Review: Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is a refreshing alternative in this CX-dominated airport.

Overall Rating

By David Flynn, February 6 2024
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge
Country

China - Hong Kong

City

Hong Kong

Airport

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)

Alliance

Oneworld

Airline

Qantas

Cabin-class

Business

Notes
The Good
  • Variety & quality of food
  • Plenty of seats and AC/USB ports
  • Contemporary design
The Bad
  • No dedicated quiet zone
  • The lounge can get very warm in the later afternoon
X-Factor
  • Authentically HK pre-flight dining delights
Location
Dining
Work
Overall

Introduction

While Cathay Pacific understandably dominates Hong Kong International Airport with five individual lounges, the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge remains an unexpected gem.

If you hold Qantas Platinum or Qantas Platinum One status you may well pop into Cathay’s The Wing First lounge for its à la carte dining room menu, Champagne bar and private Cabana suites – or if you have a lot of time up your sleeve, head down to The Pier First, while The Pier Business is a tempter for Qantas Golds.

But you may well end up swinging back to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge for some great food, delicious cocktails and a friendly vibe before your Qantas flight back to Australia.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: access 

So who gets through the door of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge?  As a nominal business class lounge, the access list is quite generous:

  • travellers in first and business class on Qantas flights as well as Oneworld partner airlines (such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyers holding Platinum One, Platinum or Gold status (who may also bring one guest into the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, as long as that guest is flying with Qantas or a Oneworld member)
  • frequent flyers with other Oneworld airlines holding Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status
  • Qantas Club members (who can also bring one guest into the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, as long as that guest is travelling on the same flight)
  • travellers on Qantas flights with a Qantas lounge invitation pass
  • members of the invitation-only Qantas Chairman’s Lounge

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: opening hours

At the time of writing (February 2023) the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge has extended its opening hours from 7.30am through to 11pm every day.

This means the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge can be visited ahead of most  regional morning flights by Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Malaysia Airlines as well as those popular long-range overnights by the likes of British Airways, Finnair and Qatar Airways.

Visiting the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge

The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is located just across from Terminal 1’s Gate 5.

After checking in for your Qantas flight at Terminal 1’s J check-in desks, head to the adjacent Departures (North) checkpoint and after clearing security and immigration, take a sharp turn right – that’ll set you onto a walkway leading straight to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

At first glance the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge looks deceptively small, but the relatively narrow footprint stretches on and on through multiple seating and dining areas, allowing space for almost 300 travellers.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

And it’s a look influenced by location: you know this is a Qantas lounge, but also that you’re in Hong Kong.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

As it happens, the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is almost identical to its pre-pandemic days, barring a refresh with some new furniture and a somewhat warmer colour palette which contributes to an overall lighter ambience.

Taking pride of place just beyond the entry to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge is the old favourite  BBQ pork bar, serving up not just its namesake char siu but the lounge’s other cook-to-order dishes, along with cocktails, wines and beers.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

The rest of the lounge is given over to several dining and seating areas, from armchairs for solo travellers or couples to padded banquettes and benches.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

So go exploring: you’re certain to find your own space.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

The far end of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge appears set up as a family-friendly zone for kids, although there’s no official designation as such.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

(Also missing is a declared ‘quiet zone’ where travellers can seek respite from those annoying fellow flyers making loud FaceTime calls or watching streaming video sans earbuds.)

Almost everywhere throughout the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge you’ll find AC and USB outlets to keep your tech charged up, while the WiFi is free and very fast (with a wireless printer on hand when you need some last-minute hard copy). – just be prepared to hunt around for the password, which is not heavily advertised throughout the lounge.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Due to the lounge’s elevated position on the upper level of Terminal 1 you can enjoy views out across the departure gates and taxiway, dominated by the soaring Sky Bridge which connects T1 with the Satellite Concourse and is tall enough to let a double-decker A380 pass below.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

However, the terminal’s tall west-facing glass walls also let in plenty of warmth from the afternoon sun, which can result in the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge becoming a bit of a ‘hot spot’ for the wrong reasons.

