Qantas intends to begin reopening its international lounges at London, Los Angeles and Singapore this month, but there’s one lounge which won’t be coming back.
As Executive Traveller first reported in August 2021, Qantas’ Hong Kong lounge is now permanently closed – indeed, it’s been stripped and gutted (although we’re hearing rumours that a new lounge may eventually take its place).
When Qantas flights to Hong Kong resume, all lounge-worthy travellers – including Qantas Club members – will have access to Cathay Pacific’s lounges such as The Pier, The Wing and The Deck.
And while these are excellent lounges, we’ll miss the Qantas Hong Kong lounge.
Yes, some lounge enthusiasts flying to Australia with Qantas were happy to head to the far end of the terminal to spend time at Cathay’s The Pier – which we rate as among the world’s best, in both the first class and business class categories – and then trudge back to the low-numbered gates at the top of the terminal to catch their QF flight.
But for many, if not most, the Qantas Hong Kong lounge was more than enough.
When it opened in April 2014, this was only Qantas’ second all-new international lounge after Singapore – and even more so than its Lion City sibling, the Hong Kong lounge’s design drew from and reflected its storied yet vibrant location.
Tucked away almost behind Qantas’ checkin desks at Hong Kong International Airport, and overlooking the gates often used by Qantas flights, this compact boutique space on the terminal’s upper level was bathed in natural light, with views of the gates and airfield adding an open feel which other lounges lacked.
A highlight was the BBQ pork bar, perhaps the lounge’s most emblematic embrace of Hong Kong, where travellers could enjoy one last plate of authentic crimson-red Char Siu pork and rice before winging their way back home.
In addition to the daily plates served around dinner time, before the departure of Qantas’ flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, a yum cha-style trolley rattled around with a selection of dim sum, dumplings and mango tarts.
We’ll miss that feeling that even this visit to the lounge was part of the journey, despite the trip being almost over, and that ‘slice of home’ vibe you get in any overseas Qantas lounge.
And we’ll miss the lounge’s familiar friendly faces, with many staff having been there from Day One and knowing regular passengers and frequent flyers on a first-name basis.
Here’s a glass raised to the Qantas Hong Kong lounge – gone, but not forgotten…