Qantas considers Singapore-style

By David Flynn, April 22 2013

Update | Australian Business Traveller has confirmed that Qantas will close its first class lounge at Hong Kong airport in favour of a single integrated lounge for first and business class passengers, modelled along the same lines as the Qantas SIngapore Lounge. Click here for fiirst photos and details of the new Qantas Hong Kong lounge, opening March 2014.

Previous| Qantas may drop its separate first class and business class lounges at Hong Kong International Airport in favour of a single ‘integrated’ facility based on its recently-opened Singapore lounge.

The new single-class Qantas Hong Kong Lounge could incorporate similar concepts as introduced in the Qantas Singapore Lounge including a more Asian-style dining experience, differentiated service for top-tier frequent flyers and hosting by Sofitel.

Qantas had previously flagged a late-2013 makeover for Hong Kong's first class lounge but Simon Hickey, CEO of Qantas International, tells Australian Business Traveller that moving to a single-class lounge at Hong Kong is being considered, based on the ‘shakedown’ of the Singapore lounge.

“I think what we need to do is get some good feedback and some learnings from (the Qantas Singapore Lounge) before we actually say definitively what we think is right for our Hong Kong market” Hickey reflects. “It’s a good question and it’s not one that I have answered yet.”

“We can differentiate service even here in a combined lounge because we know who the people are as they come in, and with Sofitel we’ve developed a plan that will differentiate the service even within the lounge even though it’s one lounge. And so we’ve really gotta learn a little bit and then we’ll grow again.”

But a broader roll-out of the integrated international lounge model is definitely on the cards, Hickey says.

“I think we’ll learn from this and develop from this concept.”

“The Qantas Singapore Lounge has changed the concept of what we’ve delivered in the past, and I think that the experience is going to be be unique and I’m really looking forward to some of the customer feedback.”

Does Qantas need separate first class and business class lounges at Hong Kong, or would you be happy with a single superior lounge a la Singapore?

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.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

I think a lounge such as Singapore would be sufficient. As long as the design of the super lounge will cater for the numbers expected to use a combined lounge. There needs to be enough shower facilities to start but also when it comes to dining options and availability of seats. There really aren't many airlines that offer different First and Business lounges outside of their own home market so I don't believe Qantas needs to in Hong Kong. In any case, Hong Kong airport is great to walk around in if you find the lounge too busy, unlike the US airports where you need good lounge space!

26 May 2011

Total posts 58

Qatar Airways Premium Terminal at Doha has separate P and J lounges. Having experienced both, I couldn't ascertain any difference in amenities, food or service. Therefore probably just combine them and offer 'internal' differences to the class of travel, if the new Singapore Lounge is anything to go by........

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 303

I agree with AusFlyer.  The differientials between an International First and Business Class Lounge away from the own home market is minimal.  A combined lounge such as Singapore should be sufficient.  The key points would be to ensure First Class and Top Tier passengers still receive the top knotch service they deserve.
On a side note, if the Lounge does get overly busy, passengers will still have options in the CX Lounges in HK being a One World Member, so it's not like there is a lack of choices.
One thing i do wish Lounges would have more of, are Recliner type seats, that allow you to "lay" down... not many lounges seem to have these.

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

On the one hand I can see that it is far more efficient (thus probably cheaper) to combine the First Class and Business Class lounges. Look at for instance EK who has done a great job in creating a lounge experience which is above business class and just a cut below some airlines First Class offerings. There are indeed just a few airlines that do offer dedicated First Class lounges away from their home market, however, often they do have a cornered off section (sometimes roped off, sometimes seperated by a door) where First Class passengers can relax. I think there should always be a difference as when you fly first you often pay a hefty premium above the Business fare and I think it justifies a bit more of a private and personal treatment at the airport.

It should not be too hard to create such a private space in the overall lounge and the airline could even offer the same food and beverages, perhaps hire an extra staff or two to get you a more personalised experience.

Obviously, if you are a OW Emrald member in HKG you can visit the CX First lounges in any case. I still think though that if you have shelled out top dollars to have a First Class experience on QF (and do not have any status) it would be a little disappointing to not expereince that First Class treatment all the way through your journey.

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

I agree with KG. I can see that first class travellers on Qantas' A380 to HK might like something 'better' than the same lounge as everybody else, but it also seems a bit precious, especially when the lounge could be so great, if its anything like the new Singapore lounge seems to be. So maybe Qantas can have the one main lounge for everybody, like Singapore, but a small 'private room' area for First Class and Chairman's Lounge where they get a bit of extra special service. But QF first class in HK don't need a whole lounge to themselves, and if they really want a dedicated first class lounge they can always walk 5 minutes to Cathay's Wing First Class Lounge.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 54

After seeing stories & events on the Sin Lounge it should / will be ok with the obvious quality & effort that has gone into SIN. Overcrowding is the only issue, I do have concerns about, but seeing BNE J Lounge full (I know is Dom) but I can put up with that.  The HKG Lounge, needs rework as I rarely full time visit on my Trips. I usually use CX Wing or Cabin. QF128 now is leaving mostly as Gate 25 close to the QF Lounge & only 10mns from the CX Wing

If there are cost savings to translate into other areas go for it..like extra HKG Flights !!! :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Aug 2012

Total posts 24

I know that many here will disagree with me, but I do not feel that the concept in Singapore is a brilliant one. I have visited the new lounge in Singapore twice since it opened, and I have had a lengthy wait for a seat on both occasions, and a 45 minute wait for a shower.

