Emirates Airline has its own Business Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport. Open from 3 pm until 12 midnight, it serves hot and cold dishes and snacks as well as a free flow of beverages. Is it worth getting to the airport early to take advantage of it?
Airlines and Aviation
Attracted by a special promotion for Business Class tickets on Emirates Airline, I splashed out on a round-trip Business Class ticket from Hong Kong, where I live, to Bangkok, Thailand, one of my favourite travel destinations.
The timing was perfect as the dates coincided with Hong Kong’s brief but blustery winter. I usually try to escape to warmer climes for a few weeks during this period.
One of the things that intrigued me about Emirates Airline is that it had its own Business Class Lounge at Chek Lap Kok, a.k.a. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).
This is not unusual for airlines with a major presence at the airport, such as Cathay Pacific Airways or Singapore Airlines or Thai International, which all have numerous flights each day.
But many long-haul carriers such as Qatar Airways, with only one or two daily flights at the airport, share lounges with other airlines – or they give complimentary access to a paid-in lounge such as the Plaza Premium Lounge, which I reviewed yesterday, based countless earlier visits.
I have complimentary access to Plaza Premium Lounges at Hong Kong International Airport thanks to my Citibank Platinum Visa credit card.
The Check In …
Because I had a 9.30 pm departure, I left home earlier than usual so I could chill out in the Business Class Lounge before departure.
I did, in fact, arrive earlier than I should have because I had to wait in line at the check-in counter for about 20 minutes before staff arrived.
Apparently, the check-in counter doesn’t open until three hours before departure.
Before I get any further with this review, I would like to clarify that my ticket on Emirates was entirely self-funded.
The Entrance …
The Emirates Lounge was located near Gate 30. The entrance was kittycorner to the entrance of one of the airport’s Plaza Premium Lounges.
There was also the entrance to another lounge, which – if I remember correctly – was shared by more than one airline.
Registration was quick and easy. I also asked the receptionist to input the membership number of my Korean Air Skypass frequent flyer account, which I had forgotten to do when I checked in on line.
Emirates and Korean Air are partner airlines. If you are a member of either airline’s loyalty programme you can apply your miles to the other airline’s loyalty programme.
The Space …
I think my pictures of the Emirates Lounge speak for themselves. The space was magnificent!
The Emirates Lounge is located on the top floor of Terminal One, directly underneath the building’s spectacular cantilevered ceiling.
After dark, you can see reflections of the antique aircraft suspended from the ceiling of the main section of the terminal.
During the day, you can see the action on the airport’s tarmac and runways.
At the far end of the space, you can look down at the departure and arrivals levels of the terminal.
The Food …
There were two buffet tables: a lengthy counter for hot dishes and a circular table for cold dishes.
Hot dishes included Beef Medallion with grilled bell peppers, grilled salmon, sweet and sour chicken, eggplant curry, potatoes cooked with rosemary, and a few other dishes that I can’t remember.
The cold buffet table had cheese, fresh fruit, salad makings, snacks, and desserts. There were also a couple of Middle Eastern touches: hummus, tabouleh, and a mouth-watering walnut pie with a creamy cinnamon sauce.
I particularly liked the beef, the hummus, and the walnut pie.
The Beverages …
Nobody visiting the lounge need fear going thirsty! There was a free flow of beverages, which included Moet Champagne, two types of red wine, two types of white wine, hard liquor, and almost everything you would need to fix cocktails.
Beers included Heineken and Asahi.
And teetotalers will not feel left out. There was also an espresso machine, premium teas, bottled water, and soft drinks
The Facilities …
Business travelers and social media addicts can surf the net in the Business Centre, and other services are offered.
There were also showers in the men’s and women’s toilets for passengers wanting the freshen up before their flight.
The Verdict …
As I waited to check in for my flight, I thought I had been a little silly getting to the airport so early so that I could chill out for a couple of hours in the business class lounge.
Once I had entered the lounge, however, any thoughts of silliness quickly disappeared.
I felt like my “vacation” had already begun. I enjoyed the spacious space, the high ceiling, the comfortable seats, and – last but not least – the yummy food and free-flowing wine and champagne.
I also had a nice chat with one of the friendly members of staff, who kindly took some pictures of me, including the photograph above.
I have had access to several business class lounges over the years, and with the exception of the palatial lounges at hub airports in the Middle East (which are in a class all their own), this was the best business class lounge I have ever had access to.
I’ll give the lounge TWO enthusiastic thumb’s up!
The Emirates Business Class Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport was a great way to start what I hope will be a great four weeks in Thailand.
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