Comparing OneWorld and Star Alliance Lounges Hong Kong

While I’ve only flown business class a few times this year (it’s made up the bulk of my flying, but comparatively I didn’t fly much, especially compared to next year), I have flown all three alliances in business class.

I’ve flown on Star Alliance with Thai Airways on the A330-300 from Hong Kong to Phuket and back

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Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 Business Class

…SkyTeam with Korean Air’s business class on both the A330-300 and the 747-400 from Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon and back…

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Korean Air Airbus A330-300 Business Class

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Korean Air Boeing 747-400 Business Class

…and I’ve flown business class on the 777-300ER from Hong Kong to London and from Paris to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific for oneworld.

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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Business Class

So what lounges will I focus on?

I have plans to visit the SkyTeam Lounge and the Dragonair G16 lounge in February and March respectively, though don’t have plans to visit the United Club just yet. I guess I’ll write another comparison of that when it comes…

So what lounges are the best in each alliance?

STAR ALLIANCE

Right now, my thoughts are as follows:

  1. Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
  2. United Club
  3. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge

Since the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge entered service after its renovation in 2014, it’s been one of the sleekest, classiest and most ambient lounges in Hong Kong. While there aren’t any views of the tarmac, the lounge is as good as outstation lounges get.

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Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong

There’s plenty of seating and apparently the lunch and dinner options are pretty phenomenal too, so expect to have a pretty nice, comfortable and relaxing time.

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Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong

There are also showers, so those on connections can go relieve themselves. The showers are really nicely designed, and definitely a mile ahead of those at the other lounges (even though I haven’t visited United’s shower, I’ve seen pictures, and they look good, but not great – Thai Airways doesn’t have showers).

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Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong Showers

The food is extensive, and the drinks are aplenty. I find the quality to be better than the other two lounges.

One complaint, though – no tarmac views means no plane pictures, no plane views, and no tarmac porn. Also, comparatively, the ceilings are lower than I’d expect from a lounge at Hong Kong Airport.

United Club

While I haven’t visited, the lounge has showers and is supposed to be the best one out there, apparently. Next time I fly Star Alliance in business class I’m bound to visit, but I’m not sure when that will be.

United Club Hong Kong Showers

The club itself looks great – though I won’t have much of a say on it.

United Club Hong Kong

Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge

While the lounge didn’t have any major service or functional problems, I found it quite a bit past its prime, especially when the Singapore Airlines lounge is a five-minute dash from this lounge. I mean, the Singapore Airlines lounge is pretty close to immigration – even if there’s a tight transit, the United Club is right across this lounge. Also, this lounge doesn’t have showers – so it’s basically a few chairs arranged in a triangular motion with a less-than-decent spread and chairs.

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Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong

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Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

The tarmac views are great, though.

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Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Hong Kong Tarmac Views

However, even with the tarmac views, the lounge shies in comparison to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge. Which is ironic, because the SilverKris lounge used to be the worst lounge in the system, but now is by far the best.

ONEWORLD

As far as I know the Dragonair G16 lounge is the worst of the pack, so I’ll immediately assume that without having been there and focus on the other lounges:

  1. The Qantas Lounge
  2. The Bridge
  3. The Wing
  4. The Cabin

The Qantas Lounge

The Qantas lounge and the Bridge are exponentially better designed than the Wing and the Cabin. That said, the Qantas lounge is almost consistently empty, which is why I recommend it the most.

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong

The food spread is slightly more limited than that of the Wing, the Bridge, etc, but all the food is top quality. Jason went in October (which he’ll be reviewing ASAP), and the actual dinner food (I was only there for breakfast) was apparently delicious.

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

The seating is all comfortable, and feature power ports.

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Seating

Plus, the shower rooms are pretty nice, too, so you can refresh yourself there. I’d say the Bridge has slightly nicer shower rooms, but you’re more likely to get one here where there aren’t as many people.

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Shower Room

And finally, there are tarmac views, which means you can get plane pictures and plane pornography right from the lounge. The service is also pretty amazing for a business class lounge.

