The great Star Alliance lounge-off

I’m writing this from Hong Kong airport, and I have to say I’m glad to be getting the hell out of this continent during Chinese new year. The absolutely appalling behaviour I’ve witnessed tonight, my god. Yes, I’m really ready for a break from China.

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I checked in for my Thai Airways flight in Terminal 2, which is a massive pain in the ass since you have to take a train back to the gates, complete with all the pushing and shoving that’s expected in this region, plus random shit like people slurping and munching on grilled corn in your ear – where the fuck they got it I don’t know. The check in itself was almost completely wordless, save for “boarding pass, ok baibai” at the end. Not cool.

The Thai Airways lounge is located near gate 40, two train stops from T2, but I decided to get off one stop earlier and check out the Singapore Airlines lounge near gate 15. Although it’s windowless, this could be a plus at HKG because other lounges up on level 7 which overlook the departure gates, such as the Thai Airways lounge, let in a lot of noise from the common areas, as well as boarding announcements for what feels like hundreds of flights.
Food in the Singapore Airlines lounge was pretty average, especially for vegetarians (if you’re a strict veggie,  you’d be feasting on just garlic veggies and corn chips – even the rice had meat) or pescetarians (other hot options in the buffet included chicken curry), though the airline showcased its Singapore roots with a pretty decent prawn laksa made to order. Another plus was the fact that they serve champagne (Moet), whereas the Thai lounge unfortunately does not.

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Singapore Laksa at the SQ lounge

The Singapore Airlines lounge was reasonably quiet at the time I was there and didn’t feel too crowded, even though it was just about an hour before the 19.55 departure to SIN. There was definitely enough seating, too.

Stupidly, I didn’t check the status of the incoming TG aircraft from HKT, which would then be taking us to BKK (landing about 20 mins late), so I headed over to Gate 40 to the Thai Airways lounge. I needn’t have got here so early and could have spent more time at the SQ lounge. Oh well.

I’d previously spotted the Thai Airways lounge from the Emirates lounge, which is diagonally across and shares the open air feel. It didn’t look like much to write home about and now that I’m here, I can confirm that.

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The food selection is as average as that of the Singapore lounge, though a Thai noodle salad was particularly tasty. Unfortunately there’s no champagne and it’s a DIY affair rather than poured for you, but that’s fine. As I entered the cleaners were mopping the floor and continued to mop the whole lounge- perhaps that could be done after passengers leave? This is the last TG flight of the day.

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All in all, it’s better than the Plaza Premium lounge next door, which had a massive queue to enter:

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However, as I write this, I am conscious of all the noise floating up from the boarding area below. Bring Chinese new year, it’s particularly crowded and loud. Given the choice, I’d go for the Singapore Airlines lounge which is insulated from the noise of the public areas.

 

Edit: Whoops, I forgot about the United lounge! Next time…

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