Hong Kong Express Chicago

Index:

The hotel dropped us off curbside and we entered the impressive Hong Kong airport. It doesn’t quite compare to Singapore’s Changi but it’s certainly one of the best and most impressive airports in the world.

Though our bags were already checked, and boarding passes printed at the Bangkok transit desk the day before, I stopped at the first class check-in desk to confirm that our bags had been properly tagged to Chicago O’Hare. In Koh Samui Bangkok Airways had tagged our bags to Hong kong, where Cathay told us they re-tagged them to Chicago for us and we didn’t need to pick them up on arrival the night before. But I wanted to make sure.

A couple of quick phone calls and this was confirmed, we headed through security and passport control. Lines were short and we were through in no time. Then it was off to the lounge. We were flying out of one of the clsoest gates, so we’d be using the Wing. Instead of just turning left after immigration and walking up to the first class entrance, I went into autopilot. I walked down the escalator and through the duty free area, and all the way down the corridor on the departures level to the business class entrance of the Wing. Why? Probably because that’s how I entered the Wing the last time I was there, and even though I was flying in first class. I had gone to the business class checkin desk and was sent up the elevator to the first class portion of the lounge.

When I got to (what turns out to be the recently-reopened entrance of) the business class lounge, I showed my boarding pass and lounge invitation. They said “but you’re supposed to go to the first class lounge.” There was no elevator upstairs, because the lounge renovations meant that the business class portion of the upstairs was closed. So I had to walk back down the corridor of departure gates, back through the duty free, up the escalator, and then down the hall past the exit of passport control in order to get to the entrance of the first class side of the lounge.

The best, most unique feature of the first class side of the Wing are The Cabanas, really just shower rooms but with bathtubs and their own deck with lounge chairs which look out over a creek inside the lounge. But having gotten up in the morning at my hotel there was no need for a shower on this visit.

Instead, I poked my head into the “The Library” which was empty

Before settling into the open air seating of the lounge, which I much prefer because of all of the light and the view over airport operations.

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