I fly regularly throughout Asia, and I am a Qantas Platinum member. It's not about having a la carte dining options, or spa treatments available, it's about having a quiet, private space to work in or to simply take a breath in before getting onboard the next flight. The current First Lounge in Hong Kong is not brilliant and it is often busy, but it's much closer to the mark than the new Singapore Lounge. Although of course it is possible to use the excellent CX lounges, I feel that this is yet another indication that Qantas is losing sight of the top end of the market. For many OWE's flying to and from Hong Kong, Qantas is indicating that if you want a premium experience, fly with Cathay. 

I do take my hat off to the folk's at Qantas, 90% of the time with service development they're ahead of the game. Unfortunately they've missed the mark with this one. 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

Thats one thing I noticed with the new Singapore lounge, there is no 'quiet zone' – which would have been nice, given the size of the main seating area. Something tucked away in one corner, with sound-reducing surfaces and appropriate signage and planning, would give travellers that chance to work or wind down with some privacy.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

I used the lounge last night and it was perfect. There were plenty of seats in all areas of the lounge... I also walked straight up and had a shower without any wait. The food was great as was the overall atmosphere of the lounge.

I do like the First lounge in Hong Kong but I can also understand that operating two lounges there is probably not cost effective.

I couldn't disagree with you more about the Singapore lounge though... I thought it was great.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Aug 2012

Total posts 131

I think it will be more efficient to have a single lounge. But on the other hand, having a separate 1st lounge or dedicated area within a lounge will offer greater exclusivity and level of service to 1st class passengers. After all, they have paid quite a bit for their fares.

RG1
RG1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

My concern is that with any move to an integrated lounge they may look to 'enhance' First from HKG altogether.

A dedicated seating area for passengers flying First would be a good idea to preserve some exclusivity.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

I believe Qantas are sending mixed signals in regards to Hong Kong as a destination for first class travel. Although they seem adament they want to keep first class ex. SY, it seems they don't offer much anymore that is exclusively at "first class" level. As first class has been dropped from all capital cities from Australia to Hong Kong, except Sydney, it seems pointless having a huge lounge dedicated to 14 F passengers a day in HK. In fact I think it's pointless having first class on the leg, full stop. As the ticket cost is about $3000 return ex. SY  MORE than Business class you are really not getting your monies worth anyway on an 8 - 9 hr trip, particularly as almost half the flights per week ex. SY use the very old first class config. on the B747, which have seats that seem statistically inferior to the MK II business seats on the A380 services.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

True, but I think you are forgetting that first lounges aren't just for first passengers... they are also for Platinum and P1 passengers. These are QF's frequent of frequent travellers and should be looked after (I am not one of them - so no personal benefit).

Combining First/Business lounge in Singapore is fine (no first at all), but I think HKG should keep seperate lounges. I also suggest QF should look a LHR lounges in the medium term... AA lounge isn't a great alternative - perhaps an enlarged QF/EK lounge (don't know how it'll work with oneworld though)

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

Having just returned from Singapore and experiencing the new QF lounge, I have to say that I would have no issue whatsoever if the lounge is combined in Singapore. If Qantas keep the method that they used for the Singapore lounge in Hong Kong then it will not matter the least if there is no separate First Class lounge.

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

One strongly suspects that first class in any former is a thing of the past for Qantas in Asia. So why bother having a first class lounge?! You can't get a first class seat on a Qantas aircraft anyway.

Perhaps, the Asian routes will shortly be Jetstar once the 787s arrive.

Qantas international is a boutique product servicing LAX, DXB and LHR - end of story.

No point in investing in first lounges is there Mr Hickey!?

By havng a combined lounge you can excise the first bit once JQ take sover the routes with the aso-called JQ biz left with the...well leftovers.

I ponder these things as a PlatinumOne with a great love of the MEL and SYD first lounges who has zero faith in Joyce or Hickey.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

I think it is really quite interesting that people have such strong feelings about the lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong. Given that most airlines have mediocre to poor lounges in any city other than their own home port, I think that the Singapore lounge is fantastic. Look at the likes of Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific... their lounges outside of Singapore or Hong Kong are nothing at all to write home about. I say good on you Qantas for making the effort!

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Your point is well made. However, as one correspondent noted a 45 minute wait for a shower there is an evident issue of basic supply of service at the first class level whether or not you personnaly perceive people's comments to indicate strong feelings or not. 

We're talking serious cash for the airfare after all.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 362

WorldFlyer90 sums it up pretty well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 May 2013

Total posts 1

Having experienced the new Qantas Singapore lounge I can only agree with other comments that this should be the way to go for Hong Kong airport as well. It is spacious, contemporary in design and suited my needs waiting for a late evening flight back to Sydney recently. The food and service was very good and overall a very pleasent experience. I dont see a need for a seperate First Class lounge regardless if you have  paid a lot more money for your ticket as the product quality in this case is very good indeed! As a Qantas Platinum FF (flying premium economy or business mostly) I am very happy with the Singapore concept and better to have more space to share in one larger lounge. 


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