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The Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Views of Tarmac

I’m not actually sure if I prefer views from the 7th or the 6th floor of the airport. From the 6th floor lounges, you get a more direct view of planes, while from the 7th floor lounges you get a more widespread aerial view.

But I guess that isn’t a big justification of if it’s a good lounge or not.

The Bridge, Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is a hair behind Qantas when it comes to Hong Kong lounges, mostly because of how world-renowned they are. You’d expect that Qantas has an inferior lounge given Hong Kong’s an outstation, but obviously, things proved otherwise. I, however, do think that Cathay Pacific’s lounge decoration beats Qantas by a bit.

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong

There’s plenty of seating, including Solus chairs, which I found to be pretty nice for working.

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong Solus Chairs

The food really isn’t as good as the Qantas lounge – I found it to be decent, Jason found it to be disgusting. It features more hot items than the Qantas lounge does – however, the execution is really less than half as good.

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

There are lots of seating areas, though, while the Qantas Lounge features like two types of (really comfortable) seating. However, they’re all pretty crowded (who doesn’t like Cathay Pacific’s newest lounge?) so expect to not get your preferred type of seating.

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong Seating

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong Seating

There are showers, too, which are a step up from the Qantas lounge. That being said, I found the shower ladies to be comparatively pretty mean.

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Cathay Pacific The Bridge Lounge Hong Kong Showers

Overall, it’s a solid lounge, though expect people. You’ll get seats, but probably not your most preferred ones.

The Wing, Cathay Pacific

The Wing is Cathay Pacific’s hub lounge, located on the other side of the terminal as the Qantas lounge. It opened after a renovation in 2012, but ever since has been the go-to lounge of at least 120 travelers per hour.

The lounge is big, though. And while not nearly as nice as the Bridge or the Qantas lounge, it’s nice.

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Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge Hong Kong

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Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge Hong Kong

The food is okay. The noodle bar was good. I didn’t have much of the food, but I’ve looked over a bit of the food – the hot options are amazingly bad.

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Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

I mean, again it’s the number of people that weaken the experience and not the actual lounge itself. Also, the showers are kind of aging, though they’re fine for now.

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Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge Hong Kong Showers

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Cathay Pacific The Wing Lounge Hong Kong Showers

Not a lounge I’d pick personally, but if both the Bridge and the Qantas lounge were closed off, I wouldn’t be too pissed with the lounge (even though that would mean even less seating options).

The Cabin, Cathay Pacific

The Cabin is a decent lounge, I guess. It’s decorated with red floors, has tons of iMacs and PCs, and lots of Solus chairs. When it was first designed it was a “work lounge”.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong

I guess it would be a pretty decent lounge if it wasn’t right near the immigration area near the gates.

The Cabin is in the ideal spot for people who don’t know how to separate the lounges to visit, and people can’t differentiate between the good lounges and the bad lounges. Therefore, there is no actual guarantee that you’ll get the seat that would suit you most. For example, all the Solus chairs, usually, are taken.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Solus Chairs

The food is pretty gloppy – yep, in the worst way possible.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Hong Kong Food Spread

Also, the lounge doesn’t have showers – though it does have probably the most closeup views of the tarmac, given that all the “non-mainstream traffic” is there (i.e. not all Cathay Pacific heavies).

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EVA Air Boeing 747-400 Hong Kong Airport

For SkyTeam, one communal lounge has opened for all the alliance which I’ll be visiting in early February. I’ve visited the Korean Air lounge – however, that has closed as of October.

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Korean Air Former Lounge Hong Kong Business Class Section

BOTTOM LINE

All lounges are good lounges – going to a lounge is a privilege and not a right. However, at the same cost, I think that this is the order that I’d choose my lounge choices by. It’s always nice to drop by more than one just to have some exercise at the airport.

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2 thoughts on “Comparing OneWorld and Star Alliance Lounges Hong Kong

    1. @ bob Z. – Yup, or if you’re travelling in business class on any Star Alliance airline. I need to update this list, though, as I don’t think that’s in the correct order anymore.

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