would prefer The Wing or The Pier for obvious reasons.  However, times are tough and neither travel nor HKG was what it was.  CX is going through much much more.

I could not understand why they had their own lounge in HK in the first place when it was inferior to Cathay ones

I think HK travel will be 50% lower anyway and moving to higher percentages anyway

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 56

Such a shame. Really nice lounge and far better than SIN. Mind you the CX lounges are a class act also. Most times I visited, the lounge was quiet except for the evening hours so not entirely surprised. Books need to be balanced 

27 Aug 2021

Total posts 1

It is a real shame. We were lucky to visit right before everything shut down thanks to C-19. 

We had just got out of Milan via an airport strike in Helsinki and a stopover in HK in all the uncertainty. That feeling of familiarity and "being home" even though we were still in HK was what stayed with us from that visit. All the stresses just eased away and the service from the team was impeccable. We preferred it to the CX lounges that we had been frequenting previously.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1018

I'm surprised they would get rid of the HKG lounge before the NRT lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Feb 2015

Total posts 1

Was a nice lounge and staff was great. Was always greeted with a smile by Paul and was always helpful. Hope he is looked after.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 72

I thought an Australian national carrier that services probably the most important major airport in the region, Hong Kong, from at least four of its own Australian Capital cities on a daily basis, in normal times, would want to keep its own 'unique' lounge presence at HK airport. Lounges are a very good marketing tool, branding for your 'airline on the ground' if you will. Reliance on the stunning Cathay Pacific Lounges at Hong Kong Airport for eligible Qantas passengers, although a great alternative, takes away the presence of Qantas' famous laid back hospitality' in such a major hub. Seasoned Cathay Pacific flyers who use the Qantas lounge and are impressed with the menu, ambience etc, may chose to book on Qantas metal in lieu of Cathay. Bad move, some things just need to stay even if a drain on Alan's MYOB, dont make the world more generic than it has to be. We want to see our Qantas lounges in Major international destinations.

07 Feb 2018

Total posts 17

Will miss this lounge, it was excellent, times change though, like never before, so, so be it, just a first world problem to cope with!!!

Virgin Australia - Platinum

21 Mar 2021

Total posts 5

Damn!!! That’s a shame, it was a nice lounge! I remember the one before it which was like a “bunker” underground!

JBH
JBH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2012

Total posts 123

For those of you like me that used to commute weekly out of HK to (SIN) this was a sad sight to see - was on my way to SIN yesterday, for the first time for a while but just had to step by to say goodbye.... but seems I can't post a pic of the padlocked front door here, QF lounge all gone folks....


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