Review: Cathay Pacific's The Arrival Lounge, Hong Kong Airport

Overall Rating

By David Flynn, March 16 2012
Cathay Pacific's The Arrival Lounge, Hong Kong Airport

China - Hong Kong


Hong Kong


Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)




Cathay Pacific


Business & First

The Good
  • Everything you need to start the day
  • Attentive staff
  • Well-chosen menu of light to medium dishes
  • Private clubby feel
The Bad
  • Very limited access
  • Not easy to find if you don't know exactly where to go
  • A way to rest and recharge


Not every airport, nor every traveller, needs an arrivals lounge.

But for those times when I'm flying into Hong Kong on Cathay's CX138 from Sydney – which arrives at the crispy time of 5am, almost an hour before the HK's Airport Express makes its first dash to the city – The Arrival lounge is a perfect for a short stop-over before the day begins.

And as with any early morning arrival there's a good chance you won't be able to check straight into your hotel. So the lounge is perfect for freshening up (or just waking up) with a shower, enjoying a light meal and catching up with the news and email before your day really begins.

Location & Impressions

The Arrival lounge is easy to miss but worth the effort to find.

Make your way to the centre of the airport and follow the signs to Terminal 2.

You’ll soon be heading down a flight of escalators and into a passageway beneath the Airport Express station. The Arrival lounge is tucked away along to your right (across from the pay-per-visit Premium Lounge on the left).

The lounge is quite small - the dining area has just four tables tables with total seating for up to eight people, although there's always seating available at the long marble bench.

But once inside you’ll appreciate the cosy clubby feel of this private haven.


The lounge is open from 5am to midnight and due to its limited space, access is tightly limited to avoid overcrowding.

You’ll need to have flown in on a Cathay Pacific or Dragonair flight (Qantas flights don't qualify), in business class or first class, or hold oneworld Emerald status (which includes Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum).

Despite being such a small space The Arrival staff are relatively high in number, and also highly attentive – they’ll quickly stow your luggage out of the way and set you up with a drink and the daily menu.


There’s a good selection of freshly prepared light and medium Asian and western dishes on the menu.

These really hit the spot: sometimes all you want is wonton noodle soup or a small bento box as a morning pick-me-up and to stop your stomach rumbling before you head into town.

Also on offer is the usual selection of fruits, salads, soup, sandwiches, cookies plus hot and cold drinks (but no alcohol).


Need to hit the Net? There’s free wi-fi for your laptop, three Windows desktop PCs in their own cubicles, three iMacs on a tall bench and a laser printer.


The Arrival Lounge has eight combo bathroom-shower stalls with cleanser, moisturiser plus basic toiletries.

A small lounge area stocks the latest newspapers and a small selection of magazines, with CNN piped through a flat-screen TV.


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

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 57

Another reson to get the CX flight heh !!!

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 2

I'm curious about what you do with your checked luggage when using an arrivals lounge.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

The lounge is in the public (land-side) part of the airport so youcollect your checked luggage and exit security before you get to the lounge - and there there's a room in the lounge where it's stored while you shower, snack and surf.

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 2

Thanks David - I appreciate you solving the mystery for me.  I had assumed the arrivals lounges were somewhere near the "normal" lounges.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

Have you done a review on the pay-per-visit Premium Lounge?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

Not yet, that's something I hope to get time for on my next HK trip...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

Also, are you going to do a review of the SIN Cathay skyview lounge on your next time though there? What other lounge reviews are coming up?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

We've already reviewed CX's Singapore lounge, which is a bit of a hidden gem! See

American Airlines - AAdvantage

02 May 2015

Total posts 1

Probe este salon el año 2000 cuando vole desde Miami a Melbourne via Hong Kong y fue algo maravilloso para creo las cerca de 24 hrs que estube viajando.

La ducha me reenergizo completamente.

Gracias a Cathay por esta maravillosa opcion.

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