That alone could make you want to freshen up before your flight – thankfully there are 12 spacious shower suites kitted out with Li’Tya body wash, shampoo and conditioner.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge: dining 

There’s absolutely zero risk of going hungry at the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, especially once you sit down at one of the dining tables.

Apart from that delightful char siu barbecued pork, a ‘plate of the day’ menu is also available.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

During our visit this listed options of

  • Guangdong-style chicken with black beans and steamed rice
  • braised beef brisket noodle soup, or
  • cuts of that delicious BBQ pork with steamed rice, smashed cucumber salad, cabbage and radish pickles
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

This ‘plate of the day’ menu changes every month, so even frequent flyers to Hong Kong can look forward to some variety.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

A Yum Cha trolley also rolls around in the afternoon, offering a selection of dim sum and Qantas’ signature salt and pepper calamari.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Rounding out this feast is the mandatory self-serve buffet with a generous range of mains, salads and desserts.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

During our recent visit the buffet’s spread included the following:

  • Coq au vin
  • mushroom soup
  • Thai-style pork neck
  • macaroni & cheese
  • ratatouille
  • roast chicken salad
  • potato and bean salad
  • caramel cheesecake
  • tiramasu
  • mango & pomelo pudding
  • chocolate brownies

And yes, that’s the same morish caramel cheesecake as the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge made famous with frequent flyers.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

The L-shaped BBQ pork bar doubles as a cocktail bar, and the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge has a half-dozen of its own cocktails: faves on our recent visit were the

  • Chi Chi (rum, pineapple, vanilla and lime)
  • Apple Elixer (gin, apple shrub, cinanamon syrup, lemon soda and sparkling wine)
  • Passionfruit Mojito (white rum. passionfruit, lime, mint and sod) and
  • Lychee Rose 75 (rose-infused vodka, pink mosctato, Riesling, lychee, soda)
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

The bartenders will happily mix up classic cocktails such as a mimosa, screwdriver or gin & tonic, while Platinum One frequent flyers and Chairman’s Lounge members can also enjoy a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Oh and of course, there’s proper barista-pulled coffee.

One tip for the lounge-savvy: towards the rear of the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge you’ll spy a sign directing you to the exit for Gates 5-9.

Follow that around and a frosted door brings you out to a set of escaltors that’ll handily take you down to those gates – but you can also walk straight across to Cathay Pacific’s The Deck, which remains one of our favourite Hong Kong lounges.

Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

With Qantas and Cathay Pacific both being members of the Oneworld airline alliance, your Qantas business class ticket or Platinum or Gold frequent flyer card gets you into The Deck if you’ve still got space in your stomach for something from The Noodle Bar, such as Cathay’s signature Won Ton noodle soup or Dan Dan noodles. 

From The Noodle Bar at Cathay Pacific's The Deck.
From The Noodle Bar at Cathay Pacific's The Deck.

Summary

The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge remains an impressive part of the Flying Kangaroo's international lounge network, not only for the design and dining but for the genuine warmth and hospitality of its staff – something which can make or break a lounge, especially for frequent travellers.

Sure, there’s nothing to stop you walking 10 minutes back towards the southern end of the terminal to visit Cathay Pacific's The Wing First lounge if you hold Qantas Platinum or higher status – but the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge should satisfy all but the fussiest of flyers.

Are you headed to Hong Kong? Here’s how your Australian passport can be used to skip the immigration queues at Hong Kong Airport via the automated e-Channel lanes.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 206

I visited the Qantas HK lounge 2 days ago on Monday 15th May. I rate it the best Qantas lounge I have been in. Even better than the Qantas first lounge in Melbourne. This one is so much better than the business lounge in Singapore. I tried the small ‘The Deck’ Cathay lounge first and headed into the Qantas one once it opened. Fantastic. I strongly recommend it. 

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 409

Visited this lounge last week on my first trip back to HKG in years. The city's pretty much the same, happy to say the Qantas HKG lounge is the same too, even has a few of the staff from before! Great food, loved the Rabbit cocktail and the 'under the shelf' Champagne for P1s. If I had more time I probably would have gone to The Wing for a meal but was very happy with the Qantas lounge, even with a very busy flight to Sydney the lounge wasn't too crowded, just had a nice 'buzz' about it, and that friendly relaxed feeling you get in a Qantas lounge compared to some of the others. 10/10, Qantas!

