QANTAS: Hong Kong Lounge, once permanently closed, reopens today
Hong Kong’s reopened Qantas Lounge, used to be one of my favourite lounges, and I was a bit devastated when its permanent closure was announced at the beginning of the pandemic. That decision was reversed when Qantas announced its major lounge refurbishment program. Many Qantas Lounges have been pretty tragic for some time. Here in Sydney, the Qantas Club and Business Lounge are starting to look tragic, with their bathroom facilities looking particularly battered.
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The Qantas Hong Kong Internationa Lounge originally opened in 2014 and was widely praised by passengers. Hong Kong International is a hard market, given you have excellent lounges such as The Pier and The Wing lounges provided by Cathay Pacific for OneWorld premium travellers.
“Our customers have always loved the Hong Kong International Lounge and we are excited to bring it back better than ever. Since we resumed flights to Hong Kong in January, we’ve seen really strong demand. This reopening is part of our increased investment in customer experience across our network, to ensure Qantas customers continue to enjoy the high level of hospitality they have come to enjoy and expect from Qantas.”Markus Svensson, Qantas Chief Customer Officer
The New Lounge
This is styled as a refresh rather than a total redesign. At 2,000 sqm, it accommodates 290 passengers, with panoramic views of the airport’s infamous Sky Bridge. So expect to see the same basic form of the lounge retained, but with refreshed screens and tiling, creating a range of zones, from dining to lounging, which makes the lounge feel more friendly and intimate.
There is also a business zone with numerous power outlets and high-speed WiFi. There are also 12 private shower suites furnished with Li’Tya amenities (the name means ‘Of the Earth’).
Food and Beverage
What would HK be without Yum Cha, and the lounges dim sum trolley is back, as is it’s very respectable serves of char siu Chinese barbeque pork. You also get a separate formal dining area with a communal table and that large bar serving Australian wines, beers and spirits, and some cocktails such as Chi Chi (dark rum, pineapple, lime and vanilla).
Qantas flights currently run daily overnight between HK and Sydney, using a mix of A380s and A330 aircraft. Melbourne to Hong Kong flights are set to restart in June, operating three days per week and then increasing to four per week from the middle of July.
You’ll find the lounge at Terminal 1, Level 7, near Gate 5. (Turn right after North Immigration). The lounge opens from 2.30 pm until the last Qantas departure, currently at about 7:30 pm, depending on which day you’re flying.
But come June, some more hours will be added when the Melbourne/Hong Kong route reopens, meaning the lounge wont’ close until 10 pm on certain days:
Expect a further change when the Melbourne flights ramp up to four per week.
That is fantastic news for passengers travelling this route. One of the other features of this lounge was the staff’s attitude and devotion to service. Let’s hope they have rehired some of the previous staff and trained up the new ones. As we all know, physical facilities are less than half the attractiveness of a lounge. The rest is the food and beverage quality – where Qantas needs to lift its game in lounges, onboard, and service, which depends on recruitment, training, and staffing levels. Let’s hope that Mr Svensson has covered those bases as well as the screens, tiles and furniture,
And just as an aesthetic aside, I’m non a fan of those new tiling patterns. Just don’t really see the connection to place – either to Australia or Hong Kong. And grey? Why?
What did you say?