Asiana’s check-in desk opens at 8:00pm in Hong Kong for the late night flight (or flights as it was this day since they also had another one to Seoul 40 minutes after mine). I wanted to visit both the Singapore SilverKris and CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation) lounges and checked-in right as the counter opened.
The agent’s English was excellent, better than what I experienced at LAX, and I quickly had my boarding pass and lounge invitation in hand.
Security and exit immigration were quick and I first stopped in the SilverKris lounge since they close first at 10:00pm. I’m doing the lounge reviews out of order since I wanted to keep the Asiana experience unique and attached to my check-in with the airline. The CNAC and another Dragonair lounge are up an escalator across from gate 16.
A total of 16 airlines use this contracted lounge and it showed. When I entered, it felt sterile and far too bright for my taste. A ridiculous amount of cardboard cut outs of uniformed airline agents lined the left wall as I approached the check-in desk. It’s a spacious lounge with lots of different seating areas where I found worn and tired furnishings.
Near the entrance are a luggage storage area and a couple of rows of cubicle workstations. Newspaper and magazine selections were also nearby. The walkway to the right after you enter leads to a row of several non-enclosed, half-wall rooms with relaxation chairs. They looked comfy, but I didn’t try them out.
The central lounge area is outfitted with two long buffet tables with meager offerings, including soups, chicken sausages, Haggen Daaz ice cream, sandwich wedges, fruit & veggies, pastries and chilled noodle dishes. None of it looked too appealing and I had just eaten in the Singapore lounge, so passed on it all.
Cold beverages were available in mini-refrigerators underneath the buffet, as well as alcoholic options on top.
Now here’s something I thought was incredibly strange. There were absolutely no proper napkins anywhere. The only thing available was a tissue-type thing from a few dispensers located on top of the buffet. Very weird.
One great thing this lounge does have, similar to Cathay Pacific’s The Wing, is a fantastic view of the tarmac. Since it was nighttime, the views were a bit glary from the terminal lighting, but I enjoyed watching a British Airways flight to London board and push back from the gate. One corner near the bathrooms had a seating area with incredibly bright orange chairs and marblesque tables.
The men’s room was pretty gross and basically the equivalent of what I found downstairs in the main terminal, maybe even worse. Just outside the restrooms was a short hall containing four shower rooms. They were locked, so evidently you’d contact the front desk to arrange for a room.
While nicer than just sitting around the gate area, this lounge is nothing special. My next installment will show off a much better lounge option for Star Alliance Gold members flying Asiana.