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1519

IMHO the best lounge in HKG is Cathay Pier BUSINESS one. Yes, I been in Pier First and still believe that Business is better. QF is good, though I prefer Pier any day.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 4

One of the best Qantas Lounges in the network, from both a hard and soft product perspective. The staff are exceptional and go out of their way to make your stay a comfortable one. Thank you Qantas for reopening this lounge. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2019

Total posts 11

I loved the HK lounge prior to Covid and was really disappointed when Qantas announced its permanent closure .. It has a great ambiance , great staff ,, great location , I cannot wait to get back there later this year 👍

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 47

It is crowded and noisy and not relaxing at all.  CX Pier F is streets ahead of anyother  lounge at the airport.

I usually have a policy of visiting the operating carrier's lounge before a flight in case of last minute issues with the flight.  HKG is the only airport at which I will not do this.  Walked in here once after the peace and quiet of CX Wing F to be greeted by a wall of noise.  I didn't last five minutes before returning to the Cathay lounge.

01 Jun 2023

Total posts 1

Entry requirements aren't quite accurate. Enquired on behalf of my wife who holds a complimentary pass with entitlement to use in QF-operated International Lounges and is travelling on QF ex HKG in September.   QF Frequent Flyer team neatly sidestepped honouring the complimentary pass, claiming that the lounge "owners" had elected to decline entry to those holding complimentary passes.  I suspect the tiered members won't be arguing with that stance, but none the less disappointing.  Seems like a bit of a "boys club".    

  • travellers on Qantas flights with a Qantas lounge invitation pass

10 Jul 2023

Total posts 2

Is the lounge available to those on an Emirates flight under the partnership? Could be a nice alternative to the Plaza Premium Lounge that Emirates currently directs its guests originating in HKG to

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1204

I agree that lounge is one of the best in the network.  The only thing I didn't like was the toilets which seemed strangely temporary.  The best part of the lounge was undoubtedly the staff; those working at the QF SIN Lounge could learn a lot from their compatriots in HKG.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 47

What's not widely advertised is the back (exit only) door which you can walk straight across to The Deck. Pre pandemic days those doors were entry and exit and when that back door counter was staffed.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2550

Hey cxflyer, so this handy door is now open again? It was still locked during my recent visits, which is why I didn't mention it – but yes, if it's open then it certainly makes for a quick cheeky visit to The Deck for noodles and Champers!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Feb 2015

Total posts 9

I visited the lounge the other week, and do not rate it highly. Having spent six-weeks working in Asia was looking forward to a Bundaberg rum and coke. NO Bundaberg rum. Poor show, not supporting Australia icons. Tried to get a shower, a queue of seven people in front. I asked for a razor and toothbrush to freshen up in the bathroom. The attendant did not understand me, as she did not speak English.

Went over to the Cathay Pacific lounge, got a shower immediately and they spoke English. Though no Bundy, had champagne, which only Qantas Platinum One/ Chairman’s Lounge members.

Appreciate a ‘good’ lounge compared to the other Qantas lounge, and that it is a first world problem.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jul 2014

Total posts 58

Warm service and passable F&B aside, I do not really understand the appeal of this lounge - hot, loud, hard surfaces everywhere ... it just feels like a slighter nicer part of the main terminal (to which it is essentially fully exposed). The soft, residential vibe of The Pier first lounge (and even its business counterpart) is a much more relaxing prelude to a long flight. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 23

I'm due to fly through HKG airport from PEK and then onto BKK. However, I arrive close to midnight and don't leave till 8:00am. All lounges close after midnight and the closest hotel near the airport wants $400 for a room for a few hours!

Does anyone have a suggestion as to where one can rest or should I find a few seats in the terminal and waste a few hours?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2019

Total posts 11

Like most here I rate the HK lounge very highly and definitely at the top percentage of Qantas lounges and also rates well against all HK lounges.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas Hong Kong Lounge