China - Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
- Variety & quality of food
- Plenty of seats and AC/USB ports
- Contemporary design
- No dedicated quiet zone
- The lounge can get very warm in the later afternoon
- Authentically HK pre-flight dining delights
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: 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.
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.
And it’s a look influenced by location: you know this is a Qantas lounge, but also that you’re in Hong Kong.
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.
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.
So go exploring: you’re certain to find your own space.
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.
(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.
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.
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: 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.
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
This ‘plate of the day’ menu changes every month, so even frequent flyers to Hong Kong can look forward to some variety.
A Yum Cha trolley also rolls around in the afternoon, offering a selection of dim sum and Qantas’ signature salt and pepper calamari.
Rounding out this feast is the mandatory self-serve buffet with a generous range of mains, salads and desserts.
During our recent visit the buffet’s spread included the following:
- Coq au vin
- mushroom soup
- Thai-style pork neck
- macaroni & cheese
- roast chicken salad
- potato and bean salad
- caramel cheesecake
- 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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