Review: Kyushu Karnival – Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
KA 380 HKG – FUK 333 J
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
KA 381 FUK – HKG 333 J

Comfort 3/5 Practicality 5/5 Service 4/5 Style 5/5 Meals 3/5 Overall 4/5

Cathay Pacific has probably the most lounges in the same area any airline has. All their lounges are named after parts of the plane (which includes parts that don’t leave with the plane and stay on the ground e.g. the Pier), and they’re kind of running out. Their hub lounge is The Wing, but they also have The Cabin,The G16 Lounge, The Bridge, The Pier, The Gate, The Wheel, The Seat, The Tail, The Baggage Compartment, The Fuel Tank, The Lavatory…what have I missed? 😆

I arrived at the Airport Express at 7:30am, in hopes of experiencing one of the three new lounges.

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Dragonair Check-in Counter Hong Kong Airport

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Dragonair Check-in Counter Hong Kong Airport

The Cabin seemed like the closest to all the shops. We were planning to check out either the Cabin, the Wing or the Bridge, and as we hadn’t checked out any, we decided on the Cabin, as it was the closest to the shops and didn’t seem “old” like the G16 lounge.

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Dragonair Check-in Counter Hong Kong Airport Lounge Map

We arrived Hong Kong Airport at about fifteen past eight, with high hopes of the lounge. The lounge is situated near Gate 23 and is the perfect place should you want to reserve your pre-flight 30 minutes for some shopping.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Entrance

My eyes were not glued to the entrance but to the Cathay Pacific 747 by gate 23. I have a passion for them, and they’re getting quite rare.

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Hong Kong International Airport Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400

We went down the stairs and the attendants were directly to our left. They welcomed us to the lounge, asked for our lounge invitations and let us in.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Entrance

I was immediately struck by how crowded the lounge was. Scanning the whole lounge not a single Solus chair was available, and that was the thing I had been looking forward to in the Cabin.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge directions

Apart from the noise, the 777-300ER by the window struck me. The amazing tarmac views were one of the good things in this lounge.

The ceiling to floor windows also let in a lot of natural light.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge tarmac views

As hinted above, the crowdedness made the lounge really noisy. I don’t usually mind a noisy place, but it could affect business travellers.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge deli

The lounge gives boarding announcements for CX, KA and codeshare flights, which I kind of like, though again, business travellers could think otherwise.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge FIDS

While the lounge didn’t have any available seating, the taken seating had different varieties, and varied from open to private.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge seating

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Solus Chairs seating

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Long Bar seating

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge seating

We settled at one of the only seats left during when we first came, the long benches.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge seating

The lounge itself…it was basically three rooms (excluding the entrance) connected by a large corridor.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge corridor

Each of the rooms featured a mix of Solus chairs and other varieties of benches.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Area

While the lounge was still packed I checked out the food spread. The food was really less than glamorous. Most of the food was revolting, so I skipped breakfast, in hopes of good food on the plane.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Food Spread

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Food Spread

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Food Spread

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Food Spread

This was supposed to be “dumplings in soup”. I had a look under the pot to make sure the soup hadn’t drained out.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Food Spread Dumplings “In Soup”

At this point I asked for the possibility of a Noodle Bar or showers. They replied with “no, that’s at the Wing only”.

I didn’t, however, forget to make myself a Coke with machine processed ice. Mmmm…

The literature selection was sure extensive. I eventually used these to pass the time after finishing my work.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Magazines

My mom ordered a cappuccino from the bar. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen better, but it was adequate.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge cappuccino

Service at the lounge was fine. The attendants were attentive and smiled, but that’s really all I can say, though I wouldn’t expect more at a lounge – but given that this is my first time at a lounge since 2012, I have no clue what to expect. 😦

By 9:30am the lounge cleared up a little, and at the same time we were announced Gate 50 and a forty-minute delay was also announced. No big deal…by 9:45 at least 90% of everyone here thirty minutes ago had cleared either for their flights or for the shops. So if you have a 11am flight, I recommend you come to the lounge after 9:30.

I grabbed one of the Solus Chairs by the window and kept To Kill A Mockingbird on the table next to me in case the traffic stopped being entertaining. Well, it can’t, given that you’re literally ten meters from the bird should it be parked at gate 23.

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Cathay Pacific The Cabin Lounge Solus Chairs

The Solus chairs are well designed. There’s a table where you can put your coffee or MacBook, and there’s a power plug that can fit in one of those “wall climber” chargers. Kudos.

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American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

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EVA Air Boeing 747-400

A few minutes before I left the visit got interesting. On TV, CNN was showing and Richard Quest was onscreen. I went around taking pictures of the lounge and the person next to me looked exactly like him. I peeked over the transparent signs of my Solus chair and he was reading a newspaper…but his baggage didn’t have a CNN tag and he had no bodyguards or filmmakers with him. Damn.

I had a few opportunities to planespot before I got on the flight, and I took these opportunities.

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Hong Kong Airlines Airbus A330-300 (to Nanjing)

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United Airlines Boeing 777-200 (to Chicago)

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 (our flight to Fukuoka)

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Jet Airways Airbus A330-200 (to Mumbai)

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Tarmac views from Gate 50

Bottom line on the Cabin

The Cabin is a good lounge. However, in no way did it meet my expectations. The food was much worse than expected, there was the lack of a bakery or a noodle bar, there was no way to get refreshed between flights in this lounge and the lounge was much smaller than the others. While this would make a good lounge elsewhere, it’s a sub-par lounge, especially compared to most other Cathay Pacific lounges at Hong Kong.

Next time I’m bound to go with The Bridge or the refurbished The Wing lounge. Any lounge is better than no lounge, but there are far better ones out there that are also accessible for me.

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